Biological Evaluation Sensitive Wildlife and Aquatic Species

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1 Biological Evaluation Sensitive Wildlife and Aquatic Species Pilgrim Plantations Insect and Disease Project USDA FOREST SERVICE, SHASTA-MCCLOUD MANAGEMENT UNIT Prepared by: /s/ Justin Mapula 11/18/2014 Wildlife Biologist McCloud Ranger District Shasta-McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest Date Reviewed by: /s/ Christine J. Jordan 12/16/2014 Christine Jordan Wildlife Biologist Shasta-McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest Date Non-Discrimination Policy The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA s TARGET Center at (202) (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C , or call (800) (voice) or (202) (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

2 Executive Summary This Biological Evaluation analyzes the effects of the proposed Pilgrim Plantations Insect and Disease Project on designated Forest Service sensitive species known or expected to occur on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The project area under analysis consists of 555 acres of National Forest System (NFS) Lands comprised of 55 year-old pine plantations. Based on the analysis, the proposed action would not have adverse effects to, nor contribute toward a trend in Federal listing or loss of viability for any of the Forest s sensitive species. This analysis also determined that there are no extraordinary circumstances related to the project in regards to designated sensitive wildlife and fisheries species. Therefore, it may be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or an EIS under Section 603 of HFRA (16 U.S.C.6591b). Refer to the scoping documents for more detail. The project is in compliance with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest s Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan; USDA-FS 1995), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA; 16 U.S.C ) and United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Policy (FSM ) for analyzing and documenting potential effects to sensitive species. The table below summarizes management requirements, including combined requirements where appropriate for the species, and general effects for the 8 sensitive species with suitable habitat or known occurrence within or near the project area. The remaining 27 species have a distribution range outside, or are not known or expected to occur within or near, the project area due to a lack of suitable habitat. These 27 species are excluded from detailed analysis as the project will have no direct, indirect or cumulative effects on them or their habitat. Species Summary of Management Requirements Effects Determination Bald eagle N/A No effect / no suitable habitat Northern goshawk Willow flycatcher Yellow rail Fisher Pacific marten North American In the event a new territory is discovered: maintain and protect nest sites and implement LOP from 2/1 to 8/15 within 0.25-mile of nests. Reduce impacts to and retain predominant/legacy trees, snags and down wood in accordance with project design, RPMs, and 2012 Hazard Tree Guidelines (where applicable) N/A N/A Reduce impacts to and retain predominant/legacy trees, snags, and down wood in accordance with project May impact / NL 1 No effect / no suitable riverine or stream habitat with willow No effect / no suitable wet meadow or sedge habitat May impact / NL May impact / NL May impact / NL 1 May impact / NL: May impact individuals, but is not likely to adversely affect or result in a trend towards Federal listing or loss of viability within the project area or planning area of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. In the absence of a range-wide viability assessment, this viability determination is based on local knowledge of the species, habitat conditions within the project area, species status and professional judgment. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - i

3 Species Summary of Management Requirements Effects Determination wolverine design, RPMs and 2012 Hazard Tree Guidelines (where applicable) Pallid bat Reduce impacts to and retain May impact / NL Townsend s big-eared predominant/legacy trees and snags in bat accordance with RPMs and 2012 Hazard May impact / NL Fringed myotis Tree Guidelines (where applicable) May impact / NL Western bumble bee N/A No effect / no suitable meadow, riparian or abundant flowering plants Western pond turtle N/A No effect / no suitable river, stream or pond habitat Foothill yellow-legged No effect / no suitable river N/A frog or stream habitat No effect / no suitable high Cascades frog N/A elevation lake, wet meadow or stream habitat Northern red-legged frog N/A No effect / outside of range Southern torrent salamander N/A No effect / outside of range Shasta salamander N/A No effect / no suitable limestone habitat and outside of range (Shasta Lake Ranger District-RD) Shasta Sideband snail N/A No effect / outside of range (Shasta Lake RD) Wintu Sideband snail N/A No effect / outside of range (Shasta Lake RD) Shasta Chaparral snail N/A No effect / outside of range Tehama Chaparral snail Big Bar Hesperian snail Shasta Hesperian snail N/A N/A N/A (Shasta Lake RD) No effect / outside of range (Shasta Lake RD) No effect / outside of range (Trinity and South Fork Management Units) No effect / no suitable habitat within riparian zones, springs, seeps, marshes or caves Montane peaclam N/A No effect / outside of range Nugget pebblesnail N/A No effect / outside of range California floater N/A No effect / outside of range (freshwater mussel) Scalloped juga (snail) N/A No effect / outside of range Black juga (snail) N/A No effect / outside of range Kneecap lanx (limpet) N/A No effect / outside of range Pacific lamprey N/A No effect / outside of range Hardhead N/A No effect / outside of range McCloud River redband trout Steelhead- Klamath Mountains Province DPS Upper Klamath-Trinity Chinook ESU N/A N/A N/A No effect / no suitable river or stream habitat No effect / outside of range No effect / outside of range Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - ii

