Notice of Availability; Draft Environmental Assessment for a Draft Amendment To Add the Northern Mexican Gartersnake to the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, 56261-56262 [2017-25650]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 227 / Tuesday, November 28, 2017 / Notices Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act).1 These statutory programs led to the development of the Intermodal Security Training Exercise Program (I–STEP) for the Transportation Systems Sector (TSS). Within the I–STEP program, EXIS is an interactive resource for the TSS. Number of Respondents: 9,551. Estimated Annual Burden Hours: An estimated 4,804 hours annually.2 Dated: November 22, 2017. Christina A. Walsh, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology. [FR Doc. 2017–25669 Filed 11–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–05–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–ES–2017–N108; FXES11140200000–178–FF02ENEH00] Notice of Availability; Draft Environmental Assessment for a Draft Amendment To Add the Northern Mexican Gartersnake to the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of documents; request for public comment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as the lead Federal agency, along with the Bureau of Reclamation as a cooperating agency and the implementing agency for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP), announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act. The draft EA evaluates the impacts of, and alternatives to, amendment of the existing Endangered Species Act permit for the LCR MSCP, in order to add the northern Mexican gartersnake as a covered species, and the impacts of implementation of the amended LCR MSCP. SUMMARY: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received or postmarked on or before December 28, 2017. Any comments we receive after the closing date or not postmarked by the closing date may not be considered in the final decision on this action. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES DATES: 1 See 9/11 Act secs. 1407 (public transportation, codified at 6 U.S.C. 1136(a)), 1516 (railroads, codified at 6 U.S.C. 1166), and 1533 (over-the-road buses, codified at 6 U.S.C. 1183). 2 TSA made an error in its calculations and reported the burden in the 60-day notice as 4,820 hours annually. The correct calculation is 4,804. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:51 Nov 27, 2017 Jkt 244001 Obtaining Documents: • Internet: You may obtain copies of the draft EA, which includes the draft amendment to the LCR MSCP, on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Web site at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/ es/arizona/. • U.S. Mail: A limited number of CD– ROM and printed copies of the draft EA and associated draft amendment to the LCR MSCP are available, by request, from the Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 9828 N. 31st Avenue #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051; by phone at 602–242–0210; or by fax at 602–242–2513. Please note that your request is in reference to the draft amended LCR MSCP for northern Mexican gartersnake. • In-Person: Copies of the draft EA and associated draft amendment to the LCR MSCP are also available for public inspection and review at the following locations, by appointment and written request only, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Æ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 500 Gold Avenue SW., Room 6034, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Æ Arizona Ecological Services Office (Phoenix; see information under U.S. Mail, above). Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods. • U.S. Mail: Arizona Ecological Services Office (Phoenix; see information under U.S. Mail, Obtaining Documents, above). • Electronically: incomingazcorr@ fws.gov or fw2_hcp_permits@fws.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor (see contact information for Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (Phoenix) in ADDRESSES. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), as the lead Federal agency, along with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) as a cooperating agency and the implementing agency for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP), announce the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA). The draft EA evaluates the impacts of, and alternatives to, amendment of an existing permit for the LCR MSCP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), in order to add the northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques) as a covered species, as well as the impacts of implementation of the amended LCR MSCP. ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 56261 Under the proposed amendment, there are no proposed changes to covered actions; no changes to the covered area; and no extension of the time period of permit coverage. Permittees with existing LCR MSCP certificates of inclusion are bound by the terms and conditions of their existing requirements. The amendment is not expected to trigger any new environmental consequences that were not identified in the LCR MSCP final programmatic environmental impact statement/environmental impact report (LCR MSCP EIS/EIR), which was prepared for the original LCR MSCP, or any new impacts to local economies or cultural resources. Nor are there any expected changes to direct, indirect, and cumulative effects, beyond those identified for biological resources. Coverage for incidental take of the northern Mexican gartersnake will include the entire program area, as defined in the record of decision (ROD) for the LCR MSCP EIS/EIR, dated April 2005. This includes areas up to and including the full-pool elevation of Lakes Mead, Mohave, and Havasu and the historical floodplain of the Colorado River to the Southerly International Boundary with Mexico. The ROD also included off-site conservation areas for implementing the LCR MSCP. The LCR MSCP, with Reclamation as the implementing agency, will manage 512 acres of LCR MSCP-created marsh for the northern Mexican gartersnake. Of the 5,940 acres of LCR MSCP-created cottonwood-willow, 984 acres will be managed near marshes