Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Tucker Pond Low Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, Santa Cruz County, California, 76359-76361 [E6-21714]

Download as PDF 76359 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 244 / Wednesday, December 20, 2006 / Notices appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses. This Notice also lists the following information: Title of Proposal: Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. OMB Control Number: 2577–0178. Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use: The FSS program, which was established in the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, promotes the development of implementation of the FSS program, and complete a funding application for the salary of an FSS program coordinator. Agency form numbers: HUD–52650, HUD–52651, HUD–52652. Members of the Affected Public: Public housing agencies, State or Local Government. Estimation including the Total Number of Hours Needed to Prepare the Information Collection for the Number of Respondents, Frequency of response, and hours of response: local strategies that coordinate the use of public housing assistance and assistance under the Section 8 rental certificate and voucher programs (now known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program) with public and private resources to enable eligible families to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Housing agencies consult with local officials to develop an Action Plan; enter into a Contract of Participation with each eligible family that opts to participate in the program; computes an escrow credit for the family, report annually to HUD on Number of respondents Description of information collection Responses per year Total annual responses Hours per response Total hours SF424 ................................................................................. SF LLL ................................................................................ HUD 2880 (OMB no. 2510–0011) ..................................... HUD 96010 (OMB no. 2535–0114) ................................... HUD–2991 Certification ...................................................... HUD–2994–A (OMB no. 2535–0116) ................................ FSS Application, HUD–52651 ............................................ Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Statement ............... Subtotal (Application) .................................................. 750 10 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 .................. .................. .................. .................. .................. .................. .................. .................. .................. 750 10 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 0.75 0.17 0 0 0 0 0.75 .5 2.17 Action Plan ......................................................................... Contract of Participation HUD–52650 ................................ Escrow Account Credit Worksheet HUD–52652 ............... Annual Report (Narrative) .................................................. HUD–50058 (OMB no. 2577–0083) ................................... 5 750 750 750 750 1 .................. 10 ................ 50 ................ 1 .................. 50 ................ 5 7,500 37,500 750 37,500 40 1 0 200 1,875 31,875 750 *0 Subtotal (Program Reporting/Recordkeeping) ............ 750 Varies .......... 45,755 42.1 34,700 Total ............................................................................ 750 Varies .......... 46,505 44.27 36,202.2 .25 .85 562.5 1.7 *0 *0 *0 *0 563 375 1502.2 *Burden hours for forms showing zero burden hours in this collection are reflected in the OMB approval number cited or do not have a reportable burden. The burden hours for this collection have decrease by 3,003.8 hours since the last submission to OMB. Status of the Proposed Information Collection: Revision of currently approved collection. Authority: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. Dated: December 15, 2006. Bessy Kong, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Program and Legislative Initiatives. [FR Doc. E6–21755 Filed 12–19–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the Tucker Pond Low Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, Santa Cruz County, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Doug and Jennifer Ross (Applicants) have applied to the U.S. VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 19, 2006 Jkt 211001 Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or ‘‘we’’) for an incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are considering issuing a 10-year permit to the Applicants that would authorize take of the federally endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum) and the threatened California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii) incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with the construction of private residential facilities on 16.5 acres of their 99-acre property in Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California. We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our preliminary determination that the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) qualifies as a ‘‘low effect’’ HCP, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended. We explain the basis for this possible determination in a draft Environmental Action Statement (EAS) and associated Low Effect Screening Form. The PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Applicants’ low effect HCP describes the mitigation and minimization measures they would implement, as required in Section 10(a)(2)(B) of the Act, to address the effects of the project on the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog. These measures are outlined in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. The draft HCP and EAS are available for public review. DATES: Written comments should be received on or before January 19, 2007. ADDRESSES: Please address written comments to Diane Noda, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Ventura, California 93003. You may also send comments by facsimile to (805) 644–3958. To obtain copies of draft documents, see ‘‘Availability of Documents’’ under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill McIver, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, (see ADDRESSES) telephone: (805) 644–1766 extension 234. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 76360 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 244 / Wednesday, December 20, 2006 / Notices Availability of Documents You may obtain copies of the application, HCP, and EAS by contacting the Fish and Wildlife Biologist (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Documents will also be available for review by appointment, during normal business hours, at the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES) or via the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/ventura. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Background Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulation prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened, respectively. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act to mean harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. However, the Service, under limited circumstances, may 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 found at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. The taking prohibitions of the Act do not apply to federally listed plants on private lands unless such take would violate State law. Among other criteria, issuance of such permits must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plants. The Applicants own 99 acres of property (Ross Property) that includes grassland and coastal brush scrub habitats, in Aptos, California. The project site is located northeast of Highway 1 and south of Freedom Boulevard, in Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California. Typical land uses in the area surrounding the project site include several rural residences, a high school, and undeveloped oak woodland areas. The Applicants propose to construct on approximately 16.5 acres of land: A 7,500 square foot house with associated landscaping (main residence), a singlefamily dwelling, a 1,500 square foot caretaker house, a 2,000 square foot winemaking and agricultural equipment storage facility, a 2,000 square foot barn, septic systems, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a vineyard of approximately 5 acres, and an orchard. The Applicants propose to implement the following measures to minimize and mitigate take of the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog: Establish (with a conservation easement) and monitor a 38.8-acre preserve for the benefit of the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog; hire a VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 19, 2006 Jkt 211001 Service-approved monitor and biologist; implement a construction worker education program; ensure monitoring of all grading, clearing, and other ground disturbing activities; mark construction area boundaries; construct drift fencing around construction area; control trash accumulation and install covered trash receptacles; install screens on irrigation, electrical, and other equipment to exclude Santa Cruz longtoed salamanders; surround the swimming pool with curbs to exclude Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders; remove nonnative plants; control bullfrogs; construct signs; use best management practices; and implement other minimization measures. The conservation easement would be held by the Center for Natural Lands Management, a non-profit conservation organization located in Fallbrook, California. The impacts from the construction activities and use of the property associated with this residential construction project are considered to be negligible to the two species as a whole because: (1) The amount of habitat being disturbed is small relative to the amount of habitat available within the Applicant’s property, Santa Cruz area, and within the range of the species; (2) most of the areas that would be disturbed during construction probably support few, if any, Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders and California red-legged frogs; (3) construction activities are not expected to affect Tucker Pond, where Santa Cruz longtoed salamanders are known to occur; (4) no sheltering habitat for Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders would be removed; and (5) California red-legged frogs are not expected to be present in the dry grasslands where the project will be built. The Service’s proposed action is to issue an incidental take permit to the Applicants, who would then implement the HCP. Two alternatives to the taking of listed species under the proposed action are considered in the HCP. Under the No-Action Alternative, no permit would be issued, the proposed project would not occur, and the HCP would not be implemented. This would avoid immediate effects of construction and use of the property on the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog. However, under this alternative, the Applicants would not be able to develop their property, and conservation measures for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog would not be implemented. A second alternative would result in a redesigned project with the relocation of the development PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 footprint to another portion of the parcel. However, much of the property is too steep to be developed, and relocation of the footprint to the western portion of the property would result in the removal of oak woodland, which is essential sheltering habitat for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander. The Service considers the proposed development footprint as more desirable than development elsewhere on the property because the modification of habitat for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog would not be significant, and establishment of a conservation easement including the breeding pond and upland habitat would benefit the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog. The Service has made a preliminary determination that the HCP qualifies as a ‘‘low effect’’ HCP as defined by its Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). Our determination that a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan is based on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the plan would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the plan would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) impacts of the plan, 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 which would be considered significant. As more fully explained in our EAS and associated Low Effect Screening Form, the Applicant’s proposed HCP qualifies as a ‘‘low-effect’’ plan for the following reasons: (1) Approval of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog and their habitats. The Service does not anticipate