Receipt of Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications Developed in Accordance With the Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit; Douglas County, Washington, 65866-65868 [2020-22966]

Download as PDF 65866 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 201 / Friday, October 16, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 5. Other possible reasonable alternatives to the proposed permit action that the Service should consider, including additional or alternative avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures; 6. The presence of historic properties—including archaeological sites, buildings and structures, historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic preservation concerns—in the proposed permit area, which are required to be considered in project planning by the National Historic Preservation Act; 7. Information on other current or planned activities in, or in the vicinity of, Thurston County and their possible impacts on the covered species, including any connected actions that are closely related and should be discussed in the same DEIS; and 8. Other information relevant to the Thurston HCP and its impacts on the human environment. Comments received in writing during the 2013 public comment period were retained, and do not need be provided again during this public comment period to be considered during this review. Once the DEIS is prepared, there will be further opportunity for comment on this proposed permit action through an additional public comment period. Public Availability of Comments You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. Before including your address, phone number, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—might 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. 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, as well as supporting documentation we use in preparing the DEIS, will be available for public inspection online in Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2020–0101 at http://www.regulations.gov/ (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Decision Maker and Nature of Decision to Be Made The Decision Maker is the Service’s Regional Director. If after publication of the ROD we determine that all VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:59 Oct 15, 2020 Jkt 253001 requirements are met for ITP issuance, the Regional Director will issue a decision on the requested ITP. Authority We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of Section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1539(c)) and NEPA regulations pertaining to the publication of a notice of intent to issue an EIS (40 CFR 1501.9(d)). Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2020–22963 Filed 10–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2020–N115; FXES11140100000–201–FF01E00000] Receipt of Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications Developed in Accordance With the Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit; Douglas County, Washington Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received two applications for enhancement of survival permits (permits) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The two applications, one from Mr. Ed Preston and one from Mr. Ward Glessner, were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement (Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. We are requesting comments from the public regarding the proposed issuance of a permit to each of the two applicants. SUMMARY: Submit written comments no later than November 16, 2020. ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods: • Internet: You may view or download copies of the Template SHA and environmental assessment and obtain additional information on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/. • Email: wfwocomments@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Template SHA for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit’’ in the subject line of the message. • U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R1–ES–2020– DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 N115; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; c/ o Jeff Krupka; Central Washington Fish and Wildlife Field Office; 215 Melody Lane, Suite 119, Wenatchee, WA 98801. • Facsimile: 509–665–3509. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly Veverka (see ADDRESSES); telephone: 509–665–3508, ext. 2012; facsimile: 509–665–3509. 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 two applications for enhancement of survival permits (permits) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The two applications, one from Mr. Ed Preston and one from Mr. Ward Glessner, were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement (Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Mr. Preston’s application includes a request to enroll 421.74 acres of land in Douglas County, Washington, under the Template SHA. Mr. Glessner’s application includes a request to enroll 2,023.84 acres of land in Douglas County, Washington, under the Template SHA. If approved, the permits would authorize otherwise prohibited take of the endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit that is above the baseline conditions of the properties enrolled under the Template SHA, and that may result from the permittees’ otherwise lawful land-use activities. We provide this notice to open a public comment period and invite comments from all interested parties regarding the proposed issuance of a permit to each applicant. Background Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered 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 [to carry out] 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 E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 201 / Friday, October 16, 2020 / Notices 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 endangered species are at 50 CFR 17.22. Under a safe harbor agreement (SHA), participating landowners voluntarily undertake management activities on their properties to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the ESA. SHAs, and the subsequent enhancement of survival permits that are issued pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation efforts for listed species. The SHAs provide assurances to property owners that they will not be subjected to increased property use restrictions as a result of their efforts to attract listed species to their property, or to increase the numbers or distribution of listed species already on their property. Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of survival permits through SHAs are found in 50 CFR 17.22(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 agreedupon baseline conditions. On March 5, 2003, the Service listed the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit as an endangered species (68 FR 10388). On September 7, 2006, the Service announced the availability for public review and comment of a draft Template SHA for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, which was jointly developed by the Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and a draft environmental assessment (EA), which was developed by the Service pursuant to Federal responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (71 FR 52816). The Service’s September 7, 2006, Federal Register notice also announced the receipt of three initial permit applications that were developed in accordance with the Template SHA. The final Template SHA, which contained only minor modifications from the draft released for public review, was signed by the Service and WDFW on October 24, 2006. On April 25, 2007, the Service announced the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:59 Oct 15, 2020 Jkt 253001 availability for public review and comment of another 13 permit applications that were developed in accordance with the Template SHA (72 FR 20557). On October 8, 2008, the Service announced the availability for public review and comment of one permit application that was developed in accordance with the Template SHA (73 FR 58975). On June 18, 2015, the Service announced the availability for public review and comment of nine permit applications that were developed in accordance with the Template SHA (80 FR 34928). To date, the Service has