4 I. Introduction and Regulatory Framework The purpose of this Biological Evaluation (BE) is to analyze and disclose the potential effects of the Pilgrim Plantations Insect and Disease project (project) on sensitive species known or assumed to occur within the project area. Based on the analysis, a determination can also be made if there are any extraordinary circumstances associated with the project with respect to sensitive species that would warrant further analysis and documentation in an EA or an EIS. 2 If there are no extraordinary circumstances related to the project, then it may be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation under Section 603 of HFRA (16 U.S.C.6591b). 3 The USDA Forest Service defines sensitive species as those plant and animal species identified by the Regional Forester for which population viability is a concern, as evidenced by significant current or predicted downward trends in population numbers or density, or significant current or predicted downward trends in habitat capability, that would reduce a species existing distribution (FSM ). The primary concern is at the species population level and the BE determines if the agency s actions are likely to lead to a trend in Federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. This document is prepared in accordance with current policy and follows the standards established in FSM Sensitive Species Management Direction Sensitive species are managed under the authority of the National Forest Management Act (PL ) and USDA Forest Service Manual Direction (FSM 2600) and are designated by the Regional Forester (FSM ). This internal designation serves to focus attention on Forest Service species of concern and provides a mechanism for evaluating the potential effects of a Federal action on individuals and their populations. Management goals for sensitive species in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest Forest s Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan p. 3-28) are directed toward maintaining or, if possible, increasing existing viable populations of sensitive species. Forest-wide management direction for sensitive species (Forest Plan p. 4-5 and 4-30) includes the following: Manage habitat for sensitive plants and animals in a manner that will prevent any species from becoming a candidate for threatened and endangered status. 2 The mere presence of one or more of the seven resource conditions considered for extraordinary circumstances does not preclude use of a Categorical Exclusion. It is the existence of a cause-effect relationship between a proposed action and the potential effect on the resource conditions, and if such a relationship exists, the degree of the potential effect of a proposed action on the resource conditions that determines whether extraordinary circumstances exist (36 CFR (a) (2). 3 Refer to for more information on the proposed CE. Section 8204 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 amended Title VI of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA) to add Sections 602 and 603. Section 603 establishes a CE for qualifying insect and disease projects in designated areas. An insect and disease project that may be categorically excluded under this authority is a project designed to reduce the risk or extent of, or increase the resilience to, insect or disease infestation in the areas (HFRA, Sections 602(d) and 603(a)). Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 1

5 Survey and evaluate habitat for [threatened, endangered and] sensitive species at the project level in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). 4 Maintain and/or enhance habitat for [threatened, endangered and] sensitive species consistent with individual species recovery plans. Additional Forest Plan management direction is disclosed in the individual species sections of Appendix B Species Discussions. This BE considers all sensitive terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species designated on the Forest (see the Sensitive Species Considered section below). It either eliminates a species from detailed consideration based on the lack of suitable habitat and/or the project area being outside of the known range, or assesses the extent of project effects based on the species documented occurrence within the project area or the presence of suitable habitat. The potential for direct, indirect, and any cumulative effects from the project are considered in relation to population level effects, and in the case of this project, to also determine the degree of the potential effect and for an assessment of extraordinary circumstances. Project activities anticipated to benefit individuals and/or populations by improving, or protecting existing suitable habitat, are also described. The likelihood that project activities would lead to a trend in Federal listing under the Endangered Species Act is addressed for each species analyzed in detail. Habitat for each species potentially affected has been surveyed and/or evaluated for suitability in order to address the potential for occupancy within the project area and the effects of the proposed action (see Appendix A). With the exception of the Fisher, a proposed threatened species under the ESA that is also a sensitive species; the FWS has not expressed a direct interest in coordinating habitat survey efforts at the project level. Sensitive Species Considered The Regional Forester's sensitive species list (July 3, 2013 and subsequent name updates/amendments) identifies 34 sensitive species (including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks and fish) that may occur on the Forest. Of the 34 designated species, only the Northern goshawk has been recently documented in the project area. Six additional species, whose occurrence has not been documented but for which suitable habitat exists, may travel through but are not expected to significantly utilize the project area for breeding, feeding or sheltering. These species include the northern goshawk, fisher, Pacific marten, North American wolverine, pallid bat, Townsend s big-eared bat, and fringed myotis. The remaining 27 species were excluded from detailed analysis because the project area is either located outside their range, or lacks suitable habitat. These include the bald eagle, willow flycatcher, yellow rail, northern red-legged frog, Shasta salamander, southern torrent salamander, foothill yellow-legged frog, Cascades frog, western pond turtle, Western bumble bee, Shasta hesperian snail, Shasta side-band snail, Wintu sideband snail, Shasta chaparral snail, Tehama chaparral snail, Big Bar Hesperian snail, Nugget 4 Threatened and Endangered species are assessed in the project-level Biological Assessment. The FWS does not have regulatory jurisdiction over Forest Service sensitive species. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 2

