Renewal of Safe Harbor Agreement for OX Ranch, Adams County, Idaho, 55168-55170 [2019-22439]

Download as PDF 55168 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES (2) Mail. Submit written comments to DHS, USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529–2140. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, 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 website at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800–375–5283 (TTY 800–767– 1833). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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–2007–0029 in the search box. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make to DHS. DHS may withhold information provided in comments from public viewing that it determines may impact the privacy of an individual or is offensive. For additional information, please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov. 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; VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 (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: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection. (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the Act. (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: Form I–864; I864A; I–864EZ; USCIS. (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households; The data collected on Form I–864 will be used by the USCIS to determine whether the sponsor has the ability to support the sponsored alien under section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This form serves the purpose of standardizing the evaluations of the sponsor’s ability to support the sponsored alien and ensures that basic information required to assess eligibility is provided by petitioners. The Form I–864A is a contract between the sponsor and the sponsor’s household members. It is only required if the sponsor used income of his or her household members to reach the required 125 percent of the Federal poverty guideline. The contract holds these household members jointly and severally liable for the support of the sponsored immigrant. The information collection required on Form I–864A is necessary for public benefit agencies to enforce the Affidavit of Support in the event the sponsor used income of his or her household members to reach the required income level and the public benefit agencies are requesting reimbursement from the sponsor. The Form I–864EZ will be used by the USCIS in exactly the same way as Form I–864, however, the USCIS will collect less information from the sponsors as less information will be needed from those who qualify in order to make a thorough adjudication. (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 collection I–864 is 453,345 and the estimated hour burden per response is 6.5 hours; the estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I–864A is 215,800 and the estimated hour burden per response is 2.25 hours; the estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I–864EZ is 100,000 and the estimated hour burden per response is 3 hours. (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 3,732,293 hours. (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $135,569,525. Dated: October 8, 2019. Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2019–22375 Filed 10–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2019–N133; FXES11140100000–190–FF01E00000] Renewal of Safe Harbor Agreement for OX Ranch, Adams County, Idaho Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received a written request from Hixon Properties Incorporated to renew an existing Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA). The participants in the SHA are OX Ranch (Hixon Properties Incorporated and affiliated business entities doing business collectively), the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Service. Continued implementation of the SHA is intended to benefit the recovery of the federally listed threatened northern Idaho ground squirrel in Adams County, Idaho. The Service is making the proposed SHA renewal and our draft environmental action statement (EAS) available for public review and comment. DATES: All comments from interested parties must be received on or before November 14, 2019. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices To request further information, obtain copies of documents, or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods. Please include your name and return address in your comments and refer to the ‘‘Safe Harbor Agreement for Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel’’: • Internet: Documents may be viewed on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/ Idaho. • Email: ifwo@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Safe Harbor Agreement for Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel’’ in the subject line of the message. • U.S. Mail: State Supervisor, Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Suite 368, Boise, ID 83709. • In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Documents will be available for public inspection, by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office. • Fax: Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office, 208–378–5262, Attn: Safe Harbor Agreement for Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel. ADDRESSES: Greg Burak, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES), telephone 208–378–5243, or email ifwo@fws.