[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 39 (Tuesday, February 28, 2012)]
[Pages 12074-12075]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-4624]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2012-N013; FXES11130400000EA-123-FF04EF1000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Receipt of 
Application for Modification of Incidental Take Permit; Availability of 
Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan; Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, 
Manatee County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment/information.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an 
application from Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC (applicant), for modification 
to Incidental Take Permit TE236128-0. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC 
(applicant), requests a 41-year ITP under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act) (ITP;  TE236128-1). We request public 
comment on the permit application and accompanying proposed habitat 
conservation plan (HCP), as well as on our preliminary determination 
that the plan qualifies as low-effect under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA). To make this determination, we used our 
environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which are 
also available for review.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
March 29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the application and HCP, you may 
request documents by email, U.S. mail, or phone (see below). These 
documents are also available for public inspection by appointment 
during normal business hours at the office below. Send your comments or 
requests by any one of the following methods.
    Email: northflorida@fws.gov. Use ``Attn: Permit number TE236128-1'' 
as your message subject line.
    Fax: David L. Hankla, Field Supervisor, (904) 731-3045, Attn.: 
Permit number TE236128-1.
    U.S. mail: David L. Hankla, Field Supervisor, Jacksonville 
Ecological Services Field Office, Attn: Permit number TE236128-1, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, 
Jacksonville, FL 32256.
    In-person drop-off: You may drop off information during regular 
business hours at the above office address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin M. Gawera, telephone: (904) 731-
3121; email: erin_gawera@fws.gov.



    Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and our implementing 
Federal regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 
17 prohibit the ``take'' of fish or wildlife species listed as 
endangered or threatened. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined 
under the Act as ``to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, 
trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such 
conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, under limited circumstances, we 
issue permits to authorize incidental take--i.e., take that is 
incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise 
lawful activity.
    Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and 
endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. The 
Act's take prohibitions do not apply to federally listed plants on 
private lands unless such take would violate State law. In addition to 
meeting other criteria, an incidental take permit's proposed actions 
must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, 
or plants.

Applicant's Proposal

    The applicant is requesting modification of the existing incidental 
take permit TE236128-0 issued September 28, 2010, and made 
available via the Federal Register on January 28, 2010 (75 FR 4581). 
The original permit is for the take of approximately 75 acres (ac) of 
Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)--occupied habitat 
incidental to land clearing and phosphate mining. The requested 
modifications to this permit are increasing the duration of the permit 
from 24 years to 41 years, changing the boundary of the conservation 
easement placed on the property used for mitigation, and including take 
of one additional species, the threatened eastern indigo snake 
(Drymarchon couperi). The applicant requests take of no more than 3 
threatened eastern indigo snakes within each 5-year period throughout 
the 41-year-long duration of the permit. The 4,345-ac project is 
located on parcel 45400059, within Sections 13, 22-27, and 34, 
Township 34 South, Range 22 East, Manatee County, Florida. The 
applicant's HCP describes the mitigation and minimization measures the 
applicant proposes to address the effects of the project to the Florida 
scrub-jay and Eastern indigo snake.

Our Preliminary Determination

    We have determined that the applicant's proposal, including the 
proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or 
negligible effects on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, we 
determined that the ITP is a low-effect project and qualifies for 
categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA), as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 
Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1). A low-effect HCP is one involving 
(1) Minor or negligible effects on federally listed or candidate 
species and their habitats, and (2) minor or negligible effects on 
other environmental values or resources.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the HCP and comments we receive to determine 
whether the ITP application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of 
the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the application 
meets these requirements, we will issue ITP  TE236128-1. We 
will also evaluate whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP 
complies with section 7 of the Act by conducting an intra-Service 
section 7 consultation. We will

[[Page 12075]]

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 the permit to the 

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, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comments, 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 Section 10 of the Act and NEPA 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: February 22, 2012.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office, Southeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2012-4624 Filed 2-27-12; 8:45 am]