Safe Harbor Agreement and Enhancement of the Survival Permit for the Gopher Tortoise and Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Covington County, MS; Categorical Exclusion, 10816-10817 [2022-04018]

Download as PDF lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 10816 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 38 / Friday, February 25, 2022 / Notices A. Overview of Information Collection Title of Information Collection: Multifamily Housing Mortgage and Housing Assistance Restructuring Program (Mark-to-Market). OMB Approval Number: 2502–0533. Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection. Form Numbers: HUD–9624, HUD– 9625, OPG 3.1, OPG 3.2, OPG 3.3, OPG 3.4, OPG 4.1, OPG 4.2, OPG 4.3, OPG 4.4, OPG 4.7, OPG 4.8, OPG 4.10, OPG 4.11, OPG 4.12, OPG 5.4, OPG 5.5, OPG 6.5, OPG 7.4, OPG 7.6, OPG 7.8, OPG 7.11, OPG 7.12, OPG 7.13, OPG 7.14, OPG 7.16, OPG 7.21, OPG 7.22, OPG 7.23, OPG 7.25, OPG 9.10, OPG 9.11, OPG 11.1. In addition, the Post Mark-toMarket documents pending approval: (1) Accommodation Agreement Debt Assignment-TPA Post Restructuring, (2) Assumption Modification of Use Agreement, (3) Attachment 1: Assumption Modification Use Agreement—Term Extension—No M2M Debt and Not QNP, (4) Attachment 2: Subordinate Agreement—New Financing to M2M, (5) Attachment 3: Assuming of Use Agreement No Term Extension, (6) Attachment 4: Attachment 4—Modification of Use Agreement (Term Extension—Not QNP), (7) Attachment 5: Subordinate Agreement-New and Existing Financing to M2M Use Agreement, and (8) Release, Assumption and Modification of Accommodation Agreement. Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The Mark-to-Market Program is authorized under the Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997, as modified and extended from time to time, including by the Market-to-Market Extension Act of 2001. The information collection is required and will be used to determine the eligibility of FHAinsured or formerly insured multifamily properties for participation in the Markto-Market Program and the terms on which such participation should occur as well as to process eligible properties from acceptance into the program through closing of the mortgage restructure in accordance with program guidelines. The result of participation in the program is the refinancing and restructure of the property’s FHAinsured mortgage and, generally the reduction of Section 8 rent payments and establishment of adequately funded accounts to fund required repair and rehabilitation of the property. Respondents: Contractors and Tenants. Estimated Number of Respondents: 60. Estimated Number of Responses: 1,346. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:44 Feb 24, 2022 Jkt 256001 Frequency of Response: On occasion. Average Hours per Response: 32. Total Estimated Burdens: 1,912. 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. Janet M. Golrick, Acting, Chief of Staff for the Office of Housing—Federal Housing Administration. [FR Doc. 2022–03988 Filed 2–24–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2022–0017; FXES11130400000–223–FF04EM1000] Safe Harbor Agreement and Enhancement of the Survival Permit for the Gopher Tortoise and RedCockaded Woodpecker, Covington County, MS; Categorical Exclusion Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment and information. AGENCY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received a written request from Dr. John S. Lambert (applicant) to renew an enhancement of survival permit TE 075424 (permit) for an existing safe harbor agreement (SHA) without change. The Service is making the proposed permit renewal, which SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 includes the applicant’s proposed updated SHA as well as the Service’s draft environmental action statement (EAS), available for public review and comment. DATES: We must receive your written comments on or before March 28, 2022. ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents online in Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2022–0017 at https://www.regulations.gov. Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the documents, you may do so in writing by any of the following methods: • Online: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2022–0017. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R4–ES–2022–0017; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: JAO/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041– 3803. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Tupy, by telephone at 601–321–1133, or via email at john_tupy@fws.gov. Individuals in the United States who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability may dial 711 (TTY, TDD, or TeleBraille) to access telecommunications relay services. Individuals outside the United States should use the relay services offered within their country to make international calls to the point-ofcontact in the United States. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received a written request from John S. Lambert (applicant) to renew an existing enhancement of survival permit (TE 075424) (permit) for an additional 20 years beyond its current expiration date. The Service and the applicant have mutually agreed that no changes or amendments would be made to the safe harbor agreement (SHA). The existing permit associated with the SHA was issued on May 27, 2005, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and is in effect until December 31, 2025. Renewing the SHA is intended to benefit the recovery of the federally listed threatened gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and federally listed endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) on 754 acres (ac) of enrolled privately owned lands in Covington County, Mississippi. The Service is making the applicant’s proposed updated SHA (October 1, 2021) and the Service’s draft environmental action statement (EAS) available for public review and E:\FR\FM\25FEN1.SGM 25FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 38 / Friday, February 25, 2022 / Notices lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 comment. The draft EAS supports the Service’s preliminary determination that the proposed permit renewal is eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.). To make this determination, we used our EAS and low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review. Background Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take of fish and wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened 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 an intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife through annoyance 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). 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 threatened species are at 50 CFR 17.32. Under a safe harbor agreement, participating landowners voluntarily undertake management activities on their property to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the ESA. SHAs and the subsequent permits issued to participating landowners pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation actions for federally listed species. In exchange for voluntarily undertaking management activities, the landowners are assured that they will not be subjected to increased property-use restrictions resulting from their efforts to either attract listed species to their property or to increase the numbers or distribution of listed species already on their property. Landowners may make lawful use of their enrolled property during the permit term and may incidentally take the listed species named on the permit. Application requirements and issuance criteria for permits associated with SHAs are found VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:44 Feb 24, 2022 Jkt 256001 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.22(c) and 17.32(c). As provided for in the Service’s final Safe Harbor Policy (64 FR 32717; June 17, 1999), safe harbor agreements 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. Private landowners may voluntarily terminate a safe harbor agreement at any time and in accordance with 50 CFR 13.26. If this occurs, landowners must relinquish the associated enhancement of survival permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. Safe Harbor Agreement The private lands owned by the applicant and enrolled under the existing SHA and valid permit consist of 754 ac known as the Martin Branch Woodlands, in Covington County, Mississippi. The baseline established in 2005 was 57.3 ac of occupied gopher tortoise habitat and 0 ac of occupied red-cockaded woodpecker habitat. Martin Branch Woodlands has been managed and enhanced above baseline since entering the SHA. The renewal of the SHA contains no changes or amendments to the SHA. Under the SHA, the applicant will continue to undertake the following habitat maintenance and enhancement actions intended to benefit the gopher tortoise on the enrolled property: (1) Avoid planting or regenerating pine trees in dense stands with more than 400 surviving seedlings per acre; (2) mark burrows prior to the operation of vehicular mechanical equipment used to thin and harvest timber for habitat restoration; and (3) avoid running over tortoises or collapsing burrows and burying tortoises with heavy equipment during timber harvest and related activities. The applicant’s voluntary forest and habitat management plan for the enrolled property will restore, enhance, and increase habitat for the gopher tortoise in all pine uplands with soils suitable for the species on about 480 ac. Three basic habitat conditions or measures will be attained by this plan: (1) Maintenance of basal areas at or below 70 ft2/ac; (2) application of frequent prescribed fire; and (3) restoration of longleaf pine. The applicant will maintain and restore suitable nesting and foraging habitat for at least one group of red-cockaded woodpecker on the property. Currently, PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 10817 no red-cockaded woodpeckers inhabit the property. The landowner has met the requirements set forth in the SHA and is currently in compliance with the conditions set forth in the permit. All monitoring and reporting are up to date. Under comment and review is the request to renew the existing valid permit associated with the SHA that was issued May 27, 2005, under ESA, and is in effect until December 31, 2025. The applicant is requesting to extend the permit period for an additional 20 years beyond its current expiration date. National Environmental Policy Act Compliance The renewal of the permit is a Federal action that triggers the need for compliance with NEPA. The Service has made a preliminary determination that the proposed permit renewal is eligible for categorical exclusion under NEPA, based on the following criteria: (1) Implementation of the SHA would result in minor or negligible adverse effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) implementation of the SHA would result in minor or negligible adverse effects on other environmental values or resources; and (3) impacts of the SHA, considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative adverse effects to environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. To make this determination, we used our EAS and low-effect screening form, which are also available for public review. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made available to the public. While you may request that we withhold your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority The Service provides this notice under section 10(c) (16 U.S.C. 1539(c)) of the ESA and NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1506.6 and 43 CFR 46.305. James Austin, Acting Field Supervisor, Mississippi Field Office, South Atlantic-Gulf & MississippiBasin Regions. [FR Doc. 2022–04018 Filed 2–24–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\25FEN1.SGM 25FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 38 (Friday, February 25, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10816-10817]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-04018]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2022-0017; FXES11130400000-223-FF04EM1000]