significant direct or cumulative effects to the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander or California red-legged frog resulting from development and use of the Ross Property. (2) Approval of the HCP would not have adverse effects on unique geographic, historic, or cultural sites, or involve unique or unknown environmental risks. (3) Approval of the HCP would not result in any cumulative or growth inducing impacts and, therefore, would not result in significant adverse effects on public health or safety. (4) The project does not require compliance with Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management), Executive E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 244 / Wednesday, December 20, 2006 / Notices Order 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), or the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, nor does it threaten to violate a Federal, State, local, or tribal law or requirement imposed for the protection of the environment. (5) Approval of the HCP would not establish a precedent for future actions or represent a decision in principle about future actions with potentially significant environmental effects. The Service therefore has made a preliminary determination that approval of the HCP qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the NEPA, as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2, Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6, Appendix 1). Based upon this preliminary determination, we do not intend to prepare further NEPA documentation. The Service will consider public comments in making its final determination on whether to prepare such additional documentation. We will evaluate the permit application, the HCP, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act. If the requirements are met, the Service will issue a permit to the Applicants. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Public Review and Comment If you wish to comment on the permit application, draft Environmental Action Statement or the proposed HCP, you may submit your comments to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. Our practice is to make comments, including names, home addresses, etc., of respondents available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must provide a rationale demonstrating and documenting that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. In the absence of exceptional, documented circumstances, this information will be released. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, are available for public inspection in their entirety. The Service provides this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the Act and pursuant to implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6). VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:03 Dec 19, 2006 Jkt 211001 Dated: December 13, 2006. Diane K. Noda, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California. [FR Doc. E6–21714 Filed 12–19–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CO–200–0777–XZ–241A] 76361 the Royal Gorge Field Office and will be available for public inspection and reproduction during regular business hours within thirty (30) days following the meeting. Meeting Minutes and agenda are also available (10 days prior to each meeting) at: http:// www.blm.gov/rac/co/frrac/co_fr.htm. Dated: December 13, 2006. Roy L. Masinton, Royal Gorge Field Manager. [FR Doc. E6–21713 Filed 12–19–06; 8:45 am] Notice of Meeting, Front Range Resource Advisory Council (Colorado) BILLING CODE 4310–JB–P Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Front Range Resource Advisory Council (RAC), will meet as indicated below. DATES: The meetings will be held January 25, 2007 and March 21, 2007. Both meetings will be from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. ADDRESSES: Holy Cross Abbey Community Center, 2951 E. Highway 50, Canon City, Colorado 81212. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ken Smith, (719) 269–8500. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 15 member Council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in the Royal Gorge Field Office and San Luis Valley, Colorado. Planned agenda topics for the January 25, 2007 meeting will include: Manager updates on current land management issues; the draft Colorado Recreation Strategy Communication Plan; the South Park Plan Amendment; travel management planning and the Rio Grande Natural Area. Planned agenda topics for the March 21, 2007 meeting will include: Manager updates on current land management issues; biomass utilization and travel management planning. All meetings are open to the public. The public is encouraged to make oral comments to the Council at 9:30 a.m. or written statements may be submitted for the Council’s consideration. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. Summary minutes for the Council Meeting will be maintained in National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions AGENCY: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 National Park Service Nominations for the following properties being considered for listing or related actions in the National Register were received by the National Park Service before December 2, 2006. Pursuant to section 60.13 of 36 CFR part 60 written comments concerning the significance of these properties under the National Register criteria for evaluation may be forwarded by United States Postal Service, to the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C St., NW., 2280, Washington, DC 20240; by all other carriers, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1201 Eye St., NW., 8th floor, Washington, DC 20005; or by fax, 202–371–6447. Written or faxed comments should be submitted by January 4, 2007. John W. Roberts, Acting Chief, National Register/National Historic Landmarks Program. ARKANSAS Pulaski County Argenta Historic District (Boundary Increase), Roughly bounded by N. Poplar, 9th St., N. Broadway, W. 4th, Broadway, North Little Rock, 06001217 CALIFORNIA Alameda County Altenheim, 1720 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, 06001218 COLORADO Larimer County Shaffer, Henry K. and Mary E., House, 1302 N. Grant Ave., Loveland, 06001219 IOWA Fremont County Hunter School, Jct. of IA 275 and IA J18, Tabor, 06001220 E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 244 (Wednesday, December 20, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76359-76361]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-21714]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


