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This is a text-only version of the document "South Hilight - Coal Lease Application - Record of Decision - Appendix 3 - USFWS Letter". To see the original version of the document click here.


Unjted States Department of the Interior
};rologital Services 5353 \ ' ellowstone Road. Suite 308A Cheyenne, Wyoming 81109
I" R"'ply Rcf(-r To: F.S-fi 1411 NIY 11100 III

DEC 15 2010

To: 	 District Manager, Solid M inerals, Durcau of Land Management, W)"cming High Plains District, Casper Wyoming F'dd Supervisor, L .S. Fis


Cheyenne, Wyoming Subject: 	 Concurrence for the Norili Hilight, South l liIight, WId West Hilight Coal
Lease-By-Application Tracts hank you fo r your Jetter and attached biological as;essment for the North Hilieht, S(Juth Hilight
and West Hilight Coal Lea~e-By.App li cation (LBA) Tracts dated October 13, 20 10, received ir. ollr o ffic e October 14 . L1 ndcr the Bureau of Land _ \1anagemcnt 's (Bureau) preterrcd alternative

(Alternative 2) in :00 Wright Area Coal Lease Applicalions Final Environme tallmpact St ltement "or the Nort Hilight, South Hilight. and West H1 Jight held LI:JA Tracts (FE1S), rht~ Bureau will hold a sealed· hid, mmpetiLi ve coal lease sale for the lands included in the ::hove LBA tracts, and issue the leases 10 the "nccessfill hidder. The leea1 descrifltio s for the Rllreall ' s prdml;:J cunJigumlion Alu:mathe 2), for the North Hllighl, South Hilight, and Wesl Hilighl LBA Tracts I.:llD be fuund in Appendix G. pages G·9, G-13 , G- I 7 of the FEIS.
Your letter requested the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service (Serv'cc) con~ider Appendix G orth:: FEIS nod errata to ::ter...c as the biological assessment for the above tlu:ee f'edcml actions. Yo u have also reques ted the Service cOncur with the Bur~au s determinations contained in your Octo ber 13, 20 I 0, letter pursuant to ~ction 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended, 50 CFR § 402,13.

We were unable to complete this consultation until additional information was provided, which was received on November 22 and 25, 20 10. That information consis ted of the tbllowing:

An errata to the WriBht Area Coal Lease Applications FEIS posted at



n-"'" "~l nsIW ri~ht-C()al.htm l.....



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2. 	 Thrcatened & Endangered Jllant Species Sur-'cy RepoJ1 for Thunder Basin C(lal Company North Highlight LBA Tract, SoJlth Highlight LBA Tract, West Highlight LBA . Tract , prepared hy SCC1tt Hen~n of Hahitat Management Incorporated, Novemher K ,

20 1C.
Bascd on the information provided in (I) the biological a:sses;ment (Appendix G of the Wright Area Coal Lease Applications FEIS and errata), (2 ) the conservation measures identified in Appendix U ofthe FEfS, and (3) the survey methods and results reported in the above referenced Threatem:d & Erx.1angered Plant Spc-;.;ic:i Survey Repurl, lhe Scrvke cum;urs wi th lht: Bureau's detcnnination 6 at lca3ing 'he North Hilight, South Hilight, und West Hilight LBA tracts, may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Ute ladies' -tr~sses orchid (Spiranlhcs ciiluviuJi.s). Appropriately timed surveys of all sui:able habitat within the above LBA racts conducted in 2008, 2009, and 2010 found nu! uJ' U tt: lauics ' -lr~sscs un:hicls. The Bureau has determtned leasing the North Hil ight, South Hiligh:, and West Hi light LBA tracts i ~. not: Ii "ely to jeopardize t.he conti nlled ex istence o f the mountain plover "h(J,adriu.~ mQruanu~). We encourage project planners to develop and implemel t protec[ive measures should mountain plovers occur wit. in project areas. Measures to prolec the n:ountain plover from Urth