Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of an Enhancement of Survival Permit Application and Safe Harbor Agreement for Bluff Lake, San Bernardino County, California, 47143-47144 [2021-17977]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 160 / Monday, August 23, 2021 / Notices 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 view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority We provide this notice under section 10 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6). Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California. [FR Doc. 2021–17975 Filed 8–20–21; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS–R8–ES–2021–N027; FXES11140800000–212] Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of an Enhancement of Survival Permit Application and Safe Harbor Agreement for Bluff Lake, San Bernardino County, California Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments. AGENCY: The Wildlands Conservancy (applicant) has submitted a safe harbor agreement (SHA) and applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The Service is considering issuance to the applicant of a 30-year permit that would authorize take of the federally endangered mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine stickleback (a fish species). We have prepared a draft environmental action statement (EAS) for our preliminary determination that the SHA and permit decision may be eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We invite comments from the public on the aforementioned documents. DATES: Written comments should be received on or before September 22, 2021. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: You may view or download copies of the draft SHA and draft EAS and obtain additional information on the internet at https://www.fws.gov/ carlsbad/, or obtain hard copies by calling the phone number listed below. You may submit comments or requests ADDRESSES: 18:11 Aug 20, 2021 The Wildlands Conservancy (applicant) has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit 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 Service is considering issuance to the applicant of a 30-year permit that would authorize take of the federally endangered mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) and unarmored threespine stickleback (a fish species; Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni) through a safe harbor agreement (SHA). The purpose of this SHA is for the applicant to manage habitat for the species at Bluff Lake in San Bernardino County, California. The applicant seeks to provide for the longterm recovery of the species in the wild through the maintenance and/or enhancement of suitable habitat that can accommodate reestablishment of the site from captive populations or other extant locations that may be present within the historic range of the species. We have prepared a draft environmental action statement (EAS) for our preliminary determination that the SHA and permit decision may be eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We invite comments from the public on the permit application, draft SHA, and draft EAS, which are available for review. The SHA describes the proposed project and the measures that the applicant would undertake to avoid and minimize take of the covered species. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BILLING CODE 4333–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 for more information by any of the following methods: • Email: fw8cfwocomments@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Bluff Lake SHA’’ in the subject line of the message. • U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad, CA 92008. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jesse Bennett, by telephone at 760–431– 9440 or by electronic mail at Jesse_ Bennett@fws.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877– 8339. Jkt 253001 Background SHAs are intended to encourage private or other non-Federal property owners to implement beneficial conservation actions for species listed under the ESA. SHA permit holders are assured that they will not be subject to increased property use restrictions as a PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47143 result of their proactive actions to benefit listed species. Incidental take of listed species is authorized under a permit pursuant to the provisions of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. For an applicant to receive a permit through an SHA, the applicant must submit an application form that includes the following: 1. The common and scientific names of the listed species for which the applicant requests incidental take authorization; 2. A description of how incidental take of the listed species pursuant to the SHA is likely to occur, both as a result of management activities and as a result of the return to baseline; and 3. A description of how the SHA complies with the requirements of the Service’s Safe Harbor Policy (64 FR 32717, June 17, 1999). For the Service to issue a permit, we must determine that: 1. The take of listed species will be incidental to an otherwise lawful activity and will be in accordance with the terms of the SHA; 2. The implementation of the terms of the SHA is reasonably expected to provide a net conservation benefit to the covered species by contributing to its recovery, and the SHA otherwise complies with the Service’s Safe Harbor Policy; 3. The probable direct and indirect effects of any authorized take will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery in the wild of any listed species; 4. Implementation of the terms of the SHA is consistent with applicable Federal, State, and Tribal laws and regulations; 5. Implementation of the terms of the SHA will not be in conflict with any ongoing conservation or recovery programs for listed species covered by the permit; and 6. The applicant has shown capability for and commitment to implementing all of the terms of the SHA. The Service’s Safe Harbor Policy and Safe Harbor Regulations (68 FR 53320; 69 FR 24084) provide important terms and concepts for developing SHAs. The policy and regulations are available at https://www.fws.gov/endangered/lawspolicies/regulations-and-policies.html. Proposed Action The applicant’s permit application includes a draft SHA, which covers 60 acres owned by the applicant in San Bernardino County, California. The proposed term of the permit and the SHA is 30 years. The permit would authorize incidental take of the two species that may occur while pursuing E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 47144 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 160 / Monday, August 23, 2021 / Notices conservation actions that are expected to provide a net benefit to these species. We have prepared a draft EAS for our preliminary determination that the SHA and permit decision may be eligible for categorical exclusion under NEPA. We invite the public to review and comment on the permit application, draft SHA, and draft EAS. This SHA provides for the management of mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine stickleback habitat at Bluff Lake, San Bernardino County, California. Bluff Lake occurs within the U.S. Geological Survey 7.5-minute series Big Bear Lake topographic quadrangle (township 2 north, range 1 west, section 34). When fully implemented, the SHA and requested enhancement of survival permit will allow the Applicant to return habitat conditions to baseline after the end of the 30-year term of the SHA and permit, if so desired by the applicant. The SHA describes the management activities to be undertaken by the applicant, and the net conservation benefits expected to the mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine stickleback. Upon approval of this SHA, and consistent with the Service’s Safe Harbor Policy published in the Federal Register on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 32717), the Service would issue a permit to the applicant authorizing take of the mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine stickleback incidental to the implementation of the management activities specified in the SHA; incidental to other lawful uses of the enrolled property including normal, routine land management activities; and to return to pre-SHA conditions (baseline). Under the SHA, the applicant will allow the release of mountain yellowlegged frogs and unarmored threespine stickleback on the property. This release may involve the temporary placement of small enclosures. The applicant will further undertake management activities to benefit the mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine stickleback. This will include maintaining or improving habitat conditions on the property, throughout the duration of the SHA, except in the event of a natural disaster such as a wildfire or severe drought. The applicant will also minimize the potential impact of recreation and nonnative species management. National Environmental Policy Act Compliance The development of the draft SHA and the proposed issuance of an enhancement of survival permit are VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Aug 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 Federal actions that trigger the need for compliance with the NEPA (43 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We have prepared a draft EAS to assess the probable scope of impacts of permit issuance and implementation of the SHA on the human environment. We have made a preliminary determination that issuing the permit and implementing the SHA would have minor or negligible impacts to the environment, and thus the proposed SHA and permit actions are eligible for categorical exclusion under NEPA. The basis for our preliminary determination is contained in the EAS, which is available for public review (see ADDRESSES). DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Next Steps SUMMARY: We will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of the ESA, NEPA, and implementing regulations. If we determine that all requirements are met, we will sign the proposed SHA and issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA to the applicant. We will not make our final decision on the permit application until after the end of the public comment period, and we will fully consider all comments we receive during the comment period. Public Availability of Comments Written comments we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that the entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made 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. Authority We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 17.32), and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR 46). Scott Sobiech, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California. [FR Doc. 2021–17977 Filed 8–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Office of the Secretary [212D0102DM DS61100000 DLSN00000.000000 DX61101; OMB Control Number 1094–0001] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; the Alternatives Process in Hydropower Licensing Office of the Secretary, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the Office of the Secretary, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, Department of the Interior (we, OS– OEPC) are proposing to renew an information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 22, 2021. ADDRESSES: Send written 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 Dr. Shawn Alam, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, U.S. Department of the Interior, MS 2629– MIB, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240; or by email to Shawn_Alam@ ios.doi.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1094–0001 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Dr. Shawn Alam by email at Shawn_Alam@ios.doi.gov, or by telephone at (202) 208–5465. You may also view the ICR at https:// 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. On April 5, 2021, we published a Federal Register notice with a 60-day E:\FR\FM\23AUN1.SGM 23AUN1

