[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 140 (Friday, July 19, 1996)]
[Pages 37760-37761]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-18397]



Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment/Habitat 
Conservation Plan (EA/HCP) and Receipt of Application for Incidental 
Take Permit for Construction and Operation of the Reed Estate Property 
by the Volente Group, Inc. in Austin, Travis County, Texas

SUMMARY: The Volente Group, Inc. (applicant) has applied to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an incidental take permit 
pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(b) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). 
The Applicant has been assigned permit number PRT-806831. The requested 
permit, which is for a period of 30 years, would authorize the 
incidental take of the endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Denroica 
chrysoparia) and the black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapillus). The 
proposed take would occur as a result of the development of a lakefront 
mixed-use development and associated roads and utilities on 1,746 acres 
of the 2,572.8-acre Reed Estate Property. The property includes two 
tracts, Jonestown and Volente. The Jonestown tract is approximately 
1,160.9 acres just south of Jonestown, Texas. The Volente tract 
includes approximately 1,411.9 acres, and is north of Volente, Texas. 
The proposed development will occur on both tracts approximately 16 
miles northwest of Austin, Travis County, Texas.
    The Service has prepared the EA/HCP for the incidental take 
    A determination of jeopardy to the species will likely result or a 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONS) will not be made before 30 days 
from the date of publication of this notice. This notice is provided 
pursuant to Section 10(c) of the Act and National Environmental Policy 
Act regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

DATES: Written comments on the application should be received August 
19, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the application may obtain a copy 
by writing to the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Persons wishing to review 
the EA/HCP may obtain a copy by contacting Mary Orms, Ecological 
Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 
78758 (512/490-0063). Documents will be available for public inspection 
by written request, by appointment only, during normal business hours 
(8:00 to 4:30) at the above U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin, 
Texas address. Written data or comments concerning the application and 
EA/HCP should be submitted to the Field Supervisor at the above 
address. Please refer to permit number PRT-806831 when submitting 

Mary Orms at the above Austin Ecological Services Field Office.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the Act prohibits the 
``taking'' of endangered species such as the golden-cheeked warbler and 
black-capped vireo. However, the Service, under limited circumstances, 
may issue permits to take endangered wildlife species when such taking 
is incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise

[[Page 37761]]

lawful activities. Regulations governing permits for endangered species 
are at 50 CFR 17.22.


    The Volente Group, Inc. plans to construct a lakefront mixed-use 
development and associated roads and utilities on 1,746 acres of the 
2,572.8-acre Reed Estate Property. A more detailed description of the 
proposed development is available in the EA/HCP. This action will 
eliminate 1 to 5 black-capped vireo territories and approximately 557 
acres in 23 warbler territories on the Jonestown tract. A total of 640 
acres of warbler habitat and 29 warbler territories occur on the 
Volente tract and approximately 201 acres and 5 of the Warbler 
territories will be eliminated during development.
    The applicant proposes to compensate for this incidental take of 
golden-cheeked warbler habitat by preserving and maintaining a 827-acre 
conservation area on the Volente tract, in perpetuity. Approximately 
439 acres of the 640 acres of golden-cheeked warbler habitat will be 
included in the 827-acre conservation area and will include 24 of the 
29 golden-cheeked warbler territories. The applicant will also include 
approximately 33 acres of vireo habitat on the Jonestown tract in a 
vireo open space preserve.
    The conservation area will be within the Cypress Creek Macrosite 
Preserve and the Applicant will manage the conservation area until such 
time as the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) or other public or 
private non-profit agency accepts fee title dedication and management 
responsibility of the land. A deed restriction will be recorded on the 
conservation area prohibiting uses of the area that are incompatible 
with the conservation needs of the golden-cheeked warbler and black-
capped vireo. The proposed action and other mitigative measures are 
explained in detail in the EA/HCP.
    Alternatives to this action were rejected because selling or not 
developing the subject property with federally listed species present 
was not economically feasible.
Nancy M. Kaufman,
Regional Director, Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[FR Doc. 96-18397 Filed 7-18-96; 8:45 am]