[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 139 (Monday, July 21, 2014)]
[Pages 42348-42349]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17050]

[[Page 42348]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2014-N118; FXES11120100000-145-FF01E00000]

Draft Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances and 
Receipt of Application for an Enhancement of Survival Permit for the 
Oregon Spotted Frog; Old Mill District Properties, Deschutes County, 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have 
received an application for an enhancement of survival (EOS) permit 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The permit 
application includes a proposed candidate conservation agreement with 
assurances (CCAA) for the Oregon spotted frog addressing conservation 
and other covered activities at the Old Mill District of the city of 
Bend in Deschutes County, Oregon. We invite comments from all 
interested parties on the application, including the CCAA, and an 
environmental action statement (EAS) prepared pursuant to the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received from 
interested parties no later than August 20, 2014.

ADDRESSES: To request further information or to submit written 
comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your 
information request or comments are in reference to the Old Mill CCAA.
     Internet: Documents may be viewed on the Internet at 
     Email: Jennifer_OReilly@fws.gov. Include ``Old Mill 
CCAA'' in the subject line of the message or comments.
     U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bend Field 
Office, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701.
     Fax: 541-383-7638. Include ``Old Mill CCAA'' in the 
subject line of the message or comments.
     In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Documents will be available 
for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bend Field Office, 63095 Deschutes 
Market Road, Bend, OR 97701.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Gilbert or Jennifer O'Reilly, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bend Field Office (see ADDRESSES), 541-
383-7146 (telephone). If you use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have received an application from William 
Smith Properties, Inc.; Fifteen SW Colorado; Mill A Associates Limited 
Partnership; River Bend Limited Partnership; Mill Shops LLC; Mill Shops 
Manager LLC Managing Member; River Shops II LLC; Deschutes River 
Amphitheater LLC; and the River Bend Master Owners Association 
(collectively, the applicants) for an enhancement of survival permit 
under the ESA. The permit application includes a CCAA between the 
applicants and the Service for the Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) 
in the Old Mill District of the city of Bend in Deschutes County, 
Oregon. The Service and the applicants prepared the CCAA to provide the 
applicants with the opportunity to voluntarily conserve the Oregon 
spotted frog and its habitat while managing commercial real estate 
properties that the applicants own or manage. We have made a 
preliminary determination that the proposed CCAA and permit issuance 
are eligible for a categorical exclusion under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et 
seq.). The basis for our preliminary determination is contained in an 
EAS. We invite comments from all interested parties on the application, 
including the CCAA and the EAS.

Background Information

    Private and other non-Federal property owners are encouraged to 
enter into CCAAs, in which they voluntarily undertake management 
activities on their properties to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat 
benefiting species that are proposed for listing under the ESA, 
candidates for listing, or species that may become candidates or 
proposed for listing. Through a CCAA and its associated EOS permit, the 
Service provides assurances to participating property owners that they 
will not be subject to increased land use restrictions if the covered 
species become listed under the ESA in the future, provided the CCAA is 
being properly implemented and the EOS permit conditions are met. 
Application requirements and issuance criteria for EOS permits for 
CCAAs are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 
17.22(d) and 17.32(d). See also our joint policy on CCAAs, which we 
published in the Federal Register with the Department of Commerce's 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine 
Fisheries Service (64 FR 32726; June 17, 1999), as well as our 
revisions to that policy (69 FR 24084; May 3, 2004).
    On May 7, 1993, the Service published a 12-month finding in the 
Federal Register (58 FR 27260) that the spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) 
warrants listing under the ESA as threatened in some portions of its 
range, but this listing action was precluded by other higher priority 
listing actions. Subsequently, genetic analyses separated the spotted 
frog into two species: Rana pretiosa (Oregon spotted frog) and Rana 
luteiventris (Columbia spotted frog). The Service published these 
taxonomic changes in the Federal Register (62 FR 49398) on September 
19, 1997. On August 29, 2013, the Oregon spotted frog was proposed for 
listing as threatened under the ESA (78 FR 53582). A final listing 
determination is anticipated in late summer of 2014.
    In anticipation of a final listing decision by the Service, the 
applicants requested assistance from the Service in developing a CCAA 
addressing the needs of the Oregon spotted frog on lands they own in 
Bend, Oregon. Under the proposed CCAA, the applicants will address 
threats to the Oregon spotted frog through implementation of 
conservation measures that are consistent with their land use 
activities and the CCAA. Through the EOS permit issued pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, the applicants would be authorized to 
incidentally take Oregon spotted frogs in the course of implementing 
the CCAA if the species becomes listed under the ESA in the future, as 
long as the terms and conditions of the permit and the CCAA are 

