[Federal Register: August 2, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 148)]
[Page 43788]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Safe Harbor Agreement and Application for an Enhancement of 
Survival Permit for the Chiricahua Leopard Frog in Arizona (State-Wide)

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application.


SUMMARY: The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) (Applicant) has 
applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an 
enhancement of survival permit pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the 
Endangered Species Act (Act), as amended. The requested permit, which 
is for a period of 50 years, would authorize incidental take of the 
threatened Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis) as a result of 
conservation actions, on-going livestock operations, recreation, land 
treatments, and other existing land-use activities. The Applicant would 
issue certificates of inclusion under a Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) to 
private landowners who would voluntarily agree to implement appropriate 
conservation measures for the species. We invite the public to review 
and comment on the permit application and the associated draft SHA.

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received on or 
before September 1, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application, draft SHA, or 
other related documents may obtain a copy by written or telephone 
request to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Arizona Ecological Services Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 
103, Phoenix, Arizona 85021-4951 (602/242-0210). Electronic copies of 
these documents will also be available for review on the Arizona 
Ecological Services Office Web site, http://www.fws.gov/arizonaes/. The 

application and related documents will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment only, during normal business hours (8 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m.) at the Service's Phoenix office. Comments concerning the 
application, draft SHA, or other related documents should be submitted 
in writing to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Arizona Ecological Services Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 
103, Phoenix, Arizona 85021-4951. Please refer to permit number TE-
123062-0 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: Marty Tuegel at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service Tucson office, 201 N. Bonita Avenue, Suite 141, 
Tucson, Arizona 85745 (520/670-6150) ext. 232, or by e-mail at 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Applicant plans to implement a 
programmatic SHA that will enhance and maintain existing Chiricahua 
leopard frog habitat, create additional habitats, and reestablish 
populations of the species on the privately held lands of willing 
landowners within the historical range of Chiricahua leopard frog in 
Arizona (approximately 9,050 mi2 [23,440 km2] in 
portions of Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Navajo, 
Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yavapai counties). Additionally, under 
this SHA, refugium and breeding facilities may be established on non-
Federal lands in appropriate locations within Arizona. Chiricahua 
leopard frogs are native to the Mogollon Rim, White Mountains, and the 
Sky Island regions of southeastern and south-central Arizona. The SHA 
is expected to provide a net conservation benefit to the Chiricahua 
leopard frog.
    The draft SHA and permit application are not eligible for 
categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, based upon completion of a preliminary NEPA screening form. Due 
to the results of this preliminary analysis of potential effects, a 
draft Environmental Assessment has been prepared to further analyze the 
direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the SHA on the quality of 
the human environment or other natural resources.
    Section 9 of the Act prohibits the ``taking'' of threatened or 
endangered species. However, the Service, under limited circumstances, 
may issue permits to take threatened and endangered wildlife species 
incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities.
    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22), and the 
National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its 
implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. E6-12421 Filed 8-1-06; 8:45 am]