Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for The Terrace of Scotts Valley in the City of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California, 19616-19618 [2016-07795]

Download as PDF 19616 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 65 / Tuesday, April 5, 2016 / Notices State and county Hays ............... Hays ............... Kaufman ......... Tarrant ........... Virginia: Mecklenburg .. Wyoming: Teton .............. Location and case No. Chief executive officer of community Community map repository Online location of letter of map revision Effective date of modification The Honorable Daniel Guerrero, Mayor, City of San Marcos, 630 East Hopkins Street, San Marcos, TX 78666. Unincorporated The Honorable Bert Cobb, areas of Hays M. D., Hays County County, (15– Judge, 111 East San 06–2311P). Antonio Street, Suite 300, San Marcos, TX 78666. City of Terrell, The Honorable Hal Rich(15–06–2731P). ards, Mayor, City of Terrell, 201 East Nash Street, Terrell, TX 75160. City of Fort The Honorable Betsy Worth, (15– Price, Mayor, City of 06–0830P). Fort Worth, 1000 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102. Engineering Department, 630 East Hopkins Street, San Marcos, TX 78666. http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc. May 18, 2016 ..... 485505 Hays County Environmental Health Department, 1251 Civic Center Loop, San Marcos, TX 78666. http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc. May 18, 2016 ..... 480321 City Hall, 201 East Nash Street, Terrell, TX 75160. http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc. May 16, 2016 ..... 480416 City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102. http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc. May 31, 2016 ..... 480596 Unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County, (15–03– 1485P). The Honorable Glenn E. Barbour, Chairman, Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors, P.O. Box 729, South Hill, VA 23970. Mecklenburg County Zoning Department, P.O. Box 307, Boydton, VA 23917. http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc. May 26, 2016 ..... 510189 Unincorporated areas of Teton County, (16– 08–0063P). The Honorable Barbara Allen, Chair, Teton County Board of Commissioners, P.O. Box 3594, Jackson, WY 83001. Teton County Engineering Department, 320 South King Street, Jackson, WY 83001. http://www.msc.fema.gov/lomc. May 26, 2016 ..... 560094 City of San Marcos, (15– 06–2311P). [FR Doc. 2016–07791 Filed 4–4–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–12–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2016–N066; FXES11120800000–156–FF08EVEN00] Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for The Terrace of Scotts Valley in the City of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from Mr. Chris Perri of Apple Homes Development for a 5-year incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The application addresses the potential for ‘‘take’’ of the federally endangered Mount Hermon June beetle likely to occur incidental to the construction of 20 new townhomes, garages, and associated landscaping and infrastructure at two existing legal parcels in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California. We invite comments from the public on the application asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Apr 04, 2016 Jkt 238001 package, which includes the Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for The Terrace of Scotts Valley. DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by May 5, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may download a copy of the Habitat Conservation Plan, draft Environmental Action Statement and Low-Effect Screening Form, and related documents on the Internet at http:// www.fws.gov/ventura/, or you may request copies of the documents by U.S. mail to our Ventura office or by phone (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Please address written comments to Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. You may alternatively send comments by facsimile to (805) 644–3958. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chad Mitcham, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, by U.S. mail to the Ventura office, or by telephone at (831) 768– 7794. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have received an application from Mr. Chris Perri for a 5-year incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. The application addresses the potential for ‘‘take’’ of the federally endangered Mount Hermon June beetle (Polyphylla barbata) likely PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Community No. to occur incidental to the construction of 20 new townhomes, garages, and associated landscaping and infrastructure at two existing legal parcels in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California. The applicant would implement a conservation program to minimize and mitigate project activities that are likely to result in take of the Mount Hermon June beetle as described in the plan. We invite comments from the public on the application package, which includes the Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for The Terrace of Scotts Valley. This proposed action has been determined to be eligible for a Categorical Exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. Background The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed the Mount Hermon June beetle as endangered on January 24, 1997 (62 FR 3616). Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations prohibit the take of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. ‘‘Take’’ is defined under the Act to include the following activities: ‘‘to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532); however, under section E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 65 / Tuesday, April 5, 2016 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. The Act defines ‘‘Incidental Take’’ as take that is not the purpose of carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are provided at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, respectively. Issuance of an incidental take permit must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plant species. Take of listed plants is not prohibited under the Act unless such take would violate State law. As such, take of plants cannot be authorized under an incidental take permit. Plant species may be included on a permit in recognition of the conservation benefits provided them under a habitat conservation plan. All species, including plants, covered by the incidental take permit receive assurances under our ‘‘No Surprises’’ regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(55) and 17.32(b)(5)). In addition to meeting other specific criteria, actions undertaken through implementation of the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) must not jeopardize the continued existence of federally listed animal or plant species. Applicant’s Proposal Mr. Chris Perri (hereafter, the applicant) has submitted a Low-Effect HCP in support of his application for an incidental take permit (ITP) to address take of Mount Hermon June beetle that is likely to occur as the result of direct impacts to up to 2.62 acres (ac) (114,214 square feet (sf)) of degraded sandhills habitat occupied by the species. Take would be associated with the construction of the residential development on two existing parcels legally described as Assessor Parcel Number’s 022–162–69 and 022–162–74. The current site address is 400 Glen Canyon Road in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California. The applicant is requesting a permit for take of Mount Hermon June beetle that would result from ‘‘covered activities’’ that are related to the construction of 20 townhomes, garages and associated landscaping/infrastructure. The applicant proposes to avoid, minimize, and mitigate take of Mount Hermon June beetle associated with the covered activities by fully implementing the HCP. The following measures will be implemented: (1) Temporary fencing and signs will be installed to clearly delineate the boundaries of the project; (2) if construction occurs during the flight season (considered to be between May and October, annually), exposed VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Apr 04, 2016 Jkt 238001 soils will be covered with erosion control fabric or other impervious materials to prevent any dispersing Mount Hermon June beetles from burrowing into exposed soil at the construction site; (3) employment of a Service-approved entomologist to capture and relocate into suitable habitat and out of harm’s way any Mount Hermon June beetle larvae unearthed during construction activities; (4) all outdoor night lighting will use light bulbs certified not to attract nocturnally active insects, in order to minimize disruption of Mount Hermon June beetle breeding behavior during the adult flight season; and (5) secure off-site mitigation at a ratio of 1:1 to mitigate for permanent habitat impacts through the acquisition of 2.62 ac (114,214 sf) of conservation credits at the Zayante Sandhills Conservation Bank. The applicant will fund up to $733,284 to ensure implementation of all minimization measures, monitoring, and reporting requirements identified in the HCP. In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers two alternatives to the proposed action: ‘‘No Action’’ and ‘‘Redesigned Project.’’ Under the ‘‘No Action’’ alternative, an ITP for the Terrace at Scotts Valley would not be issued. The Terrace at Scotts Valley would not be built, and the purchase of conservation credits would not be provided to effect recovery actions for Mount Hermon June beetle. Additionally, since the property is privately owned, there are ongoing economic considerations associated with continued ownership without use, which includes payment of associated taxes. The sale of this property for purposes other than the identified activity is not considered economically feasible. Because of economic considerations and because the proposed action results in a net benefit for the covered species, the No Action Alternative has been rejected. Under the ‘‘Redesigned Project’’ alternative, the project would be redesigned to avoid or further reduce take of Mount Hermon June beetle. The proposed project has already been designed to minimize impacts to the species as the project area does not contain Zayante sands, the preferred habitat of the species. Reduction in the size of the development would not result in a significant reduction in take and is not practical. Additionally, the proposed project provides greater habitat conservation as the purchase of conservation credits at a ratio of 1:1 would result in the protection and management of preferred habitat for the PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19617 species. As such, the ‘‘Project Redesign’’ alternative has also been rejected. Our Preliminary Determination We are requesting comments on our preliminary determination that the applicant’s proposal will have a minor or negligible effect on the Mount Hermon June beetle and that the plan qualifies as a low-effect HCP as defined by our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 1996). We base our determinations on three criteria: (1) Implementation of the proposed project as described in the HCP would result in minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and/or 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) HCP impacts, considered together with those of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects, would not result in cumulatively significant effects. In our analysis of these criteria, we have made a preliminary determination that the approval of the HCP and issuance of an ITP qualify for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as provided by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215). However, based upon our review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice, this preliminary determination may be revised. Next Steps We will evaluate the permit application, including the plan and comments we receive, to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. We will also evaluate whether issuance of the ITP would comply with section 7(a)(2) of the Act by conducting an intra-Service Section 7 consultation. Public Review We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), NEPA’s public involvement regulations (40 CFR 1500.1(b), 1500.2(d), and 1506.6). We are requesting comments on our determination that the applicants’ proposal will have a minor or neglible effect on the Mount Hermon June beetle and that the plan qualifies as a loweffect HCP as defined by our 1996 Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook. We will evaluate the permit application, including the plan and E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1 19618 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 65 / Tuesday, April 5, 2016 / Notices comments, we receive, to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. We will use the results of our internal Service consultation, in combination with the above findings, in our final analysis to determine whether to issue the permits. If the requirements are met, we will issue an ITP to the applicant for the incidental take of Mount Hermon June beetle. We will make the final permit decision no sooner than 30 days after the date of this notice. Public Comments If you wish to comment on the permit applications, plans, and associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods in ADDRESSES. 