Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
A Unit of the
Pacific Southwest Region
Ecological Services | California
June 16, 2020

Ashley McConnell,, 805-677-3301
Hazel Rodriguez,, 805-677-3388

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Categorical Exclusion for the Garrapata Tanks Slope Repair Project in Monterey County, CA

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Categorical Exclusion (CatEx) for the Garrapata Tanks Project in Monterey County, California for activities described in an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The ITP would authorize take of a listed species incidental to water tank stabilization activities on private property near Big Sur in Monterey County, California.

The applicant has applied for a permit for incidental take of the Smith’s blue butterfly. The take would occur in association with the repair of a concrete slab under two 40,000-gallon water tanks, stabilization of a failing vegetated slope, and revegetation and restoration of the slope and staging area on approximately 1.1 acres.

The HCP includes avoidance and minimization measures for the Smith’s blue butterfly and mitigation for unavoidable loss of habitat. As mitigation for habitat loss, the applicant proposes to revegetate the staging area and stabilize the slope with native coastal sage scrub seed. The applicant also proposes to conduct five years of restoration monitoring and invasive species control throughout the revegetated areas to improve the quality of species habitat in the project area.

The Service prepared the draft CatEx in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) to evaluate the potential effects to the natural and human environment resulting from issuing the ITP under the plan.

A notice of availability published in the Federal Register today, opening a 30-day public comment period. The Service will consider comments from all interested parties received by July 16, 2020. Information on how to submit comments is available at by searching under docket number FWS–R8–ES–2020–N074.

Working with others is essential to protecting ecosystems that benefit society as a whole. The Service regularly engages conservation partners, the public, landowners, government agencies and other stakeholders in our ongoing effort to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering protected fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats.

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Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
US Fish and Wildlife Service
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, California 93003