Safe Harbor Agreement and Enhancement of the Survival Permit for 
the Gopher Tortoise and Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Covington County, MS; 
Categorical Exclusion

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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

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

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received a 
written request from Dr. John S. Lambert (applicant) to renew an 
enhancement of survival permit TE 075424 (permit) for an existing safe 
harbor agreement (SHA) without change. The Service is making the 
proposed permit renewal, which includes the applicant's proposed 
updated SHA as well as the Service's draft environmental action 
statement (EAS), available for public review and comment.

DATES: We must receive your written comments on or before March 28, 
2022.

ADDRESSES: 
    Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents online 
in Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2022-0017 at https://www.regulations.gov.
    Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the 
documents, you may do so in writing by any of the following methods:
     Online: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2022-0017.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2022-0017; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
MS: JAO/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Tupy, by telephone at 601-321-
1133, or via email at [email protected]. Individuals in the United 
States who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, or have a speech 
disability may dial 711 (TTY, TDD, or TeleBraille) to access 
telecommunications relay services. Individuals outside the United 
States should use the relay services offered within their country to 
make international calls to the point-of-contact in the United States.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), 
have received a written request from John S. Lambert (applicant) to 
renew an existing enhancement of survival permit (TE 075424) (permit) 
for an additional 20 years beyond its current expiration date. The 
Service and the applicant have mutually agreed that no changes or 
amendments would be made to the safe harbor agreement (SHA). The 
existing permit associated with the SHA was issued on May 27, 2005, 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), and is in effect until December 31, 2025. Renewing the 
SHA is intended to benefit the recovery of the federally listed 
threatened gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and federally listed 
endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) on 754 acres 
(ac) of enrolled privately owned lands in Covington County, 
Mississippi. The Service is making the applicant's proposed updated SHA 
(October 1, 2021) and the Service's draft environmental action 
statement (EAS) available for public review and

[[Page 10817]]

comment. The draft EAS supports the Service's preliminary determination 
that the proposed permit renewal is eligible for a categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 
4231 et seq.). To make this determination, we used our EAS and low-
effect screening form, which are also available for public review.

