[Federal Register: January 17, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 12)]
[Page 3261-3262]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Construction of an Industrial Center in Lake 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). Ladd Development Inc. (applicant) requests an 
ITP for a 5-year duration under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). The applicant anticipates taking approximately 5.75 
acres of Florida scrub-jay (Alphelocoma coerulescens)-occupied habitat 
incidental to construction of an industrial center in Lake 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 February 19, 2008.

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 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 TE155485-0 for Ladd 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 FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

[[Page 3262]]


    The Florida scrub-jay (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 5.75 ac of 
occupied scrub-jay habitat incidental to the project. The 44-ac project 
is located northeast of the Hancock Road and Lost Lake intersection 
within Section 34, Township 22 South, Range 26 East, Lake County. The 
proposed project currently includes commercial buildings, 
infrastructure and a stormwater management system. 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 will 
contribute a total of $215,050.00 to the USDA Forest Service to be 
utilized for scrub-jay conservation pursuant to an MOU between the 
Service and the Forest Service. 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 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 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 Act 
and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: January 10, 2008.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office.
 [FR Doc. E8-753 Filed 1-16-08; 8:45 am]