Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Yamhill County, OR, 61017-61019 [2012-24594]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 194 / Friday, October 5, 2012 / Notices Property Number: 18201230024 Status: Underutilized Comments: located w/in controlled active installation; public access denied & no alternative method w/out compromising nat’l security Reasons: Secured Area [FR Doc. 2012–24268 Filed 10–4–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2012–N230; FXES11120100000F2–123–FF01E00000] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Application for an Incidental Take Permit, Yamhill County, OR Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from Yamhill County (County) for an incidental take permit (permit) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The County’s application requests a 30year permit that would authorize ‘‘take’’ of the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with county road maintenance and prairie habitat management activities. The application includes the County’s draft habitat conservation plan (HCP), which describes the actions the County will implement to minimize and mitigate the impacts of incidental take of the Fender’s blue butterfly caused by covered activities. We invite public comment on the application and draft HCP, and the Service’s draft environmental action statement (EAS) and preliminary determination that the draft HCP qualifies for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). DATES: Written comments on the HCP and categorical exclusion determination must be received from interested parties no later than November 5, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may download copies of the draft HCP and EAS and obtain additional information on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/ ToolsForLandowners/ HabitatConservationPlans/. You may submit comments and requests for documents or more information by any of the following methods. • Email: OFWOcomment@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Yamhill County HCP’’ in the subject line of the message. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:25 Oct 04, 2012 Jkt 229001 • U.S. Mail: State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266. • In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 503–231–6179 to make an appointment (necessary for view/pickup only) during regular business hours at the above address. Comments and materials received will also be available for public inspection by appointment. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Szlemp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; telephone: 503–231–6179; facsimile: 503–231– 6195. Background Information Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations prohibit the ‘‘taking’’ of a species listed as endangered or threatened. Under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the term ‘‘take’’ means to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.’’ ‘‘Harm’’ is defined by the Service to include significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury of listed species by significantly impairing their essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and sheltering. The Service may issue permits, under limited circumstances, to take listed species when such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Service regulations governing permits for endangered species are found in 50 CFR 17.22, and regulations governing permits for threatened species are found in 50 CFR 17.32. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions for issuing such incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the take of endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are met: (1) The taking will be incidental; (2) the applicant will, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; (3) the applicant will develop a proposed HCP and ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be provided; (4) the taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and (5) the applicant will carry out any other measures that the Service may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the HCP. Although take of listed plant species is not prohibited under the ESA, and therefore an incidental take permit to authorize such take is not required, listed and non-listed plant species, as well as non-listed animal species, may PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61017 be included on a permit if they are treated as if they are listed for purposes of meeting the issuance criteria for an incidental take permit should the species become listed or the ESA is amended to prohibit the take of plants. All listed species included in the incidental take permit for which the HCP meets the issuance criteria would receive assurances under our ‘‘No Surprises’’ regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)). Proposed Action If all of the issuance criteria described above for an incidental take permit are met, the Service will issue a permit with a 30-year term to Yamhill County that would authorize incidental take and provide regulatory assurances for potential impacts on the Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi), which is federally listed as endangered. The permit would also provide regulatory assurances to the County for impacts caused by HCP-covered activities to the butterfly’s larval host plant, the Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus oreganus), which is federally listed as threatened, should the ESA be amended to include take prohibitions for listed plants during the 30-year proposed term of the permit and HCP, provided the County’s HCP provisions for the lupine meet the issuance criteria for a permit. The butterfly and the lupine represent the covered species under this HCP. The area that would be covered under the permit consists of all rights-of-way (approximately 4,943 acres) currently managed by the County and Countyowned Deer Creek Park (30 acres) in Yamhill County, Oregon. Activities that would be covered under the HCP include: (1) Work within county road rights-of-way; (2) habitat restoration, enhancement, and management (including monitoring and plant material collection) activities; and (3) emergency response activities. In the HCP, the county road right-ofway is divided into two sections for the purposes of impact analysis: (1) The ‘‘potential impact zone,’’ which consists of the first 5 feet from the shoulder of the road; and (2) the ‘‘no impact zone,’’ which typically consists of the next remaining 15-foot portion of the rightof-way. While referred to as the ‘‘no impact