Applicants enter into SHAs and CCAAs in good faith and we work diligently with them to design and then implement agreements that will have the intended outcomes.
Should a lapse in permit compliance occur, we want to retain our flexibility to work with the permit holder to rapidly be back in compliance, in order to continue Virginia cash advance loans activities that are benefiting the covered species.
However, in the highly unlikely event that this should not be possible, we are obligated to do whatever is necessary for the continued survival of the species. While we acknowledge that potentially having to purchase properties or conservation easements may be costly, we do not anticipate this need arising frequently, if at all, particularly in light of other available options for avoiding revocation of a permit. With regard to the commenters who believe that potentially relocating species undermines the purpose of SHAs and CCAAs, we disagree with their premise that the purpose of these agreements is to secure habitat for imperiled species. While the outcome of these agreements Virginia cash advance loans may be to secure habitat, that is not their specific purpose. The purpose of a CCAA is to contribute to precluding the need to list the species.
If relocation of individuals of a species covered under a SHA or CCAA is : deemed appropriate, such an action would not undermine those agreements or the purpose of SHAs or CCAAs. Our proposed revision of the regulation pertaining to revocation of permits associated with SHAs and CCAAs was designed to address concerns that the regulation, as adopted in 1999, may be a disincentive to landowners considering development of such agreements. The proposed change is consistent with our goal of encouraging non-Federal property owners to engage in SHAs and CCAAs. Rather, we believe it is in the best interest of a Virginia cash advance loans permittee, as well as being in the public interest, to have a broader range of options available for the Service and the permittee to pursue, as identified in the proposed rule.
The revised text provides Virginia cash advance loans further clarity and assurance to landowners of the very strong commitment on the part of the Service to pursue, with the consent of the permittee, all relevant and appropriate options to avoid permit revocation. Issue 12: One commenter stated that use of the portion of our proposed regulatory language on revocation that relies on the definition of destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat will invite legal challenges since this definition was invalidated by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Sierra Club v.
Response 12: Based on the statutory authority provided under section 7(a)(2) of the Act, the Director may revoke a permit if continuation of the permitted activity would either be likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat.
Issue 13: One commenter stated that it was appropriate for us to clearly include language in the regulations indicating that we would exhaust our alternatives before revoking a permit, particularly given the truly voluntary nature of SHAs and CCAAs.
However, the commenter cautioned that it is extremely important that the time used in taking alternate actions not further imperil an endangered species. Response 13: We agree with these commenters and we try to deal with these issues in a time-sensitive manner. Response 14: The revocation provisions of both the 1999 regulations and the revised regulations are based on. Our issuance of an enhancement of survival permit in association with an SHA ora CCAA is a Federal action that is subject to an intra-Service consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the Act. The 1999 revocation provisions indicated that the Service may revoke a permit if continuation of the permitted activity becomes inconsistent with the no jeopardy issuance criterion. The revised regulation clarifies that the Service has the authority to revoke a permit that violates either the no jeopardy standard or the adverse modification of critical habitat standard in section 7 of the Act. Relationship to No Surprises Issue 15: One commenter stated that we should postpone finalizing this rulemaking based on the recent court ruling in Spirit of the Sage Council v. Norton ruling deals only with the no surprises rule Virginia cash advance loans and permit revocation language for HCPs (see 50 CFR 17.
The ruling does not apply to regulations for SHAs or CCAAs and thus, we see no need to postpone this rulemaking as a result of the ruling.
Other Issues Issue 16: One commenter, while agreeing with the proposed regulation changes, stated that we did not address the issue of neighboring property owner vulnerability.
The SHA policy offers flexibility when dealing with neighboring landowners to address this concern. Our work with property owners on an SHA includes working with them in relation to contacting neighboring landowners to see if they also are willing to voluntarily enter into an agreement. Also, designing a programmatic agreement that can cover multiple landowners, each of which may be covered through issuance of a certificate of inclusion, is one of the ways we may help resolve the concern raised by the commenter. Consequently, we do not believe that the regulations need to be revised to more directly address neighboring property owners. Issue 17: A commenter stated that, while they support many of the proposed revisions, they have concerns over the existence of sufficient resources for us to adequately implement SHAs and CCAAs. The commenter believes the largest impediment to widespread utilization of the SHA and CCAA programs is the inherent uncertainty about the amount of time and cost of the permit application process and urges us to devote the resources necessary to fully implement the proposed revisions. Response 17: We believe SHAs and CCAAs are very important tools that help to conserve listed and at-risk species. We will continue to seek funding for these programs in a manner that recognizes our need to balance funding for our work on SHAs and CCAAs with the other work we do as part of our Endangered Species program, such as listing, consultations, and recovery work. Issue 18: One commenter recommended that we revise our regulations to provide more certainty with respect to the procedures we use to process SHA and CCAA applications and complete the issuance of the permits. To encourage more voluntary agreements, the commenter suggested we include a time limit of 90 days for our review of applications.
The commenter also suggested that we include language that would require us to provide a copy of the proposed permit to the applicant for review prior to final issuance. The commenter believed this would allow-for correction of factual data and of inconsistencies between the permit and agreement and, thus, increase the efficiency of the permit process. Response 18: We disagree that our regulations need to be changed in the manner suggested by the commenter. We work diligently to process these agreements and their associated permits as expeditiously as possible.