issued 26 permits under the Template SHA, which cover 152,849 acres that are within the historic distribution of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. The objectives of the Template SHA include: (1) Encourage land owners and managers to undertake voluntary conservation measures to benefit the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit; (2) maintain or increase the amount of habitat available to the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit within their historic distribution; (3) accomplish the foregoing without negatively affecting existing and proposed future land-use activities by reducing participants’ future management liability for incidental take of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits on their enrolled property; and (4) increase public support for Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit conservation efforts by implementing proactive, cooperative, and flexible management in accordance with the measures prescribed by the ESA. Proposed Action We received two applications, one from Mr. Edward Preston and one from Mr. Ward Glessner, requesting permits under the ESA and in accordance with the Template SHA and 50 CFR 13.25(b). If we approve the applications, the implementation of the Template SHA would occur on the following properties: • Mr. Edward Preston: The properties included within the proposed enrollment total 421.74 acres in Douglas County, Washington, and are located within the geographic area covered by the Template SHA. All of the land areas proposed for enrollment by Mr. Preston represent intervening properties (i.e., property outside of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit recovery emphasis areas) as defined in the Template SHA. WDFW biologists conducted evidence searches for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit on Mr. Preston’s properties identified for enrollment under the Template SHA. No Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits or evidence of active pygmy rabbit burrows PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65867 were detected during these surveys. Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of the Template SHA, the baseline for covered properties is zero (0) active pygmy rabbit burrows. • Mr. Ward Glessner: The properties included within the proposed enrollment total 2,023.84 acres in Douglas County, Washington, and are located within the geographic area covered by the Template SHA. All of the land areas proposed for enrollment by Mr. Glessner represent intervening properties (i.e., property outside of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit recovery emphasis areas) as defined in the Template SHA. WDFW biologists conducted evidence searches for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit on Mr. Glessner’s properties identified for enrollment under the Template SHA. No Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits or evidence of active pygmy rabbit burrows were detected during these surveys. Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of the Template SHA, the baseline for covered properties is zero (0) active pygmy rabbit burrows. The Service has previously determined that implementation of the Template SHA will result in conservation benefits to the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit and will not result in significant effects to the human environment. The Service will evaluate the permit applications, related documents, and any comments submitted to determine whether the applications are consistent with the measures prescribed by the Template SHA and comply with relevant statutory and regulatory requirements. If it is determined that the requirements are met, a permit authorizing incidental take of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit will be issued to each of the applicants. The final determination for each permit will not be completed until after the end of the 30-day comment period, and we will fully consider all comments received. Public Comments You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. 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. The original Template SHA and EA are available for reference. Public Availability of Comments All comments and materials we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1 65868 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 201 / Friday, October 16, 2020 / Notices 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. 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 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). Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2020–22966 Filed 10–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX20LR000F60100; OMB Control Number 1028–0068] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Ferrous Metals Surveys U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are proposing to renew an Information Collection. SUMMARY: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 16, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to U.S. Geological Survey, Information Collections Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:59 Oct 15, 2020 Jkt 253001 or by email to gs-info_collections@ usgs.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1028–0068 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Elizabeth S. Sangine by email at escottsangine@usgs.gov, or by telephone at 703–648–7720. You may also view the ICR at http:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, 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. A Federal Register notice with a 60day public comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on August 14, 2020, 85 FR 49672. One comment was received from the Bureau of Economic Analysis supporting the collection of this data as nationally important. We are again soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comments 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 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. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: Respondents to these forms supply the USGS with domestic production and consumption data for 13 PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 ores, concentrates, metals, and ferroalloys, some of which are considered strategic and critical, to assist in determining National Defense Stockpile goals. These data and derived information will be published as chapters in Minerals Yearbooks, monthly Mineral Industry Surveys, annual Mineral Commodity Summaries, and special publications, for use by Government agencies, industry education programs, and the general public. Title of Collection: Ferrous Metals Surveys. OMB Control Number: 1028–0068. Form Number: Various, 15 forms. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Business or Other-For-Profit Institutions: U.S. nonfuel minerals producers and consumers of ferrous and related metals. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 954. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 2,208. Estimated Completion Time per Response: For each form, we will include an average burden time ranging from 10 minutes to 1 hour. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,158. Respondent’s Obligation: Voluntary. Frequency of Collection: Monthly or Annually. Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: There are no ‘‘nonhour cost’’ burdens associated with this IC. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The authorities for this action are the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980 (30 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), the National Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21(a)), the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act (50 U.S.C. 98 et seq.), and the Defense Production Act (50 U.S.C. 2061 et seq.). Michael Magyar, Acting Director, National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey. [FR Doc. 2020–22905 Filed 10–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338–11–P E:\FR\FM\16OCN1.SGM 16OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 201 (Friday, October 16, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65866-65868]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-22966]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2020-N115; FXES11140100000-201-FF01E00000]


