Draft Screening Form and Draft Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the San Rafael Ranch; Santa Cruz County, AZ, 69977-69979 [2015-28794]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 218 / Thursday, November 12, 2015 / Notices Dawkins, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529– 2140, Telephone number (202) 272– 8377 (This is not a toll-free number. Comments are not accepted via telephone message). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http:// www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375–5283; TTY (800) 767–1833. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Comments You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS–2014 -0002 in the search box. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection (1) Type of Information Collection Request: New Collection. (2) Title of the Form/Collection: AABB accredited laboratory testing; Rapid DNA prototype Accelerated Nuclear DNA Equipment (ANDE) by NetBio; Rapid DNA prototype RapidHIT200 by IntegenX. (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: G–1294, G– 1295; USCIS. (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Nov 10, 2015 Jkt 238001 abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. Overseas applicants for refugee status filing through the USCIS Form I–590 (OMB Control Number 1615–0068) that have a spouse and/or child(ren) must meet all requirements of Immigration and Nationality Act § 207(c)(2) and have the necessary burden of proof to establish the relationship(s). In the case of a parentchild relationship, there is often a degree of difficulty in establishing this for refugee populations that often lack reliable documentation. USCIS is seeking to allow I–590 applicants to provide DNA testing results through an AABB accredited laboratory, and in coordination with the USCIS overseas office, to provide effective and credible evidence of this parent-child relationship. USCIS is also seeking to conduct simultaneous Rapid DNA testing as a pilot to make a determination if the Rapid DNA machines provide a valid alternative to traditional DNA testing. USCIS will be collecting samples for traditional DNA testing through an AABB accredited laboratory in conjunction with the Rapid DNA pilot to test the validity of the results obtained during the pilot. The collection of DNA, regardless of process employed, is strictly voluntary and refusal to provide a sample does not adversely impact an applicant’s I–590 application. (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 60 respondents for the Applicant Initiated AABB accredited lab DNA Testing with an estimate hour burden of 6 hours per response. 250 respondents for the standard DNA process (form G–1294) with an estimate of .217 hour burden per response. 250 respondents for the Rapid DNA process (Form G–1295) with an estimate of .217 hour burden per response. (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated hour burden per response is 470 hours. (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The total estimated cost to the public is $14,700. Dated: November 5, 2015. Laura Dawkins, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2015–28701 Filed 11–10–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69977 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–ES–2015–N194; FXES11130200000–167–FF02ENEH00] Draft Screening Form and Draft LowEffect Habitat Conservation Plan for the San Rafael Ranch; Santa Cruz County, AZ Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), make available the draft National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) screening form and draft San Rafael Ranch low-effect habitat conservation plan (dHCP). The San Rafael Cattle Company (applicant) has applied to the Service for an incidental take permit (ITP, TE12133A–0) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If approved, the ITP would be in force for a period of 30 years, and would authorize incidental take of three species currently listed under the Act, and one species that may become listed under the Act. The proposed incidental take would occur as a result of specified actions conducted under the authority of the San Rafael Cattle Company. This is the second notice regarding the dHCP. An earlier notice of Availability was published on July 22, 2010 (75 FR 35504). After that notice was published, processing of the permit application was suspended by mutual agreement of the San Rafael Cattle Company and the Service. DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received or postmarked on or before December 14, 2015. Any comments that we receive after the closing date may not be considered. SUMMARY: Availability of Documents: The draft NEPA screening form and draft San Rafael Ranch low-effect habitat conservation plan (dHCP) are available by the following methods: • Internet: Documents are available on the Internet at the Service’s Web site, at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ arizona/. • U.S. Mail: A limited number of CD– ROM and printed copies of both documents are available, by request, from Mr. Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021– 4951; telephone: 602–242–0210; fax: ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 69978 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 218 / Thursday, November 12, 2015 / Notices 602–242–2513. Please note that your request is in reference to the San Rafael Ranch dHCP (TE–12133A–0). • In-Person: Copies of both documents are also available for public inspection and review at the following locations, by written request and appointment only, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 500 Gold Avenue SW., Room 6034, Albuquerque, NM 87102. • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021–4951; telephone: 602–242–0210; fax: 602– 242–2513. The ITP application is available by mail from the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1306, Room 6034, Albuquerque, NM 87103, Attn: Environmental Review Division. Comment submission: We request that you send comments only by one of the methods described below. Comments submitted by any other means may not be considered. Please note that your request is in reference to the San Rafael Ranch dHCP (TE–12133A–0). • Electronically: Send comments to fw2_hcp_permits@fws.gov. • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021–4951; telephone: 602–242–0210. