[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 5 (Wednesday, January 8, 2014)]
[Pages 1387-1388]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00082]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2013-0130]; [FXES11120200000F2-145-FF02ENEH00]

Notice of Availability: Low-Effect Screening Form and Proposed 
Bosque Canyon Ranch Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, Bosque 
County, Texas

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of the low-effect screening form 
supporting a categorical exclusion, draft low-effect habitat 
conservation plan, incidental take permit application, and request for 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the low-effect screening form (LESF) under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, that supports a categorical 
exclusion for the draft Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan (dHCP), 
and the incidental take permit application for the Bosque Canyon Ranch 
in Bosque County, TX. The Bosque Canyon Ranch (Applicant), has applied 
for an incidental take permit (ITP) under Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended. The requested permit, 
which would be in effect for a period of 50 years, if granted, would 
authorize incidental take of the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga 
chrysoparia) resulting from residential development and operation of 
the property.

DATES: Comments: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or 
before February 7, 2014. Comments submitted electronically using the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) must be 
received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. Any comments 
that we receive after the closing date may not be considered in the 
final decisions on these actions.

ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents:
     Internet: You may obtain copies of the documents on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2013-
0130), or on the Service's Web site at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ArlingtonTexas/.
     U.S. Mail: Arlington, Texas, Ecological Services Field 
Office, 2005 NE. Green Oaks Blvd., Suite 140, TX 76006; telephone 817-
277-1100. Please note that your request is in reference to the BCRHCP 
     In-Person: Copies of the draft LESF and draft low-effect 
HCP are also available for public inspection and review at the 
following locations, by appointment and written request only, 8 a.m. to 
4:30 p.m.:
    [cir] Department of the Interior, Natural Resources Library, 1849 
C. St. NW., Washington, DC 20240.
    [cir] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 500 Gold Avenue SW., Room 
6034, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
    [cir] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2005 NE. Green Oaks Blvd., 
Suite 140, TX 76006; calling 817-277-1100.; or faxing 817-277-1129.
    Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy by 
writing to the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. 
Box 1306, Room 4012, Albuquerque, NM 87103, Attention: Branch Chief, 
Environmental Review.
    Comment submission: You may submit written comments by one of the 
following methods:
     Electronically: Go to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: 
http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R2-ES-2013-
0130, which is the docket number for this notice. Then, on the left 
side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the 
Notices link to locate this document and submit a comment.
     By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: 
Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2013-0130; Division of 
Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 
N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We request that you send comments by only the methods described 
above. We will post all information received on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section 
below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Debra Bills, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 2005 NE. Green Oaks Blvd., Suite 140, TX 
76006; or by telephone at 817-277-1100.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.), we advise the public that:
    1. We have gathered the information necessary to determine impacts 
related to potential issuance of an incidental take permit (ITP) and 
have determined the proposed action qualifies as a low-effect HCP and 
is categorically excluded from the NEPA process; and,
    2. The applicant has developed and proposes to implement its dHCP, 
as part of the application for an ITP, which describes the measures the 
applicant has agreed to take to minimize and mitigate the effects of 
incidental take of golden-cheeked warblers to the maximum extent 
practicable pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
    The requested permit, which would be in effect for a period of 50 
years, if granted, would authorize incidental take of the golden-
cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) (Covered Species) as a result 
of residential development and operation of the property. The proposed 
incidental take may occur on the Bosque Canyon Ranch, Bosque County, TX 

[[Page 1388]]

Area), as a result of activities associated with the Applicant's 
operation and maintenance activities (Covered Activities). Such actions 
may require disturbance within potential golden-cheeked warbler 
habitat. The ranch has proposed to mitigate the 28.21 acres of direct 
impacts and 293.63 acres of indirect impacts to the golden-cheeked 
warbler onsite. A total of approximately 924.35 acres of suitable GCWA 
breeding habitat are present within two permanent conservation 
easements on the property with 770 of those acres neither directly nor 
indirectly affected by the proposed development. These habitat acres 
will be conserved in perpetuity and additional mitigation is proposed 
through the conservation of 227.6 acres of immature supporting habitat 
that will be managed to develop into suitable breeding habitat prior to 
the expiration of the permit.
    Section 9 of the Act and its implementing regulations prohibit 
``take'' of fish and wildlife species listed as threatened or 
endangered under section 4 of the Act. However, section 10(a) of the 
Act authorizes us to issue permits to take listed wildlife species 
where such take is incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise 
lawful activities and where the applicant meets certain statutory 

Public Availability of Comments

    Written comments we receive become part of the public record 
associated with this action. 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 request in your comment that we withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will not consider anonymous 
comments. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of 
organizations or businesses, will be made available for public 
disclosure in their entirety.


    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and NEPA 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 

Dana Roth,
Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 2014-00082 Filed 1-7-14; 8:45 am]