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received a written request dated May 30, 2019, from Hixon Properties Incorporated to renew an existing Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) for an additional 5 years beyond its current expiration date of September 28, 2019. The existing enhancement of survival permit (permit) associated with the SHA was issued August 13, 2009, pursuant to the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and is in effect until September 28, 2024. Renewing the SHA for an additional 5 years would make the expiration date the same as the expiration date of the permit. The SHA is between Hixon Properties Incorporated (owner), Rocky Comfort Cattle Company, LLC (lessee), and affiliated business entities doing business as the OX Ranch collectively, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), and the Service. Renewing the SHA is intended to benefit the recovery of the federally listed threatened northern Idaho ground squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus) on 7,783 acres (ac) of privately owned land in Adams County, Idaho. The SHA management actions to benefit the northern Idaho khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 ground squirrel include habitat maintenance and enhancement, predator/competitor control, shooting prohibitions, outreach, surveys, monitoring, and research. The activities implemented under this SHA will aid in increasing the current range of the covered species, restoring this species to part of its historic range, and increasing the total population of the species, thus contributing to its overall recovery. The Service is making the proposed SHA renewal and our draft EAS available for public review and comment, including the submission of written data. The draft EAS supports our preliminary determination that the proposed SHA renewal is eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Background Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened under section 4 of the ESA. Under the ESA, the term ‘‘take’’ means 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(19)). The term ‘‘harm,’’ as defined in our regulations, includes significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury to listed species by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). The term ‘‘harass’’ is defined in our regulations as an intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns, which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). Under specified circumstances, however, we may issue permits that authorize take of federally listed species, provided the take is incidental to, but not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing permits for threatened species are at 50 CFR 17.32. Under a SHA, participating landowners voluntarily undertake management activities on their property to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the ESA. SHAs, and the subsequent permit issued to participating landowners pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation actions for federally listed species by assuring the landowners that they will not be subjected to increased property use restrictions as a result of PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55169 their efforts to either attract listed species to their property, or to increase the numbers or distribution of listed species already on their property. Enrolled landowners may make lawful use of the enrolled property during the permit term and may incidentally take the listed species named on the permit. Application requirements and issuance criteria for permits associated with SHAs are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(c) and 17.32(c). As provided for in the Service’s final Safe Harbor Policy (64 FR 32717; June 17, 1999), SHAs provide assurances that allow the property owner to alter or modify their enrolled property, even if such alteration or modification results in the incidental take of a listed species, to such an extent that the property is returned back to the originally agreed upon baseline conditions. Private landowners may voluntarily terminate an SHA at any time and in accordance with 50 CFR 13.26. If this occurs, landowners must relinquish the associated incidental take permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. Safe Harbor Agreement The private lands covered under the existing SHA and permit consist of 7,783 ac on the OX Ranch, and are located just north of Bear, in Adams County, Idaho. Northern Idaho ground squirrels currently occupy 610 ac of the covered area. The 610 ac is considered the baseline. When the existing permit expires on September 28, 2024, the OX Ranch is allowed to return their property to baseline. The expected net conservation benefit to the northern Idaho ground squirrel as a result of the SHA is the maintenance of the 610-ac baseline area, allowing researchers affiliated with the Service or IDFG to access OX Ranch property; requiring notification of the Service and IDFG prior to activities that will result in ‘‘take’’ of the species so that they may capture and relocate affected individuals if appropriate; allowing the Service and IDFG personnel access to the property to conduct ground squirrel conservation activities approved by the applicant such as habitat maintenance and enhancement, ground squirrel surveys, and translocation of ground squirrels; and establishing some limits on the conduct of chemical rodent control in the squirrel management area. In addition, the applicant may also work with the Service and others to implement timber-related habitat enhancement measures that will potentially increase habitat for squirrels within the covered area. The biological goal of northern Idaho ground squirrel E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1 55170 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES conservation measures in the SHA is to expand this species’ population within and beyond the 610-ac baseline area by reducing threats and enhancing habitat for the species. The SHA is intended to contribute to the recovery