6 pebblesnail, California floater, scalloped juga, black juga, montane peaclam, kneecap lanx, Pacific lamprey, hardhead, McCloud River redband trout, Klamath Mountain Province DPS steelhead, and Upper Klamath-Trinity ESU chinook. II. Purpose-Need, Project Area, Proposed Action, and Resource Protection Measures Purpose and Need In short, the purpose of the project is to address insect and disease concerns and stocking density, and to promote the growth of hardwoods within the project area. See the Decision Memo for full details. Project Location The planning area is located northeast of McCloud, California; in portions of T40N, R2W, Sections 12-14, 24 Mount Diablo Meridian. The project area is comprised of three units that range in size from 53 to 345 acres, totaling approximately 555 acres. The project area is flat to gently sloping and is between about 3,680 to 3,920 feet in elevation. Proposed treatment units consist entirely of pine plantations 5 with an average age of 55 years and with remnant incense cedar and white fir interspersed throughout and a sparse, shrubby 6 understory. 5 Plantation trees consist of ponderosa pine and minimal Jeffrey pine. Predominant and/or residual trees that were retained from prior entries consist of larger diameter white fir, ponderosa pine and minor amounts of incense cedar. Understory trees consist of all of these species as well as Douglas fir and black oak. 6 Species include but are not limited to whitethorn, bitter cherry, serviceberry, snowbrush, several species of manzanita. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 3

7 T. 37 N. T. 38 N. R. 6 W. R. 5 W. R. 4 W. R. 3 W. R. 2 W. R. 1 W. R. 1 E. R. 2 E. R. 3 E. R. 4 E. T. 36 N. T. 39 N. T. 42 N. T. 40 N. T. 41 N. T. 43 N.! Weed 5 CASTLE CRAGS WILDERNESS!( 97! Mount Shasta! Dunsmuir # Mount Shasta! McCloud # Ash Creek Butte!( 89 Project Area Pilgrim Cr. Rd. Black Fox # Mtn. Harris Doe Peak # Springs Powder Rd. # Harris Mtn. Hill Rd. # Bear Mtn. SHASTA-TRINITY NATIONAL FOREST SHASTA-McCLOUD MANAGEMENT UNIT VICINITY MAP Pilgrim Plantations Project Area Shasta-McCloud Management Unit Miles!Yreka!( 97! Eureka P a c i f! Redding San! Francisco! Reno ^Sacramento C a l i f o r n i a Shasta-Trinity National Forest!( 3! Weed Mount Shasta!! McCoud 5!( 89! Burney! Fall River Mills i c!( 299! Redding O c e a n Los Angeles! San Diego! Shasta-Trinity National Forest Figure 1: Pilgrim Plantations Vicinity Map Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 4

8 Proposed Action The following actions are proposed to increase forest resiliency to insects and disease (as well as other natural disturbances) on approximately 555 acres of pine plantations (as described above): Thin stands from below. Pine retention would be approximately trees per acre with an average spacing of feet. Release clumps of non-pine natural regeneration and enhance black oak through radial thinning. Group select and patch cut areas with mortality from insects or root disease or introduce heterogeneity to the stands. Apply prescribed fire after mechanical treatment and then plant selective openings with non- host species such as incense cedar at a 20-foot spacing. Black oak acorns will also be planted. Use existing and temporary roads (pre-haul maintenance as needed). Temporary roads would be decommissioned no later than 3 years after completion of project. Apply a borax compound to cut stumps within four hours of cutting. Refer to the proposed action Scoping Notice and Decision Memo for details. Resource Protection Measures (management requirements) The following resource protection measures are required to minimize or eliminate potential environmental effects. Standard operating procedures, such as protection of land survey monuments, are not listed here, as they are routine administrative practices. Species Northern goshawk Northern goshawk Fisher Pacific marten North American wolverine Pallid bat Townsend s big-eared bat Fringed myotis Resource Protection Measures and Management Requirements If a new NGO nest is discovered within the project area: maintain and protect nest sites and implement LOP from 2/1 to 8/15 within 0.25-mile of nests. Reduce impacts to and retain wildlife trees, snags, down wood and shrubs in accordance with the project design and RPMs that maintain predominant/legacy trees, a minimum of 2.5 snags per acre of the largest size class available, 5 tons of CWD per acre and tree and shrub species diversity that contribute to potential perching and resting structure / prey species habitat. For hazard tree abatement along roads,and near planting and firing operations, work will be in accordance with the 2012 Hazard Tree Guidelines. Reduce impacts to and retain large trees/snags in accordance with the project design and RPMs that maintain predominant/legacy trees and a minimum of 2.5 snags per acre of the largest size class available that contribute to potential roosting and hibernacula structure. For hazard tree abatement along roads, work will be in accordance with the 2012 Hazard Tree Guidelines. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 5

