[Federal Register: April 25, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 79)]
[Page 20558-20559]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Construction of a Commercial Development in Brevard County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice: receipt of application for an incidental take permit; 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) Application and Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP) from the following applicant: Pineda 
Development Corporation (applicant) requests one ITP for a duration of 
5 years under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act). The applicant anticipates taking approximately 
0.54 acre (ac) of Florida scrub-jay (Alphelocoma coerulescens)--
occupied habitat incidental to constructing a commercial development in 
Brevard County, Florida (Project). The applicant's HCP describes the 
mitigation and minimization measures the applicant proposes to address 
the effects of the Project to the scrub-jay.

DATES: We must receive any written comments on the ITP application and 
HCP on or before May 25, 2007.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the application and HCP, 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 paula_sisson@fws.gov. For more information on 
reviewing documents and public comments and submitting comments, see 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paula Sisson, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 904/
232-2580, ext. 126.


Public Review and Comment

    Please reference permit number TE143105-0 for Pineda Development 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. 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 


    The Florida scrub-jay (scrub-jay) is found exclusively in 
peninsular Florida and is restricted to xeric uplands (predominately in 
oak-dominated scrub). Increasing urban and agricultural development has 
resulted in habitat loss and fragmentation, which have adversely 
affected the distribution and numbers of scrub-jays.
    The total estimated population is between 7,000 and 11,000 
individuals. The decline in the number and distribution of scrub-jays 
in east-central Florida has been exacerbated by tremendous urban growth 
in the past 50

[[Page 20559]]

years. Much of the historic commercial and residential development has 
occurred on the dry soils which previously supported scrub-jay habitat. 
Much of this area of Florida was settled early because few wetlands 
restricted urban and agricultural development. Due to the effects of 
urban and agricultural development over the past 100 years, much of the 
remaining scrub-jay habitat is now relatively small and isolated. What 
remains is largely degraded due to the exclusion of fire, which is 
needed to maintain xeric uplands in conditions suitable for scrub-jays.

Applicant's Proposal

    The applicant is requesting take of approximately 0.54 ac of 
occupied scrub-jay habitat incidental to the construction of a 
commercial development (Palm Shore Retail). Palm Shore Retail is 
located within Section 19, Township 26 South, Range 37 East. The parcel 
is north of Pineda Causeway and west of the FEC Railroad, Palm Shores, 
Brevard County, Florida.
    Development of the Project, including infrastructure, parking areas 
and landscaping, preclude retention of scrub-jay habitat onsite. 
Therefore, the applicant proposes to mitigate for the loss of 0.54 ac 
of occupied scrub-jay habitat by donating $9,072 to the Florida Scrub-
jay Fund administered by The Nature Conservancy. Funds in this account 
are ear-marked for use in the conservation and recovery of scrub-jays 
and may include habitat acquisition, restoration, and/or management.
    We have determined that the applicant's proposal, including the 
proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or 
negligible effects on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, the 
ITP is a ``low-effect'' project and qualifies for categorical 
exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act (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. A low-effect HCP is one 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 
    We will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the 
application meets those requirements, we will issue the ITP for 
incidental take of the Florida scrub-jay. We will also evaluate whether 
issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP 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 ITP.

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

    Dated: April 17, 2007.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office
 [FR Doc. E7-7872 Filed 4-24-07; 8:45 am]