Proposed Action

    The Service proposes to approve the CCAA and to issue an EOS 
permit, both with a term of 20 years, to the applicants for incidental 
take of the Oregon spotted frog caused by covered activities, if permit 
issuance criteria are met. The area to be addressed under this proposed 
CCAA (i.e., the covered lands) includes 170 acres of land, including 
6,909 linear feet along both banks of the Deschutes River, upstream and 
downstream of the Colorado Street Bridge, Bend, Deschutes County, 
Oregon. Portions of the covered lands currently provide habitat that is 
occupied by Oregon spotted frogs. These specific areas include the 
Casting Pond, the Les Schwab Amphitheater Marsh, and the riparian 
habitat on the banks of

[[Page 42349]]

the Deschutes River above the ordinary high water mark.
    The proposed CCAA is intended to result in benefits to Oregon 
spotted frogs by reducing or eliminating threats to the species on the 
covered lands, and creating or maintaining habitat conditions that are 
suitable for all life-history stages of the species through the 
implementation of conservation measures. Conservation measures include: 
Monitoring and maintaining sufficient water levels for the Oregon 
spotted frog in the Casting Pond through the use of water control 
devices; periodically removing invasive plants from the Casting Pond to 
maintain approximately 30 percent aquatic vegetative cover and 70 
percent open water; removal of nonnative predators in the Casting Pond 
should they be discovered during annual surveys; maintaining vegetation 
along the banks of the Casting Pond to control erosion and potential 
sedimentation; and protection of the riparian zone along the banks of 
the Deschutes River within the covered lands through the use of signs 
and temporary fencing, to address public use that may threaten the 
integrity of shoreline vegetation that serves as cover for Oregon 
spotted frogs. Some incidental take of spotted frogs is anticipated 
with maintenance of the Casting Pond, and with the expansion and 
construction of stormwater ponds and bioswales that may become 
temporary habitats.
    Consistent with our CCAA Policy (64 FR 32726), the conservation 
goal of the proposed CCAA is to encourage enhancement and protection of 
suitable Oregon spotted frog habitat on the covered lands by either 
maintaining or modifying existing land management so that they are 
consistent with the conservation needs of the Oregon spotted frog. We 
can meet this conservation goal with the use of a CCAA by giving non-
Federal landowners incentives to implement conservation measures, 
primarily through regulatory certainty concerning land-use restrictions 
that might otherwise apply should the Oregon spotted frog become listed 
under the ESA.
    We have made a preliminary determination that the proposed CCAA and 
permit issuance are eligible for a categorical exclusion under NEPA. 
The basis for our preliminary determination is contained in an EAS, 
which is available for public review (see ADDRESSES).

Public Comments

    We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this 
notice. We particularly seek comments on the following: (1) Biological 
information concerning the Oregon spotted frog; (2) relevant data 
concerning this species; (3) additional information concerning the 
range, distribution, population size, and population trends of the 
Oregon spotted frog; (4) current or planned activities in the covered 
lands and their possible impacts on the Oregon spotted frog; (5) 
identification of any other environmental issues that should be 
considered by the Service with regard to the proposed permit action; 
and (6) information regarding the adequacy of the CCAA pursuant to the 
requirements for permits at 50 CFR parts 13 and 17.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive become part of the public 
record associated with this action. Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable 
information (PII) in your comments, you should be aware that your 
entire comment--including your PII --may be made publicly available at 
any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your PII 
from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 
Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation 
we used in preparing the EAS, will be available for public inspection 
by appointment, during normal business hours, at our Bend Field Office 

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and 
comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets 
the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA and NEPA and their 
implementing regulations. We will also evaluate whether issuance of an 
EOS permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by conducting a 
section 7 consultation on the proposed permit action. If we determine 
that all requirements are met, we will sign the proposed CCAA and issue 
an EOS permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA to the applicants 
for incidental take of Oregon spotted frogs that is likely to occur 
with implementation of the CCAA. We will not make our final decision 
until after the end of the 30-day public comment period, and we will 
fully consider all comments we receive during the public comment 


    We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of 
section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.) and their implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 40 
CFR 1506.6, respectively).

Paul Henson,
State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2014-17050 Filed 7-18-14; 8:45 am]