9 III. Species Effects The following sensitive species accounts are abbreviated and tier to the July 3, 2013 Regional Forester s sensitive species list. Direct, indirect and cumulative effects are discussed for those known to occur, or with suitable habitat, in the project area. See Appendix B for detailed species information specific to the Management Unit. Potential effects are evaluated in detail, depending on the extent of suitable habitat and potential for modifications to that habitat. Methods Data sources include species and habitat surveys, field and literature reviews, Forest Activities Database (FACTS) and geographic information systems (GIS) data, and personal communications with other Forest Service personnel. Habitat within the project area and respective cumulative effects analysis areas for all species was evaluated based on 2014 field reviews and local and Forest-level research. Existing vegetation data (USDA-FS Remote Sensing Lab 2007) and definitions from the Forest Plan Habitat Capability Models (USDA-FS pp. G-5, G-6 and G-11) were also used to describe habitat for northern goshawk, Fisher and Pacific marten. The potential for direct and indirect effects are assessed at the project area/treatment unit scale. Cumulative effects are assessed at a scale of a 0.25 mile buffer around the project area to account for potential noise disturbance and the potential degree of effect to determine an extraordinary circumstance. For purposes of this analysis, this is referred to as the Cumulative Effects Analysis Area (CEAA). A 0.25 mile buffer around the project area is reasonable to assess for the following seven species because it covers the potential effects to sensitive species from noise and/or smoke disturbance as a result of project activities. Table 1: Sensitive Species Effects Determinations and Rationale Species Effects Determination Known locations Habitat Present Supporting Rationale Northern goshawk May impact/nl Individuals observed within project area. No known nests within project area or within 0.5 mile of project area based on Forest Records and CNDDB. One known territory within the CEAA. No nesting habitat in the project area. Low-quality foraging and prey base habitat present (55-year old pine plantations, shrub habitats for golden-mantled ground squirrel (Bartels and Thompson 1993; Hayward 1995)). Individuals may forage opportunistically within the project area, though it lacks habitat structure for nesting. Several pockets of suitable habitat exist within the CEAA, including within the known territory, and those will not be affected by project actions. Treatments will retain snags, coarse wood, and shrubs that goshawks and their prey may use; either as plucking posts or perch sites, or hiding cover and forage. Prey species may be temporarily displaced by equipment and prescribed fire,. While individual prey may be affected and foraging goshawks may shift their Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 6

10 foraging patterns during project acitvities, the effects would be short-term (seasonal over a 2-3 year period) and are not considered adverse to prey populations. There are no territories and no nesting habitat within the project area. A reduction in population viability or trend toward Federal listing for the northern goshawk is not anticipated as a result of project activities because no nesting or foraging habitat will be removed, downgraded, or degraded for this species. Project activities will reduce fuel loading and create larger snags and CWD over time, which will benefit prey species. While individuals may be affected, there will not be measurable or meaningful effects to individuals or populations. The local populations would not be altered and based on the known breeding biology of northern goshawks, nearby individuals are expected to maintain a pattern of successful breeding and survival similar to their past activities. The proposed action will not affect northern goshawk distribution across the western United States; the current patterns of habitat use and dependency on mixtures of forest types; the current demographic patterns of goshawk reproduction and survival; or the existing population viability of this species. Species Effects Determination Known locations Habitat Present Supporting Rationale Fisher, Pacific marten, and North American wolverine May impact/nl No known dens or recorded, verified sightings within project area or CEAA based on Forest Records and the CNDDB. Individuals may disperse across the project area and forage opportunistically. There is little to no resting habitat (large down logs and trees with large limbs for resting are scarce within the project area). There is no denning habitat available for fisher or marten in the project area and the project area contains no subalpine denning habitat for wolverine. The CEAA, primarily to the north and south and within the northern goshawk territory, contains minor amounts (<100 acres) of suitable resting habitat and more suitable foraging habitat composed of a higher density of large trees with loose bark and snags and increased conifer diversity. Transient individuals may utilize the project area (disperse through and forage), but there is not sufficient resting or denning structure present to support resident individuals. Project activities may alter the behavior of individuals in a temporary and insignificant manner. (e.g., noise disturbance may cause individuals to avoid the project area during project activities; however these species are primarily crepuscular or nocturnal and more active when project actions would not be occurring; Zielinski et al. 2007; Powell and Zielinski 1994; Banci 1994). Potential prey habitat may be impacted by the application of prescribed fire, displacing prey species in the short term (seasonal over a 2-3 year period). Effects would be temporary and immeasurable. This impact, should it occur, would not have any measurable or meaningful effects on the fitness of these three species, as the project area is not considered highly or even moderately suitable foraging habitat. Snags and CWD would be retained during project activities that would continue to provide cover and forage habitat for prey. A reduction in population viability or trend toward Federal listing is not anticipated for any of these three species because no resting, denning or foraging habitat will be measurably affected. Project activities will reduce fuel loading and create Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 7