Receipt of Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications Developed 
in Accordance With the Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia 
Basin Pygmy Rabbit; Douglas County, Washington

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received two 
applications for enhancement of survival permits (permits) pursuant to 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The two 
applications, one from Mr. Ed Preston and one from Mr. Ward Glessner, 
were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement 
(Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. We are requesting 
comments from the public regarding the proposed issuance of a permit to 
each of the two applicants.

DATES: Submit written comments no later than November 16, 2020.

ADDRESSES: To request further information or submit written comments, 
please use one of the following methods:
     Internet: You may view or download copies of the Template 
SHA and environmental assessment and obtain additional information on 
the internet at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/.
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``Template SHA for 
the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit'' in the subject line of the message.
     U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-
2020-N115; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; c/o Jeff Krupka; Central 
Washington Fish and Wildlife Field Office; 215 Melody Lane, Suite 119, 
Wenatchee, WA 98801.
     Facsimile: 509-665-3509.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly Veverka (see ADDRESSES); 
telephone: 509-665-3508, ext. 2012; facsimile: 509-665-3509. 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 two applications for enhancement of survival 
permits (permits) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The two 
applications, one from Mr. Ed Preston and one from Mr. Ward Glessner, 
were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement 
(Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus 
idahoensis). Mr. Preston's application includes a request to enroll 
421.74 acres of land in Douglas County, Washington, under the Template 
SHA. Mr. Glessner's application includes a request to enroll 2,023.84 
acres of land in Douglas County, Washington, under the Template SHA. If 
approved, the permits would authorize otherwise prohibited take of the 
endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit that is above the baseline 
conditions of the properties enrolled under the Template SHA, and that 
may result from the permittees' otherwise lawful land-use activities. 
We provide this notice to open a public comment period and invite 
comments from all interested parties regarding the proposed issuance of 
a permit to each applicant.

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take of fish and wildlife 
species listed as endangered 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 [to carry out] 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

[[Page 65867]]