for the northern Mexican gartersnake. Background The original LCR MSCP permit was approved on April 4, 2005 (69 FR 75556), and extends through April 30, 2055. The LCR MSCP is a combined ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) and ESA section 7 approach to ESA compliance for implementation of covered activities for non-Federal (section 10) and Federal (section 7) participants. The LCR MSCP is a habitat-based program that is responsible for the creation and management of land-cover types that benefit multiple covered species, including 5,940 acres of cottonwood-willow; 1,320 acres of honey mesquite; 512 acres of marsh; and 360 acres of backwater. The LCR MSCP currently includes measures necessary to minimize and mitigate impacts to the 26 listed and unlisted species and their habitats covered by the plan. Take of covered species is incidental to covered activities associated with river operations and, water and power E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1 56262 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 227 / Tuesday, November 28, 2017 / Notices ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES delivery to Arizona, California, and Nevada. The LCR MSCP provides incidental take coverage to the following listed species; Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) Endangered Bonytail chub (Gila elegans) Endangered Humpback chub (Gila cypha) Endangered Yuma Ridgway’s (clapper) rail (Rallus obsoletus [=longirostris] yumanensis) Endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) Endangered Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Threatened During the initial development of the LCR MSCP in 2005, the northern Mexican gartersnake was not considered for coverage, because the species was believed to be extirpated within the planning area. However, subsequently, the species was found to be present. On July 8, 2014, the Service listed the northern Mexican gartersnake as threatened under the ESA, and critical habitat was proposed, including portions of the Bill Williams River. In 2012, northern Mexican gartersnakes were detected in portions of the Bill Williams River, between Alamo Dam and the Colorado River. In 2015, the northern Mexican gartersnake was confirmed at the LCR MSCP’s Beal Lake Conservation Area on Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, on the east side of the Colorado River, where it had been considered extirpated. 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 your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can request in your comment that we withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will not consider anonymous comments. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public disclosure in their entirety. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:51 Nov 27, 2017 Jkt 244001 CFR 17.22) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Amy Lueders, Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico. [FR Doc. 2017–25650 Filed 11–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GR17ND00GCT2800; OMB Control Number 1028—New] Agency Information Collection Activities; Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the USGS is proposing a new information collection (IC). DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 29, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this information collection to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 159, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); or gs-info_collections@ usgs.gov (email). Please reference ‘Information Collection 1028—NEW, Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework’ in all correspondence. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clint Moore, USGS Research Wildlife Biologist, at (706) 542–1166 or cmoore@ usgs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the USGS, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. We are soliciting comments on the proposed IC that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the USGS; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 might the USGS enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the USGS minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this IC. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: The Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF) is a collaborative effort to confront and reduce the spread of invasive Phragmites grass in the Great Lakes watershed. Phragmites is associated with reduced water quality, loss of biodiversity, reduced recreational opportunities, and increased fire hazards. Reducing or eliminating Phragmites throughout the region will reverse these deleterious effects and help achieve the comprehensive restoration goals for the Great Lakes basin (see the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at https://www.glri.us/). The PAMF initiative uses the principles of adaptive management, a learning-based form of management in which data gathered following a treatment action are used to improve the predictive models that inform the decision-making process itself. Identified as a priority by the multi-national Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (http:// www.greatlakesphragmites.net/), PAMF is a network of public and private cooperators who share a common desire to reduce or eradicate invasive Phragmites on lands that they manage. Membership in PAMF is voluntary and occurs after the cooperator has decided to treat Phragmites. A process is being developed to deliver site-specific guidance to participants that will both help them understand what treatment approach is most likely to achieve their management objectives and support regional adaptive learning through improvements and feedbacks to underlying scientific models. Cooperators will monitor and report vegetation characteristics on lands enrolled in the program, and they will report attributes about treatments E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 227 (Tuesday, November 28, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56261-56262]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-25650]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2017-N108; FXES11140200000-178-FF02ENEH00]