11 larger snags and CWD over time, which will benefit prey species and create potential resting and denning structure. Based on local experience and the known breeding biology of Pacific marten, nearby individuals are expected to maintain a pattern of successful breeding and survival similar to their past activities. The actions proposed will not affect the current patterns of habitat use and dependency on mixtures of forest types; the current demographic patterns of Pacific marten reproduction and survival; or the existing population viability for this species. The relative abundance of suitable habitat and the ability of the marten to easily modify its movement patterns relative to noise disturbance make it unlikely that affected individuals would have basic life behaviors or demographics affected. A comprehensive review of the best available scientific information concerning threats to wolverine found climate warming in its alpine habitat to be the most significant (USDI-FWS 2010). Based on wolverine habitat requirements and the project actions, the project will not affect the current patterns of wolverine habitat use and dependency on mixtures of forest and sub-alpine habitat types; the current demographic patterns of wolverine reproduction and survival; or the existing population viability of this species. For the fisher, the project may affect individuals by causing them to shift their movement patterns during project activities and short-term displacement of potential prey, but the project will not have adverse effects, and will not contribute toward the potential listing as a Threatened species. The West Coast Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of fisher was proposed for federal listing as a threatened species on October 7, 2014 (USDI-FWS 2014). A listing decision is expected by September 30, As it is not currently listed, consultation with the FWS for effects to the fisher is not warranted at this time (50 CFR , 50 CFR ; USDI-FWS et al pp. xi-xii). Due to the limited extent of potential effects, the project is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the fisher, or result in the adverse modification of critical habitat that may be proposed to be designated for the fisher. Few, if any, individuals may be affected. The project does not occur within or modify any denning habitat that may impact local populations. Based on local experience, research conducted on the Forest during the past decade and the known breeding biology of fisher, nearby individuals are expected to maintain a pattern of successful breeding and survival similar to their past activities. Based on fisher habitat requirements, the project is not expected to affect the fisher s current patterns of habitat use and dependency on forested habitat types; the current demographic patterns of fisher reproduction and survival; or the existing population viability of this species. Species Effects Determination Known locations Habitat Present Pallid bat, Townsend s big-eared bat and Fringed myotis May impact/nl No known maternity colonies, or sightings within the project area or CEAA based on Forest Records and CNDDB. There are no caves, mines, adits, rocky outcrops, or abundant trees with the structural complexity (large snags, large trees with loose bark, basal hollows, cavities, etc.) to provide significant or quality roosting structure or hibernacula for these bat species within the project area. There is higher-quality roosting habitat in the CEAA, within the foraging and nesting habitat for the northern goshawk where there is a higher density of large trees with loose bark and snags. Individuals may forage within the project area, but there is little to no high-quality roosting habitat within the project area. Pallid bats may forage in the project area Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 8

12 within the more open shrubby and brushy areas. They primarily forage on the ground, preying on crickets, beetles, scorpions and other invertebrates (Sherwin and Rambaldini 2005; CDFG 1999). Townsend s big-eared bats and fringed myotis primarily forage along edge habitats near streams and adjacent to and within a variety of wooded habitats, including mixed conifer and ponderosa pine stands (Fellers and Pierson 2002; (Gruver and Keinath 2006; Keinath 2004). While these species are more typically associated with areas near water for roosting, they can forage up to five or more miles from roost sites, Supporting Rationale Bats may forage within the project area, but the proposed action will not lead to a reduction in population viability or trend toward Federal listing because no high-quality roosting and no foraging habitat will be degraded, downgraded, or removed. If bats are using individual trees or snags as daytime roosts, it is expected that few individuals would be affected due to the overall poor conditions of the current pine snags and the low density of predominant trees that may provide roost habitat. These species and individuals also primarily forage at dusk/night when project activities will not occur. Project activities will reduce fuel loading and create larger snags over time, which will create more potential roost sites. Borax Toxicity The potential toxicity of borax and boron to mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and fungi is discussed in the Human Health and Risk Assessment for Borax (USDA-FS 2006) as well as several other publications (USEPA 1993; Dost et al. 1996). Measurements of soil, plants and litter at distances up to five meters from treated stumps at various times post-application do not indicate treatment-related increases in boron content. While the potential exists for sensitive species to consume prey exposed to borax, the risks to terrestrial species are low, with most acute and chronic risk quotients well below levels of concern (USDA-FS 2006). Considering it is unlikely for sensitive species to ingest borax from treated stumps; that none of the hazard quotients exceed the level of concern for contaminated water (even at application rates 10 times the rate proposed); and that the risk assessment indicates boric acid is practically non-toxic, measurable effects on sensitive species or their prey are not expected from borax application. IV. Management Requirements Members of the ID Team will ensure all activities are implemented as intended by reviewing project activity layout and implementation. Refer to the Executive Summary table for an abbreviated list of management requirements. V. Determinations The Pilgrim Plantations Insect and Disease Project meets all of the standards and guidelines and management direction from the Forest Plan, as described in this Biological Evaluation and the project Decision Memo. Based on the lack of suitable habitat, or the project area not being within the range of the species, it is my determination that project implementation would have No effect on the: bald eagle, Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 9