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug Duncan, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office—Tucson SubOffice, 201 N. Bonita Avenue, Suite 141, Tucson, AZ 85745; telephone (520/670– 6150; extension 236); or by email (Doug_Duncan@fws.gov). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce that: (1) We have gathered the information necessary to determine the impacts to the human environment under NEPA related to the potential issuance of an ITP to the applicant; and (2) The applicant has developed a dHCP as part of the application for an ITP, which describes the measures the applicant has agreed to take to minimize and mitigate the effects of incidental take of covered species to the maximum extent practicable, pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. Take of listed plant species is not defined in the Act, although the Act does identify several prohibitions. However, because covered species in the dHCP include both plants and animals, in the following discussion we use the term ‘‘incidental take’’ when discussing impacts to covered plants, as VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Nov 10, 2015 Jkt 238001 well as actual incidental take of covered animals. Plant species may be included on an ITP in recognition of the conservation benefits provided to them under an HCP. If approved, the ITP would authorize incidental take of five listed species, including Sonoran tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium [=tigrinum] stebbinsi), Gila chub (Gila intermedia), northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops), Canelo Hills ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes delitescens), and Huachuca water umbel (Lilaeopsis schaffneriana ssp. recurva), as well as a species that may become listed under the Act in the future, and Huachuca springsnail (Pyrgulopsis thompsoni). Also occurring on the Ranch is the endangered Gila topminnow (Poeciliopsis o. occidentalis) and potentially, the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis). Both species are covered under safe harbor agreements held by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The proposed incidental take would occur as a result of ranch management activities on 18,440 acres of the San Rafael Ranch and 3,560 acres of grazing preference on the Arizona State Parks, San Rafael State Natural Area (consistent with lease terms) in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The applicant has completed a dHCP as part of the application package, as required by the Act. A categorical exclusion for an HCP is based on the following three criteria: (1) Implementation of the proposed plan would result in minor or negligible effects on federally-listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the proposed 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. Based upon the preliminary determination made in our draft NEPA screening document, we believe this action qualifies as a categorical exclusion. We will consider public comments when making the final determination on whether to prepare an additional NEPA document on the proposed action. Background Since purchasing the San Rafael Ranch in 2000, the applicant has been implementing grazing practices that PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 have improved range and habitat conditions on private lands within the San Rafael Valley of Santa Cruz County, Arizona. These improved habitat conditions provide opportunities for conservation actions that may enhance the status and distribution of covered species on the San Rafael Ranch. The applicant would like to continue ranch management activities while working with agencies to conduct conservation actions on the San Rafael Ranch, such as introduction of covered species or other species not covered, and removal of aquatic invasive species. The covered ranch management activities would consist of watering cattle in stock tanks and cattle grazing all habitats, including herding cattle within and between pastures; maintenance of stock ponds, wells, waterlines, fences, roads, and utility lines supporting these facilities; and brush and invasive plant management to reduce shrub invasion of upland grasslands. All of these activities have short-term impacts on species and their habitats, and incidental take of some covered species may occur. However, a long-term benefit is anticipated for the watershed and habitats of the covered species. In addition, the applicant proposes actions to minimize the impacts of the activities and assist in recovery of covered species. These actions are also proposed to be covered by the associated section 10(a)(1)(B) permit. The biological goal of the San Rafael Ranch HCP is to provide long-term protection for multiple species of concern and key natural communities through maintenance or improvement of the habitat conditions and ecosystem functions necessary for their survival, and to ensure that any incidental take of listed species will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of those species in the wild. Public Availability of Comments Written comments 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 comment, you should be aware that the 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. E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 218 / Thursday, November 12, 2015 / Notices Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: November 5, 2015. Joy E. Nicholopoulos, Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2015–28794 Filed 11–10–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey 30. Please register by contacting Lucia Foulkes at the Federal Geographic Data Committee (703–648–4142, lfoulkes@ usgs.gov). Comments may also be submitted to the NGAC in writing. DATES: The meeting will be held on December 4, 2015, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Mahoney, U.S. Geological Survey (206– 220–4621). