[Federal Register: March 25, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 58)]
[Page 15362]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Safe Harbor Agreement for Topminnow 
and Pupfish in Arizona and Receipt of Application for Incidental Take 
Permit for the Arizona Game and Fish Department

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and 30-day public comment period.


SUMMARY: The Arizona Game and Fish Department (Applicant) has applied 
to the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of 
survival permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered 
Species Act (Act). The Applicant has been assigned permit number TE-
083686-0. The requested permit, which is for 50 years, would authorize 
incidental take of the endangered Gila topminnow (Poeciliopsis o. 
occidentalis), endangered Yaqui topminnow (Poeciliopsis o. 
sonoriensis), endangered Quitobaquito pupfish (Cyprinodon eremus), and 
endangered desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius). The proposed take 
would occur as a result of conservation measures on non-federal lands 
within the historical range of the species in Arizona.

DATES: Written comments on the Safe Harbor Agreement and Environmental 
Assessment must be received on or before April 26, 2004, to be 
considered by the Service. The agreement and supporting documentation 
are available for public review, subject to the requirements of the 
Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any party who submits a 
written request for a copy of such documents to the address specified 

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, Room 4102, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons 
wishing to review the Safe Harbor Agreement and environmental 
assessment may obtain copies by contacting Doug Duncan, Tucson 
Suboffice, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 201 North Bonita 
Avenue, Suite 141, Tucson, Arizona 85745 (520-670-6144, extension 236; 
Fax 520-670-6154). Documents will be available for public inspection by 
written request, by appointment only, during normal business hours 
(7:30 to 4:30), at the Tucson Suboffice, or the Phoenix office at 2321 
West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, Arizona 85021, (602-242-0210; 
Fax 602-242-2513). Written data or comments concerning the application, 
Safe Harbor Agreement, and Environmental Assessment should be submitted 
to the Field Supervisor, Ecological Services Field Office, Phoenix, 
Arizona (see address above). Please refer to permit number TE-083686-0 
when submitting comments. All comments received, including names and 
addresses, will become a part of the official administrative record and 
may be made available to the public.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug Duncan at the Tucson Suboffice, 
Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 201 North Bonita Avenue, 
Suite 141, Tucson, Arizona 85745.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of threatened and endangered species such as the Gila 
topminnow, Yaqui topminnow, Quitobaquito pupfish, and desert pupfish 
(topminnow and pupfish). However, the Service, under limited 
circumstances, may issue permits to take threatened or 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.
    The proposed action is issuance of the enhancement of survival 
permit and implementation of the Safe Harbor Agreement as submitted by 
the Applicant. The Safe Harbor Agreement provides for actions that 
promote conservation and recovery of the four species by: Providing 
additional suitable aquatic habitats that have previously been largely 
unavailable for reestablishment of topminnow and pupfish populations; 
increasing public awareness of conservation needs for native fishes; 
providing opportunities to use native fish for mosquito control while 
reducing or eliminating the use of the nonnative mosquitofish; and 
developing new partnerships between Federal, State, and non-federal 
landowners. The Safe Harbor Agreement is designed to provide a net 
conservation benefit to the topminnow and pupfish. The Safe Harbor 
Agreement has stipulations for monitoring of species populations and 
habitats and functioning of the Safe Harbor Agreement. The Safe Harbor 
Agreement also provides for funding of the mitigation measures and 
    Non-federal landowners, who commit to implementing conservation 
measures for the listed species under the proposed Safe Harbor 
Agreement, will receive assurances from the Service upon signing a 
Certificate of Inclusion with the Applicant that additional 
conservation measures will not be required and additional land, water, 
or resource use restrictions will not be imposed as long as the 
conservation measures are continuing and consistent with the agreement. 
The Service has prepared an Environmental Assessment for the 
enhancement of survival permit application. A determination of jeopardy 
to the species 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).
    Applicant: The Arizona Game and Fish Department intends to enroll 
appropriate non-federal lands to allow for the reestablishment of Yaqui 
topminnow, Quitobaquito pupfish, Gila topminnow, and desert pupfish. 
The incidental take of these fish may occur at the release sites during 
certain management activities.

Susan MacMullin,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 04-6674 Filed 3-24-04; 8:45 am]