13 willow flycatcher, yellow rail, northern red-legged frog, Shasta salamander, southern torrent salamander, foothill yellow-legged frog, Cascades frog, western pond turtle, Western bumblebee, Shasta hesperian snail, Shasta side-band snail, Wintu sideband snail, Shasta chaparral snail, Tehama chaparral snail, Big Bar Hesperian snail, Nugget pebblesnail, California floater, scalloped juga, black juga, montane peaclam, kneecap lanx, Pacific lamprey, hardhead, McCloud River redband trout, Klamath Mountain Province DPS steelhead, and Upper Klamath-Trinity ESU chinook. Based on the assessment of direct, indirect and cumulative effects (see Appendix A), it is my determination that implementation of the proposed action May affect individuals, but is not likely to result in a trend towards federal listing or loss of viability for the remaining seven sensitive wildlife species. This includes the northern goshawk, Fisher, Pacific marten, North American wolverine, pallid bat, Townsend s big-eared bat, and fringed myotis. This determination is based on the potential for the project to improve habitat conditions for these species over time and the temporary effects to prey and short-term potential effects to few, if any, individuals from noise and activity in the project area that may cause them to shift their movement and/or foraging patterns. The project activities, however, are not expected to significantly influence nor have measureable or meaningful effects on the breeding, feeding or sheltering behaviors of these seven species. Project design and resource protection measures will ensure the retention of the few predominant/legacy trees and mixed conifer and hardwood species within the project area (no species are proposed for cutting other than plantation pine trees, and trees that are deemed a safety hazard to the public or operations), snags, and CWD in accordance with the Forest Plan and will retain shrub habitats across 30 to 50 percent of the project area. The project will increase the density of black oaks and other non-pine conifer species and will increase the overall health and resilience of the plantation stands, though is not expected to set the stands on any trajectory toward nesting habitat for goshawk, nor denning or resting habitat for furbearers. Roosting habitat for bats may be improved over the long term as trees grow larger and larger snags are recruited. In the absence of a range-wide viability assessment, the viability determinations in this BE are based on local knowledge and past/ongoing monitoring efforts of the species (refer to Appendix B), habitat conditions within the project area and across the Forest, professional judgment and literature from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The project effects do not result in an extraordinary circumstance related to the sensitive species resource condition due to the minor degree of potential effects. Potential project effects include but are not limited to: noise disturbance and smoke generation that may result in temporary disruption of foraging and movement patterns, and temporary disruption of prey. There would be no new permanent road construction, and all temporary roads used for project implementation will be decommissioned following treatment. The project would not meaningfully or measurably degrade, downgrade or remove nesting, foraging, resting, roosting or denning habitat for the seven species with either known occurrence, or suitable habitat in the project area and CEAA. As described in 36 CFR (a) (2), the mere presence of a sensitive species, or its habitat (the resource condition) considered for extraordinary circumstances does not preclude use of a Categorical Exclusion. It is the existence of a cause-effect relationship between a Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 10

14 proposed action and the potential effect on the resource condition, and if such a relationship exists, the degree of the potential effect of a proposed action on the resource conditions that determines whether extraordinary circumstances exist. VI. Literature (Inclusive of Appendices) Aubry, K. B. and Raley, C. M Ecological Characteristics of Fishers (Martes pennanti) in the Southern Oregon Cascade Range. Update on the Rogue River Fisher Study being completed by Keith Aubry and Catherine Raley with the Wildlife Ecology Team, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. Olympia, WA p. 32. Aubry, K. B., McKelvey, K. S. and Copeland, J. P Distribution and broad scale habitat relations of the wolverine in the contiguous United States. Journal of Wildlife Management Vol. 71, pp Banci, V Wolverine. In The scientific basis of conserving forest carnivores, Pacific marten, fisher, lynx, and wolverine in the Western United States. Ft. Collins, CO. USDA-Forest Service Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experimental Station, pp , General Technical Report RM Ruggiero, L.F.; Aubry, K.B.; Buskirk, S.W.; Lyon, L.J.; Zielinski, W.J., tech. eds. Bartels, M. A. and D. P. Thompson Spermophilus lateralis. Mammalian Species Vol. 440, pp Beyer, K. M. & R. T. Golightly Distribution of Fisher and other forest carnivores in coastal northwestern California. Unpublished report, Humboldt State University. Contract # FG-3156-WM. Arcata, CA, USA Buskirk, S.W. and R.A. Powell Habitat ecology of fishers and Pacific martens. A.S. Harestad, M.G. Raphael and R.A. Powell, editors. In Martens, sables and fishers: biology and conservation. Cornell University Press. Ithaca, NY. Pp Buskirk, S.W. and Zielinski, W.J Pacific marten (Martes americana) ecology and conservation. The Wildlife Society. p [In: J.E. Harris, and C.V. Ogan, (eds.), Mesocarnivores of northern California: biology, management, and survey techniques, workshop manual workshop manual. August 12 15, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA. Calfire. Various Years. Calfire Timber Harvest Plan Status. [Online] [Cited: November 24, 2014.] California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFG) California Bird Species of Special Concern: A ranked assessment of species, subspecies, and distinct populations of birds of immediate conservation concern in California. W. D. Shuford and T. Gardali, editors. Studies of Western Birds 1. Western Field Ornithologists. Camarillo, California and California Department of Fish and Game. Sacramento, CA. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFG). 2008a. California Department of Fish and Game - Biogeographic Data Branch. Special Animals. [Online] California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFG). 2008b. California Department of Fish and Game's CWHR GIS Species Range Data. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 11