of the northern Idaho ground squirrel by reducing threats, expanding and increasing the viability of the ground squirrel population at this site, improving habitat conditions, and potentially facilitating translocation of ground squirrels to other sites in need of population supplementation, as appropriate. The SHA management actions to benefit the northern Idaho ground squirrel include habitat maintenance and enhancement, predator/competitor control, shooting prohibitions, outreach, surveys, monitoring, and research. The OX Ranch has met obligations outlined in the 2009 SHA. For example, they have carried out habitat enhancement projects on their land and have participated in multiple habitat enhancement studies by providing access to their property for research purposes (i.e., Suronen and Newingham 2013, Goldberg 2018). They have allowed the installation of no-shooting signs on their property, conducted outreach, allowed needed surveys and monitoring to be carried out on an annual basis by the IDFG (i.e., Wagner and Evans Mack 2019), and have allowed limited predator control to be carried out on their property on an asneeded basis. Renewing the SHA for an additional 5 years will provide continued conservation benefits on OX Ranch lands for the northern Idaho ground squirrel. National Environmental Policy Act Compliance The renewal of the SHA is a Federal action that triggers the need for compliance with NEPA. The Service has made a preliminary determination that the proposed SHA renewal is eligible for categorical exclusion under NEPA, based on the following criteria: (1) Implementation of the SHA would result in minor or negligible adverse effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the SHA would result in minor or negligible adverse effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) impacts of the SHA, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative adverse effects to environmental values or resources which would be considered significant. We explain the basis for this VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 determination in more detail in an EAS that is also available for public review. Public Comments You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We request data, comments, new information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or any other interested party on our proposed Federal action. Public Availability of Comments All comments and materials 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 comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we use in preparing the EAS, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at our Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). Authority We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and their implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22, and 40 CFR 1506.6, respectively). Rolland G. White, Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2019–22439 Filed 10–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [201A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G] Advisory Board of Exceptional Children Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is announcing that the Advisory Board for Exceptional Children will hold its next meeting in SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Albuquerque, NM, November 13–15, 2019. The purpose of the meeting is to meet the mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) for Indian children with disabilities. On Wednesday, November 13, 2019 and Thursday, November 14, 2019 and Friday, November 15, 2019 all Advisory Board members will meet insession from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The Advisory Board will hold an orientation session for members only on Friday, November 15, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time. The public commenting session will occur on Friday, November 15, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time. ADDRESSES: The orientation and public meetings will be held at the 1011 Indian School Rd. NW, 3rd floor in the Large Conference in Albuquerque, NM 87104; telephone number (602) 240–8597. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Davis, Designated Federal Officer, Bureau of Indian Education, 2600 N Central Ave., Suite 800, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, email at Jennifer.davis@bie.edu or telephone number (602) 240–8597. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the BIE is announcing that the Advisory Board will hold its next meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Advisory Board was established under the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) to advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, on the needs of Indian children with disabilities. The meeting is open to the public. The following items will be on the agenda: • Report from Tony Dearman, Director, BIE Director’s Office • Report from Dr. Jeffrey Hamley Associate Deputy Director, BIE, Division of Performance and Accountability (DPA) • Report from Donald Griffin, Supervisory Education Specialist, BIE/DPA/IDEA • Report from BIE Associate Deputy Directors—discuss topics related to students with disabilities • Finalize the 2019 Annual Report • An orientation session will be provided to new Advisory Board members • Public Comments (via teleconference call, Friday, November 15, 2019 meeting only *) * During the November 15, 2019 meeting, time has been set aside for DATES: E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 199 (Tuesday, October 15, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55168-55170]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-22439]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2019-N133; FXES11140100000-190-FF01E00000]


