Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, Klamath, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, and Sherman Counties, Oregon, 1994-1995 [2021-00304]

Download as PDF 1994 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 6 / Monday, January 11, 2021 / Notices B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following: (1) 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) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions. C. Authority Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35. The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, Michael J. Marshall, having reviewed and approved this document, is delegating the authority to electronically sign this document to submitter, Nacheshia Foxx, who is the Federal Register Liaison for HUD, for purposes of publication in the Federal Register. Nacheshia Foxx, Federal Register Liaison for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. [FR Doc. 2021–00251 Filed 1–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–ES–2019–0091; FXES111 40100000–212–FF01E00000] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, Klamath, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, and Sherman Counties, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; record of decision and habitat conservation plan. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:36 Jan 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 availability of a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed issuance of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit for the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The ROD documents the Service’s decision to issue an incidental take permit (ITP) to the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC)’s eight-member irrigation districts, and the City of Prineville (applicants). As summarized in the ROD, the Service has selected Alternative 2—the Proposed Action, which includes implementation of the HCP and issuance of a 30-year ITP authorizing take of two threatened species listed under the ESA that may occur incidental to covered activities in the plan area over the permit term. ADDRESSES: You may obtain copies of the ROD and other documents associated with the decision by the following methods. • Internet: http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2019– 0091, or at https://www.fws.gov/ Oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489716. • Upon Request: You may request alternative formats of the documents directly from the Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bridget Moran, by telephone at 541– 383–7146, or by email at bridget_ moran@fws.gov. Hearing or speech impaired individuals may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed issuance of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 10(a)(1)(B) incidental take permit (ITP) to the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC) member districts (Arnold, Central Oregon, Lone Pine, North Unit, Ochoco, Swalley, Three Sisters, and Tumalo Irrigation Districts) and the City of Prineville (collectively referred to as the applicants) in Klamath, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, and Sherman Counties, Oregon. The ROD documents the Service’s decision to issue an ITP to the applicants. As summarized in the ROD, the Service has selected Alternative 2, the Proposed Action (described below), which includes implementation of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and issuance of the ITP authorizing incidental take of the federally threatened Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) and the threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) over a 30-year period. The applicants have also requested a separate ITP covering take of the federally threatened Middle PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Columbia River steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and the nonlisted sockeye salmon (O. nerka) from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Service and NMFS (jointly, the Services) make independent decisions regarding coverage for incidental take of the species under their respective jurisdictions. NMFS’s decision is not addressed in the Service’s ROD. We are advising the public of the availability of the ROD, developed in compliance with agency decisionmaking requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the final HCP as submitted by the applicants. The Service published a notice of availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register on October 4, 2019 (84 FR 53164), and jointly published a NOA of the Final EIS with NMFS on November 6, 2020 (85 FR 71086). All alternatives were described in detail, evaluated, and analyzed in the Draft and Final EIS. As the EIS was developed prior to the September 14, 2020, effective date for the Council on Environmental Quality’s updated NEPA regulations, the Final EIS and ROD were completed consistent with the previous regulations (40 CFR 1506.13). Background All eight water districts are quasimunicipal corporations formed and operated according to Oregon State law to distribute water to irrigators (patrons) within designated geographic boundaries and in accordance with the individual water rights held by those patrons. The City of Prineville operates City-owned infrastructure and provides essential services—including public safety, municipal water supply, and sewage treatment—for more than 9,000 residents. The applicants have determined that continued operation of irrigation and essential services (covered activities) requires ITPs to address unavoidable incidental take of species listed under the ESA (covered species), which is ongoing. The applicants have proposed a conservation program to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of taking of the covered species. The HCP addresses the adverse effects of the covered activities on the covered species by reducing or eliminating those effects to the maximum extent practicable, and by mitigating effects that cannot be eliminated altogether. In general, adverse effects on listed species can result from direct harm or injury of individuals of the species, and through changes in habitat that interfere with the essential life activities of the species. E:\FR\FM\11JAN1.SGM 11JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 6 / Monday, January 11, 2021 / Notices Both types of effects are addressed in the HCP conservation measures. The covered activities affect the covered species primarily through changes in the hydrology (flow) of occupied waters associated with the storage, release, diversion, and