DeChaux Habitat Conservation Plan for the Yelm Subspecies of the Mazama Pocket Gopher, Thurston County, Washington; Categorical Exclusion, 19016-19017 [2020-06980]

Download as PDF 19016 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 65 / Friday, April 3, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES locations for the duration of the ITP. The Service would issue an ITP authorizing the level of incidental take expected to result from operation and maintenance of the remaining 33 WTGs and site management activities. Alternative 3: Under the Enhanced Curtailment Regime of the Proposed Action Alternative, all 38 WTGs would operate under an expanded set of curtailment measures intended to minimize the potential for take of the covered species. The Service would issue an ITP authorizing the level of incidental take expected to result from covered activities in accordance with the additional curtailment measures. The environmental consequences of each alternative were analyzed in the FEIS. The types of effects on covered species were similar across action alternatives, with take resulting from project operations being mitigated through land acquisition, derelict net removal, and power pole retrofits. Increasing the use of avoidance and minimization measures through different turbine curtailment regimes can reduce the amount of take of the covered species and the amount of renewable electricity produced; a commensurate reduction in the amount of derelict net removal and power pole retrofits are expected with alternatives that increase turbine curtailment. Public comments received in response to the DEIS were considered, and the FEIS reflects clarifications of the existing analysis to address public comments. The FEIS does not identify an environmentally preferred alternative. Pursuant to NEPA implementing regulations found at 40 CFR 15.2(b), the Service identified the No Action Alternative—Option B (no approval of the HCP/no issuance of the ITP/no project construction) as the environmentally preferred alternative in the ROD. Decision and Rationale for Decision Based on our review of the alternatives and their environmental consequences as described in our FEIS, we have selected the Proposed Action option (Alternative 1). The Proposed Action includes the applicant’s implementation of the final HCP and the Service’s issuance of an ITP authorizing incidental take of the covered species that may occur as a result of project operations. In order to issue an ITP for covered species under the ESA, we must determine that the HCP meets the issuance criteria set forth in 16 U.S.C. 1539(a)(2)(B). In addition, in order to issue an ITP covering bald eagles and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 golden eagles, we must determine that the HCP meets the issuance criteria set forth in 50 CFR 22.26(f). We have made the determination that the HCP meets both sets of criteria, as described further in the ROD. Authority We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1539(c)) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32), and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR part 46). Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2020–06977 Filed 4–2–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2020–N047; FXES11140100000–201–FF01E00000] DeChaux Habitat Conservation Plan for the Yelm Subspecies of the Mazama Pocket Gopher, Thurston County, Washington; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, received an application from Duane DeChaux (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The ITP would authorize the applicant’s take of the Yelm pocket gopher, incidental to otherwise lawful activities during construction of their singlefamily home and agricultural shop in Thurston County, Washington. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) with measures to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the covered species. We have also prepared a draft environmental action statement for our preliminary determination that the HCP and permit decision may be eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We provide this notice to open a public comment period and invite comments from all interested parties regarding the documents. SUMMARY: Please submit written comments by May 4, 2020. DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods: • Internet: You may view or download the habitat conservation plan, draft environmental action statement, and additional information on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/. • Email: wfwocomments@fws.gov. Include ‘‘DeChaux HCP’’ in the subject line of the message. • U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R1–ES–2020– N047; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Washington Fish and Wildlife Office; 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102; Lacey, WA 98503. • In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 360–753–5823 to make an appointment (necessary for viewing or picking up documents only) during regular business hours at the above address. ADDRESSES: Tim Romanski, Conservation Planning and Hydropower Branch Manager, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 360–753–5823. 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), received an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531). The ITP would authorize the applicant’s ‘‘take’’ of the Yelm pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama yelmensis) incidental to otherwise lawful activities during construction of their single-family home and agricultural shop in Thurston County, Washington. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) with measures to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the covered species. We have also prepared a draft environmental action statement (EAS) for our preliminary determination that the HCP and permit decision may be eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We provide this notice to open a public comment period and invite comments from all interested parties regarding the documents. