Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application; Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse at the Kettle Creek Ranch in El Paso County, Colorado, 19118-19120 [2014-07670]

Download as PDF 19118 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 66 / Monday, April 7, 2014 / Notices threats to this species. Conservation banks, like the Colton Dunes Conservation Bank, are this species’ best chance at recovery. To minimize take of Delhi Sands flower-loving fly at the City of Rialto’s street widening project, the applicant proposes to mitigate for the permanent and temporary take of 0.74 ac (0.30 ha) of habitat by preserving 1ac (0.40 ha) of habitat occupied by Delhi Sands flowerloving fly. The applicant’s proposed HCP also contains the following proposed measures to minimize the impact to the habitat adjacent to the street improvements: • Fence work areas to keep workers off of habitat. • Post signs to educate the public about the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly along the work area. • Require environmental awareness training for all workers. • Confine construction activities to existing roads or other paved areas. • Require that all construction activities be completed during the time period October through June only (i.e., outside of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly flight season). Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan Alternatives In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers alternatives to the taking of Delhi Sands flower-loving fly under the proposed action. Our proposed action is to issue an incidental take permit to the applicant, who would implement the HCP. If we approve the permit, take of Delhi Sands flower-loving fly would be authorized for the applicant’s routine construction activities associated with the widening of San Bernardino Avenue, Riverside Avenue, and Willow Avenue, in the City of Rialto. The applicant’s proposed HCP does identify a no-build alternative that would not result in incidental take of Delhi Sands flower-loving fly, but it is infeasible for the City of Rialto to accept this alternative as it would result in roadway congestion and insufficient storm drain capacity due to future planned development. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Our Preliminary Determination We invite comments on our preliminary determination that our proposed action, based on the applicant’s proposed activities, including the proposed minimization and mitigation measures, would have a minor or negligible effect on Delhi Sands flower-loving fly, and that the HCP qualifies as ‘‘low effect’’ as defined by our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:49 Apr 04, 2014 Jkt 232001 We base our determination that a HCP qualifies as a low-effect plan on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) Impacts of the HCP, 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. As more fully explained in our environmental action statement and associated low-effect screening form, the applicant’s proposed HCP qualifies as a low-effect HCP for the following reasons: • The project is small in size and does not jeopardize the continued existence of the Delhi Sands flowerloving fly. • The applicant will mitigate impacts to the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly by purchasing 1 ac of occupied Delhi Sands flower-loving fly habitat within the Colton Dunes Conservation Bank prior to ground disturbance. • This project provides a net gain in preserved occupied habitat. Therefore, our proposed issuance of the requested incidental take permit qualifies as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1, 516 DM 6 Appendix 1, and 516 DM 8.5(C)(2)). Based on our review of public comments we receive in response to this notice, we may revise this preliminary determination. Next Steps We will evaluate the proposed HCP and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) incidental take permit would comply with section 7 of the Act by conducting an intra-Service 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 a permit. If the requirements and issuance criteria under section 10(a) are met, we will issue the permit to the applicant for incidental take of Delhi Sands flowerloving fly. PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Public Comments If you wish to comment on the permit application, proposed HCP, and associated documents, you may submit comments by any of the methods noted in the ADDRESSES section. Public Availability of Comments 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 may 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. Authority We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Scott A. Sobiech, Acting Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California. [FR Doc. 2014–07665 Filed 4–4–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service FWS–R6–ES–2014–N059; FF06E24000–145– FXES11150600000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application; Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse at the Kettle Creek Ranch in El Paso County, Colorado Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received a permit application from Vintage Companies and are announcing the availability of a draft low-effect Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for review and comment by the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. The proposed permit would authorize the incidental take of the federally threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse from Vintage Companies’ proposed Kettle Creek Ranch residential development in El Paso County, Colorado. We request comments on the permit application, including the draft low-effect HCP. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 66 / Monday, April 7, 2014 / Notices Written comments must be submitted by May 7, 2014. ADDRESSES: Send written comments by U.S. mail to Susan Linner, Field Supervisor, Colorado Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486 (DFC MS 65412), Denver, Colorado 80225– 0486, or via email to coloradoES@ fws.gov. You also may send comments by facsimile to 303–236–4005. For how to access the documents, see Availability of Documents in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Hansen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Ecological Services Field Office, telephone: 303–236–4749 (see ADDRESSES). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice advises the public that Vintage Companies has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1538). The proposed permit would authorize the incidental take of the federally threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, or PMJM (Zapus hudsonius preblei), from Vintage Companies’ proposed Kettle Creek Ranch residential development in El Paso County, Colorado. The proposed incidental take permit would expire 20 years after the issuance date. DATES: Availability of Documents The draft low-effect HCP is available for download from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/coloradoES/ KettleCreekHCP.html. You also may review a copy of this document during regular business hours at the Colorado Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). If you do not have access to the Web site or cannot visit our office, you may request copies by telephone at 303–236–4773, by letter to the Colorado Field Office, or by email to coloradoES@ fws.gov. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background Section 9 of the Act and its implementing regulations prohibit take of species listed as endangered or threatened. The definition of take under the Act includes to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect listed species or to attempt to engage in such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)). Section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1539) establishes a program whereby persons seeking to pursue VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:49 Apr 04, 2014 Jkt 232001 19119 activities that are otherwise legal, but could result in take of federally protected species, may receive an incidental take permit (ITP). Applicants for ITPs must submit a HCP that meets the section 10 permit issuance criteria. ‘‘Low-effect’’ incidental take permits are those permits that, despite their authorization of some small level of incidental take, individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on the species covered in the HCP. Vintage Companies’ permit application includes a draft low-effect Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the PMJM at the Kettle Creek Ranch residential development. The low-effect HCP describes the proposed project and the measures Vintage Companies would undertake to minimize and mitigate impacts to the PMJM. We intend to process this application under a categorical exclusion from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 in accordance with our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). We request comments on Vintage Companies’ permit application and the draft loweffect HCP. construction, pets, such as house cats, could kill PMJM and increased pedestrian traffic along Kettle Creek and its tributaries could disturb PMJM. Vintage Companies’ draft low-effect HCP outlines conservation measures, best management practices, habitat enhancement goals, and monitoring requirements in order to avoid, minimize, and mitigate potential impacts to the PMJM from the Kettle Creek Ranch development. To mitigate the 0.262 acres (0.106 hectares) of permanent habitat loss, Vintage Companies will enhance 1.601 acres (0.648 hectare) of PMJM habitat along Kettle Creek and its tributaries. Additionally, Vintage Companies will improve PMJM habitats and stream flow by planting native grasses, shrubs, and trees, managing noxious weeds, and removing faulty culverts. Vintage Companies will adaptively manage and monitor the success of the mitigation efforts and will provide annual reports to the Service until the success criteria are achieved. By improving the quality and connectivity of habitats at Kettle Creek and its tributaries, successful implementation of the low-effect HCP may benefit the PMJM. Proposed Action Vintage Companies proposes to develop approximately 38 acres of previously undeveloped land at the Kettle Creek Ranch into a residential development with single-family and multi-dwelling homes. The Kettle Creek Ranch is located at the northwest corner of Old Ranch Road and Chapel Ridge Drive to the north of the City of Colorado Springs, in El Paso County, Colorado (Section 21, Township 12 South, Range 66 West; Latitude: 38.985707°; Longitude: ¥104.775375°). Vintage Companies will construct the residential lots next to Kettle Creek and its tributaries, where trapping surveys verified that the PMJM occurs. Construction, loss of habitats, and increased human presence within the Kettle Creek Ranch project area could take PMJM. Developing the Kettle Creek Ranch into residential lots would permanently remove 0.262 acre (0.106 hectare) of PMJM habitats along the southern tributary of Kettle Creek. Other development activities would temporarily affect 0.118 acre (0.048 hectare) of PMJM habitat along Kettle Creek. Additionally, by increasing erosion, sedimentation, or introducing noxious weeds, the development may affect the composition, structure, or density of riparian vegetation along Kettle Creek and its tributaries, reducing habitat quality and the PMJM’s ability to feed, breed, or shelter. Following Our Preliminary Determination PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Service has made a preliminary determination that approval of the proposed HCP qualifies as a categorical exclusion under NEPA, as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1) and as a ‘‘low-effect’’ habitat conservation plan as defined by our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). We base our determination on the following information: (1) The size and scope of the incidental take of PMJM from the proposed project is relatively small and limited to a maximum of 0.262 acres (0.106 hectares; 11,413 square feet) of permanent habitat loss and 0.118 acre (0.048 hectare; 5,140 square feet) of temporary habitat loss, or take of one PMJM over 20 years. (2) The total amount of take resulting from impacts to 0.380 acre (0.154 hectare; 16,553 square feet) equates to less than 0.01 percent of the PMJM’s overall occupied range in Colorado. We base our determination that a HCP qualifies a low-effect plan on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1 19120 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 66 / Monday, April 7, 2014 / Notices other environmental values or resources; and (3) Impacts of the HCP, 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. We conclude that implementation of the plan would result in overall minor or negligible effects on the PMJM and its habitats. We may revise this preliminary determination based on public comments submitted in response to this notice. We will evaluate the permit application, the draft low-effect HCP, and comments submitted herein to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Act. If the application satisfies the requirements, we will issue a permit for the incidental take of the PMJM from the development of the Kettle Creek Ranch. We will make the final permit decision after considering the public comments. Based upon this preliminary determination, we do not intend to prepare further NEPA documentation. We will consider public comments in making the final determination on whether to prepare such additional documentation. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information with 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. Authority mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: April 1, 2014. Susan Linner, Field Supervisor, Colorado Ecological Services Field Office. [FR Doc. 2014–07670 Filed 4–4–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:49 Apr 04, 2014 Jkt 232001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–WASO–14710; PXXVPAD0517.00.1] Change of Jurisdiction—National Park Service Units within the State of South Carolina National Park Service, Interior. Notice of Concurrent Jurisdiction. AGENCY: ACTION: On behalf of the United States, the National Park Service accepted exclusive jurisdiction from the State of South Carolina, and retroceded and relinquished to the State of South Carolina, the measure of legislative jurisdiction necessary to establish concurrent jurisdiction between the United States and the State of South Carolina on certain lands administered by the National Park Service within the State of South Carolina. DATES: Effective Date: Concurrent legislative jurisdiction on these lands and waters became effective on or about November 27, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Pierce, National Park Service, Southeast Region, 100 Alabama Street SW., 1924 Building, Atlanta, GA 30303. Phone: 404–507–5726. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a letter to the Honorable Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, dated July 30, 2013, in accordance with Sections 3–1–10 and 3–1–120 of the South Carolina Code and 40 U.S.C. 3112, Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, (NPS), formally accepted exclusive jurisdiction over certain lands administered by the NPS, acquired after September 29, 1983, within Congaree National Park, Cowpens National Battlefield, Fort Sumter National Monument, Ninety Six National Historic Site, and for all lands acquired at Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. The acceptance of exclusive jurisdiction was conditioned upon acceptance by the State of South Carolina of the simultaneous retrocession and relinquishment to the State of South Carolina of such measure of legislative jurisdiction, civil and criminal, as necessary to establish concurrent jurisdiction between the United States and the State of South Carolina. The State of South Carolina accepted the cession of jurisdiction, thereby establishing concurrent jurisdiction between the United States and the State of South Carolina, through execution of a notice of acceptance. The notice of acceptance was authorized by resolution of the South Carolina Budget and SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Control Board, and subsequently signed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on November 27, 2013. The notice was transmitted to and received by NPS Director Jarvis on December 16, 2013. Concurrent jurisdiction between the United States and the State of South Carolina on those lands as previously described was effective upon the sending of the notice of acceptance by the State of South Carolina. Dated: March 10, 2014. Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director, National Park Service. [FR Doc. 2014–07613 Filed 4–4–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–EJ–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–WASO–NRNHL–15227; PPWOCRADI0, PCU00RP14.R50000] Landmarks Committee of the National Park System Advisory Board Meeting National Park Service, Interior. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice is hereby given in furtherance of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, (5 U.S.C. Appendix 1– 16), that a meeting of the Landmarks Committee of the National Park System Advisory Board will be held beginning at 10:00 a.m. on May 28, 2014, at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives. The meeting will continue beginning at 9:30 a.m. on May 29, 2014, at the National Park Service Washington Office. Please note the two different meeting locations. DATES: The meeting will be held on May 28, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and May 29, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., (Eastern). Location: The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 3rd Floor, The Richard L. Hurlbut Memorial Hall, 1201 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036; and the National Park Service Washington Office, 2nd Floor, 1201 Eye Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. Agenda: The National Park System Advisory Board and its Landmarks Committee may consider the following nominations: California CALIFORNIA POWDER WORKS BRIDGE, Santa Cruz County, CA Florida MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HOUSE, Miami, FL Indiana SAMARA (JOHN E. AND CATHERINE E. CHRISTIAN HOUSE), West Lafayette, IN SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 66 (Monday, April 7, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19118-19120]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07670]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

