Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan, CA; Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Public Meeting, and Receipt of Applications
This notice advises the public that we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received applications for incidental take permits pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) from the County of Santa Clara; Cities of San Jose, Gilroy, and Morgan Hill; Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and Santa Clara Valley Water District (Applicants). The Applicants prepared the Draft Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act and the California Natural Community Conservation Planning Act of 2002 (NCCPA). This notice announces the availability of the permit applications, Draft HCP/NCCP, Draft Implementing Agreement (IA), and Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for public review and comment. The Service is considering the issuance of a 50-year incidental take permit for 21 Covered Species in a 509,883-acre Permit Area. A seventh applicant will also be considered for permit coverage; the Implementing Entity (likely a joint powers agency) that will form prior to permit issuance. The Implementing Entity is described in the Draft HCP/NCCP and Draft IA and would be composed of representatives from each of the Applicants. The Applicants are requesting a permit to incidentally take 11 animal species and are seeking assurances for 10 plant species. The permit is needed because take of species could occur as a result of proposed Covered Activities.