[Federal Register: October 1, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 190)]
[Page 60802-60804]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2010-N185; 10120-1112-0000-F2]

Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment and Habitat 
Conservation Plan, and Receipt of Application for an Incidental Take 
Permit From Benton County, OR

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of application and availability of documents for public 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), advise the 
public that Benton County, Oregon, has submitted an application to the 
Service for an incidental take permit (permit) under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). Included with the application is 
a habitat conservation plan (HCP) and a proposed implementing agreement 
(IA). We also announce the availability of a draft environmental 
assessment (EA) under the authority of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.).

DATES: We must receive any written comments on the draft EA, HCP, and 
IA from interested parties no later than November 1, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Documents: The draft EA, HCP, and IA are available 

[[Page 60803]]

on the World Wide Web at http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/
ToolsForLandowners/HabitatConservationPlans/. Alternatively, you may 
request documents and information by writing to Mikki Collins, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 2600 SE. 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, 
OR 97266; or by faxing her at (503) 231-6195.
    Comments: Submit comments by e-mail to OFWOcomment@fws.gov; in the 
subject line, include the identifier ``Benton County HCP.'' Comments 
and materials we receive will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mikki Collins, at the address or phone 
listed above.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with section 10(a)(2)(A) of 
the ESA (U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), Benton County has prepared an HCP 
designed to minimize and mitigate take of the proposed covered species. 
The permit application is related to county construction activities, 
road maintenance, utilities construction, water system management, and 
prairie habitat management activities in Benton County, Oregon.
    We furnish this notice to allow other agencies and the public an 
opportunity to review and comment on these documents. All comments we 
receive will become part of the public record and will be available for 
review pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA.
    Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations prohibit the 
``taking'' of a species listed as endangered or threatened. The term 
``take'' is defined under the ESA to mean to harass, harm, pursue, 
hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to 
engage in any such conduct. ``Harm'' is defined to include significant 
habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures 
wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, 
including breeding, feeding, and sheltering.
    We may issue permits, under limited circumstances, to take listed 
species incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful 
activities. Our regulations governing permits for endangered species 
are promulgated in 50 CFR 17.22, and regulations governing permits for 
threatened species are promulgated in 50 CFR 17.32.
    The area proposed to be covered by the permit consists of private 
and non-Federal public lands in Benton County, and encompasses 
approximately 7,651 ha (18,906 ac). Other entities that are considered 
cooperators in the HCP due to their land ownership and management 
activities include the City of Corvallis, Oregon Department of 
Transportation, Oregon State University, and the Greenbelt Land Trust. 
Approval of the HCP would allow us to issue a permit to Benton County 
that would authorize incidental take coverage and/or regulatory 
assurances for potential impacts on five federally listed species: 
Fender's blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi) (endangered), 
Kincaid's lupine (Lupinus sulphureus ssp. Kincaidii) (threatened), 
Willamette daisy (Erigeron decumbens var. decumbens) (endangered), 
Bradshaw's lomatium (Lomatium bradshawii) (endangered), and the 
Nelson's checkermallow (Sidalcea nelsoniana) (threatened). The permit 
would also cover one candidate species for listing--Taylor's 
checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylorii)--and one species of 
concern--the peacock larkspur (Delphinium pavonaceum). Although take of 
plant species is not prohibited under the ESA and therefore cannot be 
authorized under an incidental take permit, plant species are proposed 
to be included on the permit in recognition of the conservation 
benefits provided to them under the HCP.
    All seven species identified above will be covered under the permit 
on county-owned lands. The Fender's blue butterfly and the five plant 
species will be covered on land owned or managed by the City of 
Corvallis, Oregon State University, and the Oregon Department of 
Transportation. The Taylor's checkerspot is not known to occur on these 
properties. The Fender's blue butterfly will be the only covered 
species under the permit on the remaining private lands. The permittee 
would receive assurances under the Service's ``No Surprises'' 
regulation (50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)) for all species 
included on the incidental take permit. For any currently unlisted 
covered animal species, take authorization would become effective 
concurrent with their listing, should the species be listed under the 
ESA during the permit term. Benton County has requested a permit term 
of 50 years.
    Potential impacts are anticipated to result from (1) home, farm, 
and forest-related construction and utility construction/maintenance on 
private lands; (2) public service facility construction; (3) 
transportation and work within road rights of way; (4) water and 
wastewater management; (5) habitat restoration, enhancement, and 
management (including monitoring and plant material collection) 
activities (both as a HCP mitigation measure and as a conservation 
activity at parks, natural areas, and open spaces); (6) agricultural 
activities; and (7) emergency response activities on non-Federal public 
lands and lands owned or held under conservation easement by specific 
conservation organizations. Under the permit, Benton County would have 
authorization to issue certificates of inclusion under the ESA permit 
to non-Federal landowners needing a County permit or agricultural 
building authorization.
    The HCP includes estimates of permanent impacts over the 50-year 
permit term to include: the loss of 2.1 hectares (5.2 acres) of 
Fender's blue butterfly nectar habitat; 57 square meters (.01 acres) of 
Taylor's checkerspot habitat; 410 square meters (4,410 square feet) of 
Kincaid's lupine foliar cover; 222 Nelson's checkermallow plants; 2 
Bradshaw's lomatium plants; 1 Willamette daisy plant; and 56 Peacock 
larkspur plants. A primary conservation measure of the HCP is the 
designation of over 200 hectares (500 acres) of Prairie Conservation 
Areas where habitat restoration and enhancement activities for the 
covered species will occur. The HCP also includes measures to avoid and 
minimize incidental take of the covered species.
    We prepared a draft EA that analyzed the potential effects of 
implementing two alternatives on the human environment: A no-action 
alternative and a proposed action. Five additional alternatives were 
explored but omitted from further analysis.
    We invite the public to comment on the HCP, draft EA, and draft IA 
during the 30-day public comment period (see DATES). Please direct 
comments to the contact listed in the ADDRESSES section, and any 
questions to the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section. 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 provide this notice under ESA and NEPA regulations. We will 
evaluate the application, associated documents, and comments submitted 
thereon to determine whether the application meets the requirements of 
the ESA and NEPA.

[[Page 60804]]

    Dated: September 1, 2010.
Theresa E. Rabot,
Deputy Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, 
Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2010-24730 Filed 9-30-10; 8:45 am]