Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Application for Enhancement of Survival Permit; Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in Michigan, 8986-8987 [2016-03692]

Download as PDF 8986 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 35 / Tuesday, February 23, 2016 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R3–ES–2016–N012]; [FVES59420300000F2 14X FF03E00000] Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Application for Enhancement of Survival Permit; Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in Michigan Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Receipt of application; request for comment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) of an application for an enhancement of survival permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The requested permit would authorize take of eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus), resulting from certain land use and conservation activities, should the species be listed as endangered or threatened in the future. The permit application includes a proposed programmatic candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) between MDNR, the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (MDMVA), and the Service. The requested term of the proposed CCAA and permit is 25 years. We are accepting comments on the permit application and the draft CCAA. DATES: We will accept comments on the application and draft CCAA on or before March 24, 2016. ADDRESSES: Document Availability: This draft CCAA, permit application, and final environmental assessment are available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R3–ES–FWS–R3–ES–2016–0009. Supporting documentation, including the draft CCAA, permit application, and final environmental assessment, are available for public inspection during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, East Lansing Field Office, 3001 Coolidge Rd, # 400, East Lansing, Michigan 48823. To submit comments on the application and draft CCAA, go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R3–ES–2016– 0009, which is the docket number for this Notice of Availability. Then click on the Search button. Please ensure that you have located the correct document before submitting your comments. You mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:06 Feb 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 may submit a comment by clicking on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Hicks, Field Supervisor, East Lansing Field Office (see ADDRESSES); by telephone (517–351–6274), or by facsimile (517–351–1443). If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877– 8339. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (MDMVA) of an application for an enhancement of survival permit (permit) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The requested permit would authorize take of eastern massasauga rattlesnake (EMR) resulting from certain land use and conservation activities, should the species be listed as endangered or threatened in the future. The permit application includes a proposed programmatic candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) between MDNR, MDMVA, and the Service. The requested term of the proposed CCAA and permit is 25 years. We are accepting comments on the permit application and the proposed CCAA. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Enhancement of survival permits issued for CCAAs encourage nonFederal landowners to implement conservation measures for species that are, or are likely to become, candidates for Federal listing as endangered or threatened by assuring landowners 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 enhancement of survival permits issued for CCAAs are in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d). Service policy guidance for CCAAs was published in the Federal Register on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 32726). Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances The proposed EMR CCAA is a programmatic agreement between the Service, the MDNR, and the MDVA to further the conservation of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake on non-Federal lands. The purpose of this CCAA is to encourage non-Federal landowners in Michigan to manage their properties in ways that are consistent with the long- PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 term sustainability and persistence of EMR. On September 30, 2015, the Service proposed to list the EMR as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (Act). Although there are several factors that are affecting the species’ status, loss of habitat continues to be the primary threat to this species, either through development or through changes in habitat structure due to vegetative succession. Most viable populations of EMR in the State of Michigan occur on land managed by the MDNR and the MDMVA. Implementation of the CCAA will facilitate identification and minimization of threats on these properties. Education and outreach efforts are proposed to raise awareness and increase understanding about the species for all stakeholders, reduce persecution or indiscriminate killing, and promote conservation of the species. The conservation goal of this CCAA on the part of the Service, the MDNR, the MDMVA and other cooperators is to maintain viable populations of EMR on public and private land by reducing threats and managing and restoring habitat for EMR. Populations of EMR continue to persist throughout most of the species’ historical range in Michigan. Therefore, the proposed EMR CCAA framework is based on two categories of management approaches for the species. Both categories contain common measures to conserve EMR, including protections for the species from collection and persecution. The first category encompasses lands considered most important to the long-term sustainability of EMR, which will be managed with strategies designed to protect EMR populations