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 can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, 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: March 29, 2016. Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California. [FR Doc. 2016–07795 Filed 4–4–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [FWS–R1–ES–2016–N043; FXES11120100000–167–FF01E00000] Proposed Amendment to the Willamette Valley Native Prairie Habitat Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement for the Fender’s Blue Butterfly in Benton, Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to amend an enhancement of survival (EOS) permit SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Apr 04, 2016 Jkt 238001 issued to itself on May 26, 2009, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The EOS permit is associated with a programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) developed for the conservation of the federally-listed endangered Fender’s blue butterfly within the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The proposed amendment would extend the term of the SHA and the permit for an additional 11 years. The amendment includes adding Washington County, Oregon, to the geographical area covered by the SHA and the permit. The amended permit would continue to authorize the Service to extend incidental take coverage to eligible landowners who are willing to carry out habitat management actions that benefit the Fender’s blue butterfly by enrolling landowners under the SHA through Certificates of Inclusion. We request comments from the public on the proposed amendment of the EOS permit and the SHA, and a draft environmental action statement (EAS) prepared pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). DATES: Written comments on the permit amendment, SHA amendment, and the EAS for the NEPA categorical exclusion determination must be received from interested parties no later than May 5, 2016. ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information request or comments are in reference to the Service Agreement Amendment. • Internet: Documents may be viewed on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/ oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489462. • Email: WVAmendmentcomments@ fws.gov. Include ‘‘Willamette Valley SHA Amendment’’ in the subject line of the message or comments. • U.S. Mail: State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100; Portland, OR 97266. • Fax: 503–231–6195, Attn: Willamette Valley SHA Amendment. • In-Person Viewing, Pickup or Dropoff: Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2600 SE 98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97266. Written comments can be dropped off during regular business hours at the above address on or before the closing date of the public comment period (see DATES). PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathy Roberts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 503–231–6179, facsimile: 503–231– 6195. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On May 26, 2009, the Service issued an EOS permit to the Service’s Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (OFWO) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. The EOS permit is associated with a programmatic SHA developed for the conservation of the federally-listed endangered Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi) within the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The SHA is administered and implemented by the OFWO and the Service’s Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex (WV Refuge Complex). The OFWO serves as the ‘‘permittee.’’ The WV Refuge Complex is a signatory to the SHA and works jointly with the OFWO on all aspects of the SHA. The OFWO may enroll eligible interested non-Federal landowners (cooperators) through Certificates of Inclusion under the SHA. The WV Refuge Complex can also develop and administer Certificates of Inclusion where they are involved in activities on the cooperator’s enrolled lands as a project partner. The geographic area covered by the current SHA and permit includes the originally known and potential range of the Fender’s blue butterfly, which includes prairie habitat within Benton, Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties of Oregon. Properties that are eligible for enrollment are non-Federal lands where the Fender’s blue butterfly occurs or could occur through colonization, translocation, or reintroduction. Activities under the SHA may also benefit the federallylisted threatened Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus sulphureus ssp. kincaidii), which is a larval host plant for Fender’s blue butterfly. However, Kincaid’s lupine is not included as a ‘‘covered species.’’ The current term of the SHA is 15 years and expires on May 25, 2024. The current term of the permit is 25 years and expires on May 25, 2034. Since the permit was issued on May 26, 2009, the Service has enrolled a number of eligible landowners under Certificates of Inclusion for an average period of 10 years each. Proposed Amendment In order to continue issuing new 10year Certificates of Inclusion, the E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 65 (Tuesday, April 5, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19616-19618]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-07795]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2016-N066; FXES11120800000-156-FF08EVEN00]


Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for The Terrace of Scotts 
Valley in the City of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an 
application from Mr. Chris Perri of Apple Homes Development for a 5-
year incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (Act). The application addresses the potential for ``take'' 
of the federally endangered Mount Hermon June beetle likely to occur 
incidental to the construction of 20 new townhomes, garages, and 
associated landscaping and infrastructure at two existing legal parcels 
in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California. We invite comments 
from the public on the application package, which includes the Low-
Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for The Terrace of Scotts Valley.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
May 5, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may download a copy of the Habitat Conservation Plan, 
draft Environmental Action Statement and Low-Effect Screening Form, and 
related documents on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/ventura/, or 
you may request copies of the documents by U.S. mail to our Ventura 
office or by phone (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Please 
address written comments to Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura 
Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola 
Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. You may alternatively send comments 
by facsimile to (805) 644-3958.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chad Mitcham, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, by U.S. mail to the Ventura office, or by telephone at (831) 
768-7794.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have received an application from Mr. 
Chris Perri for a 5-year incidental take permit under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended. The application addresses the 
potential for ``take'' of the federally endangered Mount Hermon June 
beetle (Polyphylla barbata) likely to occur incidental to the 
construction of 20 new townhomes, garages, and associated landscaping 
and infrastructure at two existing legal parcels in Scotts Valley, 
Santa Cruz County, California. The applicant would implement a 
conservation program to minimize and mitigate project activities that 
are likely to result in take of the Mount Hermon June beetle as 
described in the plan. We invite comments from the public on the 
application package, which includes the Low-Effect Habitat Conservation 
Plan for The Terrace of Scotts Valley. This proposed action has been 
determined to be eligible for a Categorical Exclusion under the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.

