[Federal Register: August 24, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 164)]
[Page 50082-50083]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of 48 Applications and Availability of Environmental 
Assessment for Incidental Take Permits for Single-Family and Duplex 
Residential Developments on the Fort Morgan Peninsula, Baldwin County, 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications 
from Alabama South Pools, Ms. Debbie Bankster, Baron Investments, Mr. 
Horton Bateman, BIOA LLC, Mr. Christopher Celeslie, Mr. Claud Clark, 
Mr. Robin Crick, Mr. Lawrence Dalgo, Mr. Erik Daniels, Mr. William 
Erwin, Mr. Mark Freeman, Mr. Mike Halliday, Mr. Leo Hastings, Harrison 
Building, Mr. Walter Lindsey, Mr. William Lingsch, Mr. Brian Litton, 
LK&K LLC, Mr. Michael Llop, Mr. Danny Mason, Mr. Lannie McRill, Mr. 
Michael Molleston, Mr. Johnny Moore, Ms. Margaret Pickering, Mr. Robert 
Relinski, Mr. Michael Sciortino Sr., Mr. Preston Simmons, Mr. Claude 
Sims, Mr. Gary Smith, Mr. Ron Spivey, Mr. Mike Stoddard, Mr. Larkin 
Strong, Mr. Robert Susko, TBI LLC, Mr. John Wales, and Mr. Kenneth 
Wallis (applicants) for incidental take permits (ITPs) pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) (Act), as amended for the take of Alabama beach mouse 
(Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) (ABM). The proposed take would be 
incidental to the otherwise lawful activity of constructing 32 single-
family residences, 13 duplex residences, and expansion of 3 existing 
residences on the Fort Morgan Peninsula in Baldwin County, Alabama. The 
applicants have prepared Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) specifying, 
among other things, the impacts that are likely to result from the 
taking and the measures each applicant would undertake to minimize and 
mitigate such impacts. We have prepared an environmental assessment 
(EA), which assesses the impacts of the proposed actions.

DATES: Written comments on the ITP applications, HCPs, and EA should be

[[Page 50083]]

sent to the Service's Regional Office (see ADDRESSES) and should be 
received on or before September 25, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the applications, HCPs, and EA may 
obtain an electronic copy by writing the Service's Southeast Regional 
Office, Atlanta, Georgia, at the address below. Documents will also be 
available for public inspection by appointment during normal business 
hours at the Regional Office, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, 
Atlanta, Georgia 30345 (Attn: Endangered Species Permits), or the 
Daphne Ecological Services Field Office, 1208-B Main Street, Daphne, 
Alabama 36526. Written data or comments concerning the application or 
HCP should be submitted to the Regional Office. Please reference 
``Batch III'' in requests for the documents discussed herein.

Coordinator (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 404/679-4144, or Mr. Darren 
LeBlanc, Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist, Daphne Field Office (see 
ADDRESSES), telephone: 251/441-5859.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The EA is a combined assessment addressing 
the environmental impacts associated with these projects both 
individually and cumulatively. This notice advises the public that we 
have opened the comment period on the ITP applications and the EA. This 
notice is provided pursuant to section 10 of the Act and National 
Environmental Policy Act regulations at 40 CFR 1506.6.
    We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the 
public on the Federal action, including the identification of any other 
aspects of the human environment not already identified in our EA. 
Further, we specifically solicit information regarding the adequacy of 
the HCPs as measured against our ITP issuance criteria found in 50 CFR 
parts 13.21 and 17.22.
    If you wish to comment, you may submit comments by any one of 
several methods. Please reference ``Batch III'' in such comments. You 
may mail comments to our Regional Office (see ADDRESSES). You may also 
e-mail comments to aaron_valenta@fws.gov. Please also include your 
name and return mailing address in your e-mail message. If you do not 
receive a confirmation from us that we have received your e-mail, 
contact us directly at either telephone number listed (see FOR FURTHER 
    Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to either Service office 
listed (see ADDRESSES). Our practice is to make comments, including 
names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review 
during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that 
we withhold their home address from the administrative record. We will 
honor such requests to the extent allowable by law. There may also be 
other circumstances in which we would withhold from the administrative 
record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to 
withhold your name and address, you must state this prominently at the 
beginning of your comments. We will not, however, consider anonymous 
comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or 
businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available 
for public inspection in their entirety.
    The EA considers the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of 
the proposed incidental take of the ABM and the measures that will be 
implemented to minimize and mitigate such impacts. The EA contains an 
analysis of three alternatives for each site, including: (1) No action 
alternative; (2) development with wholesale clearing, grading, and 
formal landscaping; and (3) the applicant's preferred alternative. 
Under alternative 1, we would not issue the ITPs and no new 
construction would result. Alternative 2 would result in the 
construction of single-family and duplex residences and the loss of 
15.69 acres of ABM habitat. Alternative 3 would result in a loss of 
4.59 acres, consisting of the footprint of the residences and access 
driveways. Access roads through State and County rights-of-way would 
result in the loss of an additional 0.46 acre of habitat for both 
Alternatives 2 and 3. Project effects are considered in the EA in terms 
of the affected environment, environmental consequences, and cumulative 
effects to the human and natural environment.
    The ABM is one of eight subspecies of the old field mouse 
restricted to coastal habitats. It was listed as endangered in 1985 and 
is currently believed to occupy approximately 2,544 acres in Baldwin 
County, Alabama. The three species of sea turtle are found along the 
Gulf coast: The threatened green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the 
threatened loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and the endangered Kemp's 
ridley (Lepidochelys kempii). Implementation of the minimization and 
conservation measures proposed in the applicants' HCPs to minimize 
incidental take of the ABM will also benefit nesting sea turtles.
    Under section 9 of the Act and its implementing regulations, 
``taking'' of endangered or threatened wildlife is prohibited. However, 
we, under limited circumstances, may issue permits to take such 
wildlife if the taking is incidental to and not the purpose of 
otherwise lawful activities. The applicants have prepared HCPs that 
include measures for the long-term protection, management, and 
enhancement of ABM habitat as required for the ITP application as part 
of the proposed project.
    We will evaluate the HCPs and comments submitted to determine 
whether the applications meet the requirements of section 10(a) of the 
Act. We will also evaluate whether the proposed issuance of the section 
10(a)(1)(B) ITPs complies with section 7 of the Act by conducting an 
intra-Service section 7 consultation. The results of the biological 
opinion, in combination with the above findings, will be used in the 
final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the ITPs.

    Dated: August 8, 2006.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.
 [FR Doc. E6-14029 Filed 8-23-06; 8:45 am]