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Meetings of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee are open to the public. Additional information about the NGAC and the meeting are available at www.fgdc.gov/ngac. [GX16EE000101100] Announcement of National Geospatial Advisory Committee Meeting Kenneth Shaffer, Deputy Executive Director, Federal Geographic Data Committee. [FR Doc. 2015–28730 Filed 11–10–15; 8:45 am] U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of meeting. BILLING CODE 4338–11–P AGENCY: The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) will meet on December 4, 2015, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. The meeting will be held via web conference and teleconference. The NGAC, which is composed of representatives from governmental, private sector, non-profit, and academic organizations, has been established to advise the Chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee on management of Federal geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–16. Topics to be addressed at the meeting include: —FGDC Update —NGAC Subcommittee Reports —Review of NGAC Papers —Planning for 2016 NGAC Activities Members of the public who wish to attend the meeting must register in advance. Please register by contacting Lucia Foulkes at the Federal Geographic Data Committee (703–648–4142, lfoulkes@usgs.gov). Meeting registrations are due by November 30, 2015. Meeting information (Web conference and teleconference instructions) will be provided to registrants prior to the meeting. While the meeting will be open to the public, attendance may be limited due to web conference and teleconference capacity. The meeting will include an opportunity for public comment. Attendees wishing to provide public comment should register by November SUMMARY: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Nov 10, 2015 Jkt 238001 Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 15–21; Christina B. Paylan, M.D.; Decision and Order On July 1, 2015, Administrative Law Judge Christopher B. McNeil issued the attached Recommended Decision. Therein, the ALJ found it undisputed that Respondent’s medical license has been suspended by the Florida Department of Health, and that therefore, she ‘‘is not authorized to handle controlled substances in the State of Florida.’’ R.D. 6. Because Respondent is no longer a ‘‘practitioner’’ within the meaning of the Controlled Substances Act, the ALJ granted the Government’s Motion for Summary Disposition and recommended that her registration be revoked 1 and that any pending application to renew or modify her registration be denied. Id. Respondent filed Exceptions to the Decision and the Government filed a Response to Respondent’s Exceptions. Thereafter, the record was forwarded to me for final agency action. Having considered the record in its entirety, I have decided to adopt the ALJ’s factual finding, his conclusions of law, and recommended order. A discussion of Respondent’s Exceptions follows. Respondent’s first exception is based on the ALJ’s finding that she is ‘‘no 1 According to the registration records of this Agency, of which I take official notice, see 5 U.S.C. 556(e), Respondent’s registration does not expire until March 31, 2016. PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69979 longer authorized by state law to handle controlled substances.’’ Exceptions at 1. Noting that the language of section 824(a)(3) authorizes the suspension or revocation of a registration where a registrant ‘‘is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the manufacturing, distribution or dispensing of controlled substances,’’ Respondent argues that the ALJ lumped together ‘‘[t]he words ‘manufacturing, distribution or dispensing’’’ and that this ‘‘violates the strict requirement for strict statutory construction.’’ Id. Apparently, because the ALJ used the word ‘‘handle’’ rather than ‘‘dispense’’ to describe the authority Respondent no longer holds by virtue of the suspension of her medical license, Respondent believes that the Agency lacks authority to revoke her registration. It is true that the Controlled Substances Act does not use the word ‘‘handle’’ in describing the activities that various categories of registrants are authorized to engage in pursuant to their registrations. Rather, the term is part of the Agency’s vernacular. Notwithstanding the language used by the ALJ, the Agency possesses authority to revoke Respondent’s registration because the record establishes that she lacks authority to dispense controlled substances in Florida, the State in which she is registered with DEA. Specifically, the evidence shows that on October 28, 2014, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency suspension of Respondent’s license ‘‘to practice as a medical doctor’’ after she was convicted in state court of two felony offenses, including, inter alia, ‘‘obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.’’ In re Emergency Suspension of the License of Christina B. Paylan, M.D., 1–2 (Fla. Dept. of Health Oct. 28, 2014) (No. 2014–12284). Respondent therefore lacks authority under Florida law to dispense controlled substances within the meaning of the CSA. See Fla. Stat. § 458.305(3) (defining the ‘‘practice of medicine’’ as ‘‘the diagnosis, treatment, operation, or prescription for any human disease, pain, injury, deformity, or other physical or mental condition’’); id. § 458.305(4) (defining ‘‘physician’’ as ‘‘a person who is licensed to practice medicine in this state’’); § 456.065(2)(d)(1) (prohibiting the unlicensed practice of ‘‘a health care profession without an active, valid . . . license to practice that professional’’ which ‘‘includes practicing on a suspended . . . license’’). Respondent further argues that because she ‘‘is not a dispensing practitioner’’ as defined by Florida law, she is outside of the scope of section 824(a)(3). Exceptions at 5. Respondent E:\FR\FM\12NON1.SGM 12NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 218 (Thursday, November 12, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69977-69979]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-28794]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2015-N194; FXES11130200000-167-FF02ENEH00]


