[Federal Register: November 8, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 216)]
[Page 65541-65542]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Proposed Holland Properties Safe Harbor Agreement, Orange County, 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


    This notice advises the public that Holland Properties Inc. 
(Applicant), has applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for 
an enhancement of survival permit (permit) pursuant to section 
10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1539 et seq.). The permit application includes a proposed Safe 
Harbor Agreement (Agreement) for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker 
(Picoides borealis) (Woodpecker) for a period of 30 years.
    We (the Service) announce the opening of a 30-day comment period 
and request comments from the public on the Applicant's enhancement of 
survival permit application and the accompanying proposed Agreement. 
All comments we receive, including names and addresses, will become 
part of the administrative record and may be released to the public. 
For further information and instructions on reviewing and commenting on 
this application, see the ADDRESSES section, below.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before December 8, 

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the information available by 
contacting the Service's Regional Safe Harbor Coordinator, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, 
Georgia 30345, or Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
6620 Southpoint Drive S., Suite 310, Jacksonville, Florida 32216. 
Alternatively, you may set up an appointment to view these documents at 
either location during normal business hours. Written data or comments 
should be submitted to the Atlanta, Georgia, Regional Office. Requests 
for the documentation must be in writing to be processed, and comments 
must be written to be considered.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Rick Gooch (telephone: 404/679-
7124; facsimile: 404/679-7081), or Ms. Annie Dziergowski (telephone: 
904/232-2580; facsimile: 904/232-2404).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under a safe harbor agreement, a 
participating property owner voluntarily undertakes management 
activities on its property to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat 
benefiting species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Agreements 
encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to implement 
conservation efforts for listed species by assuring them they will not 
be subjected to increased property use restrictions if their efforts 
attract listed species to their property or increase the numbers of 
listed species already on their property. Application requirements and 
issuance criteria for enhancement of survival permits through safe 
harbor agreements are found in 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32.
    We have worked with the Applicant to design conservation measures 
intended to benefit the Woodpecker on about 3,863 acres of pine-
dominated forest in southern Orange County. Under the Agreement, the 

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will undertake the following actions: (1) Implement a prescribed fire 
program designed to maintain and enhance pine stand characteristics 
suitable for the Woodpecker; (2) implement forest management actions to 
enhance existing pine stocking densities and reduce hardwood canopies; 
(3) enhance future pine stocking densities by planting; (4) enhance 
existing Woodpecker clusters through construction of artificial 
cavities; (5) create potential new cluster sites using artificial 
cavity inserts; and (6) translocate individual Woodpeckers within the 
enrolled property to enhance pair-bond formation and establish new 
    The Applicant's property currently supports seven clusters of 
Woodpeckers. Conservation measures proposed by the Applicant will 
enhance existing habitat conditions and contribute to the continued 
survival of the seven Woodpecker clusters currently residing on the 
property. In addition, the Applicant intends to similarly manage 
unoccupied habitat in a similar manner that will create suitable 
habitat for Woodpeckers. The Applicant anticipates that the proposed 
conservation measures will lead to additional groups of Woodpeckers 
inhabiting the enrolled property. Without the proposed Agreement, it 
would not be possible for the Applicant to undertake the proposed 
conservation measures and receive regulatory assurances from the 
Service through the Endangered Species Act.
    Consistent with the Service's Safe Harbor policy and implementing 
regulations, we propose to issue a permit to the Applicant authorizing 
the incidental take of Woodpeckers, that occur on the enrolled lands 
through lawful activities on the enrolled land, as long as baseline 
conditions are maintained and terms of the Agreement are implemented. 
Future activities of the Applicant could result in a return to the 
baseline condition, but the Applicant has indicated that a return to 
baseline condition is not anticipated.
    This Notice also advises the public that the Service has made a 
preliminary determination that issuance of the enhancement of survival 
permit will not result in significant impacts to the human environment 
and is, therefore, categorically excluded from review under the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4331 
et seq.) (NEPA), pursuant to 516 Departmental Manual 2, Appendix 1 and 
516 Departmental Manual 6, Appendix 1. This Notice is provided pursuant 
to Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act. The Service specifically 
requests information, views, and opinions from the public.
    We will evaluate the proposed Agreement, associated documents, and 
comments submitted by the public to determine whether the requirements 
of Section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act and NEPA regulations 
have been met. If we determine that the requirements are met, we will 
issue an enhancement of survival permit under Section 10(a)(1)(A) of 
the Endangered Species Act to the Applicant in accordance with the 
terms of the Agreement and specific terms and conditions of the 
authorizing permit. We will not make our final decision until the end 
of the 30-day comment period and will fully consider all comments 
received during the comment period.

    Dated: October 18, 2006.
Jeffrey M. Fleming,
Southeast Region, Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E6-18827 Filed 11-7-06; 8:45 am]