The Project approved by CDFW consists of the ITP, Major Amendments Nos. 1, 2, and 3, Minor Amendment No. 4, Major Amendments Nos. 5-24 and this Major Amendment No. 25, as referenced above and as issued by CDFW, which addresses construction and operation of the Fresno to Bakersfield segment of the HST, as approved by the lead agency, affecting or generally related to fish and wildlife resources subject to the regulatory authority of CDFW, including natural resources subject to the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The ITP authorizes incidental take of the threatened California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), San Joaquin antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus nelsoni), Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni), and San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) and the endangered Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), (collectively, the Covered Species), species designated as threatened and endangered under CESA.
Major Amendment No. 25 makes three specific changes to the ITP, as previously amended. This Amendment changes Condition of Approval 8.13.4 to allow for the exemption of a specific area from remaining burrow excavation for California tiger salamander near Cross Creek; modifies the burrow avoidance measures for San Joaquin antelope squirrel and Tipton’s kangaroo rat to exclude Subzones 3 and 4 from the required burrow excavation within Mapping Area 1 due to safety concerns and adds these to the area outside of Mapping Areas 1, 2, and 3 which allow for either burrow excavation or trapping prior to commencing work; incorporates Exhibit 8, Subzones 1-4 near Cross Creek and the area to be exempt from remaining burrow excavation into the ITP, as amended.