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 endangered 
species are at 50 CFR 17.22.
    Under a safe harbor agreement (SHA), participating landowners 
voluntarily undertake management activities on their properties to 
enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under 
the ESA. SHAs, and the subsequent enhancement of survival permits that 
are issued pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, encourage 
private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation 
efforts for listed species. The SHAs provide assurances to property 
owners that they will not be subjected to increased property use 
restrictions as a result of their efforts to attract listed species to 
their property, or to increase the numbers or distribution of listed 
species already on their property. Application requirements and 
issuance criteria for enhancement of survival permits through SHAs are 
found in 50 CFR 17.22(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.
    On March 5, 2003, the Service listed the Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbit as an endangered species (68 FR 10388). On September 7, 2006, 
the Service announced the availability for public review and comment of 
a draft Template SHA for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, which was 
jointly developed by the Service and the Washington Department of Fish 
and Wildlife (WDFW), and a draft environmental assessment (EA), which 
was developed by the Service pursuant to Federal responsibilities under 
the National Environmental Policy Act (71 FR 52816). The Service's 
September 7, 2006, Federal Register notice also announced the receipt 
of three initial permit applications that were developed in accordance 
with the Template SHA. The final Template SHA, which contained only 
minor modifications from the draft released for public review, was 
signed by the Service and WDFW on October 24, 2006. On April 25, 2007, 
the Service announced the availability for public review and comment of 
another 13 permit applications that were developed in accordance with 
the Template SHA (72 FR 20557). On October 8, 2008, the Service 
announced the availability for public review and comment of one permit 
application that was developed in accordance with the Template SHA (73 
FR 58975). On June 18, 2015, the Service announced the availability for 
public review and comment of nine permit applications that were 
developed in accordance with the Template SHA (80 FR 34928). To date, 
the Service has issued 26 permits under the Template SHA, which cover 
152,849 acres that are within the historic distribution of the Columbia 
Basin pygmy rabbit.
    The objectives of the Template SHA include: (1) Encourage land 
owners and managers to undertake voluntary conservation measures to 
benefit the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit; (2) maintain or increase the 
amount of habitat available to the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit within 
their historic distribution; (3) accomplish the foregoing without 
negatively affecting existing and proposed future land-use activities 
by reducing participants' future management liability for incidental 
take of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits on their enrolled property; and 
(4) increase public support for Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit 
conservation efforts by implementing proactive, cooperative, and 
flexible management in accordance with the measures prescribed by the 
ESA.

Proposed Action

    We received two applications, one from Mr. Edward Preston and one 
from Mr. Ward Glessner, requesting permits under the ESA and in 
accordance with the Template SHA and 50 CFR 13.25(b). If we approve the 
applications, the implementation of the Template SHA would occur on the 
following properties:
     Mr. Edward Preston: The properties included within the 
proposed enrollment total 421.74 acres in Douglas County, Washington, 
and are located within the geographic area covered by the Template SHA. 
All of the land areas proposed for enrollment by Mr. Preston represent 
intervening properties (i.e., property outside of Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbit recovery emphasis areas) as defined in the Template SHA. WDFW 
biologists conducted evidence searches for the Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbit on Mr. Preston's properties identified for enrollment under the 
Template SHA. No Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits or evidence of active 
pygmy rabbit burrows were detected during these surveys. Therefore, in 
accordance with the provisions of the Template SHA, the baseline for 
covered properties is zero (0) active pygmy rabbit burrows.
     Mr. Ward Glessner: The properties included within the 
proposed enrollment total 2,023.84 acres in Douglas County, Washington, 
and are located within the geographic area covered by the Template SHA. 
All of the land areas proposed for enrollment by Mr. Glessner represent 
intervening properties (i.e., property outside of Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbit recovery emphasis areas) as defined in the Template SHA. WDFW 
biologists conducted evidence searches for the Columbia Basin pygmy 
rabbit on Mr. Glessner's properties identified for enrollment under the 
Template SHA. No Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits or evidence of active 
pygmy rabbit burrows were detected during these surveys. Therefore, in 
accordance with the provisions of the Template SHA, the baseline for 
covered properties is zero (0) active pygmy rabbit burrows.
    The Service has previously determined that implementation of the 
Template SHA will result in conservation benefits to the Columbia Basin 
pygmy rabbit and will not result in significant effects to the human 
environment. The Service will evaluate the permit applications, related 
documents, and any comments submitted to determine whether the 
applications are consistent with the measures prescribed by the 
Template SHA and comply with relevant statutory and regulatory 
requirements. If it is determined that the requirements are met, a 
permit authorizing incidental take of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit 
will be issued to each of the applicants. The final determination for 
each permit will not be completed until after the end of the 30-day 
comment period, and we will fully consider all comments received.

Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and materials by one of the methods 
listed in ADDRESSES. 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. The original Template SHA and EA are 
available for reference.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive become part of the public 
record associated with this action. Before

[[Page 65868]]

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. 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 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).

Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-22966 Filed 10-15-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P