while also creating and restoring suitable habitat needed to sustain EMR populations. The strategies for this category include EMR-protective specifications for wetlands, prescribed fire use, water-level manipulations, vegetation management (e.g., cutting, mowing, use of chemicals), oil/gas/ mineral leasing, and forest management. The second category comprises land that is generally not suitable habitat for the species or where EMR management is not be a priority (e.g., campgrounds). The strategies for this category include measures to minimize the potential for human-EMR interactions (e.g., keeping grass mowed in developed areas) as well as measures to help protect individual snakes (e.g., safe relocation methods). National Environmental Policy Act Determination As required by NEPA, we previously evaluated potential impacts to the E:\FR\FM\23FEN1.SGM 23FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 35 / Tuesday, February 23, 2016 / Notices human environment that could result from issuance of the requested permit for the EMR CCAA, and we do not foresee any significant impacts. We completed an Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact on a Proposal to Implement Candidate Conservation Agreements and Conservation Measures for Eastern Massasaugas in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin (see http://www.fws.gov/ midwest/endangered/permits/ enhancement/ccaa/index.html). Participating in the EMR CCAA is strictly a voluntary action for landowners. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Next Steps We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from Mrs. Rita Cutri (applicant) for a 3-year incidental take permit for the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We are requesting comments on the permit application and on the preliminary determination that the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan qualifies as a ‘‘low-effect’’ Habitat Conservation Plan, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended. The basis for this determination is discussed in the environmental action statement (EAS) and the associated low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review. DATES: Written comments should be received on or before March 24, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: • U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, CA 92008. • Fax: Field Supervisor, 760–431– 9624. Obtaining Documents: To request copies of the application, proposed HCP, and EAS, contact the Service immediately, by telephone at 760–431– 9440 or by letter to the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). Copies of the proposed HCP and EAS also are available for public inspection during regular business hours at the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). 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 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 [FWS–R8–ES–2016–N026; FXES11120800000–167–FF08ECAR00] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application; Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan and Associated Documents; City of Santee, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: 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 MDNR and MDMVA for take of EMR. 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. We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32), and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46). Dated: February 8, 2016. Lynn M. Lewis, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region. [FR Doc. 2016–03692 Filed 2–22–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 Fish and Wildlife Service 17:06 Feb 22, 2016 Jkt 238001 Ms. Karen Goebel, Assistant Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 760– 431–9440. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8987 Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from Ms. Rita Cutri (applicant) for a 3-year incidental take permit for one covered species pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., Act). The application addresses the potential ‘‘take’’ of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher in the course of activities associated with the construction of the Cutri residential home project, in the City of Santee, San Diego County, California. A conservation program to avoid, minimize, and mitigate for project activities would be implemented as described in the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) by the applicant. We are requesting comments on the permit application and on the preliminary determination that the proposed HCP qualifies as a ‘‘loweffect’’ HCP, eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended. The basis for this determination is discussed in the environmental action statement (EAS) and associated low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review. Background Section 9 of the Act and its implementing Federal regulations prohibit the ‘‘take’’ of animal species listed as endangered or threatened. Take is defined under the Act as to ‘‘harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect listed animal species, or to attempt to engage in such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1538). ‘‘Harm’’ includes significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). However, under section 10(a) of the Act, the Service may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. ‘‘Incidental take’’ is defined by the Act as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species, respectively, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.22 and 50 CFR 17.32. The applicant requests a 3-year permit under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. If we approve the permit, the applicant anticipates taking coastal California E:\FR\FM\23FEN1.SGM 23FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 35 (Tuesday, February 23, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8986-8987]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-03692]



