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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

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Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

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SAJ-2016-00429 (SJC)

Posted: 12/20/2017

Expiration date: 1/21/2018

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received a complete prospectus proposing the establishment of a mitigation bank pursuant to the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources regulations (33 CFR Part 332) as described below:

APPLICANT: Southern States Land & Timber LLC
                      2205 W. Pinhook Road, Suite 200
                      Lafayette, LA 70508

LOCATION: The proposed project, identified as the 492.44-acre Wiggins Prairie Mitigation Bank (WPMB), is located south of Itchepackesassa Creek approximately one mile upstream and southeast of the Lower Green Swamp Preserve within Sections 12 and 13 of Township 28 south, and Range 22 east, Hillsborough County, Florida.

                                                                         Longitude: -82.061102°

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY: Pursuant to 33 CFR 332.8(d)(4), the Corps has posted a full copy of the WPMB prospectus online so that it is available for review by the public. The prospectus may be downloaded from the Regulatory In-Lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) at web address: https://ribits.usace.army.mil.

Once on the RIBITS homepage, select "Jacksonville" from the "ALL DISTRICTS" drop down menu located in the lower left corner of the screen. Once the district filter has been selected, click on the “Banks & ILF Sites” link located in the Navigation box (upper left corner). This will generate a list of projects, scroll down the list and click on the “Wiggins Prairie MB” link. On this page, click on the "Cyber Repository" link located on the menu bar above the General Information box, then click on the Prospectus Documents folder to access the prospectus associated with the WPMB project.

If you are unable to access the web address, a copy of the prospectus is available upon request to the project manager listed at the end of this public notice.

PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The applicant seeks authorization to rehabilitate, re-establish, establish, preserve and protect wetlands and uplands on the 492.44-acre property. The primary ecological goal of the WPMB is to restore and permanently protect the hydrology and wildlife habitat of 492.44 acres of wetland habitats and adjacent upland buffer habitats while increasing the wetland function in the contributing waters of Itchepackesassa Creek in the Hillsborough River watershed. Specific restoration objectives include:

• Rehabilitation of 57.43 acres of forested wetlands that provide flood attenuation,
nutrient cycling, and wildlife habitat within the watershed.
• Re-establishment of 148.13 acres of forested wetlands that provide flood
attenuation, nutrient cycling, and wildlife habitat within the watershed.
• Establishment of 4.16 acres of forested wetlands that provide flood attenuation,
nutrient cycling, and wildlife habitat within the watershed.
• Rehabilitation of 198.33 acres of freshwater marsh and wet prairie that provide
flood attenuation, nutrient cycling and wildlife habitat for many threatened and
endangered species, including the federally endangered wood stork (Mycteria
• Re-establishment of 13.28 acres of freshwater marsh and wet prairie that provide
flood attenuation, nutrient cycling and wildlife habitat for many threatened and
endangered species.
• Rehabilitation, re-establishment, and establishment of 46.66 acres of adjacent
upland buffer habitats that provide wetland buffers and create intact corridors with adjacent conservation lands.
• Preservation of 32.38 acres of streams, canals, and lakes that provide flood
attenuation, nutrient cycling and wildlife habitat for many threatened and
endangered species, including the federally endangered wood stork.
• Preservation of all 492.44 acres of restored wetland habitat and upland buffer
habitat in order to protect and manage the natural resources in perpetuity.

In order to attain these objectives, a total of 24.79 acres of ditches and 22.3 acres of borrow pits are proposed to be filled.

ECOLOGICAL SUITABILITY OF THE SITE: A review of available information indicates that the property has been historically ditched and drained for agricultural purposes.  The property consists of a highly degraded mixture of emergent and forested wetlands interspersed with oak forests and surrounded by converted improved pastures, sod farms, and borrow pits. The wetlands have been degraded through a combination of ditching, impoundments, borrow pits, exotic species invasion, and habitat conversion.

ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE BANK: The proposed WPMB would be established and operated by Southern States Land & Timber LLC as the Sponsor with the assistance of GreenSource Environmental Professionals, Inc. The property that comprises the WPMB is owned by Legendre Land Corporation. The WPMB is proposed to be established as a single and complete project. Following WPMB successful implementation and attainment of final success criteria, long-term management activities will be implemented in order to ensure the sustainability of WPMB. In addition, the Sponsor will provide sufficient financial assurances to ensure construction and long-term management of the proposed WPMB.

PROPOSED SERVICE AREA: The project is located within the Wiggins Prairie Subwatershed, identified as Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC 031002050101) which is part of the larger Hillsborough Subbasin (HUC 03100205). The Applicant proposes a Mitigation Service Area (MSA) that is coincident with the Hillsborough Subbasin. The WPMB MSA is anticipated to include wetland habitat communities that could reasonably be expected to occur on the WPMB.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The proposed bank is not expected to have any direct or indirect impact to cultural resources. Project review will, however, include review of the proposal for any potential impact to cultural resources

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The site will be reviewed for potential critical habitat and presence of endangered species. The findings will be coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): It is unlikely that essential fish habitat is present onsite, however, the project proposal will be coordinated with the pertinent federal agencies to minimize the risk for any potential impact to EFH.

NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.

COMMENTS: Comments regarding the proposed mitigation bank should be submitted in writing to the District Engineer at the address below within 30 days from the date of this notice.

The initial evaluation pertaining to whether or not this mitigation bank proposal has the potential for providing compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by issued Department of the Army permits will be based on the information contained in the prospectus, received from this public notice and obtained during an inspection of the project site.

If you have any questions concerning this proposed project, you may contact Mr. Steven Currie by electronic mail at steven.j.currie@usace.army.mil, by fax at 904-232-1904, or by telephone at 904-232-3701 or at the following address:

P. O. BOX 4970

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat

EVALUATION: After the end of the comment period, the district engineer will review all comments received and make an initial determination as to the potential of the proposed project to provide compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by Department of the Army permits. That determination will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. Factors relevant to the proposal will be considered including conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food, and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other Interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the proposed activity. All comments received will be considered by the Corps during the formulation of the initial determination of potential for the proposed activity.

Hillsborough County permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE