[Federal Register: October 9, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 194)]
[Page 57345-57346]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Proposed Florida Scrub-Jay Safe Harbor Agreement, Volusia County, 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice: receipt of application for an enhancement of survival 
permit; safe harbor agreement.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an Enhancement of Survival Permit (ESP) application and 
Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA). Daytona Beach Community College 
(Applicant) requests an ESP permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The permit 
application includes a proposed Safe Harbor Agreement (Agreement) for 
the threatened Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-jay) 
for a period of 20 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: We must receive any written comments on the ESP application and 
SHA on or before November 8, 2007.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the ESP application and SHA, you may 
write the Field Supervisor at our Jacksonville Field Office, 6620 
Southpoint Drive South, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32216, or make an 
appointment to visit during normal business hours. If you wish to 
comment, you may mail or hand deliver comments to the Jacksonville 
Field Office, or you may e-mail comments to michael_jennings@fws.gov. 
For more information on reviewing documents and public comments and 
submitting comments, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Jennings, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 904/
232-2580, ext. 113.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Review and Comment: Please reference 
permit number TE146919-0 in all requests or comments. Please include 
your name and return address in your e-mail message. If you do not 
receive a confirmation from us that we have received your e-mail 
message, contact us directly at the telephone number listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Before including your address, phone 
number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in 
your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--including 
your personal identifying information--may be made publicly available 
at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your 
personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. 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.

[[Page 57346]]

We will not consider anonymous comments.
    Background: Under a safe harbor agreement, a participating property 
owner voluntarily undertakes management activities on their property to 
enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under 
the Act. Safe harbor agreements encourage private and other non-Federal 
property owners to implement conservation measures 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 scrub-jay on about 76 acres (enrolled property) 
in Volusia County. Under the SHA, the Applicant will undertake the 
following actions on the enrolled property: (1) Remove sand pine 
canopy; (2) create open sandy areas through mechanical means (including 
chopping and/or root-raking) or by using herbicides; and (3) manage 
habitat using prescribed fire and/or mechanical means.
    Applicant's Proposal: The Applicant's property is currently 
occupied by three families of scrub-jays. Conservation measures 
proposed by the Applicant will enhance existing habitat conditions and 
contribute to the continued survival of the three scrub-jay families 
currently residing on their property. In addition, the Applicant 
intends to manage unoccupied habitat in anticipation that it will 
become occupied by scrub-jays. The Applicant anticipates that the 
proposed conservation measures will result in an additional three 
families of scrub-jays occupying their property. Without the proposed 
SHA, it would not be possible for the Applicant to undertake the 
proposed conservation measures and receive regulatory assurances from 
the Service through the 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 scrub-jays through lawful activities on the 
enrolled land, as long as baseline conditions are maintained and terms 
of the Agreement are implemented. Future development of educational 
facilities on the enrolled property is likely to result in a return to 
the baseline condition.
    This notice also advises the public that the Service has made a 
preliminary determination that issuance of the ESP will not result in 
significant impacts to the human environment. Therefore, the ESP and 
SHA is a ``low-effect'' project and qualifies for a categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 
as amended (NEPA), 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.
    We will evaluate the ESP and SHA and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the requirements of Section 10(a) of the Act have 
been met. We will also evaluate whether issuance of the ESP complies 
with section 7 of the Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 
consultation. We will use the results of this consultation, in 
combination with the above findings, in the final analysis to determine 
whether or not to issue the ESP and execute the SHA.

    Authority: We provide this notice under Section 10 of the Act 
and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: October 2, 2007.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office.
[FR Doc. E7-19797 Filed 10-5-07; 8:45 am]