[Federal Register: March 30, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 60)]
[Page 16300-16301]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Receipt of 
Applications for Incidental Take Permits for the Arnaudo Brothers, 
Wathen-Castanos, and River East Holding Sites in Merced County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; reopening of public comment period.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is reopening the 
public comment period on the Draft Arnaudo Brothers, Wathen-Castanos 
and River East Holding Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Draft 
Environmental Assessment (EA) for an incidental take permit for the 
endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica, ``kit fox'') in 
Merced County, California.

DATES: To ensure consideration of comments, they must be received on or 
before April 29, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Please address written comments to Ms. Lori Rinek, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, 
California 95825. You also may send comments by facsimile to (916) 414-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lori Rinek, Chief, Conservation 
Planning and Recovery Division, at (916) 414-6600.


Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of these documents for review by contacting 
the above office [see for further information contact]. Documents also 
will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal 
business hours at the above address [see addresses] and at the 
following website: http://www.harveyecology.com/.


    The Arnaudo Brothers, Wathen-Castanos, and River East Holding Sites 
(Applicants) have applied to the Service for incidental take permits 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 
1973, as amended. The Service is considering issuing 10-year permits to 
the Applicants that would authorize take of the endangered kit fox 
incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with the 
residential and commercial development of four sites in Merced County, 
California. The projects would result in the incidental take of kit fox 
on the project sites

[[Page 16301]]

through permanent removal off 182 acres of habitat. Incidental take may 
also potentially occur during construction and ground disturbance 
activities, which may affect occupied dens and individuals foxes.
    On February 7, 2005, we published a ``Notice of Availability of an 
Environmental Assessment and Receipt for Applications for Incidental 
Take Permits for the Arnaudo Brothers, Wathen-Castanos, and River East 
Holding Sites in Merced County, California'' (70 FR 6452). In that 
notice, we requested public comment on the Draft HCP and Draft EA. The 
Draft EA is the Federal document that analyzes the impacts of the HCP. 
The analyses provided in the Draft EA is intended to inform the public 
of the proposed action, alternatives, and associated impacts; disclose 
the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the 
proposed action and each of the alternatives; and indicate any 
irreversible commitment of resources that would result from 
implementation of the proposed action.
    The comment period for the February 7, 2005, notice closed on March 
9, 2005. We are now reopening the comment period until April 29, 2005. 
Comments on the Draft HCP, and Draft EA need not be resubmitted, as 
they will be fully considered in the final decision documents.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(a) of the Act as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the Service regulations (40 CFR 
1506.6) for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 
as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    Dated: March 24, 2005.
Ken McDermond,
Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 05-6242 Filed 3-24-05; 8:45 am]