[Federal Register: April 25, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 79)]
[Page 20557-20558]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species Act Enhancement of 
Survival Permits Developed in Accordance With a Template Safe Harbor 
Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of receipt of applications.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
receipt of thirteen applications for enhancement of survival permits 
that would be issued pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The applications were developed 
in conjunction with a Template Safe Harbor Agreement (Template SHA) for 
the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). The thirteen 
permit applicants are: (1) Mr. Raymond Mayer; (2) Rimrock Meadows 
Association; (3) ABS Farms LLC; (4) Sagebrush Flats Farm; (5) Mr. Eric 
Long; (6) Mr. W. Paul Malone; (7) Tom Davis Farms J.V.; (8) Mr. Dale 
Pixlee; (9) Clements Farm, Inc.--JBS Farms; (10) Heer Brothers J.V.; 
(11) Mr. Don Roberts; (12) David Adams Family LLC; and (13) Evans 
Brothers J.V. Issuance of permits to these applicants would exempt 
incidental take of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, which would 
otherwise be prohibited by section 9 of the Act, that is above the 
baseline conditions of properties enrolled under the Template SHA, and 
that may result from the permittees' otherwise lawful land-use 
activities. The Service requests comments from the public regarding the 
proposed issuance of permits to these thirteen applicants. 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.

DATES: To be fully considered, written comments from interested parties 
must be received on or before May 25, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Written comments concerning this notice should be addressed 
to Susan Martin, Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Upper 
Columbia Fish and Wildlife Office, 11103 East Montgomery Drive, 
Spokane, Washington 99206. You may also send comments by facsimile, at 
(509) 891-6748, or by electronic mail, at: fw1cbprabbit@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Warren at (509) 893-8020, or 
Michelle Eames at (509) 893-8010.


Availability of Documents

    Copies of the thirteen permit applications, the final Template SHA, 
and other relevant documents are available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the Upper Columbia Fish 
and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES), or they

[[Page 20558]]

may be viewed on the internet at the following address: http:// 

http://www.fws.gov/easternwashington/. You may also request copies of the 

documents by contacting the Service's Upper Columbia Fish and Wildlife 
Office [see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT]. The Service is furnishing 
this notice to provide the public, other State and Federal agencies, 
and interested Tribes an opportunity to review and comment on these 
applications. All comments received will become part of the public 
record. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address to the 
extent allowable under law, you must state this prominently at the 
beginning of your comments. All comments received from organizations, 
businesses, or individuals representing organizations or businesses are 
available for public inspection in their entirety.


    On September 7, 2006, the Service announced the availability for 
public review and comment of a draft Template SHA for the Columbia 
Basin pygmy rabbit, which was jointly developed by the Service and the 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and a draft 
Environmental Assessment, which was developed by the Service pursuant 
to Federal responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy 
Act. The Service's September 7, 2006, notice also announced the receipt 
of three Permit applications that were developed in accordance with the 
Template SHA (71 FR 52816). The final Template SHA, which contained 
only minor modifications from the draft released for public review, was 
signed by the Service and WDFW on October 24, 2006.
    The primary objective of the Template SHA is to facilitate 
collaboration between the Service, WDFW, and prospective participants 
to voluntarily implement conservation measures to benefit the Columbia 
Basin pygmy rabbit. Another objective of the Template SHA is to 
facilitate the processing of enhancement of survival permit 
applications that would provide incidental take coverage for 
participants to relieve them of additional section 9 liability under 
the Act if implementation of their conservation measures results in 
increased numbers or distribution of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits on 
their enrolled properties.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act. The 
Service has previously determined that implementation of the Template 
SHA will result in conservation benefits to the Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbit and will not result in significant effects to the human 
environment. The Service will evaluate the thirteen permit applications 
noticed herein, related documents, and any comments submitted thereon 
to determine whether they are consistent with the measures prescribed 
by the Template SHA and comply with relevant statutory and regulatory 
requirements. If it is determined that the requirements are met, 
permits to exempt incidental take of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit 
will be issued to the applicants. The final permit determinations will 
not be completed until after the end of the 30-day comment period, and 
will fully consider all comments received.

    Dated: April 19, 2007.
David J. Wesley,
Deputy Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Portland, Oregon.
 [FR Doc. E7-7899 Filed 4-24-07; 8:45 am]