[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 100 (Friday, May 22, 2020)]
[Pages 31203-31204]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-10401]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2020-N039; FF08ESMF00-FXES11140800000-201]

Joint Final Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental 
Impact Report, Joint Final Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural 
Community Conservation Plan; Placer County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), announce the 
availability of a joint final environmental impact statement and final 
environmental impact report (final EIS/EIR) under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1967, as amended. We also announce the 
availability of a final Western Placer County Habitat Conservation Plan 
and Natural Community Conservation Plan (Final Plan). The National 
Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are 
cooperating agencies on the final EIS/EIR.

DATES: A record of decision will be signed no sooner than 30 days after 
the publication of this notice of availability in the Federal Register. 
We must receive any written comments by 5 p.m. on June 22, 2020.

    Obtaining Documents: You may obtain electronic copies of the Final 
Plan and final EIS/EIR from the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office 
website at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento. Please use the information in 
the For Further Information Contact section below with questions on 
obtaining documents.
    Submitting Comments: Please address written comments to Eric 
Tattersall, Assistant Field Supervisor, by facsimile to (916) 414-6713; 
or by mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W-2605, Sacramento, California 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Jentsch, Senior Biologist, 
Conservation Planning Division; or Eric Tattersall, Assistant Field 
Supervisor, at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office address above or 
by telephone at (916) 414-6600. If you use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech disabled, please call the 
Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The County of Placer, City of Lincoln, South 
Placer Regional Transportation Authority, Placer County Water Agency, 
and the Placer County Authority (PCA) (collectively, the applicants) 
have applied for a 50-year incidental take permit (ITP) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). The applicants prepared the Final Plan pursuant to section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA and the California Natural Community 
Conservation Planning Act of 2002 (NCCPA).


    Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544 et seq.) and Federal 
regulations (50 CFR 17) prohibit the taking of fish and wildlife 
species listed as endangered, and certain species listed as threatened 
under section 4 of the ESA. Regulations governing permits for 
endangered and threatened species are at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32. For 
more about the Federal habitat conservation plan program, go to http://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/hcp.pdf. As cooperating 
agencies, NMFS may use the EIS analysis to support a decision as to 
whether to issue an ITP to the applicants, and the Corps may use the 
EIS analysis to support decisions made associated with implementing the 
Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).
    NEPA requires Federal agencies to analyze their proposed actions to 
determine whether the actions may significantly affect the human 
environment. In these NEPA analyses, the Federal agency will identify 
direct, indirect, and cumulative effects, as well as possible 
mitigation for effects on environmental resources that could occur with 
implementation of the proposed action and alternatives.

Proposed Action

    The FWS and NMFS would issue an ITP to the applicants for a period 
of 50 years for certain covered activities (listed below). The 
applicants have requested ITPs for 14 covered animal species (listed 
below), of which 7 are listed as endangered or threatened under the 

[[Page 31204]]

Plan Area

    The geographic scope of the Final Plan includes two plan areas. 
Plan Area A encompasses approximately 209,000 acres of the City of 
Lincoln and unincorporated lands in western Placer County and is the 
focus of the Final Plan. Plan Area B includes additional specific areas 
in Placer and Sutter Counties that are not included in Plan Area A. 
Combined, Plan Areas A and B cover approximately 260,000 acres.

Covered Activities

    The proposed section 10 ITPs would allow take of 14 covered species 
resulting from covered activities in the proposed plan area. The 
applicants are requesting incidental take authorization for covered 
species resulting from covered activities, including urban and rural 
development, water management, conservation measures, and facilities 
maintenance. A complete description of the covered activities is 
provided in the Final Plan, Chapter 2. The applicants are also 
proposing to implement a number of project design features, including 
best management practices, as well as general and species-specific 
avoidance and minimization measures to minimize the impacts of the take 
from the covered activities.

Covered Species

    The following wildlife species federally listed as endangered are 
proposed to be covered by the Final Plan: Conservancy fairy shrimp 
(Branchinecta conservatio) and vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus 
packardi). The following wildlife species federally listed as 
threatened are proposed to be covered by the Final Plan: Giant garter 
snake (Thamnophis gigas), California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), 
valley elderberry longhorn beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus), 
and vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi). The following 
wildlife species that are not federally listed are also proposed to be 
covered by the Final Plan: Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni), 
California black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus), western 
burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), tricolored blackbird 
(Agelaius tricolor), western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata), and 
foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii).
    Two species of fish are proposed to be covered by the Final Plan 
under an ITP from NMFS: The Central Valley steelhead (distinct 
population segment; Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus), which is federally 
listed as threatened; and the Central Valley fall/late-fall run Chinook 
salmon (evolutionarily significant unit; Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), 
which is not listed.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The final EIS/EIR was prepared to analyze the impacts of issuing an 
ITP based on the Final Plan and to inform the public of the proposed 
action, alternatives, and associated impacts and to disclose any 
irreversible commitments of resources. The final EIS/EIR analyzes three 
alternatives in addition to the proposed action described above. The 
other alternatives include a no-action (i.e., no ITP) alternative, a 
reduced take/reduced fill alternative, and a reduced permit term 
alternative, and are all described in the Final EIS/EIR. The final EIS/
EIR also includes all comments received on the draft EIS/EIR, draft 
HCP/NCCP, and responses to those comments.

Public Review

    The FWS published a notice of intent to prepare a joint EIS/EIR in 
the Federal Register on March 7, 2005 (70 FR 11022), announcing a 30-
day public scoping period, during which the public was invited to 
provide written comments and attend three public meetings. The FWS 
published a notice of availability of the draft EIS/EIR and draft HCP/
NCCP in the Federal Register on June 21, 2019 (84 FR 29224), announcing 
a 60-day public comment period, during which the public was invited to 
provide written comments and attend two public meetings.
    Copies of the final EIS/EIR and Final Plan are available for 
inspection (see ADDRESSES). Any comments we receive will become part of 
the public record. 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.

Next Steps

    Issuance of an incidental take permit is a Federal proposed action 
subject to compliance with NEPA and the ESA. The FWS and NMFS will 
evaluate the application, associated documents, and any public comments 
we receive to determine whether the application meets the requirements 
of NEPA regulations and sections 7 and 10(a) of the ESA. If FWS and 
NMFS determine that those requirements are met, we will issue a permit 
to the applicants for the incidental take of the Covered Species.


    We issue this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 
17.32), and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6 and 43 CFR 

Michael Fris,
Assistant Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento.
[FR Doc. 2020-10401 Filed 5-21-20; 8:45 am]