FWS-R6-ES-2014-N059; FF06E24000-145-FXES11150600000]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take 
Permit Application; Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for 
the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse at the Kettle Creek Ranch in El Paso 
County, Colorado

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), received a 
permit application from Vintage Companies and are announcing the 
availability of a draft low-effect Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for 
review and comment by the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local 
governments. The proposed permit would authorize the incidental take of 
the federally threatened Preble's meadow jumping mouse from Vintage 
Companies' proposed Kettle Creek Ranch residential development in El 
Paso County, Colorado. We request comments on the permit application, 
including the draft low-effect HCP.

[[Page 19119]]


DATES: Written comments must be submitted by May 7, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments by U.S. mail to Susan Linner, Field 
Supervisor, Colorado Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486 (DFC MS 65412), Denver, Colorado 
80225-0486, or via email to coloradoES@fws.gov. You also may send 
comments by facsimile to 303-236-4005. For how to access the documents, 
see Availability of Documents in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Hansen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Colorado Ecological Services Field Office, telephone: 303-236-
4749 (see ADDRESSES). If you use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice advises the public that Vintage 
Companies has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) 
for an incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1538). The 
proposed permit would authorize the incidental take of the federally 
threatened Preble's meadow jumping mouse, or PMJM (Zapus hudsonius 
preblei), from Vintage Companies' proposed Kettle Creek Ranch 
residential development in El Paso County, Colorado. The proposed 
incidental take permit would expire 20 years after the issuance date.

Availability of Documents

    The draft low-effect HCP is available for download from our Web 
site at http://www.fws.gov/coloradoES/KettleCreekHCP.html. You also may 
review a copy of this document during regular business hours at the 
Colorado Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). If you do 
not have access to the Web site or cannot visit our office, you may 
request copies by telephone at 303-236-4773, by letter to the Colorado 
Field Office, or by email to coloradoES@fws.gov.

Background

    Section 9 of the Act and its implementing regulations prohibit take 
of species listed as endangered or threatened. The definition of take 
under the Act includes to ``harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, 
kill, trap, capture, or collect listed species or to attempt to engage 
in such conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)). Section 10 of the Act (16 
U.S.C. 1539) establishes a program whereby persons seeking to pursue 
activities that are otherwise legal, but could result in take of 
federally protected species, may receive an incidental take permit 
(ITP). Applicants for ITPs must submit a HCP that meets the section 10 
permit issuance criteria. ``Low-effect'' incidental take permits are 
those permits that, despite their authorization of some small level of 
incidental take, individually and cumulatively have a minor or 
negligible effect on the species covered in the HCP.
    Vintage Companies' permit application includes a draft low-effect 
Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the PMJM at the Kettle Creek Ranch 
residential development. The low-effect HCP describes the proposed 
project and the measures Vintage Companies would undertake to minimize 
and mitigate impacts to the PMJM.
    We intend to process this application under a categorical exclusion 
from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 in accordance 
with our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). We 
request comments on Vintage Companies' permit application and the draft 
low-effect HCP.