Receipt of an Application for an Incidental Take Permit for the 
Tucker Pond Low Effect Habitat Conservation Plan, Santa Cruz County, 
California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Doug and Jennifer Ross (Applicants) have applied to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or ``we'') for an incidental take 
permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (Act). We are considering issuing a 10-year permit to 
the Applicants that would authorize take of the federally endangered 
Santa Cruz long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum) and 
the threatened California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii) 
incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with the 
construction of private residential facilities on 16.5 acres of their 
99-acre property in Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California.
    We are requesting comments on the permit application and on our 
preliminary determination that the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan 
(HCP) qualifies as a ``low effect'' HCP, eligible for a categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 
as amended. We explain the basis for this possible determination in a 
draft Environmental Action Statement (EAS) and associated Low Effect 
Screening Form. The Applicants' low effect HCP describes the mitigation 
and minimization measures they would implement, as required in Section 
10(a)(2)(B) of the Act, to address the effects of the project on the 
Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog. These 
measures are outlined in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. 
The draft HCP and EAS are available for public review.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before January 19, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: Please address written comments to Diane Noda, Field 
Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2493 Portola Road, Ventura, California 93003. You may also 
send comments by facsimile to (805) 644-3958. To obtain copies of draft 
documents, see ``Availability of Documents'' under SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill McIver, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, (see ADDRESSES) telephone: (805) 644-1766 extension 234.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 76360]]