zone,’’ there will be some impact to the covered species in this area, although they are identified as being mostly positive. Road maintenance activities will occur along 1.02 miles, or 4.90 acres, of Fender’s blue butterfly critical habitat, in units FBB–1 and FBB–2. Road maintenance activities will occur along 1.03 miles, or 5.31 acres, of Kincaid’s E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 61018 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 194 / Friday, October 5, 2012 / Notices lupine critical habitat, in units KL–2, KL–3, and KL–4. Critical habitat for the Kincaid’s lupine is mostly coincident with critical habitat for the Fender’s blue butterfly. The analysis in the HCP estimates adverse impacts over the 30-year permit term to 3.48 acres of Fender’s blue butterfly and Kincaid’s lupine habitat in the potential impact zone of the rightof-way. The analysis in the HCP also estimates that if up to eight additional Fender’s blue butterfly locations were found along the right-of-way in the future, and if all of the area in the impact zone contained nectar plants, there could be effects to butterfly and lupine habitat in the potential impact zone of up to 20.16 acres. However, because the distribution of the Fender’s blue butterfly would not be limited to the right-of-way, the analysis in the HCP assumes that other nectar sources would be available to the butterfly such that the above effects to nectar plants would be minor or negligible, and, therefore, incidental take of the butterfly would not be likely to occur. The HCP includes the following measures to conserve habitat, and to avoid and minimize the impacts caused by incidental take of the two covered species: 1. Establishing Special Maintenance Zones where the Fender’s blue butterfly and the Kincaid’s lupine or their designated critical habitats are known to occur on lands within the County rightof-way. The Special Maintenance Zones total 14.14 miles, with an added 0.31mile buffer on each end of those locations where potential habitat for the two covered species exists. 2. Implementing avoidance and minimization measures for roadside populations of the covered species within the Special Maintenance Zones. The County will mow in the Special Maintenance Zones between August 15 and March 1 to reduce potential adverse effects to the covered species by avoiding the active butterfly and caterpillar season for the Fender’s blue butterfly, and the reproductive period for the Kincaid’s lupine. Tractor mower decks will be set at a minimum of 6 inches above the ground to reduce potential effects on butterfly larvae. 3. Managing a portion of the road right-of-way within the Special Maintenance Zones to benefit the covered species. Invasive species will be removed to reduce competition with native species. A native grass seed mixture will be used in the Special Maintenance Zones when revegetating disturbed or bare areas. 4. Restricting normal gravel road maintenance activities (i.e., grading and VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:25 Oct 04, 2012 Jkt 229001 contouring) to the gravel road surface and slope from the edge of the shoulder to the bottom of the ditch or to the bottom of the roadway fill. This will avoid the area where Kincaid’s lupine and consequently Fender’s blue butterfly most often occur. 5. Designating and managing conservation areas for the covered species on County land, which includes at least 1 acre at Deer Creek Park. Mitigation under the HCP would be directly provided at a 2 to 1 acreage ratio (i.e., 6.96 acres for 3.48 acres of impact), through habitat maintenance, enhancement, and avoidance measures in the ‘‘no impact zone’’ of the right-ofway and at the County-owned Deer Creek Park. Additional benefits to the covered species would occur in the ‘‘no impact zone’’ due to habitat enhancement activities, such as brush control, and other actions intended to reduce plant competition with native nectar plants, and the Fender’s blue butterfly larval host plant, Kincaid’s lupine. regarding the two covered species; (2) additional information concerning the range, distribution, population size, and population trends of the covered species; (3) current or planned activities in the subject area and their possible impacts on the covered species; (4) the presence of archeological sites, buildings and structures, historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic preservation concerns, which are required to be considered in project planning by the National Historic Preservation Act; and (5) identification of any other environmental issues that should be considered with regard to the proposed development and permit action. Public Availability of Comments All comments and materials we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. 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. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the EAS, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at the Service’s Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). National Environmental Policy Act Compliance As described in our EAS screening form for low-effect HCP determinations, we have made the preliminary determination that approval of the proposed HCP and issuance of the permit would qualify as a categorical exclusion under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided by Federal regulations (40 CFR part 1500, 5(k), 1507.3(b)(2), 1508.4), the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 and 516 DM 8) and our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). Low-effect HCP determinations are based on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the proposed plan would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the proposed 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 that would be considered significant. Next Steps Public Comments We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this notice. We particularly seek comments on the following: (1) Biological data or other information Authority PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Service will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and public comments submitted thereon to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA and NEPA regulations. The final NEPA and permit determinations will not be completed until after the end of the 30-day comment period and will fully consider all comments received during the comment period. If we determine that all requirements are met, we will issue an incidental take permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA to the County for the take of the Fender’s blue