Renewal of Safe Harbor Agreement for OX Ranch, Adams County, 
Idaho

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have 
received a written request from Hixon Properties Incorporated to renew 
an existing Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA). The participants in the SHA 
are OX Ranch (Hixon Properties Incorporated and affiliated business 
entities doing business collectively), the Idaho Department of Fish and 
Game, and the Service. Continued implementation of the SHA is intended 
to benefit the recovery of the federally listed threatened northern 
Idaho ground squirrel in Adams County, Idaho. The Service is making the 
proposed SHA renewal and our draft environmental action statement (EAS) 
available for public review and comment.

DATES: All comments from interested parties must be received on or 
before November 14, 2019.

[[Page 55169]]


ADDRESSES: To request further information, obtain copies of documents, 
or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods. 
Please include your name and return address in your comments and refer 
to the ``Safe Harbor Agreement for Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel'':
     Internet: Documents may be viewed on the internet at 
http://www.fws.gov/Idaho.
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``Safe Harbor Agreement for 
Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel'' in the subject line of the message.
     U.S. Mail: State Supervisor, Idaho Fish and Wildlife 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1387 South Vinnell Way, Suite 
368, Boise, ID 83709.
     In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Documents will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 5 
p.m. at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Idaho Fish and Wildlife 
Office.
     Fax: Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office, 208-378-5262, Attn: 
Safe Harbor Agreement for Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Burak, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES), telephone 208-
378-5243, or email [email protected]. If you use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf, please call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), have received a written request dated May 30, 2019, from 
Hixon Properties Incorporated to renew an existing Safe Harbor 
Agreement (SHA) for an additional 5 years beyond its current expiration 
date of September 28, 2019. The existing enhancement of survival permit 
(permit) associated with the SHA was issued August 13, 2009, pursuant 
to the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and is in effect until September 
28, 2024. Renewing the SHA for an additional 5 years would make the 
expiration date the same as the expiration date of the permit. The SHA 
is between Hixon Properties Incorporated (owner), Rocky Comfort Cattle 
Company, LLC (lessee), and affiliated business entities doing business 
as the OX Ranch collectively, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game 
(IDFG), and the Service. Renewing the SHA is intended to benefit the 
recovery of the federally listed threatened northern Idaho ground 
squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus) on 7,783 acres (ac) of privately owned 
land in Adams County, Idaho. The SHA management actions to benefit the 
northern Idaho ground squirrel include habitat maintenance and 
enhancement, predator/competitor control, shooting prohibitions, 
outreach, surveys, monitoring, and research. The activities implemented 
under this SHA will aid in increasing the current range of the covered 
species, restoring this species to part of its historic range, and 
increasing the total population of the species, thus contributing to 
its overall recovery. The Service is making the proposed SHA renewal 
and our draft EAS available for public review and comment, including 
the submission of written data. The draft EAS supports our preliminary 
determination that the proposed SHA renewal is eligible for categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take of fish and wildlife 
species listed as endangered or threatened under section 4 of the ESA. 
Under the ESA, the term ``take'' means 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(19)). The term ``harm,'' as defined 
in our regulations, includes significant habitat modification or 
degradation that results in death or injury to listed species by 
significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including 
breeding, feeding, or sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). The term ``harass'' is 
defined in our regulations as an intentional or negligent act or 
omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying 
it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral 
patterns, which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or 
sheltering (50 CFR 17.3). Under specified circumstances, however, we 
may issue permits that authorize take of federally listed species, 
provided the take is incidental to, but not the purpose of, an 
otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing permits for threatened 
species are at 50 CFR 17.32.
    Under a SHA, participating landowners voluntarily undertake 
management activities on their property to enhance, restore, or 
maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the ESA. SHAs, and the 
subsequent permit issued to participating landowners pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, encourage private and other non-Federal 
property owners to implement conservation actions for federally listed 
species by assuring the landowners that they will not be subjected to 
increased property use restrictions as a result of their efforts to 
either attract listed species to their property, or to increase the 
numbers or distribution of listed species already on their property. 
Enrolled landowners may make lawful use of the enrolled property during 
the permit term and may incidentally take the listed species named on 
the permit. Application requirements and issuance criteria for permits 
associated with SHAs are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 
at 50 CFR 17.22(c) and 17.32(c). As provided for in the Service's final 
Safe Harbor Policy (64 FR 32717; June 17, 1999), SHAs provide 
assurances that allow the property owner to alter or modify their 
enrolled property, even if such alteration or modification results in 
the incidental take of a listed species, to such an extent that the 
property is returned back to the originally agreed upon baseline 
conditions. Private landowners may voluntarily terminate an SHA at any 
time and in accordance with 50 CFR 13.26. If this occurs, landowners 
must relinquish the associated incidental take permit pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA.