Availability of Documents

    You may obtain copies of the application, HCP, and EAS by 
contacting the Fish and Wildlife Biologist (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT). Documents will also be available for review by appointment, 
during normal business hours, at the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office 
(see ADDRESSES) or via the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/ventura.

Background

    Section 9 of the Act and Federal regulation prohibit the ``take'' 
of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened, 
respectively. Take of listed fish or wildlife is defined under the Act 
to mean harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, 
or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. However, the 
Service, under limited circumstances, may 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 found at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. The taking 
prohibitions of the Act do not apply to federally listed plants on 
private lands unless such take would violate State law. Among other 
criteria, issuance of such permits must not jeopardize the existence of 
federally listed fish, wildlife, or plants.
    The Applicants own 99 acres of property (Ross Property) that 
includes grassland and coastal brush scrub habitats, in Aptos, 
California. The project site is located northeast of Highway 1 and 
south of Freedom Boulevard, in Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California. 
Typical land uses in the area surrounding the project site include 
several rural residences, a high school, and undeveloped oak woodland 
areas. The Applicants propose to construct on approximately 16.5 acres 
of land: A 7,500 square foot house with associated landscaping (main 
residence), a single-family dwelling, a 1,500 square foot caretaker 
house, a 2,000 square foot winemaking and agricultural equipment 
storage facility, a 2,000 square foot barn, septic systems, a swimming 
pool, a tennis court, a vineyard of approximately 5 acres, and an 
orchard.
    The Applicants propose to implement the following measures to 
minimize and mitigate take of the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and 
California red-legged frog: Establish (with a conservation easement) 
and monitor a 38.8-acre preserve for the benefit of the Santa Cruz 
long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog; hire a Service-
approved monitor and biologist; implement a construction worker 
education program; ensure monitoring of all grading, clearing, and 
other ground disturbing activities; mark construction area boundaries; 
construct drift fencing around construction area; control trash 
accumulation and install covered trash receptacles; install screens on 
irrigation, electrical, and other equipment to exclude Santa Cruz long-
toed salamanders; surround the swimming pool with curbs to exclude 
Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders; remove nonnative plants; control 
bullfrogs; construct signs; use best management practices; and 
implement other minimization measures. The conservation easement would 
be held by the Center for Natural Lands Management, a non-profit 
conservation organization located in Fallbrook, California.
    The impacts from the construction activities and use of the 
property associated with this residential construction project are 
considered to be negligible to the two species as a whole because: (1) 
The amount of habitat being disturbed is small relative to the amount 
of habitat available within the Applicant's property, Santa Cruz area, 
and within the range of the species; (2) most of the areas that would 
be disturbed during construction probably support few, if any, Santa 
Cruz long-toed salamanders and California red-legged frogs; (3) 
construction activities are not expected to affect Tucker Pond, where 
Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders are known to occur; (4) no sheltering 
habitat for Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders would be removed; and (5) 
California red-legged frogs are not expected to be present in the dry 
grasslands where the project will be built.
    The Service's proposed action is to issue an incidental take permit 
to the Applicants, who would then implement the HCP. Two alternatives 
to the taking of listed species under the proposed action are 
considered in the HCP. Under the No-Action Alternative, no permit would 
be issued, the proposed project would not occur, and the HCP would not 
be implemented. This would avoid immediate effects of construction and 
use of the property on the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and 
California red-legged frog. However, under this alternative, the 
Applicants would not be able to develop their property, and 
conservation measures for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and 
California red-legged frog would not be implemented. A second 
alternative would result in a redesigned project with the relocation of 
the development footprint to another portion of the parcel. However, 
much of the property is too steep to be developed, and relocation of 
the footprint to the western portion of the property would result in 
the removal of oak woodland, which is essential sheltering habitat for 
the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander. The Service considers the proposed 
development footprint as more desirable than development elsewhere on 
the property because the modification of habitat for the Santa Cruz 
long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog would not be 
significant, and establishment of a conservation easement including the 
breeding pond and upland habitat would benefit the Santa Cruz long-toed 
salamander and California red-legged frog.
    The Service has made a preliminary determination that the HCP 
qualifies as a ``low effect'' HCP as defined by its Habitat 
Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). Our determination that 
a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan is based on the following three 
criteria: (1) Implementation of the plan would result in minor or 
negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species 
and their habitats; (2) implementation of the plan would result in 
minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; 
and (3) impacts of the plan, 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 which would be considered 
significant. As more fully explained in our EAS and associated Low 
Effect Screening Form, the Applicant's proposed HCP qualifies as a 
``low-effect'' plan for the following reasons:
    (1) Approval of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects 
on the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and California red-legged frog 
and their habitats. The Service does not anticipate significant direct 
or cumulative effects to the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander or 
California red-legged frog resulting from development and use of the 
Ross Property.
    (2) Approval of the HCP would not have adverse effects on unique 
geographic, historic, or cultural sites, or involve unique or unknown 
environmental risks.
    (3) Approval of the HCP would not result in any cumulative or 
growth inducing impacts and, therefore, would not result in significant 
adverse effects on public health or safety.
    (4) The project does not require compliance with Executive Order 
11988 (Floodplain Management), Executive

[[Page 76361]]

Order 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), or the Fish and Wildlife 
Coordination Act, nor does it threaten to violate a Federal, State, 
local, or tribal law or requirement imposed for the protection of the 
environment.
    (5) Approval of the HCP would not establish a precedent for future 
actions or represent a decision in principle about future actions with 
potentially significant environmental effects.
    The Service therefore has made a preliminary determination that 
approval of the HCP qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the 
NEPA, as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2, 
Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6, Appendix 1). Based upon this preliminary 
determination, we do not intend to prepare further NEPA documentation. 
The Service will consider public comments in making its final 
determination on whether to prepare such additional documentation.
    We will evaluate the permit application, the HCP, and comments 
submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of section 10(a) of the Act. If the requirements are met, 
the Service will issue a permit to the Applicants.

Public Review and Comment

    If you wish to comment on the permit application, draft 
Environmental Action Statement or the proposed HCP, you may submit your 
comments to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
document. Our practice is to make comments, including names, home 
addresses, etc., of respondents available for public review. Individual 
respondents may request that we withhold their names and/or home 
addresses, etc., but if you wish us to consider withholding this 
information you must state this prominently at the beginning of your 
comments. In addition, you must provide a rationale demonstrating and 
documenting that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted 
invasion of privacy. In the absence of exceptional, documented 
circumstances, this information will be released. All submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, are available for public inspection in their entirety.
    The Service provides this notice pursuant to section 10(c) of the 
Act and pursuant to implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: December 13, 2006.
Diane K. Noda,
Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, 
California.
[FR Doc. E6-21714 Filed 12-19-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P