[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 57 (Wednesday, March 25, 2015)]
[Pages 15807-15808]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-06787]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2014-N046; FXES11120400000-156-FF04EF2000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Receipt of 
Application for Incidental Take Permit Transfer and Renewal; 
Availability of Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan and Associated 
Documents; Polk County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an incidental take permit

[[Page 15808]]

(ITP) transfer and renewal application and a Habitat Conservation Plan 
(HCP). Solterra Resort Community Development District (CDD) and AK 
Oakmont LLC (co-applicants) request transfer and renewal of ITP 
TE098035-1 under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). 
The co-applicants anticipate taking about 18.59 acres of feeding, 
breeding, and sheltering habitat used by the sand skink (Neoseps 
reynoldsi) and blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius lividus) 
(skinks) incidental to land preparation and construction in Polk 
County, Florida. The applicants' HCP describes proposed minimization 
measures and mitigation measures to address the effects of development 
on the covered species.

DATES: We must receive your written comments on the ITP application and 
HCP on or before April 24, 2015.

ADDRESSES: See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for information on 
how to submit your comments on the ITP application and HCP. You may 
obtain a copy of the ITP application and HCP by writing the South 
Florida Ecological Services Office, Attn: Permit number TE098035-1, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-
3559. In addition, we will make the ITP application and HCP available 
for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at 
the above address.

Ecological Services Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 772-469-4234.


Submitting Comments

    If you wish to comment on the ITP application or HCP, you may 
submit comments by any one of the following methods:
    Email: alfredo_begazo@fws.gov. Use ``Attn: Permit number TE098035-
1'' as your message subject line.
    Fax: Al Begazo, 772-469-4234, Attn.: Permit number ``TE098035-1.''
    U.S. mail: Al Begazo, South Florida Ecological Services Field 
Office, Attn: Permit number ``TE098035-1,'' U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559.
    In-person drop-off: You may drop off comments or request 
information during regular business hours at the above office address.

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 
request in your comments that your personal identifying information be 
withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able 
to do so.

Applicants' Proposed Project

    We received an application from the co-applicants for an incidental 
take permit, along with a proposed habitat conservation plan. The co-
applicants request a transfer and 15-year renewal of an ITP under 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we approve 
the application, the co-applicants anticipate taking a total of 
approximately 18.59 acres of skink breeding, feeding, and sheltering 
habitat, incidental to land preparation and construction in Sections 9, 
10, and 15, Township 26 South, Range 23 East, Polk County, Florida. The 
co-applicants currently have a specific site plan that includes the 
construction of one or more residences, buildings, roads, green areas, 
structures, and parking areas, and installation of associated 
utilities. The co-applicants propose to transfer and renew this project 
without changes, and have complied with all the mitigation requirements 
set forth in the initial review and permitting of the project.
    The co-applicants propose to minimize impacts to skinks by 
preserving a total of 71.14 acres of suitable skink habitat on site. 
The preservation parcel has been put under a conservation easement 
granted to Polk County and will be managed in perpetuity. The Service 
listed the sand skink and the blue-tailed mole skink as threatened in 
1987 (November 6, 1987; 52 FR 42658, effective December 7, 1987).

Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that the co-
applicants' project, including the mitigation measures, will 
individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the 
species covered in the HCP. Therefore, issuance of the ITP is a ``low-
effect'' action and qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6), as provided 
by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 
DM 6 Appendix 1). We base our preliminary determination that issuance 
of the ITP qualifies as a low-effect action on the following three 
criteria: (1) Implementation of the project would result in minor or 
negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species 
and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the project would result in 
minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; 
and (3) Impacts of the project, considered together with the impacts of 
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated 
projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative effects to 
environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. 
This preliminary determination may be revised based on our review of 
public comments that we receive in response to this notice.

Next Steps

    The Service will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act. The Service 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. The results of this 
consultation, in combination with the above findings, will be used in 
the final analysis to determine whether or not to transfer and renew 
the ITP. If it is determined that the requirements of the Act are met, 
the ITP will be transferred and renewed.

    Authority: We provide this notice under Section 10 of the 
Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations 
(40 CFR 1506.6).

Robert (Bob) Progulske,
Everglades Program Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services 
[FR Doc. 2015-06787 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am]