Safe Harbor Agreement

    The private lands covered under the existing SHA and permit consist 
of 7,783 ac on the OX Ranch, and are located just north of Bear, in 
Adams County, Idaho. Northern Idaho ground squirrels currently occupy 
610 ac of the covered area. The 610 ac is considered the baseline. When 
the existing permit expires on September 28, 2024, the OX Ranch is 
allowed to return their property to baseline.
    The expected net conservation benefit to the northern Idaho ground 
squirrel as a result of the SHA is the maintenance of the 610-ac 
baseline area, allowing researchers affiliated with the Service or IDFG 
to access OX Ranch property; requiring notification of the Service and 
IDFG prior to activities that will result in ``take'' of the species so 
that they may capture and relocate affected individuals if appropriate; 
allowing the Service and IDFG personnel access to the property to 
conduct ground squirrel conservation activities approved by the 
applicant such as habitat maintenance and enhancement, ground squirrel 
surveys, and translocation of ground squirrels; and establishing some 
limits on the conduct of chemical rodent control in the squirrel 
management area. In addition, the applicant may also work with the 
Service and others to implement timber-related habitat enhancement 
measures that will potentially increase habitat for squirrels within 
the covered area. The biological goal of northern Idaho ground squirrel

[[Page 55170]]

conservation measures in the SHA is to expand this species' population 
within and beyond the 610-ac baseline area by reducing threats and 
enhancing habitat for the species. The SHA is intended to contribute to 
the recovery of the northern Idaho ground squirrel by reducing threats, 
expanding and increasing the viability of the ground squirrel 
population at this site, improving habitat conditions, and potentially 
facilitating translocation of ground squirrels to other sites in need 
of population supplementation, as appropriate.
    The SHA management actions to benefit the northern Idaho ground 
squirrel include habitat maintenance and enhancement, predator/
competitor control, shooting prohibitions, outreach, surveys, 
monitoring, and research.
    The OX Ranch has met obligations outlined in the 2009 SHA. For 
example, they have carried out habitat enhancement projects on their 
land and have participated in multiple habitat enhancement studies by 
providing access to their property for research purposes (i.e., Suronen 
and Newingham 2013, Goldberg 2018). They have allowed the installation 
of no-shooting signs on their property, conducted outreach, allowed 
needed surveys and monitoring to be carried out on an annual basis by 
the IDFG (i.e., Wagner and Evans Mack 2019), and have allowed limited 
predator control to be carried out on their property on an as-needed 
basis. Renewing the SHA for an additional 5 years will provide 
continued conservation benefits on OX Ranch lands for the northern 
Idaho ground squirrel.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The renewal of the SHA is a Federal action that triggers the need 
for compliance with NEPA. The Service has made a preliminary 
determination that the proposed SHA renewal is eligible for categorical 
exclusion under NEPA, based on the following criteria: (1) 
Implementation of the SHA would result in minor or negligible adverse 
effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their 
habitats; (2) implementation of the SHA would result in minor or 
negligible adverse effects on other environmental values or resources; 
and (3) impacts of the SHA, considered together with the impacts of 
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated 
projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative adverse effects to 
environmental values or resources which would be considered 
significant. We explain the basis for this determination in more detail 
in an EAS that is also available for public review.

Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in the ADDRESSES section. We request data, comments, new 
information, or suggestions from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, the scientific community, Tribes, industry, or 
any other interested party on our proposed Federal action.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials 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 comments, you should be aware that your entire comment--
including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly 
available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we 
receive, as well as supporting documentation we use in preparing the 
EAS, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during 
normal business hours, at our Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES).

Authority

    We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of 
section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA 42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.) and their implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22, and 40 
CFR 1506.6, respectively).

Rolland G. White,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-22439 Filed 10-11-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P