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[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 160 (Monday, August 23, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47143-47144]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-17977]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2021-N027; FXES11140800000-212]


Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of an Enhancement of 
Survival Permit Application and Safe Harbor Agreement for Bluff Lake, 
San Bernardino County, California

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Wildlands Conservancy (applicant) has submitted a safe 
harbor agreement (SHA) and applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Act. The Service is considering issuance to the 
applicant of a 30-year permit that would authorize take of the 
federally endangered mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored 
threespine stickleback (a fish species). We have prepared a draft 
environmental action statement (EAS) for our preliminary determination 
that the SHA and permit decision may be eligible for categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We invite 
comments from the public on the aforementioned documents.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before September 22, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: You may view or download copies of the draft SHA and draft 
EAS and obtain additional information on the internet at https://www.fws.gov/carlsbad/, or obtain hard copies by calling the phone 
number listed below. You may submit comments or requests for more 
information by any of the following methods:
     Email: [email protected]. Include ``Bluff Lake SHA'' 
in the subject line of the message.
     U.S. Mail: Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 
250, Carlsbad, CA 92008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jesse Bennett, by telephone at 760-
431-9440 or by electronic mail at [email protected]. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal 
Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Wildlands Conservancy (applicant) has 
applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an 
enhancement of survival permit 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 Service is considering issuance to the applicant of a 30-
year permit that would authorize take of the federally endangered 
mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) and unarmored threespine 
stickleback (a fish species; Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni) 
through a safe harbor agreement (SHA). The purpose of this SHA is for 
the applicant to manage habitat for the species at Bluff Lake in San 
Bernardino County, California. The applicant seeks to provide for the 
long-term recovery of the species in the wild through the maintenance 
and/or enhancement of suitable habitat that can accommodate 
reestablishment of the site from captive populations or other extant 
locations that may be present within the historic range of the species. 
We have prepared a draft environmental action statement (EAS) for our 
preliminary determination that the SHA and permit decision may be 
eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
    We invite comments from the public on the permit application, draft 
SHA, and draft EAS, which are available for review. The SHA describes 
the proposed project and the measures that the applicant would 
undertake to avoid and minimize take of the covered species.