return of irrigation water. In the course of storing, releasing, diverting, and returning irrigation water, the applicants alter the hydrology of the Deschutes River and a number of its tributaries. In a similar fashion, the pumping of groundwater for municipal water supply by the City of Prineville affects the hydrology in one of those tributaries, the Crooked River. In most cases, the hydrologic changes resulting from activities covered by the HCP have adverse impacts on aquatic habitats for the covered species. When flows are reduced, the total area of usable habitat for aquatic species generally decreases and water temperatures typically increase to the extent that habitat quality is negatively impacted. The HCP conservation measures will modify irrigation activities that reduce instream flow (storage and diversion of water) to address the adverse effects described above. As a result, with implementation of the HCP, flows in the affected reaches will be higher than they were historically (over the last 50+ years) in the winter, and provide improved habitat quality for the covered species. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Purpose and Need As described in the Final EIS, the Service’s purpose for the Federal action is to fulfill our section 10(a)(1)(B) conservation authorities and obligations. The need for our action is to respond to the ITP application submitted by the applicants requesting take of the Oregon spotted frog and bull trout, the two species under the Service’s jurisdiction. Alternatives In compliance with NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Service prepared a Final EIS analyzing the proposed action (Alternative 2, identified as the preferred alternative), a no-action alternative, and two additional alternatives to the proposed action; summaries of each alternative are presented below. The Final EIS analyzed both the Service’s proposed issuance of an ITP and NMFS’s proposed issuance of an ITP. The environmental consequences of each alternative were analyzed to determine if significant impacts to the human environment would occur. Public comments received in response to the Draft EIS were considered, and the Final EIS reflected clarifications of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:36 Jan 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 existing analysis to address public comments. The Final EIS did not identify an environmentally preferable alternative. Pursuant to NEPA implementing regulations found at 40 CFR 1505.2, the Service identified Alternative 3 (Enhanced Variable Streamflows) as the environmentally preferable alternative in the ROD. Alternative 1—No-action Alternative: No ITPs would be issued, and the applicants’ HCP would not be implemented. Under Alternative 1, ongoing applicant activities would remain subject to the take prohibition for listed species under section 9 of the ESA. This alternative assumes continuation of actions covered in an ESA section 7 biological opinion issued to the Bureau of Reclamation addressing the effects of water management activities in the Upper Deschutes River Basin to the Oregon spotted frog, and continuation of actions covered in other ESA section 7 consultation documents addressing the effects of Deschutes River Basin projects to the Middle Columbia River steelhead trout and the bull trout. Alternative 2—Proposed Action, Deschutes Basin HCP: Under this alternative, identified as the preferred alternative in the Final EIS, the Service would issue a 30-year ITP to the applicants for incidental take of the two covered species under its jurisdiction, NMFS would issue a separate ITP for incidental take of the two covered species under its jurisdiction, and the applicants would implement the HCP. Over the 30-year period of HCP implementation, in-stream flows would be modified to mimic more natural flow patterns to support the various life stages of the covered species. The HCP also includes the establishment of conservation funds to support habitat restoration and enhancement projects, as well as additional funding for instream water leasing programs. Alternative 3—Enhanced Variable Streamflows: Under this alternative, the Services would issue ITPs to the applicants for the same plan area, covered lands and waters, covered species, covered activities, and permit term as described for the proposed action, but with modifications to the HCP conservation strategy, including increased fall and winter flows in the Deschutes River below Wickiup Dam, and in-stream protection of uncontracted water releases on the Crooked River for fish and wildlife. Alternative 4—Accelerated Schedule for Enhanced Variable Streamflows: Under this alternative, the Services would issue ITPs to the applicants for the same plan area, covered lands and PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1995 waters, covered species, and covered activities as described for the proposed action, but with a 20-year permit term and modifications to the HCP conservation strategy for an accelerated schedule for increases in fall and winter flows in the Deschutes River below Wickiup Dam, and in-stream protection of additional uncontracted water releases on the Crooked River for fish and wildlife. Decision and Rationale for Decision Based on our review of the alternatives and their environmental consequences as described in the Final EIS, we have selected the Proposed Action (Alternative 2). The Proposed Action includes the implementation of the final HCP and the Service’s issuance of an ITP authorizing incidental take of the two covered species under the Service’s jurisdiction for a 30-year permit term. Our assessment of the application was conducted in accordance with the requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA and its implementing regulations. 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). We have made the determination that the HCP meets this 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 17.32), 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. 2021–00304 Filed 1–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R3–FAC–2020–N122; FF03F22900/ FRFR481203YA200/XXX; OMB Control Number 1018–New] Agency Information Collection Activities; Online Program Management System for Carbon Dioxide-Carp Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\11JAN1.SGM 11JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 6 (Monday, January 11, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1994-1995]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-00304]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2019-0091; FXES11140100000-212-FF01E00000]


Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
for the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, Klamath, Deschutes, 
Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, and Sherman Counties, Oregon

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; record of decision and habitat 
conservation plan.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed issuance of 
an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit for the Deschutes Basin Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP). The ROD documents the Service's decision to 
issue an incidental take permit (ITP) to the Deschutes Basin Board of 
Control (DBBC)'s eight-member irrigation districts, and the City of 
Prineville (applicants). As summarized in the ROD, the Service has 
selected Alternative 2--the Proposed Action, which includes 
implementation of the HCP and issuance of a 30-year ITP authorizing 
take of two threatened species listed under the ESA that may occur 
incidental to covered activities in the plan area over the permit term.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain copies of the ROD and other documents 
associated with the decision by the following methods.
     Internet: http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-
R1-ES-2019-0091, or at https://www.fws.gov/Oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489716.
     Upon Request: You may request alternative formats of the 
documents directly from the Service (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bridget Moran, by telephone at 541-
383-7146, or by email at [email protected]. Hearing or speech 
impaired individuals may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 
for TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce the availability of a record of decision (ROD) for 
the proposed issuance of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 
10(a)(1)(B) incidental take permit (ITP) to the Deschutes Basin Board 
of Control (DBBC) member districts (Arnold, Central Oregon, Lone Pine, 
North Unit, Ochoco, Swalley, Three Sisters, and Tumalo Irrigation 
Districts) and the City of Prineville (collectively referred to as the 
applicants) in Klamath, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, and Sherman 
Counties, Oregon. The ROD documents the Service's decision to issue an 
ITP to the applicants. As summarized in the ROD, the Service has 
selected Alternative 2, the Proposed Action (described below), which 
includes implementation of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and 
issuance of the ITP authorizing incidental take of the federally 
threatened Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) and the threatened bull 
trout (Salvelinus confluentus) over a 30-year period. The applicants 
have also requested a separate ITP covering take of the federally 
threatened Middle Columbia River steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 
and the non-listed sockeye salmon (O. nerka) from the National Marine 
Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Service and NMFS (jointly, the Services) 
make independent decisions regarding coverage for incidental take of 
the species under their respective jurisdictions. NMFS's decision is 
not addressed in the Service's ROD.
    We are advising the public of the availability of the ROD, 
developed in compliance with agency decision-making requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the 
final HCP as submitted by the applicants. The Service published a 
notice of availability (NOA) of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register 
on October 4, 2019 (84 FR 53164), and jointly published a NOA of the 
Final EIS with NMFS on November 6, 2020 (85 FR 71086). All alternatives 
were described in detail, evaluated, and analyzed in the Draft and 
Final EIS. As the EIS was developed prior to the September 14, 2020, 
effective date for the Council on Environmental Quality's updated NEPA 
regulations, the Final EIS and ROD were completed consistent with the 
previous regulations (40 CFR 1506.13).

Background

    All eight water districts are quasi-municipal corporations formed 
and operated according to Oregon State law to distribute water to 
irrigators (patrons) within designated geographic boundaries and in 
accordance with the individual water rights held by those patrons. The 
City of Prineville operates City-owned infrastructure and provides 
essential services--including public safety, municipal water supply, 
and sewage treatment--for more than 9,000 residents. The applicants 
have determined that continued operation of irrigation and essential 
services (covered activities) requires ITPs to address unavoidable 
incidental take of species listed under the ESA (covered species), 
which is ongoing.
    The applicants have proposed a conservation program to avoid, 
minimize, and mitigate the impacts of taking of the covered species. 
The HCP addresses the adverse effects of the covered activities on the 
covered species by reducing or eliminating those effects to the maximum 
extent practicable, and by mitigating effects that cannot be eliminated 
altogether. In general, adverse effects on listed species can result 
from direct harm or injury of individuals of the species, and through 
changes in habitat that interfere with the essential life activities of 
the species.

[[Page 1995]]

Both types of effects are addressed in the HCP conservation measures. 
The covered activities affect the covered species primarily through 
changes in the hydrology (flow) of occupied waters associated with the 
storage, release, diversion, and return of irrigation water.
    In the course of storing, releasing, diverting, and returning 
irrigation water, the applicants alter the hydrology of the Deschutes 
River and a number of its tributaries. In a similar fashion, the 
pumping of groundwater for municipal water supply by the City of 
Prineville affects the hydrology in one of those tributaries, the 
Crooked River. In most cases, the hydrologic changes resulting from 
activities covered by the HCP have adverse impacts on aquatic habitats 
for the covered species. When flows are reduced, the total area of 
usable habitat for aquatic species generally decreases and water 
temperatures typically increase to the extent that habitat quality is 
negatively impacted. The HCP conservation measures will modify 
irrigation activities that reduce in-stream flow (storage and diversion 
of water) to address the adverse effects described above. As a result, 
with implementation of the HCP, flows in the affected reaches will be 
higher than they were historically (over the last 50+ years) in the 
winter, and provide improved habitat quality for the covered species.