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Background Section 9 of the ESA prohibits ‘‘take’’ of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. Under the ESA, the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 65 / Friday, April 3, 2020 / Notices 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 to carry out intentional or negligent actions that create the likelihood of injury to listed species 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). Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions that authorize the Service to issue permits to non-Federal entities for the take of endangered and threatened species caused by otherwise lawful activities, provided the following criteria are met: (1) The taking will be incidental; (2) the applicant will, to the maximum extent practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; (3) the applicant will ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be provided; (4) the taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and (5) the applicant will carry out any other measures that the Service may require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the plan. Regulations governing permits for endangered and threatened species are found in 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Proposed Action The applicant proposes to construct a single-family residence, including a home, driveway, landscaping areas, underground utilities, and an agricultural building on 5 acres in Thurston County, Washington. All construction and landscaping activity will be confined to an area encompassing 1.28 acres. The applicant will continue to implement agricultural activities as conditioned by commitments in the HCP on the remaining acreage. The property is currently occupied by the Yelm pocket gopher. The applicant proposes to offset adverse effects to the species by executing a conservation easement with Thurston County for a 2.58-acre conservation site within the 5acre property. The conservation site will be managed for successful Yelm pocket gopher feeding, breeding, and sheltering. The Service proposes to issue the requested 10-year ITP based on the applicant’s commitment to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 implement the HCP, if permit issuance criteria are met. Public Comments 19017 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 (at 50 CFR 17.32 and 40 CFR 1506.6, respectively). You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We specifically request information, views, and suggestions from interested parties regarding our proposed Federal action, including adequacy of the HCP pursuant to the requirements for permits at 50 CFR parts 13 and 17 and adequacy of the EAS pursuant to the requirements of NEPA. Mary M. Abrams, Deputy Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public Availability of Comments DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 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 personally identifiable information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifiable information— may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 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. Comments and materials we receive will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at our Washington Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). Bureau of Indian Affairs Next Steps After public review, we will assess the comments received and finalize the EAS. We will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and any comments received, to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. We will also evaluate whether issuance of the requested section 10(a)(1)(B) permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the ESA on the proposed ITP action. The final NEPA and permit determinations will not be completed until after the end of the 30day comment period, and will fully consider all comments received during the comment period. If we determine that all requirements are met, we will issue an ITP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA to the applicant for the take of the covered species, incidental to otherwise lawful covered activities. PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2020–06980 Filed 4–2–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P [201A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900 253G] Tribal Consultation Regarding the Indian Employment, Training, and Related Services Demonstration Act Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Tribal consultation. AGENCY: The Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs (AS–IA) will be hosting a consultation session by webinar with interested Tribes regarding the 477 Program. DATES: Comments must be received on or before Thursday, April 30, 2020. Consultation by webinar will be held Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 1 p.m. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice for information on joining the webinar. ADDRESSES: Send comments to: consultation@bia.gov, or by mail to: Deputy Bureau Director—Indian Services, MS–4660, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dawn Selwyn, Acting Associate Deputy Bureau Director—Indian Services at (202) 208–6941. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Several Federal agencies, including Interior, are party to an interagency memorandum of agreement (MOA) to implement Public Law 102–477, the Indian Employment, Training, and Related Services Demonstration Act of 1992 (477 Program). We invite Tribes to attend to a consultation session by webinar, to provide input on the 477 Program on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: • To join the Webinar, go to this link: https://bia-oishs.webex.com/bia-oishs/ j.php?MTID=mfb5d92db4acef 795d0d282c3f855187e, enter meeting number: 795 506 785, Password: 477Program. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 65 (Friday, April 3, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19016-19017]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-06980]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2020-N047; FXES11140100000-201-FF01E00000]