Background

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed the Mount 
Hermon June beetle as endangered on January 24, 1997 (62 FR 3616). 
Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations prohibit the take of fish or wildlife species listed as 
endangered or threatened. ``Take'' is defined under the Act to include 
the following activities: ``to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, 
wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any 
such conduct'' (16 U.S.C. 1532); however, under section

[[Page 19617]]

10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, we may issue permits to authorize incidental 
take of listed species. The Act defines ``Incidental Take'' as take 
that is not the purpose of carrying out of an otherwise lawful 
activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened 
and endangered species are provided at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22, 
respectively. Issuance of an incidental take permit must not jeopardize 
the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plant species.
    Take of listed plants is not prohibited under the Act unless such 
take would violate State law. As such, take of plants cannot be 
authorized under an incidental take permit. Plant species may be 
included on a permit in recognition of the conservation benefits 
provided them under a habitat conservation plan. All species, including 
plants, covered by the incidental take permit receive assurances under 
our ``No Surprises'' regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(55) and 17.32(b)(5)). 
In addition to meeting other specific criteria, actions undertaken 
through implementation of the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) must not 
jeopardize the continued existence of federally listed animal or plant 
species.

Applicant's Proposal

    Mr. Chris Perri (hereafter, the applicant) has submitted a Low-
Effect HCP in support of his application for an incidental take permit 
(ITP) to address take of Mount Hermon June beetle that is likely to 
occur as the result of direct impacts to up to 2.62 acres (ac) (114,214 
square feet (sf)) of degraded sandhills habitat occupied by the 
species. Take would be associated with the construction of the 
residential development on two existing parcels legally described as 
Assessor Parcel Number's 022-162-69 and 022-162-74. The current site 
address is 400 Glen Canyon Road in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, 
California. The applicant is requesting a permit for take of Mount 
Hermon June beetle that would result from ``covered activities'' that 
are related to the construction of 20 townhomes, garages and associated 
landscaping/infrastructure.
    The applicant proposes to avoid, minimize, and mitigate take of 
Mount Hermon June beetle associated with the covered activities by 
fully implementing the HCP. The following measures will be implemented: 
(1) Temporary fencing and signs will be installed to clearly delineate 
the boundaries of the project; (2) if construction occurs during the 
flight season (considered to be between May and October, annually), 
exposed soils will be covered with erosion control fabric or other 
impervious materials to prevent any dispersing Mount Hermon June 
beetles from burrowing into exposed soil at the construction site; (3) 
employment of a Service-approved entomologist to capture and relocate 
into suitable habitat and out of harm's way any Mount Hermon June 
beetle larvae unearthed during construction activities; (4) all outdoor 
night lighting will use light bulbs certified not to attract 
nocturnally active insects, in order to minimize disruption of Mount 
Hermon June beetle breeding behavior during the adult flight season; 
and (5) secure off-site mitigation at a ratio of 1:1 to mitigate for 
permanent habitat impacts through the acquisition of 2.62 ac (114,214 
sf) of conservation credits at the Zayante Sandhills Conservation Bank. 
The applicant will fund up to $733,284 to ensure implementation of all 
minimization measures, monitoring, and reporting requirements 
identified in the HCP.
    In the proposed HCP, the applicant considers two alternatives to 
the proposed action: ``No Action'' and ``Redesigned Project.'' Under 
the ``No Action'' alternative, an ITP for the Terrace at Scotts Valley 
would not be issued. The Terrace at Scotts Valley would not be built, 
and the purchase of conservation credits would not be provided to 
effect recovery actions for Mount Hermon June beetle. Additionally, 
since the property is privately owned, there are ongoing economic 
considerations associated with continued ownership without use, which 
includes payment of associated taxes. The sale of this property for 
purposes other than the identified activity is not considered 
economically feasible. Because of economic considerations and because 
the proposed action results in a net benefit for the covered species, 
the No Action Alternative has been rejected. Under the ``Redesigned 
Project'' alternative, the project would be redesigned to avoid or 
further reduce take of Mount Hermon June beetle.
    The proposed project has already been designed to minimize impacts 
to the species as the project area does not contain Zayante sands, the 
preferred habitat of the species. Reduction in the size of the 
development would not result in a significant reduction in take and is 
not practical. Additionally, the proposed project provides greater 
habitat conservation as the purchase of conservation credits at a ratio 
of 1:1 would result in the protection and management of preferred 
habitat for the species. As such, the ``Project Redesign'' alternative 
has also been rejected.

Our Preliminary Determination

    We are requesting comments on our preliminary determination that 
the applicant's proposal will have a minor or negligible effect on the 
Mount Hermon June beetle and that the plan qualifies as a low-effect 
HCP as defined by our Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook (November 
1996). We base our determinations on three criteria: (1) Implementation 
of the proposed project as described in the HCP would result in minor 
or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and/or 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) HCP impacts, considered together with those of other 
past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects, would not 
result in cumulatively significant effects. In our analysis of these 
criteria, we have made a preliminary determination that the approval of 
the HCP and issuance of an ITP qualify for categorical exclusion under 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), 
as provided by the Department of the Interior implementing regulations 
in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 
46.205, 46.210, and 46.215).
     However, based upon our review of public comments that we receive 
in response to this notice, this preliminary determination may be 
revised.

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the permit application, including the plan and 
comments we receive, to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. We will also evaluate 
whether issuance of the ITP would comply with section 7(a)(2) of the 
Act by conducting an intra-Service Section 7 consultation.

Public Review

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the Act and the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), NEPA's 
public involvement regulations (40 CFR 1500.1(b), 1500.2(d), and 
1506.6). We are requesting comments on our determination that the 
applicants' proposal will have a minor or neglible effect on the Mount 
Hermon June beetle and that the plan qualifies as a low-effect HCP as 
defined by our 1996 Habitat Conservation Planning Handbook. We will 
evaluate the permit application, including the plan and

[[Page 19618]]

comments, we receive, to determine whether the application meets the 
requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act. We will use the results 
of our internal Service consultation, in combination with the above 
findings, in our final analysis to determine whether to issue the 
permits. If the requirements are met, we will issue an ITP to the 
applicant for the incidental take of Mount Hermon June beetle. We will 
make the final permit decision no sooner than 30 days after the date of 
this notice.

Public Comments

    If you wish to comment on the permit applications, plans, and 
associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods 
in ADDRESSES.

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 can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public view, 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: March 29, 2016.
Stephen P. Henry,
Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2016-07795 Filed 4-4-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-55-P