Public Notice Notifications

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Jacksonville District
Published May 17, 2024
Expiration date: 6/16/2024

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:


SPONSOR:          Trailhead Blue Springs, LLC

                              Post Office Box 382

                              San Antonio, Florida 33576


LOCATION:  The proposed project, identified as the 1,896.8-acre Blue Springs Mitigation Bank (BSMB), is located approximately 2 miles northwest of the incorporated municipality of Bronson, Florida in portions of Sections 02, 03, 04, 05, 09, 10, and 11, of Township 12 South, of Range 16 East, Levy County, Florida.


APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:         Latitude:               29.471736°

                                                                                 Longitude:           -82.690124°


PROSPECTUS SUMMARY:  Pursuant to 33 CFR 332.8(d)(4), the Corps has posted a full copy of the BSMB 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:


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 “Blue Springs 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 BSMB 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 preserve, re-establish, and enhance wetlands on the 1,896.8-acre property.  The primary ecological goal of the BSMB is to restore forested and herbaceous wetlands through removal of cattle, mechanical thinning, prescribed burning, and restoration of hydrology and vegetation. Specific objectives include:


Preservation of 782.4 acres of mixed forested wetlands, which includes dome swamp, bottomland forest, and hydric hammock.

Enhancement of 217.5 acres of depression marsh, shrub bog, wet flatwoods, and wet prairie.

Re-establishment of 810.4 acres of wet flatwoods.


ECOLOGICAL SUITABILITY OF THE SITE:  A review of available information indicates that the property historically consisted of hardwood cypress and bay swamps and rivers. Some portions of the site have been in timber production since the early 1900s, which consisted of clear-cutting natural forest stands and planting loblolly and slash pines. Ditches were established to assist in drainage of the pine plantations as well as the surrounding major roadway (U.S. Route 27). The site has been logged and utilized for agriculture based on information provided by the Sponsor. There is currently a cattle lease on site in the northwest corner of the mitigation bank.


ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE BANK:  The proposed BSMB would be established and operated by Trailhead Blue Springs, LLC as the Sponsor with the assistance of Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc.  The property that comprises the BSMB is owned by Trailhead Blue Springs, LLC.  Although part of a larger property, the BSMB is proposed to be established as a single and complete project.  Following BSMB successful implementation and attainment of final success criteria, long-term management activities will be implemented to ensure the sustainability of BSMB.  In addition, the Sponsor will provide sufficient financial assurances to ensure construction and long-term management of the proposed BSMB.


PROPOSED SERVICE AREA:  The project is located in the Waccasassa Subbasin, identified as Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 03110101. The applicant proposes all or portions of the Waccasassa Subbasin as the Mitigation Service Area (MSA). The proposed MSA combines the parent 8-digit HUC, 10-digit HUC associated watersheds, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Level IV Ecoregions. The Waccasassa Subbasin extends from approximately 23 miles to the northeast of the BSMB to approximately 22 miles to the south, following the Waccasassa River into Waccasassa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The northern and southern extents along the gulf coast include the areas south of the Lower Suwannee, and the areas north of the Withlacoochee River and US Highway 40 East. Devil’s Hammock, which is a Levy County owned and managed conversation land area, is located south adjacent to the BSMB. South adjacent to Devil’s Hammock is the Upper Waccasassa Conservation Area, another conservation land owned and managed by the Suwannee River Water Management District. The ecological and hydrologic corridors that are linked by the conservation of this property are critical parts of the larger ecosystem.  The proposed service area will include portions of the Waccasassa Subbasin as it corresponds to the EPA Level IV Ecoregion. The BSMB is located within one Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Level IV Ecoregion: Gulf Coast Flatwoods.  The BSMB MSA is anticipated to include wetland habitat communities that could reasonably be expected to occur on the BSMB.


CULTURAL RESOURCES:  The Corps is evaluating the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This Public Notice serves to inform the public of the proposed undertaking and invites comments including those from local, State, and Federal government Agencies with respect to historic resources. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts may be subject to additional coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office.


Endangered Species: The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.


Essential Fish Habitat (EFH):  This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996.  No EFH is located within the project area, or areas affected by the project.  Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.


SECTION 408: The Sponsor will not require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, would not alter, occupy, or use a Corps Civil Works project.


NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the Sponsor. 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 Ms. Geena Hill by electronic mail at, by telephone at 352-699-4262, 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.


Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.  


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. 


COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan.  In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board.  In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.