Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Application and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm, White County, Indiana; Categorical Exclusion
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received an application from Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act, for its Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm (project). If approved, the ITP would be for a 6-year period and would authorize the incidental take of an endangered species, the Indiana bat, and a threatened species, the northern long-eared bat. The applicant has prepared a habitat conservation plan that describes the actions and measures that the applicant would implement to avoid, minimize, and mitigate incidental take of the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant's proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on the Service's preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ``low-effect,'' categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low- effect screening form, both of which are also able for public review.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog; Threatened Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Two Distinct Population Segments and Endangered Status for Two Distinct Population Segments
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list four of six distinct population segments (DPSs) of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii), a stream dwelling amphibian from Oregon and California, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended. This determination also serves as our 12-month finding on a petition to list the foothill yellow-legged frog. After a review of the best scientific and commercial information available, we find that listing the South Sierra and South Coast DPSs as endangered and the North Feather and Central Coast DPSs as threatened is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list these four DPSs under the Act, with the South Sierra and South Coast DPSs listed as endangered species, and the North Feather and Central Coast DPSs listed as threatened species. Our proposal to list the North Feather and Central Coast DPSs as threatened species also includes a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act for each of these two DPSs. If we finalize this proposed rule for these four DPSs, we will then add them to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act's protections to them. We have determined that designation of critical habitat for these four DPSs is not determinable at this time. We have also determined that the North Coast DPS (in Oregon and northern California) and the North Sierra DPS (in Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, and Placer Counties, California) of the foothill yellow-legged frog do not warrant listing at this time.
Permanente Site Operations and Maintenance, Santa Clara County, California; Draft Screening Form and Draft Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a draft low-effect screening form (screening form) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), supported by a draft low-effect habitat conservation plan (draft HCP). The Lehigh Southwest Cement Company (Lehigh) (applicant) has applied for an ITP under the ESA for Permanente Site Operations and Maintenance in Santa Clara County, California. The requested ITP, which would be in effect for a period of 20 years, if granted, would authorize incidental take of the federally threatened California red-legged frog. In accordance with NEPA requirements, we have determined that the proposed action qualifies for a categorical exclusion as low effect. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on the application. Before issuing the requested permit, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.