Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for a Habitat Conservation Plan for Commercial Developments, Including Energy Developments, and Agricultural and Conservation Activities Within Six States
We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, as lead agency, intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposed application for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), including a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The potential ITP is directed to the lesser prairie- chicken, a species currently proposed to be listed as threatened pursuant to the ESA. The potential ITP includes activities that cover regional construction, operation, and maintenance associated with multiple commercial energy facilities and agricultural activities (e.g. farming, ranching) and conservation management activities within portions of six States (Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). We provide this notice to (1) describe the proposed action; (2) advise other Federal and state agencies, potentially affected tribal interests, and the public of our intent to prepare an EIS; (3) announce the initiation of a 30-day public scoping period; and (4) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues and possible alternatives to be included in the EIS.