[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 169 (Thursday, August 30, 2012)]
[Pages 52755-52756]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21393]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2012-N202; 40120-1112-0000-F2]

Programmatic Incidental Take Permit and Environmental Assessment 
for Development Activities, Perdido Key, Escambia County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Under the Endangered Species Act (Act), we, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, announce the receipt and availability of a proposed 
habitat conservation plan (HCP) and accompanying documents for private 
development projects and municipal infrastructure improvements 
(activities) regulated or authorized by the Escambia County Board of 
Commissioners (Applicant). The activities would result in take of six 
federally-listed species on Perdido Key in Escambia County, Florida. 
The HCP analyzes the take incidental to activities conducted or 
permitted by the Applicant. We invite public comments on these 

DATES: We must receive any written comments at our Regional Office (see 
ADDRESSES) on or before October 29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Documents are available for public inspection by appointment 
during normal business hours at the Fish and Wildlife Service's 
Regional Office, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30345; 
or the Panama City Field Office, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1601 Balboa 
Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405.

Coordinator, (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 404-679-7313; or Mr. Jon 
Hemming, Field Office Project Manager, at the Panama City Field Office 
(see ADDRESSES), telephone: 850-769-0552, ext. 238.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of the proposed 
HCP, accompanying

[[Page 52756]]

incidental take permit (ITP) application, and an environmental 
assessment (EA), which analyze the take of the following listed species 
incidental to activities conducted or permitted by the Applicant: The 
endangered Perdido Key beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus 
trissyllepsis), threatened Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), endangered 
Green (Chelonia mydas), endangered Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), 
and endangered Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles, and the 
threatened Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). The Applicant requests a 
30-year ITP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.), as amended. The Applicant's HCP describes the mitigation and 
minimization measures proposed to address the impacts to the species.
    We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the 
public via this notice on our proposed Federal action, including 
identification of any other aspects of the human environment not 
already identified in the EA pursuant to National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 40 
CFR 1506.6. Further, we specifically solicit information regarding the 
adequacy of the HCP per 50 CFR parts 13 and 17.
    The EA assesses the likely environmental impacts associated with 
the implementation of the activities, including the environmental 
consequences of the no-action alternative and the proposed action. The 
proposed action alternative is issuance of the ITP and implementation 
of the HCP as submitted by the Applicant. The HCP covers activities 
conducted or permitted by the Applicant, including private residential 
and commercial development activities as well as development and 
infrastructure improvements on Escambia County-owned lands. Avoidance, 
minimization and mitigation measures include: Informing the Perdido Key 
property owners of the sensitive nature of the habitat and listed 
species on Perdido Key by developing a public awareness program and 
brochure; siting a project to maximize the best habitat conservation 
and incorporating appropriate connectivity and buffers between 
developments; designing homes and other structures to reduce their 
vulnerability to storm damage; minimizing impervious surfaces; 
maximizing use of vegetation native to Perdido Key; developing and 
implementing guidelines to minimize disturbances to sea turtles, 
shorebirds, and their nests caused by the operation of official 
vehicles involved in public safety, beach maintenance, law enforcement, 
HCP implementation, and other official business on Perdido Key; and 
implementing an effective monitoring program for all species covered by 
the ITP to identify and ameliorate factors impeding their recovery.

Public Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email 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.
    If you wish to comment, you may submit comments by any one of 
several methods. Please reference TE46592A-0 in such comments. You may 
mail comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service's Regional Office (see 
ADDRESSES). You may also comment via the Internet to david_dell@fws.gov. Please include your name and return address in your 
internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation from us that we 
have received your Internet message, contact us directly at either 
telephone number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to either of our offices 
listed under ADDRESSES.

Covered Area

    Perdido Key, a barrier island 16.9 miles long, constitutes the 
entire historic range of the Perdido Key beach mouse. The area 
encompassed by the HCP and ITP application consists of privately owned 
and Escambia County-owned lands from Gulf Islands National Seashore to 
the Florida-Alabama state line.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the ITP application, including the HCP and any 
comments we receive, to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. We will also evaluate 
whether issuance of a 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 our final analysis to determine whether or not to 
issue the ITP. If we determine that the requirements are met, we will 
issue the ITP for the incidental take of Perdido Key beach mouse, 
Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles and the 
Piping Plover.


    We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: August 6, 2012.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2012-21393 Filed 8-29-12; 8:45 am]