Background

    SHAs are intended to encourage private or other non-Federal 
property owners to implement beneficial conservation actions for 
species listed under the ESA. SHA permit holders are assured that they 
will not be subject to increased property use restrictions as a result 
of their proactive actions to benefit listed species. Incidental take 
of listed species is authorized under a permit pursuant to the 
provisions of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. For an applicant to 
receive a permit through an SHA, the applicant must submit an 
application form that includes the following:
    1. The common and scientific names of the listed species for which 
the applicant requests incidental take authorization;
    2. A description of how incidental take of the listed species 
pursuant to the SHA is likely to occur, both as a result of management 
activities and as a result of the return to baseline; and
    3. A description of how the SHA complies with the requirements of 
the Service's Safe Harbor Policy (64 FR 32717, June 17, 1999).
    For the Service to issue a permit, we must determine that:
    1. The take of listed species will be incidental to an otherwise 
lawful activity and will be in accordance with the terms of the SHA;
    2. The implementation of the terms of the SHA is reasonably 
expected to provide a net conservation benefit to the covered species 
by contributing to its recovery, and the SHA otherwise complies with 
the Service's Safe Harbor Policy;
    3. The probable direct and indirect effects of any authorized take 
will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery in 
the wild of any listed species;
    4. Implementation of the terms of the SHA is consistent with 
applicable Federal, State, and Tribal laws and regulations;
    5. Implementation of the terms of the SHA will not be in conflict 
with any ongoing conservation or recovery programs for listed species 
covered by the permit; and
    6. The applicant has shown capability for and commitment to 
implementing all of the terms of the SHA.
    The Service's Safe Harbor Policy and Safe Harbor Regulations (68 FR 
53320; 69 FR 24084) provide important terms and concepts for developing 
SHAs. The policy and regulations are available at https://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/regulations-and-policies.html.

Proposed Action

    The applicant's permit application includes a draft SHA, which 
covers 60 acres owned by the applicant in San Bernardino County, 
California. The proposed term of the permit and the SHA is 30 years. 
The permit would authorize incidental take of the two species that may 
occur while pursuing

[[Page 47144]]

conservation actions that are expected to provide a net benefit to 
these species. We have prepared a draft EAS for our preliminary 
determination that the SHA and permit decision may be eligible for 
categorical exclusion under NEPA. We invite the public to review and 
comment on the permit application, draft SHA, and draft EAS.
    This SHA provides for the management of mountain yellow-legged frog 
and unarmored threespine stickleback habitat at Bluff Lake, San 
Bernardino County, California. Bluff Lake occurs within the U.S. 
Geological Survey 7.5-minute series Big Bear Lake topographic 
quadrangle (township 2 north, range 1 west, section 34). When fully 
implemented, the SHA and requested enhancement of survival permit will 
allow the Applicant to return habitat conditions to baseline after the 
end of the 30-year term of the SHA and permit, if so desired by the 
applicant.
    The SHA describes the management activities to be undertaken by the 
applicant, and the net conservation benefits expected to the mountain 
yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine stickleback. Upon approval 
of this SHA, and consistent with the Service's Safe Harbor Policy 
published in the Federal Register on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 32717), the 
Service would issue a permit to the applicant authorizing take of the 
mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine stickleback 
incidental to the implementation of the management activities specified 
in the SHA; incidental to other lawful uses of the enrolled property 
including normal, routine land management activities; and to return to 
pre-SHA conditions (baseline).
    Under the SHA, the applicant will allow the release of mountain 
yellow-legged frogs and unarmored threespine stickleback on the 
property. This release may involve the temporary placement of small 
enclosures. The applicant will further undertake management activities 
to benefit the mountain yellow-legged frog and unarmored threespine 
stickleback. This will include maintaining or improving habitat 
conditions on the property, throughout the duration of the SHA, except 
in the event of a natural disaster such as a wildfire or severe 
drought. The applicant will also minimize the potential impact of 
recreation and nonnative species management.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The development of the draft SHA and the proposed issuance of an 
enhancement of survival permit are Federal actions that trigger the 
need for compliance with the NEPA (43 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). We have 
prepared a draft EAS to assess the probable scope of impacts of permit 
issuance and implementation of the SHA on the human environment. We 
have made a preliminary determination that issuing the permit and 
implementing the SHA would have minor or negligible impacts to the 
environment, and thus the proposed SHA and permit actions are eligible 
for categorical exclusion under NEPA. The basis for our preliminary 
determination is contained in the EAS, which is available for public 
review (see ADDRESSES).

Next Steps

    We will evaluate the permit application, associated documents, and 
comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets 
the requirements of the ESA, NEPA, and implementing regulations. If we 
determine that all requirements are met, we will sign the proposed SHA 
and issue a permit under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA to the 
applicant. We will not make our final decision on the permit 
application until after the end of the public comment period, and we 
will fully consider all comments we receive during the comment period.

Public Availability of Comments

    Written comments we receive become part of the public record 
associated with this action. Before including your address, phone 
number, email address, or other personal identifying information in 
your comment, you should be aware that the entire comment, including 
your personal identifying information, may be made 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.

Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C 
1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.22 and 
17.32), and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations (40 CFR 1506.6; 43 CFR 46).

Scott Sobiech,
Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2021-17977 Filed 8-20-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P