butterfly, incidental to otherwise lawful activities, caused by covered activities. We provide this notice pursuant to the requirements of: section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 194 / Friday, October 5, 2012 / Notices 17.22); and NEPA and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: October 1, 2012. Paul Henson, State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, Pacific Region, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon. [FR Doc. 2012–24594 Filed 10–4–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R9–FHC–2012–N237; WBS: FXFR13360900000N5, Cost Center: FF09F14000, Fund: 134] Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background Pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), this notice announces meetings of the ANS Task Force. The ANS Task Force was established by the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 106–580, as amended). Jkt 229001 The meeting location is accessible to wheelchair users. If you require additional accommodations, please notify us at least 1 week in advance of the meeting. Authority This notice announces a meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force. The ANS Task Force’s purpose is to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent introduction and dispersal of aquatic nuisance species; to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information. The meeting is open to the public. DATES: The ANS Task Force will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday November 14, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday November 15, 2012. ADDRESSES: The ANS Task Force meeting will take place at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service building at 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203. You may inspect minutes of the meeting at the office of the Chief, Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. You may also view the minutes on the ANS Task Force Web site at: http://anstaskforce.gov/meetings.php. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Mangin, Executive Secretary, ANS Task Force, at (703) 358–2466, or by email at Susan_Mangin@fws.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: 15:25 Oct 04, 2012 Topics that the ANS Task Force plans to cover during the meeting include: • ANSTF recreational guidelines, • Species management and control plans, • ANSTF Strategic Plan accomplishments tracking, • Japanese tsunami marine debris, and • Rapid screening for aquatic invasive species. The agenda and other related meeting information are on the ANS Task Force Web site at: http://anstaskforce.gov/ meetings.php. Accessibility Information Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Meeting VerDate Mar<15>2010 Agenda We publish this notice under section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.). Dated: October 1, 2012. John Schmerfeld, Acting Co-Chair, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, Assistant Director—Fisheries and Habitat Conservation. [FR Doc. 2012–24644 Filed 10–4–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWY910000 L16100000.XX0000] Call for Nominations for the Wyoming Resource Advisory Council Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The purpose of this notice is to request public nominations to fill four positions for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wyoming’s 10member Resource Advisory Council (RAC). The RAC provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on land use planning and management of the National System of Public Lands within the State of Wyoming. DATE: All nominations must be received no later than November 19, 2012. ADDRESSES: Nominations should be sent to Ms. Cindy Wertz, Wyoming State Office, Bureau of Land Management, 5353 Yellowstone Road, P.O. Box 1828, Cheyenne, WY 82003, (307) 775–6014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Cindy Wertz, Wyoming State Office, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61019 Bureau of Land Management, 5353 Yellowstone Road, P.O. Box 1828, Cheyenne, WY 82003, (307) 775–6014; or email Cindy_Wertz@blm.gov. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) (43 U.S.C. 1739) directs the Secretary of the Interior to involve the public in planning and issues related to management of lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Section 309 of FLPMA directs the Secretary to establish 10- to 15-member citizenbased advisory councils that are consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). As required by FACA, RAC membership must be balanced and representative of the various interests concerned with the management of the public lands. The RAC has one vacancy in category one (holders of Federal grazing permits or leases; representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development; timber industry; transportation or rights-of-way interests; developed outdoor recreation; off-highway vehicle use; or commercial recreation), one vacancy in category two (representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations; archaeological and historic organizations; dispersed recreation activities; or wild horse and burro organizations), and two vacancies in category three (representatives of state, county, or local elected office; employees of a state agency responsible for management of natural resources; representatives of Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the council is organized; representatives of academia who are employed in natural sciences or natural resource management; or the affected public-atlarge). The individuals who are selected will fill 3-year terms. Nominees must be residents of Wyoming. The BLM will evaluate nominees based on their education, training, experience, and their knowledge of the geographic area. Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to collaborative resource decision-making. The Obama Administration prohibits individuals who are currently federally-registered lobbyists to serve on all FACA and nonFACA boards, committees, or councils. The following must accompany all nominations: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: —Letters of reference from represented interest or organizations, —A completed background information nomination form; and, —Any other information that addresses the nominee’s qualifications. E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 194 (Friday, October 5, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61017-61019]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-24594]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2012-N230; FXES11120100000F2-123-FF01E00000]


Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Application for an Incidental 
Take Permit, Yamhill County, OR

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; receipt of application.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have 
received an application from Yamhill County (County) for an incidental 
take permit (permit) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (ESA). The County's application requests a 30-year permit that 
would authorize ``take'' of the endangered Fender's blue butterfly 
incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with county road 
maintenance and prairie habitat management activities. The application 
includes the County's draft habitat conservation plan (HCP), which 
describes the actions the County will implement to minimize and 
mitigate the impacts of incidental take of the Fender's blue butterfly 
caused by covered activities. We invite public comment on the 
application and draft HCP, and the Service's draft environmental action 
statement (EAS) and preliminary determination that the draft HCP 
qualifies for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA).

DATES: Written comments on the HCP and categorical exclusion 
determination must be received from interested parties no later than 
November 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may download copies of the draft HCP and EAS and obtain 
additional information on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/ToolsForLandowners/HabitatConservationPlans/. You may submit comments 
and requests for documents or more information by any of the following 
methods.
     Email: OFWOcomment@fws.gov. Include ``Yamhill County HCP'' 
in the subject line of the message.
     U.S. Mail: State Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266.
     In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 503-231-6179 
to make an appointment (necessary for view/pickup only) during regular 
business hours at the above address. Comments and materials received 
will also be available for public inspection by appointment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Szlemp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266; telephone: 
503-231-6179; facsimile: 503-231-6195.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background Information

    Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations prohibit the 
``taking'' of a species listed as endangered or threatened. Under the 
ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the term ``take'' means to ``harass, 
harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or 
to attempt to engage in any such conduct.'' ``Harm'' is defined by the 
Service to include significant habitat modification or degradation that 
results in death or injury of listed species by significantly impairing 
their essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and 
sheltering.
    The Service may issue permits, under limited circumstances, to take 
listed species when such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose 
of, otherwise lawful activities. Service regulations governing permits 
for endangered species are found in 50 CFR 17.22, and regulations 
governing permits for threatened species are found in 50 CFR 17.32. 
Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions for issuing such 
incidental take permits to non-Federal entities for the take of 
endangered and threatened species, provided the following criteria are 
met: (1) The taking will be incidental; (2) the applicant will, to the 
maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such 
taking; (3) the applicant will develop a proposed HCP and ensure that 
adequate funding for the plan will be provided; (4) the taking will not 
appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the 
species in the wild; and (5) the applicant will carry out any other 
measures that the Service may require as being necessary or appropriate 
for the purposes of the HCP.
    Although take of listed plant species is not prohibited under the 
ESA, and therefore an incidental take permit to authorize such take is 
not required, listed and non-listed plant species, as well as non-
listed animal species, may be included on a permit if they are treated 
as if they are listed for purposes of meeting the issuance criteria for 
an incidental take permit should the species become listed or the ESA 
is amended to prohibit the take of plants. All listed species included 
in the incidental take permit for which the HCP meets the issuance 
criteria would receive assurances under our ``No Surprises'' 
regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)).

