[Federal Register: April 6, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 64)]
[Page 15516-15517]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2009-N0020; 81430-1121-8GEN-F3]

Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for the Deane Dana Friendship 
Community Regional Park in Los Angeles County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation 
(Applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) 
for an Enhancement of Survival permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) 
of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The Service is 
considering the issuance of a 30-year permit to the Applicant that 
would authorize take of the federally endangered Palos Verdes blue 
butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis; ``PVB'') through a 
Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA). The purpose of this SHA is for the 
Applicant to restore a minimum of 8 acres of habitat for the PVB 
through the implementation of a habitat restoration plan at Deane Dana 
Friendship Community Regional Park (Friendship Park), a known historic 
location for this species. Friendship Park is owned by the County of 
Los Angeles. The Applicant seeks to provide for the long-term recovery 
of PVB in the wild through the restoration of suitable habitat that can 
accommodate passive or active reintroduction of the site from the U.S. 
Navy Defense Fuel Support Point, San Pedro (DFSP) or other extant 
locations that may be present within the historic range of the species. 
The Service has made a preliminary determination that the proposed SHA 
and permit application are eligible for categorical exclusion under the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The basis for this 
preliminary determination is contained in an Environmental Action 
    We request comments from the public on the permit application and 
the Environmental Action Statement, both of which are available for 
review. The permit application includes the proposed SHA. The SHA 
describes the proposed project and the measures that the Applicant 
would undertake to avoid and minimize take of the covered species.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before May 6, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Please address written comments to Samantha Marcum, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 6010 
Hidden Valley Road, Suite 101, Carlsbad, California 92011. Comments may 
also be sent by facsimile to 760-918-0638.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad 
Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: (760) 431-9440.


Availability of Documents

    Individuals wishing copies of the permit application, copies of our 
Environmental Action Statement, and/or copies of the full text of the 
SHA should immediately contact the Service by telephone at (760) 431-
9440 or by letter to the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. Copies of 
the documents also are available for public inspection during regular 
business hours at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office [see 


    Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing Federal regulations 
prohibit the take of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. 
Take is defined under the Act as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, 
wound, kill, trap, capture or collect listed animal species, or attempt 
to engage in such conduct (16 U.S.C. 1538). However, under section 
10(a) of the Act, the Service may issue permits to authorize incidental 
take of listed species. ``Incidental take'' is defined by the Act as 
take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an 
otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take 
permits for endangered and threatened species, respectively, are found 
in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32.
    The Applicant (Los Angeles County Department of Parks and 
Recreation) is seeking a permit for take of the Palos Verdes blue 
butterfly during the life of the permit. This species is referred to as 
the ``PVB'' in the proposed SHA.
    Under a SHA, participating landowners voluntarily undertake 
management activities on their property to enhance, restore, or 
maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the Act. SHAs, and the 
subsequent enhancement of survival permits that are issued pursuant to 
Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act, encourage private and other non-Federal 
property owners to implement conservation efforts for Federally 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 Federally listed species to their property, or to increase the 
numbers or distribution of Federally listed species already on their 
property. Application requirements and issuance criteria for 
enhancement of survival permits through Safe Harbor Agreements are 
found in 50 CFR 17.22(c).
    We have worked with the Applicant to develop the proposed SHA for 
the conservation of the PVB via habitat restoration within 8 acres of 
the 125-acre Friendship Park in Los Angeles County, California. 
Friendship Park is located within the cities of Los Angeles and Rancho 
Palos Verdes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula (Peninsula) in the southern 
part of Los Angeles County. The park occurs within the U.S. Geological 
Survey 7.5-minute series San Pedro topographic quadrangle (township 5 
south, range 14 west, within the Los Verdes Land Grant Boundary) and 
comprises approximately 125 acres bordered roughly by Western Avenue on 
the west and Rue le Charlene and Ninth Street on the north.
    This SHA provides for the restoration, enhancement, and management 
of coastal sage scrub (CSS) habitat containing hostplants suitable for 
the PVB within Friendship Park. The proposed duration of the SHA is 30 
years, and the proposed term of the enhancement of survival permit is 
30 years, provided that the Service determines that the actions 
identified in the SHA were implemented prior to the SHA's expiration. 
When fully implemented, the SHA and requested enhancement of survival 
permit will allow the Applicant to return habitat conditions to 
baseline after the end of the 30-year term of the SHA and permit, if so 
desired by the Applicant. The SHA and associated restoration plan fully 
describe the management activities to be undertaken by the Applicant, 
and the net conservation benefits expected to the PVB. Upon approval of 
this SHA, and consistent with the Service's Safe Harbor Policy 
published in the Federal Register on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 32717), the 
Service would issue a permit to the Applicant authorizing take of the 
PVB incidental to the implementation of the management activities 
specified in the SHA, incidental to other lawful uses of the enrolled 
property including normal,

[[Page 15517]]

routine land management activities, and to return to pre-SHA conditions 
(baseline). Under the SHA, the Applicant would undertake management 
activities to benefit the PVB by: planting 934 ocean locoweed 
(Astragalus trichopodus var.lonchus) and 1,400 deerweed (Lotus 
scoparius) plants (PVB hostplants) in a matrix of native CSS plants 
that will benefit a variety of dependent wildlife species including the 
PVB; completing restoration of 8 acres of park land into CSS habitat 
with a diverse native plant community and high structural diversity; 
controlling invasive weeds; and increasing the connectivity of CSS 
habitats on the Peninsula within the Enrolled Property.
    In order to receive the above assurances regarding incidental take 
of the PVB, the Applicant must maintain baseline on the Enrolled 
Property. The Service and Applicant have determined that the measure of 
baseline for PVB will be the number of ocean locoweed plants that were 
present within Friendship Park prior to restoration actions. The Palos 
Verdes blue butterfly does not currently inhabit the Enrolled Property. 
Therefore, the baseline for the SHA is 194 ocean locoweed plants within 
0.055 acres of habitat for the PVB. There were only a few scattered 
deerweed plants on the property prior to restoration actions, and these 
plants are not considered part of the baseline condition.
    If you wish to comment on the permit application, including the 
SHA, or the Environmental Action Statement, you may submit your 
comments to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
document. Comments and materials received, including names and 
addresses of respondents, will be available for public review, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the address in the 
ADDRESSES section above. If you provide personal identifying 
information, you may request at the beginning of your comment that we 
withhold this information from public review. However, 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 Applicants for take of the 
PVB incidental to otherwise lawful activities in accordance with the 
terms of the SHA. 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.
    The Service provides this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the 
Act and pursuant to implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: March 31, 2009.
Jim A. Bartel,
Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, 
[FR Doc. E9-7608 Filed 4-3-09; 8:45 am]