[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 241 (Wednesday, December 16, 2015)]
[Pages 78247-78248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-31590]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2015-N226; FXES11130400000EA-123-FF04EF1000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Availability of 
Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plans, Brevard and Putnam 
Counties, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received two 
applications for incidental take permits (ITPs) under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Jellyfish Realty, LLC requests a 
5-year ITP; and Vulcan Materials Company requests a 20-year ITP. We 
request public comment on the permit applications and accompanying 
proposed habitat conservation plans (HCPs), as well as on our 
preliminary determination that the plans qualify as low-effect under 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To make this 
determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-
effect screening form, which are also available for review.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
January 15, 2016.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the applications and HCPs, you may 
request documents by email, U.S. mail, or phone (see below). These 
documents are also available for public inspection by appointment 
during normal business hours at the office below. Send your comments or 
requests by any one of the following methods.
    Email: northflorida@fws.gov. Use ``Attn: Permit number TE82957B-0'' 
as your message subject line for Jellyfish Realty, LLC; and ``Attn: 
Permit number TE82956B-0'' for Vulcan Materials Company.
    Fax: Field Supervisor, (904) 731-3191, Attn: Permit number [Insert 
permit number].
    U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field 
Office, Attn: Permit number [Insert permit number], U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 
    In-person drop-off: You may drop off information during regular 
business hours at the above office address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin M. Gawera, telephone: (904) 731-
3121; email: erin_gawera@fws.gov.



    Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and our implementing 
Federal regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 
17 prohibit the ``take'' of fish or wildlife species listed as 
endangered or threatened. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined 
under the Act as ``to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, 
trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such 
conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 1532). However, under limited circumstances, we 
issue permits to authorize incidental take--i.e., take that is 
incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise 
lawful activity.
    Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and 
endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. The 
Act's take prohibitions do not apply to federally listed plants on 
private lands unless such take would violate State law. In addition to 
meeting other criteria, an incidental take permit's proposed actions 
must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, 
or plants.

Applicants' Proposals

Jellyfish Realty, LLC

    Jellyfish Realty, LLC is requesting take of approximately .53 acre 
of occupied Florida scrub-jay foraging and sheltering habitat 
incidental to construction of a veterinary clinic, and they seek a 5-
year permit. The .54-acre project is located on parcel number 27-37-06-

[[Page 78248]]

00104.0-0015.00 within Section 06, Township 27 South, Range 37 East, 
Brevard County, Florida. The project includes construction of a 
commercial development and the associated infrastructure, and 
landscaping. The applicant proposes to mitigate for the take of the 
Florida scrub-jay through the preservation of approximately 1.49 acres 
of high-quality Florida scrub-jay habitat within the Grissom Parkway 
Site of the Brevard Coastal Scrub Ecosystem. The applicant also will 
preserve and donate one currently unencumbered parcel (Brevard County 
tax parcel number 24-35-01-25-00001.0-0016.00) to the Brevard County 
Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program so that this parcel can 
be managed and maintained as suitable Florida scrub-jay habitat in 
perpetuity. The applicant will also provide the EEL Program with a 
$1,200/acre (totaling $ 1,788) management endowment to ensure the 
continued success of monitoring and maintaining these lands as suitable 
Florida scrub-jay habitat.

Vulcan Materials Company

    Vulcan Materials Company proposes incremental mining of sand 
reserves throughout the 1,183.62-acre permitted mining limits of the 
approximately 6,815.79-acre project area over the life of the mine, and 
seeks a 20-year permit for take of occupied sand skink, eastern indigo 
snake, and gopher tortoise, foraging and sheltering habitat. The 
6,815.79-acre project is located on Sections 12-13, Township 9 south, 
Range 23 east, Sections 7, 17-21, 28-33, Township 9 south, Range 24 
east, and Sections 5-6, Township 10 south, Range 24 east, Putnam 
County, Florida. The extent of direct impacts in future phases is 
currently undetermined; however, based on the current USFWS guidelines, 
approximately 343.73 acres of the site appear to be suitable for the 
sand skink, the eastern indigo snake, and the gopher tortoise. 
Currently there will be take of 0.26 acre of occupied sand skink 
foraging and sheltering habitat on Phase IA which will be mitigated by 
the purchase of .52 mitigation credits within the Tiger Creek 
Conservation Bank. In advance of the progression of the mining 
operations into future phases, quantitative surveys will be conducted 
for the skinks, eastern indigo snakes, and gopher tortoises to 
determine the occupancy and extent of occupancy within suitable areas. 
The completion of these surveys will be subject to the Service's 
approved survey guidelines at the time the surveys are conducted. The 
applicant proposes to mitigate for impacts to occupied skink and 
eastern indigo snake habitat within future phases at a ratio of 2:1 by 
purchasing 2 mitigation bank credits at the Tiger Creek Conservation 
Bank per every 1 acre of impact. The applicant proposes to mitigate for 
impacts to occupied gopher tortoise habitat within Phase IA, as well as 
in future phases, by relocating gopher tortoises and any recovered eggs 
to a recipient site approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife 
Conservation Commission.

Our Preliminary Determination

    We have determined that the applicants' proposals, including the 
proposed mitigation and minimization measures, would have minor or 
negligible effects on the species covered in their HCPs. Therefore, we 
determined that the ITPs for each of the applicants are ``low-effect'' 
projects and qualify for categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by the Department of the 
Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1). A low-
effect HCP is one involving (1) Minor or negligible effects on 
federally listed or candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor 
or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the HCPs and comments we receive to determine 
whether the ITP applications meet the requirements of section 10(a) of 
the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the applications 
meet these requirements, we will issue ITP numbers TE82957B-0, and 
TE82956B-0. We will also evaluate whether issuance of the section 
10(a)(1)(B) ITPs 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 ITPs. If the 
requirements are met, we will issue the permits to the applicants.

Public Comments

    If you wish to comment on the permit applications, HCPs, and 
associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods 

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 
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.


    We provide this notice under Section 10 of the Act and NEPA 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: December 10, 2015.
Jay B. Herrington,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office, Southeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2015-31590 Filed 12-15-15; 8:45 am]