Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Blue-Tailed Mole Skink, and Florida Scrub-Jay, Highlands County, FL; Categorical Exclusion, 57048 [2019-23206]

Download as PDF 57048 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 206 / Thursday, October 24, 2019 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R4–ES–2019–N147; FXES11140400000–190–FF04EF2000] Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Blue-Tailed Mole Skink, and Florida Scrub-Jay, Highlands County, FL; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment and information. AGENCY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington Blvd., LLC (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink, bluetailed mole skink, and Florida scrub-jay incidental to construction in Highlands County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review. DATES: We must receive your written comments by November 25, 2019. ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents by any of the following methods: • Telephone: Heather Hitt, 772–469– 4267. • Email: heather_hitt@fws.gov. • U.S. mail: Heather Hitt, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, Attn: Permit number TE50084D–0, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960–3559. • In-person: The documents may be reviewed by appointment during normal business hours at the above address. Please call to make an appointment. • Fax: Heather Hitt, 772–562–4288, Attn.: Permit number TE50084D–0. Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the documents, you may do so in writing via the above email address, U.S. mail address, or fax number, or you may hand-deliver comments to the above address during regular business hours. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:38 Oct 23, 2019 Jkt 250001 Heather Hitt, by U.S. mail (see ADDRESSES) or via phone at 772–469– 4267. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877– 8339 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington Blvd., LLC (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) and blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius lividus) (skinks) and the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) (scrub-jays) incidental to the construction of a commercial development (project) in Highlands County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP) and the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review. Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington Blvd., LLC requests a 5-year ITP to take skinks and scrub-jays incidental to the conversion of approximately 1.42 acres of occupied skink and scrub-jay foraging and sheltering habitat for the construction of a commercial development on a 1.42-acre parcel in Section 33, Township 36 South, Range 30 East, Highlands County, Florida. The applicant proposes to mitigate for take of the skinks and scrub-jays by purchasing credits equivalent to 2.84 acres of skink-occupied habitat from the Backbone Conservation Bank and to 2.84 acres of scrub-jay occupied habitat from the Tippen Bay Scrub-Jay Conservation Bank. The Service would require the applicant to purchase the credits prior to engaging in land clearing activities on the parcel. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment—including your personal Frm 00050 Our Preliminary Determination The Service has made a preliminary determination that the applicant’s project, including land clearing, construction of the commercial development, and the proposed mitigation measure, would individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on skinks, scrub-jays, and the environment. Therefore, we have preliminarily concluded that the ITP for this project would qualify for categorical exclusion and the HCP is low effect under our NEPA regulations at 43 CFR 46.205 and 46.210. A loweffect HCP is one that would result in (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and, (3) impacts that, when considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonable foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not over time result in significant cumulative effects to environmental values or resources. Next Steps Project PO 00000 identifying information—may be made available to the public. While you may request that we withhold your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Service will evaluate the application and the comments received to determine whether to issue the requested permit. We will also conduct an intra-Service consultation pursuant to section 7 of the ESA to evaluate the effects of the proposed take. After considering the above findings, we will determine whether the permit issuance criteria of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA have been met. If met, the Service will issue ITP number TE50084D–0 to Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington Blvd., LLC for incidental take of skinks and scrub-jays. Authority The Service provides this notice under section 10(c) (16 U.S.C. 1539(c)) of the ESA and NEPA regulations 40 CFR 1506.6. Roxanna Hinzman, Field Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office. [FR Doc. 2019–23206 Filed 10–23–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 206 (Thursday, October 24, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Page 57048]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-23206]



[[Page 57048]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2019-N147; FXES11140400000-190-FF04EF2000]


Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed 
Habitat Conservation Plan for the Sand Skink, Blue-Tailed Mole Skink, 
and Florida Scrub-Jay, Highlands County, FL; Categorical Exclusion

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment and information.

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

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt 
of an application from Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington Blvd., LLC 
(applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered 
Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally 
listed sand skink, blue-tailed mole skink, and Florida scrub-jay 
incidental to construction in Highlands County, Florida. We request 
public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's 
proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service's preliminary 
determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically 
excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this 
determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-
effect screening form, both of which are also available for public 
review.

DATES: We must receive your written comments by November 25, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents 
by any of the following methods:
     Telephone: Heather Hitt, 772-469-4267.
     Email: [email protected].
     U.S. mail: Heather Hitt, South Florida Ecological Services 
Field Office, Attn: Permit number TE50084D-0, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559.
     In-person: The documents may be reviewed by appointment 
during normal business hours at the above address. Please call to make 
an appointment.
     Fax: Heather Hitt, 772-562-4288, Attn.: Permit number 
TE50084D-0.
    Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the 
documents, you may do so in writing via the above email address, U.S. 
mail address, or fax number, or you may hand-deliver comments to the 
above address during regular business hours.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heather Hitt, by U.S. mail (see 
ADDRESSES) or via phone at 772-469-4267. Individuals who are hearing 
impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-
877-8339 for TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), 
announce receipt of an application from Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington 
Blvd., LLC (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand 
skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) and blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius 
lividus) (skinks) and the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) 
(scrub-jays) incidental to the construction of a commercial development 
(project) in Highlands County, Florida. We request public comment on 
the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat 
conservation plan (HCP) and the Service's preliminary determination 
that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded under 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). 
To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement 
and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for 
public review.

Project

    Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington Blvd., LLC requests a 5-year ITP to 
take skinks and scrub-jays incidental to the conversion of 
approximately 1.42 acres of occupied skink and scrub-jay foraging and 
sheltering habitat for the construction of a commercial development on 
a 1.42-acre parcel in Section 33, Township 36 South, Range 30 East, 
Highlands County, Florida. The applicant proposes to mitigate for take 
of the skinks and scrub-jays by purchasing credits equivalent to 2.84 
acres of skink-occupied habitat from the Backbone Conservation Bank and 
to 2.84 acres of scrub-jay occupied habitat from the Tippen Bay Scrub-
Jay Conservation Bank. The Service would require the applicant to 
purchase the credits prior to engaging in land clearing activities on 
the parcel.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that 
your entire comment--including your personal identifying information--
may be made available to the public. While you may request that we 
withhold your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee 
that we will be able to do so.

Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that the 
applicant's project, including land clearing, construction of the 
commercial development, and the proposed mitigation measure, would 
individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on 
skinks, scrub-jays, and the environment. Therefore, we have 
preliminarily concluded that the ITP for this project would qualify for 
categorical exclusion and the HCP is low effect under our NEPA 
regulations at 43 CFR 46.205 and 46.210. A low-effect HCP is one that 
would result in (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed, 
proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) minor or 
negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and, (3) 
impacts that, when considered together with the impacts of other past, 
present, and reasonable foreseeable similarly situated projects, would 
not over time result in significant cumulative effects to environmental 
values or resources.

Next Steps

    The Service will evaluate the application and the comments received 
to determine whether to issue the requested permit. We will also 
conduct an intra-Service consultation pursuant to section 7 of the ESA 
to evaluate the effects of the proposed take. After considering the 
above findings, we will determine whether the permit issuance criteria 
of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA have been met. If met, the Service 
will issue ITP number TE50084D-0 to Palmetto Lake Placid-Washington 
Blvd., LLC for incidental take of skinks and scrub-jays.

Authority

    The Service provides this notice under section 10(c) (16 U.S.C. 
1539(c)) of the ESA and NEPA regulations 40 CFR 1506.6.

Roxanna Hinzman,
Field Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office.
[FR Doc. 2019-23206 Filed 10-23-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P