Draft Screening Form and Draft Low-Effect Habitat Conservation 
Plan for the San Rafael Ranch; Santa Cruz County, AZ

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), make 
available the draft National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) screening 
form and draft San Rafael Ranch low-effect habitat conservation plan 
(dHCP). The San Rafael Cattle Company (applicant) has applied to the 
Service for an incidental take permit (ITP, TE12133A-0) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If approved, the ITP 
would be in force for a period of 30 years, and would authorize 
incidental take of three species currently listed under the Act, and 
one species that may become listed under the Act. The proposed 
incidental take would occur as a result of specified actions conducted 
under the authority of the San Rafael Cattle Company.
    This is the second notice regarding the dHCP. An earlier notice of 
Availability was published on July 22, 2010 (75 FR 35504). After that 
notice was published, processing of the permit application was 
suspended by mutual agreement of the San Rafael Cattle Company and the 
Service.

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received or 
postmarked on or before December 14, 2015. Any comments that we receive 
after the closing date may not be considered.

ADDRESSES: Availability of Documents: The draft NEPA screening form and 
draft San Rafael Ranch low-effect habitat conservation plan (dHCP) are 
available by the following methods:
     Internet: Documents are available on the Internet at the 
Service's Web site, at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/.
     U.S. Mail: A limited number of CD-ROM and printed copies 
of both documents are available, by request, from Mr. Steve Spangle, 
Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 West 
Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021-4951; telephone: 602-242-
0210; fax:

[[Page 69978]]