DeChaux Habitat Conservation Plan for the Yelm Subspecies of the 
Mazama Pocket Gopher, Thurston County, Washington; Categorical 
Exclusion

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, received an 
application from Duane DeChaux (applicant) for an incidental take 
permit (ITP) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(ESA). The ITP would authorize the applicant's take of the Yelm pocket 
gopher, incidental to otherwise lawful activities during construction 
of their single-family home and agricultural shop in Thurston County, 
Washington. The application includes a habitat conservation plan (HCP) 
with measures to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the taking on the 
covered species. We have also prepared a draft environmental action 
statement for our preliminary determination that the HCP and permit 
decision may be eligible for categorical exclusion under the National 
Environmental Policy Act. We provide this notice to open a public 
comment period and invite comments from all interested parties 
regarding the documents.

DATES: Please submit written comments by May 4, 2020.

ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, 
please use one of the following methods:
     Internet: You may view or download the habitat 
conservation plan, draft environmental action statement, and additional 
information on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/.
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``DeChaux HCP'' in 
the subject line of the message.
     U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-
2020-N047; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Washington Fish and Wildlife 
Office; 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102; Lacey, WA 98503.
     In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 360-753-5823 
to make an appointment (necessary for viewing or picking up documents 
only) during regular business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Romanski, Conservation Planning 
and Hydropower Branch Manager, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 360-753-
5823. 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), received an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) 
pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531). The ITP would authorize the 
applicant's ``take'' of the Yelm pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama 
yelmensis) incidental to otherwise lawful activities during 
construction of their single-family home and agricultural shop in 
Thurston County, Washington. The application includes a habitat 
conservation plan (HCP) with measures to minimize and mitigate the 
impacts of the taking on the covered species. We have also prepared a 
draft environmental action statement (EAS) for our preliminary 
determination that the HCP and permit decision may be eligible for 
categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We provide this notice to open a public 
comment period and invite comments from all interested parties 
regarding the documents.

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA prohibits ``take'' of fish and wildlife 
species listed as endangered or threatened. Under the ESA, the term 
``take'' means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill,

[[Page 19017]]

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 to carry out intentional or negligent actions that 
create the likelihood of injury to listed species 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).
    Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA contains provisions that authorize 
the Service to issue permits to non-Federal entities for the take of 
endangered and threatened species caused by otherwise lawful 
activities, provided the following criteria are met: (1) The taking 
will be incidental; (2) the applicant will, to the maximum extent 
practicable, minimize and mitigate the impact of such taking; (3) the 
applicant will ensure that adequate funding for the plan will be 
provided; (4) the taking will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of 
the survival and recovery of the species in the wild; and (5) the 
applicant will carry out any other measures that the Service may 
require as being necessary or appropriate for the purposes of the plan. 
Regulations governing permits for endangered and threatened species are 
found in 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32, respectively.

Proposed Action

    The applicant proposes to construct a single-family residence, 
including a home, driveway, landscaping areas, underground utilities, 
and an agricultural building on 5 acres in Thurston County, Washington. 
All construction and landscaping activity will be confined to an area 
encompassing 1.28 acres. The applicant will continue to implement 
agricultural activities as conditioned by commitments in the HCP on the 
remaining acreage.
    The property is currently occupied by the Yelm pocket gopher. The 
applicant proposes to offset adverse effects to the species by 
executing a conservation easement with Thurston County for a 2.58-acre 
conservation site within the 5-acre property. The conservation site 
will be managed for successful Yelm pocket gopher feeding, breeding, 
and sheltering. The Service proposes to issue the requested 10-year ITP 
based on the applicant's commitment to implement the HCP, if permit 
issuance criteria are met.

Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in ADDRESSES. We specifically request information, views, and 
suggestions from interested parties regarding our proposed Federal 
action, including adequacy of the HCP pursuant to the requirements for 
permits at 50 CFR parts 13 and 17 and adequacy of the EAS pursuant to 
the requirements of NEPA.

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 personally identifiable 
information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire 
comment--including your personally identifiable information--may be 
made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your 
comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from 
public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 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. Comments and materials we receive will be available for 
public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at our 
Washington Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).

Next Steps

    After public review, we will assess the comments received and 
finalize the EAS. We will evaluate the permit application, associated 
documents, and any comments received, to determine whether the permit 
application meets the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. 
We will also evaluate whether issuance of the requested section 
10(a)(1)(B) permit would comply with section 7 of the ESA by conducting 
an intra-Service section 7 consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the 
ESA on the proposed ITP action. The final NEPA and permit 
determinations will not be completed until after the end of the 30-day 
comment period, and will fully consider all comments received during 
the comment period. If we determine that all requirements are met, we 
will issue an ITP under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA to the applicant 
for the take of the covered species, incidental to otherwise lawful 
covered activities.

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 (at 50 CFR 17.32 and 
40 CFR 1506.6, respectively).

Mary M. Abrams,
Deputy Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-06980 Filed 4-2-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P