[Federal Register: June 30, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 124)]
[Page 31309-31311]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2009-N127; 81420-1113-0000-F3]

Safe Harbor Agreement for the City of Elk Grove's Shed B and 
Whitelock Parkway Drainage Corridors, in Sacramento County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 31310]]

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application and proposed 
safe harbor agreement.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the City of Elk Grove 
(applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) 
for an Enhancement of Survival Permit through a Safe Harbor Agreement 
(Agreement) for the Federally threatened species valley elderberry 
longhorn beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus) and the Federally 
threatened giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas). The Agreement is 
available for public comment (see below).

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before July 30, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to Mr. Rick Kuyper, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage 
Way, W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825. Written comments may also be sent by 
facsimile to (916) 414-6713.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Rick Kuyper, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: (916) 414-6600.


Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of the documents for review by contacting the 
individual named above. You may also make an appointment to view the 
documents at the above address during normal business hours.


    Under a Safe Harbor Agreement, participating landowners voluntarily 
undertake management activities on their property to enhance, restore, 
or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.). Safe Harbor Agreements, and the subsequent enhancement 
of survival permit that is issued pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(A) of 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), encourage private 
and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation efforts 
for listed species by assuring property owners that they will not be 
subjected to increased property use restrictions as a result of their 
efforts to attract listed species to their property, or to increase the 
numbers or distribution of listed species already on their property. 
Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of 
survival permits through Safe Harbor Agreements are found in the Code 
of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(c) and 17.32(c).
    We have worked with the applicant to develop the proposed Agreement 
for the conservation of the valley elderberry longhorn beetle and the 
giant garter snake on lands owned and managed by the applicant in 
Sacramento County, California. The property subject to this Agreement 
(Enrolled Property) consists of approximately 4.03 miles of drainage 
corridor (i.e., Shed B Channel, tributary to Shed B Channel, and 
Whitelock Parkway Channel) in the City of Elk Grove, Sacramento County, 
California. The Enrolled Property consists of the existing drainage 
corridor that extends west from Bruceville and Poppy Ridge roads to 
Franklin Boulevard (Shed B Channel), existing drainage corridor that 
extends from Bruceville Road to Bighorn Boulevard (Whitelock Parkway 
Channel), and a tributary of the Shed B Channel that is located between 
the main channel stem and Franklin High Road approximately 0.5 mile 
south of Whitelock Parkway. Development within the surrounding area 
consists of single-family homes and a school. Prior to the construction 
of the Shed B and Whitelock Parkway drainage channels, no suitable 
habitat for the giant garter snake or valley elderberry longhorn beetle 
existed. The current uses of the drainage corridors are flood control 
and water quality treatment. The drainage corridors drain directly into 
the Service's Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (approximately 2.1 
miles downstream).
    The applicant proposes to allow for the establishment of suitable 
breeding and dispersal habitat for the two Federally listed species on 
the Enrolled Property and to implement avoidance and minimization 
measures during the maintenance activities described in the paragraph 
below. We expect that the proposed activities will benefit these 
species due to an increase in dispersal opportunities throughout the 
Enrolled Property, thus resulting in a net conservation benefit for the 
two Federally listed species. The Agreement includes a monitoring 
component that will aid the applicant in developing management 
strategies that can ensure the successful enhancement and management of 
breeding and dispersal habitat for the two Federally listed species. 
The proposed duration of the Agreement and the enhancement of survival 
permit is 30 years.
    The Agreement states that incidental take of the two Federally 
listed species may occur during maintenance activities within the 
drainage corridors, including: debris or obstruction removal; silt, 
sand, or sediment removal; vegetation control in channels; repair of 
previous erosion control work; minor erosion control work; bridge 
washing and painting; and geotechnical sampling.
    Upon approval of this Agreement, and consistent with the our Safe 
Harbor Policy published in the Federal Register on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 
32717), we would issue a permit to the applicant authorizing take of 
the valley elderberry longhorn beetle and the giant garter snake 
incidental to the implementation of the management activities specified 
in the Agreement, incidental to other lawful uses of the Enrolled 
Property including normal, routine land management activities, and to 
return to pre-Agreement conditions (baseline).

Public Review and Comments

    We have made a preliminary determination that the proposed 
Agreement and permit application are eligible for categorical exclusion 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). We explain 
the basis for this determination in an Environmental Action Statement 
that is also available for public review.
    Individuals wishing copies of our Environmental Action Statement, 
and/or copies of the full text of the Agreement, including a map of the 
proposed permit area, should contact the office and personnel listed in 
the ADDRESSES section above.
    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 evaluate this permit application, associated documents, and 
comments submitted thereon to determine whether the permit application 
meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act and NEPA 
regulations. If we determine that the requirements are met, we will 
sign the proposed Agreement and issue an enhancement of survival permit 
under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act to the applicant for take of the 
valley elderberry longhorn beetle and the giant garter snake incidental 
to otherwise lawful activities in accordance with the terms of the 
Agreement. We will not make our final decision until after the end of 
the 30-day comment period and will fully consider all comments received 
during the comment period.

[[Page 31311]]

    We provide this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act and 
pursuant to implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: June 23, 2009.
Susan K. Moore,
Field Supervisor, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. E9-15395 Filed 6-29-09; 8:45 am]