[Federal Register: June 11, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 113)]
[Page 33105-33106]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2008-N00135; ABC Code: F2]

Construction of Two Single-Family Homes in Volusia 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 two Incidental Take Permit (ITP) Applications and 
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs). Today Homes Development, Inc. 
(applicant) requests two ITPs for a 1-year duration under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The applicant 
anticipates taking approximately 0.38 acre of Florida scrub-jay 
(Alphelocoma coerulescens)-occupied habitat incidental to construction 
of two single family homes in Volusia County, Florida (projects). The 
applicant's HCPs describe the mitigation and minimization measures the 
applicant proposes to address the effects of the projects to the scrub-

DATES: We must receive any written comments on the ITP applications and 
HCPs on or before July 11, 2008.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the applications and HCPs, 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 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

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


Public Availability of Comments

    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.
    Please reference permit number TE171478-0 and TE176780-0 for Today 
Homes Development, Inc. 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 


    The Florida scrub-jay is found exclusively in peninsular Florida 
and is restricted to xeric upland communities (predominately in oak-
dominated scrub with open canopies) of the interior and Atlantic coast 
sand ridges. Increasing urban and agricultural development has resulted 
in habitat loss and fragmentation, which have adversely affected the 
distribution and numbers of scrub-jays. Remaining habitat is largely 
degraded due to the exclusion of fire, which is needed to maintain 
xeric uplands in conditions suitable for scrub-jays. The total 
estimated population is between 7,000 and 11,000 individuals.

Applicant's Proposal

    The applicant is requesting take of approximately 0.38 ac of 
occupied scrub-jay habitat incidental to the projects. Both proposed 
projects are located in Section 09, Township 18, Range 30, in Orange 
City, Florida. The proposed projects currently include residential 
construction, including house pad, infrastructure, and landscaping. The 
applicant proposes to mitigate for the take of the Florida scrub-jay at 
a ratio of 2:1 based on Service Mitigation Guidelines. The applicant 
proposes to mitigate for the loss of 0.38 ac of occupied scrub-jay 
habitat by contributing a total of $20,589.92 to the Florida Scrub-jay 
Conservation Fund administered by The Nature Conservancy. Funds in this 
account are earmarked for use in the conservation and recovery of 
scrub-jays and may include habitat acquisition, restoration, and/or 
management. As minimization for impacts to the species, clearing 
activities during project construction will occur outside the scrub-jay 
nesting season (March 1--June 30).
    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 HCPs. Therefore, the 
ITPs are ``low-effect'' projects and qualify for

[[Page 33106]]

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 resources.
    We will evaluate the HCPs 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 we determine that the 
applications meet those requirements, we will issue the ITPs for 
incidental take of the scrub-jay. We 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. 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 ITPs.

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

    Dated: June 2, 2008.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office.
 [FR Doc. E8-13045 Filed 6-10-08; 8:45 am]