[Federal Register: September 27, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 186)]
[Page 59285-59286]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2010-N207; 1122-0000-81440-F2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Permit, San Luis 
Obispo County, CA

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY:  We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have 
received an application from Barkwood Development, LLC (applicant) for 
an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). We are considering issuance of an incidental take permit 
(ITP) that would authorize the applicant's take of the federally 
endangered Morro shoulderband snail (Helminthoglypta walkeriana) 
incidental to a 5.5-acre (239,580-square foot) redevelopment project in 
the community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California. We 
invite comments from the public on the application, which includes the 
Bahia Vista Estates Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), and on our 
preliminary determination that the HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan 
that is eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended.

DATES:  To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
October 27, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may download a copy of the HCP, draft Environmental 
Action Statement, Low-Effect Screening Form, and related documents on 
the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/ventura/, or you may request 
documents by U.S. mail or phone (see below). Please address written 
comments to Diane K. Noda, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, 
Ventura, CA 93003. You may alternatively send comments by facsimile to 
(805) 644-3958.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie M. Vanderwier, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, or Jen Lechuga, HCP Coordinator, at the Ventura address 
above or by telephone at (805) 644-1766.



    The Morro shoulderband (also known as banded dune) snail was listed 
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as endangered on December 15, 
1994 (59 FR 64613). Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and 
its implementing regulations prohibit the ``take'' of fish or wildlife 
species listed as endangered or threatened.'' ``Take'' is defined under 
the Act to include the following activities: to harass, harm, pursue, 
hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap,

[[Page 59286]]

capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct'' (16 
U.S.C. 1532). However, under Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, we 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 of an otherwise lawful 
activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened 
and endangered species are, respectively, in the Code of Federal 
Regulations at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22. Issuance of an ITP also must not 
jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plant 
    The Act's take prohibitions do not apply to federally listed plant 
species on private lands unless such take would be in violation of 
State law. In addition to meeting other criteria, actions undertaken 
through implementation of the HCP must not jeopardize the continued 
existent of federally listed plant or animal species.
    The applicant seeks an ITP for direct impacts to 5.5 acres to 
ruderal, disturbed, and landscaped habitat occupied by Morro 
shoulderband snail in association with a residential redevelopment 
project. The project is proposed for a single Residential Single 
Family-zoned parcel located along Los Osos Valley Road, between Pine 
and Broderson Avenues in the west-central portion of the unincorporated 
community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California. The parcel 
is legally described as Assessor Parcel Number 074-052-049. The site 
was originally developed for residential use more than 50 years ago and 
most of the original residential structures remain on the site. The 
applicant is requesting a 20-year ITP for take of Morro shoulderband 
snail that would result from the ``Covered Activities'' that would 
include the subdivision of land, demolition and removal of existing 
structures, grubbing and regrading of the site, installation of site 
infrastructure, phased construction of up to 26 new homes, and 
occupation of these homes.
    The applicant proposes to avoid, minimize, and mitigate take of 
Morro shoulderband snails associated with the covered activities by 
fully implementing the plan. The following measures will be implemented 
to minimize the effects of the taking: (1) A Service-approved biologist 
who possesses a valid recovery permit for the species will conduct 
preconstruction and construction monitoring activities throughout 
project implementation, inclusive of both construction phases, and as 
needed during all facets of project construction when measurable rain 
or heavy fog/dew occurs; (2) all live Morro shoulderband snails that 
are found during the pre-construction surveys or construction 
monitoring will be relocated to appropriate habitat at a Service-
approved parcel by the Service-approved biologist; (3) the Service-
approved biologist will conduct a preconstruction training meeting for 
all personnel who will work onsite during construction; and (4) the 
applicant will provide a Letter of Credit to ensure adequate funding is 
available to perform these tasks. The following measure will be 
implemented to mitigate for unavoidable take: Payment of no less than 
$50,000 to the ``Morro Shoulderband Snail in-Lieu Fee Account (ID 
52-138-4139) held by the National Fish and Wildlife 
Foundation. This funding will implement recovery tasks identified in 
the Recovery Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail and Four Plants from 
Western San Luis Obispo County, California (USFWS, 1998) by 
facilitating: (1) Development and preparation of a standardized survey 
methodology for Morro shoulderband snail populations on conserved 
lands, (2) implementation of species surveys using the standardized 
methodology on selected conserved parcels, (3) compilation and analysis 
of the collected data, and (4) preparation of a final report that 
presents the study results and Morro shoulderband snail population 
estimates on those surveyed lands.
    In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers three alternatives to 
the proposed action. Under the ``No Action'' alternative, current 
conditions would be maintained, the HCP for Morro shoulderband snail 
would not be implemented, and the Service would not issue an ITP. The 
other alternatives include an alternative location for the project and 
project redesign.
    We are requesting comments on our preliminary determination that 
the applicant's proposal will have a minor or negligible effect on the 
Morro shoulderband snail and that the plan qualifies as a low-effect 
HCP as defined by our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 
1996). We base our determinations on three criteria: (1) Implementation 
of the proposed project as described in the HCP would result in minor 
or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and/or candidate 
species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the HCP would result 
in minor negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; 
and (3) HCP impacts, considered together with those of other past, 
present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects, would not result 
in cumulatively significant effects. Based upon our analysis of these 
criteria, we have made a preliminary determination that the approval of 
the HCP and issuance of an ITP qualify for categorical exclusions under 
the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided by the Department of 
Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 2 and 516 DM 8). Based upon our 
review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice, 
this preliminary determination may be revised.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the permit application, including the plan and 
comments we receive, to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of section 10(a) of the Act. We will also evaluate whether 
issuance of the ITP would comply with Section 7 of the Act by 
conducting an intra-Service Section 7 consultation for the plan. We 
will use the results of this consultation, in combination with the 
above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether or not to 
issue the ITP. If the requirements are met, we will issue an ITP to the 
applicant for the incidental take of Morro shoulderband snail. We will 
make the final permit decision no sooner than 30 days after the date of 
this notice.

Public Comments

    If you wish to comment on the permit application, HCP, and 
associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods 

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.

    Authority:  We provide this notice under Section 10 of the Act 
(U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: September 21, 2010.
Diane K. Noda,
Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, 
[FR Doc. 2010-24099 Filed 9-24-10; 8:45 am]