15 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFG) California s wildlife, Volume III, Mammals. California Department of Fish and Game. Sacramento, CA. April California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFG) Life History Account and Range Map for the Pallid Bat. California Wildlife Habitat Relationship System. Carroll, C., Zielinski, W. J. and R.F. Noss Using presence-absence data to build and test spatial habitat models for the fisher in the Klamath Region, U.S.A. Conservation Biology. Vol. 13, pp Christy, R.E. and S.D. West Biology of Bats in Douglas-Fir Forests. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. CNDDB Full report for Fisher. [California Department of Fish and Game Natural Diversity Database]. Sacramento, CA. Council of Environmental Quality Memorandum to Federal Agency Heads Providing Guidance on the Consideration of Past Actions in Cumulative Effect Analysis. June 24, Criss, S.L. and S.J. Kerns Survey of Furbearer Presence on Managed Timberlands of Interior Northern California. Sierra Pacific Industries. P. 37. Doyle, F. I. & J. M. N. Smith Population responses of Northern Goshawks to the 10-year cycle in numbers of snowshoe hares. Studies in Avian Biology Vol. 16, pp Federal Register USDI Fish and Wildlife Service. Notice of 12-Month finding for a petition to list the west coast distinct population segment of the fisher (Martes pennanti). No. 68. Vol. 69, April 8, p Fellers, G.M. and E.D. Pierson Habitat use and foraging behavior of Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) in coastal California. Journal of Mammalogy. 83(1): Freel, M. and R. E. Stewart A literature review for the management of marten and fisher on National Forests in California. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region Graham, R.T.; Rodrigues, R.L.; Paulin, K.M.; Others The Northern Goshawk in Utah: habitat assessment and management recommendations. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-22, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 48. Grinnell, J., Dixon, J. S. and J.M. Linsdale Furbearing mammals of California Volume I. [Book]. University of California Press. pp Berkeley, CA, USA. Gruver, J.C. and Keinath, D.A Townsend s Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii): A technical conservation assessment. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, October 25, Keinath D.A Fringed myotis (Myotis thysanodes): A technical conservation assessment. Prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Available online: Hargis, C.D., McCarthy, C. and Perloff, R.D Home ranges and habitat of northern goshawks in eastern California. In: The northern goshawk ecology and management. Proceedings of a symposium of the Cooper Ornithological Society. Lewis, S.E Roost fidelity of bats: A review. Journal of Mammalogy. 76: Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 12

16 Hayward, G. D. & P. H. Hayward Relative abundance and habitat associations of small mammals in Chamberlain Basin, Central Idaho. Northwest Science. Vol. 69, pp Hennessy, S. P Ecological relationships of accipiters in northern Utah-with special emphasis on the effects of human disturbance. M.S. Thesis, Utah State University. Logan, UT. Kennedy, P. L Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus): a technical conservation assessment. Unpublished report, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Species Conservation Project. [Report]. Denver, CO, USA. Kennedy, P.L., et al Post fledgling family areas in Northern Goshawk home ranges. Studies in Avian Biology. Vol. 16, pp Kirk, T.A Landscape-scale habitat associations of the Pacific marten (Martes americana) in the greater Southern Cascades Region of California. Humboldt State University. p. 115, Master of Science thesis. Krohn, W.B., Arthur, S.M. and Paragi, T.F In Martens, sables, and fishers: biology and conservation. [ed.] S.W. Buskirk, et al. Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, pp Mazzoni, A. K Habitat use by fishers (Martes pennanti) in the southern Sierra Nevada, California. M.S. Thesis, California State University Fresno. Fresno, CA. McKeever, S The biology of the golden-mantled ground squirrel, Citellus lateralis. Ecological Monographs. Vol. 34, pp Moriarty, K. M.; Zielinski, W. J.; Gonzale, A. G.; Dawson, T. E.; Boatner, K. M.; Wilson, C. A.; Schlexer, F. V.; Pilgrim, K. L.; Copeland, J. P.; Schwartz, M. K Wolverine confirmation in California after nearly a century: native or long-distance immigrant? Northwest Science. Vol. 83, pp Moriarty, Katie Oregon State University Graduate Project. Corvallis, OR, USA. North State Resources, Inc Scott Project - Forest Carnivore Surveys and Final Report. Report prepared for Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Shasta-McCloud Management Unit. Pierson, E.D. and W.E. Rainey Distribution, status, and management of Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii). In California Birds and Mammals Conservation Program Technical Report. Powell, R.A. & W.J. Zielinksi Fisher. In The scientific basis for conserving forest carnivores: Pacific marten, fisher, lynx, wolverine in the western United States. K.B. Aubry, S.W. Buskirk, L.J. Lyon, L.F. Ruggiero and W.J. Zielinski, eds. General Technical Report RM-254. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest & Range Experiment Station. Fort Collins, CO. Pp Powell, R.A The fisher: life history, ecology and behavior. Second edition. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rainey, W.E. and Pierson, E.D Cantara Spill Effects on Bat Populations of the Upper Sacramento River Redding, CA. Reynolds, R.T.; Graham, R.T.; Reiser, M.H.; Bassett, R.L.; Kennedy, P.L Management Recommendations for the Northern Goshawk in the Southwestern United States. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station General Technical Report RM 217. [Report]. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 13

