Application for Enhancement of Survival Permit and Proposed Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the New England Cottontail; Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 37342-37343 [2014-15365]

Download as PDF emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 37342 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 126 / Tuesday, July 1, 2014 / Notices into the approximately 38.5 miles of newly accessible habitat. These individuals can then reproduce with individuals found upstream (facilitating genetic mixing), forage in habitats that are currently unavailable to them, and extend their home range to a larger area (providing additional habitat in times of stress, satisfying migratory needs, and offering rearing and refuge habitat that is largely unaffected by certain problematic nonnative species). When determining whether to issue the permit, we will consider a number of factors and information sources, including biological information, any public comments received, and the application requirements and issuance criteria for CCAAs and SHAs contained in 50 CFR part 17.22(d) and part 17.32(d). We will also evaluate whether issuance of the permit complies with section 7 of the Act by conducting an intra-Service consultation. The results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, regulations, and public comments, will determine whether or not we issue the permit. The proposed SHA/CCAA also provides Participating Water Users with regulatory assurances, that in the event of unforeseen circumstances, we would not require additional conservation measures or the commitment of additional land, water, or resource use restrictions beyond the level obligated in the proposed SHA/CCAA, without the consent of the Participating Water User and the DSWUA. We have made a preliminary determination that the proposed SHA/ CCAA and permit issuance are eligible for categorical exclusion under NEPA. The basis for this determination is the Environmental Action Statement, which is available for public review (see ADDRESSES). If you wish to comment on the proposed SHA/CCAA and associated documents, you may submit your comments to the Service (see ADDRESSES). Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will evaluate this permit application, associated documents, and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:00 Jun 30, 2014 Jkt 232001 section 10(a) of the Act and NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1506.6. If we determine that the requirements are met, we will sign the both the proposed SHA and the CCAA and issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act to the Applicants for take of the covered species in accordance with the terms of the SHA and the CCAA. We will not make our final decision until after the end of the 30-day comment period and will fully consider all comments received during the comment period. Authority The Service provides this notice under section 10(c) of the Act and implementing regulations for NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR 46). Dated: June 23, 2014. Larry Crist, Field Supervisor, Utah Ecological Services Field Office, Salt Lake City, Utah. [FR Doc. 2014–15428 Filed 6–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R5–ES–2014–N117; FXES11150500000] Application for Enhancement of Survival Permit and Proposed Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the New England Cottontail; Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application; request for comments. AGENCY: The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an Enhancement of Survival Permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended. The requested permit would authorize take of the New England cottontail (NEC) resulting from certain habitat improvement and land use activities, should the species be listed as endangered or threatened in the future. The permit application includes a proposed Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) between the MDIFW and the Service. In accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), we have prepared a draft categorical exclusion of the impacts of the requested permit. We are accepting comments on the permit application, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 proposed CCAA, and draft NEPA document. DATES: Written comments on the permit application, draft CCAA, and draft NEPA document must be received on or before July 31, 2014. ADDRESSES: Address any written comments concerning this notice to Anthony Tur, New England Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 70 Commercial Street, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301; alternatively, fax written comments to 603–224–0104, or email comments to Anthony_Tur@ fws.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony Tur, at the New England Field Office (see ADDRESSES above); 603–223– 2541 (phone), 603–223–0104 (fax), or Anthony_Tur@fws.gov (email). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We furnish this notice to provide the public, other State and Federal agencies, and interested Tribes an opportunity to review and comment on the permit application, proposed CCAA, and draft NEPA document. We specifically request information, views, and opinions from the public on the proposed Federal action of issuing a permit. Further, we solicit information regarding the adequacy of the permit application, including the proposed CCAA, as measured against our permit issuance criteria found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d). Document Availability Copies of the permit application, proposed CCAA, and draft NEPA document are available for public inspection, by appointment, at the New England Field Office (see ADDRESSES), or you may view them on the Internet at https://www.fws.gov/newengland/. Copies of these documents can also be obtained by contacting the office and personnel listed in the ADDRESSES section. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. E:\FR\FM\01JYN1.SGM 01JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 126 / Tuesday, July 1, 2014 / Notices Background Permits for enhancement of survival through CCAAs encourage non-Federal property owners to implement conservation measures for species that are, or are likely to become, candidates for Federal listing as endangered or threatened by assuring property owners they will not be subjected to increased property use restrictions if the covered species becomes listed in the future. Application requirements and issuance criteria for permits for enhancement of survival through CCAAs are in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d). See also our policy on CCAAs (64 FR 32726; June 17, 1999). emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Proposed Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances The CCAA that is the subject of this notice is a programmatic agreement between the Service and the MDIFW to further the conservation of the NEC (Sylvilagus transitionalis). Under the CCAA, the MDIFW would establish a program in which individual property owners can enroll. To enroll in the program, a property owner would enter into a cooperative agreement with the MDIFW that contains a site-specific management plan for the enrolled lands, and the MDIFW would then issue the property owner a Certificate of Inclusion. The site-specific management plan will specify conservation measures to address known threats to the NEC; those measures may include, but are not limited to, cutting vegetation to promote establishment of shrubland habitat, maintaining existing shrubland habitat, planting seeds and seedlings, controlling invasive plants species, removing non-native eastern cottontails should they occur in Maine in the future, and translocating NEC to newly created habitats. The plan will also specify measures to minimize the incidental take of NEC that might occur as a result of implementing the conservation measures or conducting other covered activities. The Certificate of Inclusion issued to the property owner will authorize this incidental take of the NEC if the species becomes listed under the ESA in the future. The MDIFW seeks to enroll up to 12,000 acres (ac) (4,856 hectares (ha)) of private and State-owned land for NEC habitat management in York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Oxford, Kennebec, and Waldo Counties in Maine. Lands targeted for NEC habitat management are generally those for which the current land use maintains or is capable of maintaining suitable NEC habitat with VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:00 Jun 30, 2014 Jkt 232001 minimal take of NECs. Site potential for enrolled lands will be evaluated through a Habitat Suitability Index. Because resources for implementing conservation measures on enrolled lands are limited, sites with the highest potential value will be prioritized for enrollment based on proximity to existing occupied sites, along with other habitat parameters. Also eligible for enrollment are those lands under the same ownership that are adjacent to lands being managed for the benefit of NEC (hereafter referred to as ‘‘adjacent lands’’). These adjacent lands include areas where otherwise lawful ongoing and future activities (e.g., hay production and timber harvesting) may result in inadvertent take of NEC. Although the amount of adjacent acreage that a property owner will enroll under this CCAA will depend on the circumstances specific to the property and property owner, we estimate that the typical property owner will enroll an area of adjacent lands about equal to five times the area of the lands managed for NEC. Therefore, about 60,000 ac (24,000 ha) of adjacent lands are associated with the 12,000 ac (4,856 ha) targeted for NEC habitat management. If we were to reach our target of 12,000 ac (4,856 ha) managed for NEC under this CCAA, then we estimate a total of about 72,000 ac (29,000 ha) would be enrolled under this CCAA. As required by NEPA, we evaluated the effects to the environment that would result from issuance of the requested permit, and we do not foresee any significant effects. Therefore, we are proposing to categorically exclude this action from further analysis under NEPA. Entering into a cooperative agreement is strictly voluntary for property owners, and the activities to be covered under the permit are generally activities already occurring on these properties. Next Steps We will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of the ESA, NEPA, and implementing regulations. If we determine that all requirements are met, we will sign the proposed CCAA and issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA to the MDIFW for take of NEC. We will not make our final decision until after the end of the 30day public comment period, and we will fully consider all comments we receive during the public comment period. PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37343 Dated: May 27, 2014. Paul R. Phifer, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Northeast Region. [FR Doc. 2014–15365 Filed 6–30–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [AAK4004200/A0R5C4040.9999.00/ 134A2100DD] Proclaiming Certain Lands as Reservation for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Reservation Proclamation. AGENCY: This notice informs the public that the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs proclaimed approximately 569.01 acres, more or less, as an addition to the Reservation for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota on June 20, 2014. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robin A. White, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, MS–4642–MIB, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240, at (202) 207– 1110. This notice is published in the exercise of authority delegated by the Secretary of the Interior to the Assistant Secretary— Indian Affairs by part 209 of the Departmental Manual. A proclamation was issued according to the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 986; 25 U.S.C. 467), for the land described below. The land was proclaimed to be an addition to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Reservation for the exclusive use of Indians on that reservation who are entitled to reside at the reservation by enrollment or tribal membership. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Reservation of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Township of Shakopee, County of Scott and State of Minnesota Parcel Number 1 MWCC Legal Description excluding land transferred to Scott County Containing 569.01 acres, more or less Parcel 1: Tax PID# 279150050 The West Half of the Southwest Quarter (W1⁄2 of the SW1⁄4) and the Southwest Quarter of the Northwest E:\FR\FM\01JYN1.SGM 01JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 126 (Tuesday, July 1, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37342-37343]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15365]


