[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 243 (Thursday, December 18, 2014)]
[Pages 75584-75585]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-29646]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2014-N217; FXES11130200000-156-FF02ENEH00]

Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Habitat Conservation 
Plan; Anderson Tract; Proposed Development of 60.7 Acres in Bexar 
County, Texas

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, we, the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on an 
incidental take permit application for take of the federally listed 
golden-cheeked warbler, including a draft Habitat Conservation Plan and 
draft Environmental Assessment; the take would result from clearing and 
construction of a residential development on the 60.7-acre Anderson 
Tract in Bexar County, Texas.

DATES: Comments: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or 
before February 17, 2015. Any comments that we receive after the 
closing date may not be considered in the final decisions on these 

ADDRESSES: You may obtain copies of all documents and submit comments 
on the applicant's incidental take permit application by one of the 
following methods. Please refer to the permit number (TE-29216B) when 
requesting documents or submitting comments.
     U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of 
Endangered Species--HCP Permits, P.O. Box 1306, Room 6034, Albuquerque, 
NM 87103.
     Electronically: fw2_hcp_permits@fws.gov.

[[Page 75585]]

     In-Person: Copies of the draft EA and draft 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] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 500 Gold Avenue SW., Room 
6034, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
    [cir] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, 
Austin, TX 78758.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, by 
U.S. mail at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnet Road, 
Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; or via telephone at (512) 490-0057.

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:
    We have gathered the information necessary to determine impacts and 
formulate alternatives for the draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) 
related to potential issuance of an incidental take permit (ITP) to the 
Applicant. The Applicant has developed a draft Habitat Conservation 
Plan (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 the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga 
[=Dendroica] chrysoparia; GCWA) to the maximum extent practicable 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; Act).
    Anaqua Springs Ranch, Inc. (Applicant), has applied to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an ITP (TE-29216B) under 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. The proposed take would occur on the 
60.7-acre Anderson Tract (Permit Area) in Bexar County, Texas, as a 
result of activities associated with the Applicant's proposed clearing 
and construction of a residential development (Covered Activities). 
Such actions will require clearing of GCWA habitat.
    The dEA considers the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of 
implementation of the dHCP, including the measures that will be 
implemented to minimize and mitigate, to the maximum extent 
practicable, the impacts of the incidental take of the covered species.


    In May 2013, the Applicant submitted an ITP application, dHCP, and 
dEA for proposed incidental take on 60.7 acres in Bexar County, Texas. 
The Service reviewed and edited the dEA and provided comments on the 

Proposed Action

    The proposed action involves the issuance of an ITP by the Service 
for the Covered Activities in the Permit Area, pursuant to section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. The ITP would cover ``take'' of the Covered 
Species associated with the clearing and construction of a residential 
development within the Permit Area.
    To meet the requirements of a section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP, the 
Applicant has developed and proposes to implement its dHCP, which 
describes the conservation measures the Applicant has agreed to 
undertake to minimize and mitigate for the impacts of the proposed 
incidental take of the Covered Species to the maximum extent 
practicable, and ensures that incidental take will not appreciably 
reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of these species in 
the wild.
    The Applicant proposes to mitigate with the purchase of 60.7 acres 
of high quality habitat, likely from a Service-approved conservation 
bank with the Anderson Tract in its service area.


    Two alternatives to the proposed action we are considering as part 
of this process are:
    1. No Action: No ITP would be issued. Under a No Action 
alternative, the applicant would not request, and the Service would not 
issue, an ITP for development of the Anderson Tract, and therefore the 
Applicant would not implement the conservation measures described in 
the dHCP.
    2. Lower Mitigation: The Lower Mitigation alternative is similar to 
the Proposed Action in that the Service would issue an ITP for the 
proposed project. However, the HCP under this alternative would be 
modified to include the purchase of a lesser number of conservation 
credits for the GCWA. All other aspects of the proposed project and the 
HCP would remain the same.

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 and its 
implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32) and NEPA and its 
implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

Joy E. Nicholopoulos,
Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 2014-29646 Filed 12-17-14; 8:45 am]