Proposed Action

    If all of the issuance criteria described above for an incidental 
take permit are met, the Service will issue a permit with a 30-year 
term to Yamhill County that would authorize incidental take and provide 
regulatory assurances for potential impacts on the Fender's blue 
butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi), which is federally listed as 
endangered. The permit would also provide regulatory assurances to the 
County for impacts caused by HCP-covered activities to the butterfly's 
larval host plant, the Kincaid's lupine (Lupinus oreganus), which is 
federally listed as threatened, should the ESA be amended to include 
take prohibitions for listed plants during the 30-year proposed term of 
the permit and HCP, provided the County's HCP provisions for the lupine 
meet the issuance criteria for a permit. The butterfly and the lupine 
represent the covered species under this HCP. The area that would be 
covered under the permit consists of all rights-of-way (approximately 
4,943 acres) currently managed by the County and County-owned Deer 
Creek Park (30 acres) in Yamhill County, Oregon. Activities that would 
be covered under the HCP include: (1) Work within county road rights-
of-way; (2) habitat restoration, enhancement, and management (including 
monitoring and plant material collection) activities; and (3) emergency 
response activities.
    In the HCP, the county road right-of-way is divided into two 
sections for the purposes of impact analysis: (1) The ``potential 
impact zone,'' which consists of the first 5 feet from the shoulder of 
the road; and (2) the ``no impact zone,'' which typically consists of 
the next remaining 15-foot portion of the right-of-way. While referred 
to as the ``no impact zone,'' there will be some impact to the covered 
species in this area, although they are identified as being mostly 
positive.
    Road maintenance activities will occur along 1.02 miles, or 4.90 
acres, of Fender's blue butterfly critical habitat, in units FBB-1 and 
FBB-2. Road maintenance activities will occur along 1.03 miles, or 5.31 
acres, of Kincaid's

[[Page 61018]]

