[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 35 (Friday, February 21, 2014)]
[Pages 9913-9914]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-03670]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2013-N215; 40120-1112-0000-F2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Programmatic 
Incidental Take Permit Application and Environmental Assessment for 
Development Activities; Charlotte County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), 
we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the receipt and 
availability of a proposed county-wide programmatic habitat 
conservation plan (HCP) and accompanying documents for private and 
commercial development projects, public works, and municipal 
infrastructure improvements (activities) regulated or authorized by the 
Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners (applicant). If 
approved, the permit would authorize incidental take of Florida scrub-
jay (scrub-jay) and eastern indigo snake (indigo snake), in the course 
of activities conducted or permitted by the applicant in Charlotte 
County, FL. We invite the public to comment on these documents.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
April 22, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Documents are available for public inspection by appointment 
during regular business hours at the Fish and Wildlife Service's 
Regional Office, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30345; 
or the South Florida Field Office, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th 
Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

Coordinator, (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 404-679-7313; or Ms. Elizabeth 
Landrum, Field Office Project Manager, at the South Florida Field 
Office (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 772-469-4304. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of the proposed 
HCP, accompanying incidental take permit (ITP) application, and an 
environmental assessment (EA), which analyze the take of the scrub-jay 
(Aphelocoma coerulescens) and indigo snake (Drymarchon courais 
cooperii) incidental to activities conducted or permitted by the 
applicant. The applicant requests a 30-year ITP under section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). 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 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

[[Page 9914]]

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 applicant anticipates 
taking a total of approximately 3,056 acres of scrub-jay and indigo 
snake habitat incidental to construction of residential, commercial, 
and public facilities, as well as the associated infrastructure. The 
minimization and mitigation measures proposed in the HCP include 
habitat management activities on a total of 4,496 acres of mitigation 
land. Most of this total is already owned by the applicant, while an 
additional 1,336 acres would be acquired during the ITP's term. Typical 
management activities include prescribed burning, mechanical cutting, 
and related measures to restore dry scrub habitats to support scrub-
jays and indigo snakes.

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 TE09117B-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 
message. If you do not receive a confirmation from us that we have 
received your message, contact us directly at either telephone number 
    Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to either of our offices 
listed under ADDRESSES.

Covered Area

    Scrub-jays and indigo snakes historically occurred in dry scrub 
habitats throughout Charlotte County. The area encompassed by the HCP 
and ITP application consists of private and applicant-owned lands 
currently occupied, or suitable for restoration as, scrub-jay and 
indigo snake habitat in Charlotte County, Florida.

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 Florida scrub-jay and eastern 
indigo snake.


    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: November 21, 2013.
Mike Oetker,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2014-03670 Filed 2-20-14; 8:45 am]