Notice of Availability; Draft Environmental Assessment for a 
Draft Amendment To Add the Northern Mexican Gartersnake to the Lower 
Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of documents; request for public 
comment.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as the lead Federal 
agency, along with the Bureau of Reclamation as a cooperating agency 
and the implementing agency for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species 
Conservation Program (LCR MSCP), announce the availability of a draft 
environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy 
Act. The draft EA evaluates the impacts of, and alternatives to, 
amendment of the existing Endangered Species Act permit for the LCR 
MSCP, in order to add the northern Mexican gartersnake as a covered 
species, and the impacts of implementation of the amended LCR MSCP.

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received or 
postmarked on or before December 28, 2017. Any comments we receive 
after the closing date or not postmarked by the closing date may not be 
considered in the final decision on this action.

ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents:
     Internet: You may obtain copies of the draft EA, which 
includes the draft amendment to the LCR MSCP, on the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service's Web site at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/.
     U.S. Mail: A limited number of CD-ROM and printed copies 
of the draft EA and associated draft amendment to the LCR MSCP are 
available, by request, from the Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological 
Services Field Office, 9828 N. 31st Avenue #C3, Phoenix, AZ 85051; by 
phone at 602-242-0210; or by fax at 602-242-2513. Please note that your 
request is in reference to the draft amended LCR MSCP for northern 
Mexican gartersnake.
     In-Person: Copies of the draft EA and associated draft 
amendment to the LCR MSCP are also available for public inspection and 
review at the following locations, by appointment and written request 
only, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
    [cir] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 500 Gold Avenue SW., Room 
6034, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
    [cir] Arizona Ecological Services Office (Phoenix; see information 
under U.S. Mail, above).
    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the 
following methods.
     U.S. Mail: Arizona Ecological Services Office (Phoenix; 
see information under U.S. Mail, Obtaining Documents, above).
     Electronically: incomingazcorr@fws.gov or 
fw2_hcp_permits@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor (see 
contact information for Arizona Ecological Services Field Office 
(Phoenix) in ADDRESSES.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), as the lead Federal agency, along with the Bureau of 
Reclamation (Reclamation) as a cooperating agency and the implementing 
agency for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program 
(LCR MSCP), announce the availability of a draft environmental 
assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; NEPA). The draft EA evaluates the 
impacts of, and alternatives to, amendment of an existing permit for 
the LCR MSCP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), in order to add the 
northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques) as a covered species, 
as well as the impacts of implementation of the amended LCR MSCP.
    Under the proposed amendment, there are no proposed changes to 
covered actions; no changes to the covered area; and no extension of 
the time period of permit coverage. Permittees with existing LCR MSCP 
certificates of inclusion are bound by the terms and conditions of 
their existing requirements. The amendment is not expected to trigger 
any new environmental consequences that were not identified in the LCR 
MSCP final programmatic environmental impact statement/environmental 
impact report (LCR MSCP EIS/EIR), which was prepared for the original 
LCR MSCP, or any new impacts to local economies or cultural resources. 
Nor are there any expected changes to direct, indirect, and cumulative 
effects, beyond those identified for biological resources.
    Coverage for incidental take of the northern Mexican gartersnake 
will include the entire program area, as defined in the record of 
decision (ROD) for the LCR MSCP EIS/EIR, dated April 2005. This 
includes areas up to and including the full-pool elevation of Lakes 
Mead, Mohave, and Havasu and the historical floodplain of the Colorado 
River to the Southerly International Boundary with Mexico. The ROD also 
included off-site conservation areas for implementing the LCR MSCP. The 
LCR MSCP, with Reclamation as the implementing agency, will manage 512 
acres of LCR MSCP-created marsh for the northern Mexican gartersnake. 
Of the 5,940 acres of LCR MSCP-created cottonwood-willow, 984 acres 
will be managed near marshes for the northern Mexican gartersnake.

Background

    The original LCR MSCP permit was approved on April 4, 2005 (69 FR 
75556), and extends through April 30, 2055. The LCR MSCP is a combined 
ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) and ESA section 7 approach to ESA compliance 
for implementation of covered activities for non-Federal (section 10) 
and Federal (section 7) participants.
    The LCR MSCP is a habitat-based program that is responsible for the 
creation and management of land-cover types that benefit multiple 
covered species, including 5,940 acres of cottonwood-willow; 1,320 
acres of honey mesquite; 512 acres of marsh; and 360 acres of 
backwater.
    The LCR MSCP currently includes measures necessary to minimize and 
mitigate impacts to the 26 listed and unlisted species and their 
habitats covered by the plan. Take of covered species is incidental to 
covered activities associated with river operations and, water and 
power

[[Page 56262]]

delivery to Arizona, California, and Nevada. The LCR MSCP provides 
incidental take coverage to the following listed species;
Razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) Endangered
Bonytail chub (Gila elegans) Endangered
Humpback chub (Gila cypha) Endangered
Yuma Ridgway's (clapper) rail (Rallus obsoletus [=longirostris] 
yumanensis) Endangered
Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) Endangered
Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Threatened

    During the initial development of the LCR MSCP in 2005, the 
northern Mexican gartersnake was not considered for coverage, because 
the species was believed to be extirpated within the planning area. 
However, subsequently, the species was found to be present. On July 8, 
2014, the Service listed the northern Mexican gartersnake as threatened 
under the ESA, and critical habitat was proposed, including portions of 
the Bill Williams River. In 2012, northern Mexican gartersnakes were 
detected in portions of the Bill Williams River, between Alamo Dam and 
the Colorado River. In 2015, the northern Mexican gartersnake was 
confirmed at the LCR MSCP's Beal Lake Conservation Area on Havasu 
National Wildlife Refuge, on the east side of the Colorado River, where 
it had been considered extirpated.

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 your entire comment--including 
your personal identifying information--may be made publicly available 
at any time. While you can request in your comment that we withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will not consider anonymous 
comments. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of 
organizations or businesses, will be made available for public 
disclosure in their entirety.

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 NEPA 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 
1506.6).

Amy Lueders,
Regional Director, Southwest Region, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 2017-25650 Filed 11-27-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P