17 Ruggiero, L. F. and K.B. Aubry The Scientific Basis for Conserving Forest Carnivores: Pacific marten, Fisher, Lynx, and Wolverine in the Western United States. USDA Forest and Range Experimental Station, Fort Collins, CO. Salafsky, S. R., Reynolds, R. T. and Noon, B. R Patterns of temporal variation in goshawk reproduction and prey resources. Journal of Raptor Research. Vol. 39, 2, pp Saunders, L. B Essential nesting habitat of the Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, McCloud District. California State University Chico. Master of Science thesis. Schempf, P. F., and M. White Status of six furbearer populations in the mountains of northern California. USDA Forest Service - Region 5. Seglund, A.E The use of rest sites by the Fisher. Arcata, CA. Self, S.E. and S.J. Kerns Pine marten use of a managed forest landscape in Northern California. Sierra Pacific Research and Monitoring, Sierra Pacific Industries. Wildlife Research Paper No. 4. Anderson, CA. Self, S. E. & S. J. Kerns Fisher use of a managed forest landscape in northern California. Unpublished report - Sierra Pacific Industries. Anderson, CA. Sherwin, R. and Rambaldini, D.A Antrozous pallidus. Pallid Bat Working Group Spencer, Wayne D., Barrett, Reginald H. and Zielinski, and William Marten habitat preference in the northern Sierra Nevada. Vol. 47, 4, pp Squires, J. R. and Kennedy, P. L Northern goshawk ecology: an assessment of current knowledge and information needs for conservation management. Studies in Avian Biology Vol. 31, pp Squires, John R.; and Richard Reynolds Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Ithaca, NY. [Online; Cited: August 30, 2011.] Truex, R.L., Zielinski, W.J.; Golightly, R.T.; Barrett, R.H.; and S.M. Wisely A meta-analysis of regional variation in fisher morphology, demography and habitat ecology in California. Draft report, California Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management Division, Nongame Bird and Mammal Section. Sacramento, CA. USDA Forest Service Shasta-Trinity National Forest 2014 Fire Management Plan. Unpublished plan on fire at the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Redding, CA. USDA Forest Service McCloud Flats Watershed Analysis. Unpublished report on file at the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station. Mt. Shasta, CA. USDA Forest Service Northern goshawk annual survey records: , Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Data on file at the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station, Mt. Shasta, CA. USDA Forest Service Hazard Tree Guidelines for Forest Service Facilities and Roads in the Pacific Southwest Region. Unpublished report on file at the Regional Office. Vallejo, CA. USDA-Forest Service Record of Decision and final Environmental Impact Statement. Mudflow Vegetation Management Project. Unpublished report on file at the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Redding, CA. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 14

18 USDA Forest Service Survey Data Records for Survey and Manage Protocol Surveys on the Shasta-McCloud Management Unit. Unpublished data on file at the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station Wildlife Office. Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Mt. Shasta, CA. USDA Forest Service Existing Vegetation Layer for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Remote Sensing Lab. Pacific Southwest Region. GIS layer available in the Forest GIS library. Shasta- Trinity National Forest. Redding, CA. USDA Forest Service Forest-wide Late Successional Reserve Assessment (LSRA). USDA Forest Service, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Redding, CA. USDA Forest Service Shasta-Trinity National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. Redding, CA. USDA Forest Service. Various Years. USFS Wildlife Survey Data Entered into the NRIS Database. Mt. Shasta and McCloud District Office Wildlife Files. Mt. Shasta and McCloud, CA. USDA Forest Service and CNDDB Review of species documentation in NRIS and within the USGS 7.5-minute quadrangle encompassing the project area. Unpublished data on file at the McCloud Ranger Station. McCloud, CA. CNDDB and NRIS Wildlife accessed October 18, USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management Record of Decision and Standards and Guidelines for Amendments to the Survey and Manage, Protection Buffer and other Mitigation Measures Standards and Guidelines. January USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management Record of Decision for Amendments to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Planning Documents Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl; Standards and Guidelines for Management of Habitat for Latesuccessional and Old-Growth Forest Related Species Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl. NWFP ROD. April USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management Final Supplemental Environmental Impact statement on management of habitat for late successional and old-growth forest related species within the range of the northern spotted owl. NWFP EIS. February USDI-Fish and Wildlife Service CFR Part 17: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for West Coast Distinct Population Segment of Fisher; Proposed Rule. 79 FR 60419; pp October 7, Available online at: USDI Fish and Wildlife Service Wolverine to be Designated a Candidate for Endangered Species Protection. December 13, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service Finding for a Petition to List Wolverine as Endangered or Threatened. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service Status review of the northern goshawk in the forested west. Portland, OR. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce NOAA s National Marine Fisheries Service Endangered Species Consultation Handbook. Procedures for Conducting Section 7 Consultations and Conferences. March p. Shasta McCloud Management Unit Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 15

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