602-242-2513. Please note that your request is in reference to the San 
Rafael Ranch dHCP (TE-12133A-0).
     In-Person: Copies of both documents are also available for 
public inspection and review at the following locations, by written 
request and appointment only, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 500 Gold Avenue SW., Room 
6034, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological 
Services Field Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, 
AZ 85021-4951; telephone: 602-242-0210; fax: 602-242-2513.
    The ITP application is available by mail from the Regional 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1306, Room 6034, 
Albuquerque, NM 87103, Attn: Environmental Review Division.
    Comment submission: We request that you send comments only by one 
of the methods described below. Comments submitted by any other means 
may not be considered. Please note that your request is in reference to 
the San Rafael Ranch dHCP (TE-12133A-0).
     Electronically: Send comments to fw2_hcp_permits@fws.gov.
     By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail or hand-
delivery to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological 
Services Field Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, 
AZ 85021-4951; telephone: 602-242-0210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug Duncan, Arizona Ecological 
Services Field Office--Tucson Sub-Office, 201 N. Bonita Avenue, Suite 
141, Tucson, AZ 85745; telephone (520/670-6150; extension 236); or by 
email (Doug_Duncan@fws.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce that:
    (1) We have gathered the information necessary to determine the 
impacts to the human environment under NEPA related to the potential 
issuance of an ITP to the applicant; and
    (2) The applicant has developed a dHCP as part of the application 
for an ITP, which describes the measures the applicant has agreed to 
take to minimize and mitigate the effects of incidental take of covered 
species to the maximum extent practicable, pursuant to section 
10(a)(1)(B) of the Act.
    Take of listed plant species is not defined in the Act, although 
the Act does identify several prohibitions. However, because covered 
species in the dHCP include both plants and animals, in the following 
discussion we use the term ``incidental take'' when discussing impacts 
to covered plants, as well as actual incidental take of covered 
animals. Plant species may be included on an ITP in recognition of the 
conservation benefits provided to them under an HCP.
    If approved, the ITP would authorize incidental take of five listed 
species, including Sonoran tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium 
[=tigrinum] stebbinsi), Gila chub (Gila intermedia), northern Mexican 
gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops), Canelo Hills ladies'-tresses 
(Spiranthes delitescens), and Huachuca water umbel (Lilaeopsis 
schaffneriana ssp. recurva), as well as a species that may become 
listed under the Act in the future, and Huachuca springsnail 
(Pyrgulopsis thompsoni).
    Also occurring on the Ranch is the endangered Gila topminnow 
(Poeciliopsis o. occidentalis) and potentially, the threatened 
Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis). Both species are 
covered under safe harbor agreements held by the Arizona Game and Fish 
Department.
    The proposed incidental take would occur as a result of ranch 
management activities on 18,440 acres of the San Rafael Ranch and 3,560 
acres of grazing preference on the Arizona State Parks, San Rafael 
State Natural Area (consistent with lease terms) in Santa Cruz County, 
Arizona. The applicant has completed a dHCP as part of the application 
package, as required by the Act.
    A categorical exclusion for an HCP is based on the following three 
criteria: (1) Implementation of the proposed plan would result in minor 
or negligible effects on federally-listed, proposed, and candidate 
species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the proposed 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. Based upon the preliminary determination made in our draft 
NEPA screening document, we believe this action qualifies as a 
categorical exclusion. We will consider public comments when making the 
final determination on whether to prepare an additional NEPA document 
on the proposed action.

Background

    Since purchasing the San Rafael Ranch in 2000, the applicant has 
been implementing grazing practices that have improved range and 
habitat conditions on private lands within the San Rafael Valley of 
Santa Cruz County, Arizona. These improved habitat conditions provide 
opportunities for conservation actions that may enhance the status and 
distribution of covered species on the San Rafael Ranch. The applicant 
would like to continue ranch management activities while working with 
agencies to conduct conservation actions on the San Rafael Ranch, such 
as introduction of covered species or other species not covered, and 
removal of aquatic invasive species. The covered ranch management 
activities would consist of watering cattle in stock tanks and cattle 
grazing all habitats, including herding cattle within and between 
pastures; maintenance of stock ponds, wells, waterlines, fences, roads, 
and utility lines supporting these facilities; and brush and invasive 
plant management to reduce shrub invasion of upland grasslands. All of 
these activities have short-term impacts on species and their habitats, 
and incidental take of some covered species may occur. However, a long-
term benefit is anticipated for the watershed and habitats of the 
covered species. In addition, the applicant proposes actions to 
minimize the impacts of the activities and assist in recovery of 
covered species. These actions are also proposed to be covered by the 
associated section 10(a)(1)(B) permit.
    The biological goal of the San Rafael Ranch HCP is to provide long-
term protection for multiple species of concern and key natural 
communities through maintenance or improvement of the habitat 
conditions and ecosystem functions necessary for their survival, and to 
ensure that any incidental take of listed species will not appreciably 
reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of those species in 
the wild.

Public Availability of Comments

    Written comments 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 comment, you should be aware that the 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.

[[Page 69979]]

Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22) and NEPA 
(42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 
1506.6).

    Dated: November 5, 2015.
Joy E. Nicholopoulos,
Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-28794 Filed 11-10-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P