[Federal Register: November 7, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 215)]
[Page 65125-65126]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of 13 Applications for Incidental Take Permits for 
Residential Construction in Charlotte County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of incidental take permit (ITP) and Habitat Conservation 
Plan (HCP). Peter Famulari, Robert Lavelle, and Jeffrey Leonard 
(Applicants) each request ITPs pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Applicants 
anticipate taking about 5.42 acres combined of Florida scrub-jay 
(Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-jay) foraging and sheltering habitat 
incidental to lot preparation for the construction of 13 residential 
units and supporting infrastructure in Charlotte County, Florida 
(Project). The destruction of 5.42 acres of foraging and sheltering 
habitat is expected to result in the take of five families of scrub-
jays. The Applicants' Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) describes the 
mitigation and minimization measures proposed to address the effects of 
the Projects to the Florida scrub-jay.

DATES: Written comments on the ITP applications and HCP should be sent 
to the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES) and 
should be received on or before December 7, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the applications and HCP may 
obtain a copy by writing the Service's South Florida Ecological 
Services Office. Please reference Deep Creek Batch HCP in such 
requests. Documents will also be available for public inspection by 
appointment during normal business hours at the South Florida 
Ecological Services Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Trish Adams, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, South Florida Ecological Services Office, Vero Beach, 
Florida (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 772-562-3909, extension 232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: If you wish to comment, you may submit 
comments by any one of several methods. Please reference permit numbers 
TE136149-0, TE136150-0, TE136151-0, TE136153-0, TE136154-0, TE136155-0, 
TE136157-0, TE136158-0, TE136159-0, TE136160-0, TE136161-0, TE136162-0, 
and TE136163-0, in such comments. You may mail comments to the 
Service's South Florida Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES). You 
may also comment via the Internet to trish_adams@fws.gov. Please also 
include your name and return address in your Internet message. If you 
do not receive a confirmation from us that we have received your 
Internet message, contact us directly at the telephone number listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Finally, you may hand deliver 
comments to the Service office listed under 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.
    Residential construction for the Deep Creek Batch HCP will take 
place within Section 09, Township 40, Range 23, Punta Gorda, Charlotte 
County, Florida, on 13 lots. Each of these lots is within scrub-jay 
occupied habitat.
    The lots combined encompass about 5.42 acres, and the footprint of 
the homes, infrastructure, and landscaping preclude retention of scrub-
jay habitat on each of these respective lots. In order to minimize take 
on site, the Applicants propose to mitigate for the loss of 5.42 acre 
of scrub-jay habitat by contributing a total of $392,390 to the Florida 
Scrub-jay Conservation Fund administered by The Nature Conservancy or 
acquisition of 10.83 acres of credit at a Service approved conservation 
bank. The Florida Scrub-jay Conservation Fund is earmarked for use in 
the conservation and recovery of scrub-jays and may include habitat 
acquisition, restoration, and/or management.
    The Service has determined that the Applicants' proposals, 
including the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, will 
individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the 
species covered in the HCP. Therefore, the ITPs are ``low-effect'' 
projects and qualify as categorical exclusions under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)(40 CFR 1506.6), as provided by the 
Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 
Appendix 1). This preliminary information may be revised based on our 
review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice. 
Low-effect HCPs are those involving (1) minor or negligible effects on 
federally listed or candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor 
or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources.
    The Service will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the applications meet the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq.). If it

[[Page 65126]]

is determined that those requirements are met, the ITPs will be issued 
for the incidental take of the Florida scrub-jay. The Service will also 
evaluate whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITPs comply with 
section 7 of the Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 
consultation. The results of this consultation, in combination with the 
above findings, will be used in the final analysis to determine whether 
or not to issue the ITPs.

    Authority: This notice is provided pursuant to Section 10 of the 
Endangered Species Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: October 5, 2006.
Paul Souza,
Field Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office.
 [FR Doc. E6-18766 Filed 11-6-06; 8:45 am]