[[Page 8986]]

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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-ES-2016-N012]; [FVES59420300000F2 14X FF03E00000]


Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Application for 
Enhancement of Survival Permit; Proposed Programmatic Candidate 
Conservation Agreement With Assurances for the Eastern Massasauga 
Rattlesnake in Michigan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Receipt of application; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 
receipt from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) of an 
application for an enhancement of survival permit under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended. The requested permit would authorize 
take of eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus), resulting 
from certain land use and conservation activities, should the species 
be listed as endangered or threatened in the future. The permit 
application includes a proposed programmatic candidate conservation 
agreement with assurances (CCAA) between MDNR, the Michigan Department 
of Military and Veterans Affairs (MDMVA), and the Service. The 
requested term of the proposed CCAA and permit is 25 years. We are 
accepting comments on the permit application and the draft CCAA.

DATES: We will accept comments on the application and draft CCAA on or 
before March 24, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Document Availability: This draft CCAA, permit application, 
and final environmental assessment are available on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-FWS-R3-ES-2016-
0009. Supporting documentation, including the draft CCAA, permit 
application, and final environmental assessment, are available for 
public inspection during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, East Lansing Field Office, 3001 Coolidge Rd, # 400, 
East Lansing, Michigan 48823.
    To submit comments on the application and draft CCAA, go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R3-ES-2016-0009, 
which is the docket number for this Notice of Availability. Then click 
on the Search button. Please ensure that you have located the correct 
document before submitting your comments. You may submit a comment by 
clicking on ``Comment Now!''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Hicks, Field Supervisor, East 
Lansing Field Office (see ADDRESSES); by telephone (517-351-6274), or 
by facsimile (517-351-1443). If you use a telecommunications device for 
the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce receipt from the Michigan Department of Natural 
Resources (MDNR) and Michigan Department of Military and Veterans 
Affairs (MDMVA) of an application for an enhancement of survival permit 
(permit) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). 
The requested permit would authorize take of eastern massasauga 
rattlesnake (EMR) resulting from certain land use and conservation 
activities, should the species be listed as endangered or threatened in 
the future. The permit application includes a proposed programmatic 
candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) between MDNR, 
MDMVA, and the Service. The requested term of the proposed CCAA and 
permit is 25 years. We are accepting comments on the permit application 
and the proposed CCAA.

Background

    Enhancement of survival permits issued for CCAAs encourage non-
Federal landowners to implement conservation measures for species that 
are, or are likely to become, candidates for Federal listing as 
endangered or threatened by assuring landowners 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 enhancement of survival permits issued for CCAAs are in 
the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(d) and 17.32(d). 
Service policy guidance for CCAAs was published in the Federal Register 
on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 32726).

Proposed Programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances

    The proposed EMR CCAA is a programmatic agreement between the 
Service, the MDNR, and the MDVA to further the conservation of the 
eastern massasauga rattlesnake on non-Federal lands. The purpose of 
this CCAA is to encourage non-Federal landowners in Michigan to manage 
their properties in ways that are consistent with the long-term 
sustainability and persistence of EMR. On September 30, 2015, the 
Service proposed to list the EMR as a threatened species under the 
Endangered Species Act (Act). Although there are several factors that 
are affecting the species' status, loss of habitat continues to be the 
primary threat to this species, either through development or through 
changes in habitat structure due to vegetative succession.
    Most viable populations of EMR in the State of Michigan occur on 
land managed by the MDNR and the MDMVA. Implementation of the CCAA will 
facilitate identification and minimization of threats on these 
properties. Education and outreach efforts are proposed to raise 
awareness and increase understanding about the species for all 
stakeholders, reduce persecution or indiscriminate killing, and promote 
conservation of the species. The conservation goal of this CCAA on the 
part of the Service, the MDNR, the MDMVA and other cooperators is to 
maintain viable populations of EMR on public and private land by 
reducing threats and managing and restoring habitat for EMR.
    Populations of EMR continue to persist throughout most of the 
species' historical range in Michigan. Therefore, the proposed EMR CCAA 
framework is based on two categories of management approaches for the 
species. Both categories contain common measures to conserve EMR, 
including protections for the species from collection and persecution. 
The first category encompasses lands considered most important to the 
long-term sustainability of EMR, which will be managed with strategies 
designed to protect EMR populations while also creating and restoring 
suitable habitat needed to sustain EMR populations. The strategies for 
this category include EMR-protective specifications for wetlands, 
prescribed fire use, water-level manipulations, vegetation management 
(e.g., cutting, mowing, use of chemicals), oil/gas/mineral leasing, and 
forest management. The second category comprises land that is generally 
not suitable habitat for the species or where EMR management is not be 
a priority (e.g., campgrounds). The strategies for this category 
include measures to minimize the potential for human-EMR interactions 
(e.g., keeping grass mowed in developed areas) as well as measures to 
help protect individual snakes (e.g., safe relocation methods).

National Environmental Policy Act Determination

    As required by NEPA, we previously evaluated potential impacts to 
the

[[Page 8987]]

human environment that could result from issuance of the requested 
permit for the EMR CCAA, and we do not foresee any significant impacts. 
We completed an Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No 
Significant Impact on a Proposal to Implement Candidate Conservation 
Agreements and Conservation Measures for Eastern Massasaugas in 
Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin (see http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/permits/enhancement/ccaa/index.html). 
Participating in the EMR CCAA is strictly a voluntary action for 
landowners.

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 MDNR and 
MDMVA for take of EMR. 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.

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 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(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 
17.32), and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46).

     Dated: February 8, 2016.
Lynn M. Lewis,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2016-03692 Filed 2-22-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P