Background

    Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take of fish and wildlife 
species listed as endangered or threatened 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 an intentional or negligent act or 
omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife through 
annoyance 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). 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 threatened 
species are at 50 CFR 17.32.
    Under a safe harbor agreement, participating landowners voluntarily 
undertake management activities on their property to enhance, restore, 
or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the ESA. SHAs and 
the subsequent permits issued to participating landowners pursuant to 
section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA encourage private and other non-Federal 
property owners to implement conservation actions for federally listed 
species. In exchange for voluntarily undertaking management activities, 
the landowners are assured that they will not be subjected to increased 
property-use restrictions resulting from their efforts to either 
attract listed species to their property or to increase the numbers or 
distribution of listed species already on their property. Landowners 
may make lawful use of their enrolled property during the permit term 
and may incidentally take the listed species named on the permit. 
Application requirements and issuance criteria for permits associated 
with SHAs are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 
17.22(c) and 17.32(c). As provided for in the Service's final Safe 
Harbor Policy (64 FR 32717; June 17, 1999), safe harbor agreements 
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. Private landowners may voluntarily terminate a 
safe harbor agreement at any time and in accordance with 50 CFR 13.26. 
If this occurs, landowners must relinquish the associated enhancement 
of survival permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA.

Safe Harbor Agreement

    The private lands owned by the applicant and enrolled under the 
existing SHA and valid permit consist of 754 ac known as the Martin 
Branch Woodlands, in Covington County, Mississippi. The baseline 
established in 2005 was 57.3 ac of occupied gopher tortoise habitat and 
0 ac of occupied red-cockaded woodpecker habitat. Martin Branch 
Woodlands has been managed and enhanced above baseline since entering 
the SHA. The renewal of the SHA contains no changes or amendments to 
the SHA. Under the SHA, the applicant will continue to undertake the 
following habitat maintenance and enhancement actions intended to 
benefit the gopher tortoise on the enrolled property: (1) Avoid 
planting or regenerating pine trees in dense stands with more than 400 
surviving seedlings per acre; (2) mark burrows prior to the operation 
of vehicular mechanical equipment used to thin and harvest timber for 
habitat restoration; and (3) avoid running over tortoises or collapsing 
burrows and burying tortoises with heavy equipment during timber 
harvest and related activities.
    The applicant's voluntary forest and habitat management plan for 
the enrolled property will restore, enhance, and increase habitat for 
the gopher tortoise in all pine uplands with soils suitable for the 
species on about 480 ac. Three basic habitat conditions or measures 
will be attained by this plan: (1) Maintenance of basal areas at or 
below 70 ft\2\/ac; (2) application of frequent prescribed fire; and (3) 
restoration of longleaf pine. The applicant will maintain and restore 
suitable nesting and foraging habitat for at least one group of red-
cockaded woodpecker on the property. Currently, no red-cockaded 
woodpeckers inhabit the property.
    The landowner has met the requirements set forth in the SHA and is 
currently in compliance with the conditions set forth in the permit. 
All monitoring and reporting are up to date.
    Under comment and review is the request to renew the existing valid 
permit associated with the SHA that was issued May 27, 2005, under ESA, 
and is in effect until December 31, 2025. The applicant is requesting 
to extend the permit period for an additional 20 years beyond its 
current expiration date.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

    The renewal of the permit is a Federal action that triggers the 
need for compliance with NEPA. The Service has made a preliminary 
determination that the proposed permit renewal is eligible for 
categorical exclusion under NEPA, based on the following criteria: (1) 
Implementation of the SHA would result in minor or negligible adverse 
effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their 
habitats; (2) implementation of the SHA would result in minor or 
negligible adverse effects on other environmental values or resources; 
and (3) impacts of the SHA, considered together with the impacts of 
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated 
projects, would not result, over time, in cumulative adverse effects to 
environmental values or resources that would be considered significant. 
To make this determination, we used our EAS and low-effect screening 
form, which are also available for public review.

Public Availability of Comments

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

Authority

    The Service provides this notice under section 10(c) (16 U.S.C. 
1539(c)) of the ESA and NEPA regulations at 40 CFR 1506.6 and 43 CFR 
46.305.

James Austin,
Acting Field Supervisor, Mississippi Field Office, South Atlantic-Gulf 
& Mississippi-Basin Regions.
[FR Doc. 2022-04018 Filed 2-24-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P