[Federal Register: October 15, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 199)]
[Page 52445-52446]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation 
Plan for Issuance of an Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(B) 
Permit for the Incidental Take of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus 
leucocephalus) During the Continued Development of the East Lake Area, 
The Woodlands, Montgomery County, TX

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of documents availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Applicant, The Woodlands Operating Company, L.P., have 
applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an 
incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act (Act). The Applicants have been assigned permit number TE-
048649-0. The requested permit, which would be for a period of 30 
years, would authorize the incidental take of the threatened bald eagle 
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The proposed take would occur as a result 
of the otherwise lawful development of the East Lake Area of The 
Woodlands, Montgomery County, Texas.
    An Environmental Assessment/Habitat Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) for 
the incidental take application has been prepared. A determination of 
jeopardy to the species or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) 
will not be made until at least 30 days from the date of publication of 
this notice. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the 
Act and National Environmental Policy Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

DATES: Written comments on the application should be received on or 
before November 14, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy 
by writing to the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons wishing to review 
the EA/HCP may obtain a copy by contacting Edith Erfling, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Clear Lake Ecological Services Field Office, 17629 El 
Camino Real, Suite 211, Houston, Texas 77058 (281/286-8282). Documents 
will be available for public inspection by written request, by 
appointment only, during normal business hours (8 to 4:30) at the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Houston, Texas. Written data or comments 
concerning the application and EA/HCP should be submitted to the 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Houston, Texas, at the 
above address. Please refer to permit number TE-048649-0 when 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edith Erfling at the above U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Clear Lake Ecological Services Field Office.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the bald eagle. However, the 
Service, under limited circumstances, may issue permits to take 
endangered wildlife species incidental to, and not the purpose of, 
otherwise lawful activities. Regulations governing permits for 
endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22.

APPLICANT: The Woodlands is a 28,000-acre master-planned new community 
development, located approximately 30 miles north of Houston, 
Montgomery County, Texas. The current population of The Woodlands is 
approximately 63,000 residents. At build-out, the total population is 
expected to reach 110,000 residents. This action may result in the 
abandonment of a bald eagle nest site. The Applicant proposes to 

[[Page 52446]]

for this incidental take by agreeing to provide buffers between 
forested areas and development as well as funding a bald eagle research 

Stephen C. Helfert,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 01-25852 Filed 10-12-01; 8:45 am]