lupine critical habitat, in units KL-2, KL-3, and KL-4. Critical 
habitat for the Kincaid's lupine is mostly coincident with critical 
habitat for the Fender's blue butterfly.
    The analysis in the HCP estimates adverse impacts over the 30-year 
permit term to 3.48 acres of Fender's blue butterfly and Kincaid's 
lupine habitat in the potential impact zone of the right-of-way. The 
analysis in the HCP also estimates that if up to eight additional 
Fender's blue butterfly locations were found along the right-of-way in 
the future, and if all of the area in the impact zone contained nectar 
plants, there could be effects to butterfly and lupine habitat in the 
potential impact zone of up to 20.16 acres. However, because the 
distribution of the Fender's blue butterfly would not be limited to the 
right-of-way, the analysis in the HCP assumes that other nectar sources 
would be available to the butterfly such that the above effects to 
nectar plants would be minor or negligible, and, therefore, incidental 
take of the butterfly would not be likely to occur.
    The HCP includes the following measures to conserve habitat, and to 
avoid and minimize the impacts caused by incidental take of the two 
covered species:
    1. Establishing Special Maintenance Zones where the Fender's blue 
butterfly and the Kincaid's lupine or their designated critical 
habitats are known to occur on lands within the County right-of-way. 
The Special Maintenance Zones total 14.14 miles, with an added 0.31-
mile buffer on each end of those locations where potential habitat for 
the two covered species exists.
    2. Implementing avoidance and minimization measures for roadside 
populations of the covered species within the Special Maintenance 
Zones. The County will mow in the Special Maintenance Zones between 
August 15 and March 1 to reduce potential adverse effects to the 
covered species by avoiding the active butterfly and caterpillar season 
for the Fender's blue butterfly, and the reproductive period for the 
Kincaid's lupine. Tractor mower decks will be set at a minimum of 6 
inches above the ground to reduce potential effects on butterfly 
larvae.
    3. Managing a portion of the road right-of-way within the Special 
Maintenance Zones to benefit the covered species. Invasive species will 
be removed to reduce competition with native species. A native grass 
seed mixture will be used in the Special Maintenance Zones when 
revegetating disturbed or bare areas.
    4. Restricting normal gravel road maintenance activities (i.e., 
grading and contouring) to the gravel road surface and slope from the 
edge of the shoulder to the bottom of the ditch or to the bottom of the 
roadway fill. This will avoid the area where Kincaid's lupine and 
consequently Fender's blue butterfly most often occur.
    5. Designating and managing conservation areas for the covered 
species on County land, which includes at least 1 acre at Deer Creek 
Park.
    Mitigation under the HCP would be directly provided at a 2 to 1 
acreage ratio (i.e., 6.96 acres for 3.48 acres of impact), through 
habitat maintenance, enhancement, and avoidance measures in the ``no 
impact zone'' of the right-of-way and at the County-owned Deer Creek 
Park. Additional benefits to the covered species would occur in the 
``no impact zone'' due to habitat enhancement activities, such as brush 
control, and other actions intended to reduce plant competition with 
native nectar plants, and the Fender's blue butterfly larval host 
plant, Kincaid's lupine.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    As described in our EAS screening form for low-effect HCP 
determinations, we have made the preliminary determination that 
approval of the proposed HCP and issuance of the permit would qualify 
as a categorical exclusion under NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as 
provided by Federal regulations (40 CFR part 1500, 5(k), 1507.3(b)(2), 
1508.4), the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 and 516 DM 8) 
and our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). Low-
effect HCP determinations are based on the following three criteria: 
(1) Implementation of the proposed plan would result in minor or 
negligible effects on federally listed species and their habitats; (2) 
implementation of the proposed 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 that would be considered significant.

Public Comments

    We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the 
public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on this 
notice. We particularly seek comments on the following: (1) Biological 
data or other information regarding the two covered species; (2) 
additional information concerning the range, distribution, population 
size, and population trends of the covered species; (3) current or 
planned activities in the subject area and their possible impacts on 
the covered species; (4) the presence of archeological sites, buildings 
and structures, historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and 
other historic preservation concerns, which are required to be 
considered in project planning by the National Historic Preservation 
Act; and (5) identification of any other environmental issues that 
should be considered with regard to the proposed development and permit 
action.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive become part of the public 
record associated with this action. 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. Comments and materials we 
receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing the 
EAS, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during 
normal business hours, at the Service's Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office 
(see ADDRESSES).

Next Steps

    The Service will evaluate the permit application, associated 
documents, and public comments submitted thereon to determine whether 
the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of 
the ESA and NEPA regulations. The final NEPA and permit determinations 
will not be completed until after the end of the 30-day comment period 
and will fully consider all comments received during the comment 
period. If we determine that all requirements are met, we will issue an 
incidental take permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA to the 
County for the take of the Fender's blue butterfly, incidental to 
otherwise lawful activities, caused by covered activities.

Authority

    We provide this notice pursuant to the requirements of: section 
10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations (50 CFR

[[Page 61019]]

17.22); and NEPA and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: October 1, 2012.
Paul Henson,
State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, Pacific Region, U. 
S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2012-24594 Filed 10-4-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P