Proposed Action

    Vintage Companies proposes to develop approximately 38 acres of 
previously undeveloped land at the Kettle Creek Ranch into a 
residential development with single-family and multi-dwelling homes. 
The Kettle Creek Ranch is located at the northwest corner of Old Ranch 
Road and Chapel Ridge Drive to the north of the City of Colorado 
Springs, in El Paso County, Colorado (Section 21, Township 12 South, 
Range 66 West; Latitude: 38.985707[deg]; Longitude: -104.775375[deg]). 
Vintage Companies will construct the residential lots next to Kettle 
Creek and its tributaries, where trapping surveys verified that the 
PMJM occurs.
    Construction, loss of habitats, and increased human presence within 
the Kettle Creek Ranch project area could take PMJM. Developing the 
Kettle Creek Ranch into residential lots would permanently remove 0.262 
acre (0.106 hectare) of PMJM habitats along the southern tributary of 
Kettle Creek. Other development activities would temporarily affect 
0.118 acre (0.048 hectare) of PMJM habitat along Kettle Creek. 
Additionally, by increasing erosion, sedimentation, or introducing 
noxious weeds, the development may affect the composition, structure, 
or density of riparian vegetation along Kettle Creek and its 
tributaries, reducing habitat quality and the PMJM's ability to feed, 
breed, or shelter. Following construction, pets, such as house cats, 
could kill PMJM and increased pedestrian traffic along Kettle Creek and 
its tributaries could disturb PMJM.
    Vintage Companies' draft low-effect HCP outlines conservation 
measures, best management practices, habitat enhancement goals, and 
monitoring requirements in order to avoid, minimize, and mitigate 
potential impacts to the PMJM from the Kettle Creek Ranch development. 
To mitigate the 0.262 acres (0.106 hectares) of permanent habitat loss, 
Vintage Companies will enhance 1.601 acres (0.648 hectare) of PMJM 
habitat along Kettle Creek and its tributaries. Additionally, Vintage 
Companies will improve PMJM habitats and stream flow by planting native 
grasses, shrubs, and trees, managing noxious weeds, and removing faulty 
culverts. Vintage Companies will adaptively manage and monitor the 
success of the mitigation efforts and will provide annual reports to 
the Service until the success criteria are achieved. By improving the 
quality and connectivity of habitats at Kettle Creek and its 
tributaries, successful implementation of the low-effect HCP may 
benefit the PMJM.

Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that approval of 
the proposed HCP qualifies as a categorical exclusion under NEPA, as 
provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 
and 516 DM 6 Appendix 1) and as a ``low-effect'' habitat conservation 
plan as defined by our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 
1996).
    We base our determination on the following information:
    (1) The size and scope of the incidental take of PMJM from the 
proposed project is relatively small and limited to a maximum of 0.262 
acres (0.106 hectares; 11,413 square feet) of permanent habitat loss 
and 0.118 acre (0.048 hectare; 5,140 square feet) of temporary habitat 
loss, or take of one PMJM over 20 years.
    (2) The total amount of take resulting from impacts to 0.380 acre 
(0.154 hectare; 16,553 square feet) equates to less than 0.01 percent 
of the PMJM's overall occupied range in Colorado.
    We base our determination that a HCP qualifies a low-effect plan on 
the following three criteria:
    (1) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible 
effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their 
habitats;
    (2) Implementation of the HCP would result in minor or negligible 
effects on

[[Page 19120]]

other environmental values or resources; and
    (3) Impacts of the HCP, 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.
    We conclude that implementation of the plan would result in overall 
minor or negligible effects on the PMJM and its habitats. We may revise 
this preliminary determination based on public comments submitted in 
response to this notice. We will evaluate the permit application, the 
draft low-effect HCP, and comments submitted herein to determine 
whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the 
Act. If the application satisfies the requirements, we will issue a 
permit for the incidental take of the PMJM from the development of the 
Kettle Creek Ranch. We will make the final permit decision after 
considering the public comments.
    Based upon this preliminary determination, we do not intend to 
prepare further NEPA documentation. We will consider public comments in 
making the final determination on whether to prepare such additional 
documentation.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information with 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.

Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: April 1, 2014.
Susan Linner,
Field Supervisor, Colorado Ecological Services Field Office.
[FR Doc. 2014-07670 Filed 4-4-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P