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DEPARMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-ES-2014-N117; FXES11150500000]


Application for Enhancement of Survival Permit and Proposed 
Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the New England 
Cottontail; Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and receipt of application; request for 
comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) 
has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an 
Enhancement of Survival Permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(ESA), as amended. The requested permit would authorize take of the New 
England cottontail (NEC) resulting from certain habitat improvement and 
land use activities, should the species be listed as endangered or 
threatened in the future. The permit application includes a proposed 
Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) between the 
MDIFW and the Service. In accordance with the requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), we have prepared a 
draft categorical exclusion of the impacts of the requested permit. We 
are accepting comments on the permit application, proposed CCAA, and 
draft NEPA document.

DATES: Written comments on the permit application, draft CCAA, and 
draft NEPA document must be received on or before July 31, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Address any written comments concerning this notice to 
Anthony Tur, New England Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
70 Commercial Street, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301; alternatively, fax 
written comments to 603-224-0104, or email comments to Anthony_Tur@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony Tur, at the New England Field 
Office (see ADDRESSES above); 603-223-2541 (phone), 603-223-0104 (fax), 
or Anthony_Tur@fws.gov (email). If you use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We furnish this notice to provide the 
public, other State and Federal agencies, and interested Tribes an 
opportunity to review and comment on the permit application, proposed 
CCAA, and draft NEPA document. We specifically request information, 
views, and opinions from the public on the proposed Federal action of 
issuing a permit. Further, we solicit information regarding the 
adequacy of the permit application, including the proposed CCAA, as 
measured against our permit issuance criteria found in the Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d).

Document Availability

    Copies of the permit application, proposed CCAA, and draft NEPA 
document are available for public inspection, by appointment, at the 
New England Field Office (see ADDRESSES), or you may view them on the 
Internet at https://www.fws.gov/newengland/. Copies of these documents 
can also be obtained by contacting the office and personnel listed in 
the ADDRESSES section.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised 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 from public review your personal identifying 
information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

[[Page 37343]]

Background

    Permits for enhancement of survival through CCAAs encourage non-
Federal property owners to implement conservation measures for species 
that are, or are likely to become, candidates for Federal listing as 
endangered or threatened by assuring property owners they will not be 
subjected to increased property use restrictions if the covered species 
becomes listed in the future. Application requirements and issuance 
criteria for permits for enhancement of survival through CCAAs are in 
the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d). 
See also our policy on CCAAs (64 FR 32726; June 17, 1999).

Proposed Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances

    The CCAA that is the subject of this notice is a programmatic 
agreement between the Service and the MDIFW to further the conservation 
of the NEC (Sylvilagus transitionalis). Under the CCAA, the MDIFW would 
establish a program in which individual property owners can enroll. To 
enroll in the program, a property owner would enter into a cooperative 
agreement with the MDIFW that contains a site-specific management plan 
for the enrolled lands, and the MDIFW would then issue the property 
owner a Certificate of Inclusion. The site-specific management plan 
will specify conservation measures to address known threats to the NEC; 
those measures may include, but are not limited to, cutting vegetation 
to promote establishment of shrubland habitat, maintaining existing 
shrubland habitat, planting seeds and seedlings, controlling invasive 
plants species, removing non-native eastern cottontails should they 
occur in Maine in the future, and translocating NEC to newly created 
habitats. The plan will also specify measures to minimize the 
incidental take of NEC that might occur as a result of implementing the 
conservation measures or conducting other covered activities. The 
Certificate of Inclusion issued to the property owner will authorize 
this incidental take of the NEC if the species becomes listed under the 
ESA in the future.
    The MDIFW seeks to enroll up to 12,000 acres (ac) (4,856 hectares 
(ha)) of private and State-owned land for NEC habitat management in 
York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Oxford, 
Kennebec, and Waldo Counties in Maine. Lands targeted for NEC habitat 
management are generally those for which the current land use maintains 
or is capable of maintaining suitable NEC habitat with minimal take of 
NECs. Site potential for enrolled lands will be evaluated through a 
Habitat Suitability Index. Because resources for implementing 
conservation measures on enrolled lands are limited, sites with the 
highest potential value will be prioritized for enrollment based on 
proximity to existing occupied sites, along with other habitat 
parameters. Also eligible for enrollment are those lands under the same 
ownership that are adjacent to lands being managed for the benefit of 
NEC (hereafter referred to as ``adjacent lands''). These adjacent lands 
include areas where otherwise lawful ongoing and future activities 
(e.g., hay production and timber harvesting) may result in inadvertent 
take of NEC. Although the amount of adjacent acreage that a property 
owner will enroll under this CCAA will depend on the circumstances 
specific to the property and property owner, we estimate that the 
typical property owner will enroll an area of adjacent lands about 
equal to five times the area of the lands managed for NEC. Therefore, 
about 60,000 ac (24,000 ha) of adjacent lands are associated with the 
12,000 ac (4,856 ha) targeted for NEC habitat management. If we were to 
reach our target of 12,000 ac (4,856 ha) managed for NEC under this 
CCAA, then we estimate a total of about 72,000 ac (29,000 ha) would be 
enrolled under this CCAA.
    As required by NEPA, we evaluated the effects to the environment 
that would result from issuance of the requested permit, and we do not 
foresee any significant effects. Therefore, we are proposing to 
categorically exclude this action from further analysis under NEPA. 
Entering into a cooperative agreement is strictly voluntary for 
property owners, and the activities to be covered under the permit are 
generally activities already occurring on these properties.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and 
comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets 
the requirements of the ESA, NEPA, and implementing regulations. If we 
determine that all requirements are met, we will sign the proposed CCAA 
and issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA to the MDIFW 
for take of NEC. We will not make our final decision until after the 
end of the 30-day public comment period, and we will fully consider all 
comments we receive during the public comment period.

    Dated: May 27, 2014.
Paul R. Phifer,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Northeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2014-15365 Filed 6-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P