Purpose and Need

    As described in the Final EIS, the Service's purpose for the 
Federal action is to fulfill our section 10(a)(1)(B) conservation 
authorities and obligations. The need for our action is to respond to 
the ITP application submitted by the applicants requesting take of the 
Oregon spotted frog and bull trout, the two species under the Service's 
jurisdiction.

Alternatives

    In compliance with NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Service 
prepared a Final EIS analyzing the proposed action (Alternative 2, 
identified as the preferred alternative), a no-action alternative, and 
two additional alternatives to the proposed action; summaries of each 
alternative are presented below. The Final EIS analyzed both the 
Service's proposed issuance of an ITP and NMFS's proposed issuance of 
an ITP. The environmental consequences of each alternative were 
analyzed to determine if significant impacts to the human environment 
would occur. Public comments received in response to the Draft EIS were 
considered, and the Final EIS reflected clarifications of the existing 
analysis to address public comments. The Final EIS did not identify an 
environmentally preferable alternative. Pursuant to NEPA implementing 
regulations found at 40 CFR 1505.2, the Service identified Alternative 
3 (Enhanced Variable Streamflows) as the environmentally preferable 
alternative in the ROD.
    Alternative 1--No-action Alternative: No ITPs would be issued, and 
the applicants' HCP would not be implemented. Under Alternative 1, 
ongoing applicant activities would remain subject to the take 
prohibition for listed species under section 9 of the ESA. This 
alternative assumes continuation of actions covered in an ESA section 7 
biological opinion issued to the Bureau of Reclamation addressing the 
effects of water management activities in the Upper Deschutes River 
Basin to the Oregon spotted frog, and continuation of actions covered 
in other ESA section 7 consultation documents addressing the effects of 
Deschutes River Basin projects to the Middle Columbia River steelhead 
trout and the bull trout.
    Alternative 2--Proposed Action, Deschutes Basin HCP: Under this 
alternative, identified as the preferred alternative in the Final EIS, 
the Service would issue a 30-year ITP to the applicants for incidental 
take of the two covered species under its jurisdiction, NMFS would 
issue a separate ITP for incidental take of the two covered species 
under its jurisdiction, and the applicants would implement the HCP. 
Over the 30-year period of HCP implementation, in-stream flows would be 
modified to mimic more natural flow patterns to support the various 
life stages of the covered species. The HCP also includes the 
establishment of conservation funds to support habitat restoration and 
enhancement projects, as well as additional funding for in-stream water 
leasing programs.
    Alternative 3--Enhanced Variable Streamflows: Under this 
alternative, the Services would issue ITPs to the applicants for the 
same plan area, covered lands and waters, covered species, covered 
activities, and permit term as described for the proposed action, but 
with modifications to the HCP conservation strategy, including 
increased fall and winter flows in the Deschutes River below Wickiup 
Dam, and in-stream protection of uncontracted water releases on the 
Crooked River for fish and wildlife.
    Alternative 4--Accelerated Schedule for Enhanced Variable 
Streamflows: Under this alternative, the Services would issue ITPs to 
the applicants for the same plan area, covered lands and waters, 
covered species, and covered activities as described for the proposed 
action, but with a 20-year permit term and modifications to the HCP 
conservation strategy for an accelerated schedule for increases in fall 
and winter flows in the Deschutes River below Wickiup Dam, and in-
stream protection of additional uncontracted water releases on the 
Crooked River for fish and wildlife.

Decision and Rationale for Decision

    Based on our review of the alternatives and their environmental 
consequences as described in the Final EIS, we have selected the 
Proposed Action (Alternative 2). The Proposed Action includes the 
implementation of the final HCP and the Service's issuance of an ITP 
authorizing incidental take of the two covered species under the 
Service's jurisdiction for a 30-year permit term. Our assessment of the 
application was conducted in accordance with the requirements of 
section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA and its implementing regulations. 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). We have made the determination that the HCP meets 
this 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 17.32), 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. 2021-00304 Filed 1-8-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P