North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 34144-34146 [05-11617]

Download as PDF 34144 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 112 / Monday, June 13, 2005 / Notices Services, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 8– 1002, Rockville, MD 20857, Telephone: (240) 276–2254, Fax: (240) 276–2252, E-mail: carol.watkin2@samhsa.gov. These estimates are based on FDA’s experience with the Cosmetic Product Voluntary Reporting Program. The estimated annual total hour burden is 75 percent of the burden reported in 2002 due to decreased submissions. However, the number of respondents doubled, and FDA attributes this to increased interest in the program. FDA expects the number of submissions to increase accordingly in the next 3 years. BILLING CODE 4162–20–P Dated: June 6, 2005. Jeffrey Shuren, Assistant Commissioner for Policy. [FR Doc. 05–11641 Filed 6–10–05; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BILLING CODE 4160–01–S Dated: June 6, 2005. Toian Vaughn, Committee Management Officer, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. [FR Doc. 05–11618 Filed 6–10–05; 8:45 am] Procedural Coast Guard [USCG–2005–21399] DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Towing Safety Advisory Committee Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of meetings. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration AGENCY: Office for Women’s Services; Notice of a Meeting SUMMARY: The Towing Vessel Inspection Working Group of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) will meet to discuss matters relating to those specific issues of towing safety. The meetings will be open to the public. DATES: The Towing Vessel Inspection Working Group will meet on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Thursday, June 23, 2005 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meetings may close early if all business is finished. Written material and requests to make oral presentations should reach the Coast Guard on or before June 15, 2005. Requests to have a copy of your material distributed to each member of the Working Group should reach the Coast Guard on or before June 15, 2005. ADDRESSES: The Working Group will meet at George Mason University, Arlington Campus, 3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201. Please bring a government-issued ID with photo (e.g., driver’s license). Send written material and requests to make oral presentations to Mr. Gerald Miante, Commandant (GMSO–1), U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 2100 Second Street SW., Washington, DC 20593–0001. This notice and related documents are available on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov under the docket number USCG–2004–21399. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Gerald Miante, Assistant Executive Director of TSAC, telephone 202–267– 0214, fax 202–267–4570, or e-mail gmiante@comdt.uscg.mil. Pursuant to Pub. L. 92–463, notice is hereby given of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Advisory Committee for Women’s Services teleconference meeting on June 21, 2005. The meeting will be open and include discussions on SAMHSA’s women’s issues as they relate to the Agency’s priority matrix. The meeting will also include discussions on the Agency’s current administrative, legislative and policy developments. Attendance by the public will be limited to space available. Public comments are welcome. Please communicate with the individual listed as contact below to make arrangements to comment or to request special accommodations for persons with disabilities. Substantive program information and a roster of Committee members may be obtained by accessing the SAMHSA Advisory Council’s Web site (http:// www.samhsa.gov) as soon as possible after the meeting or by communicating with the contact whose name and telephone number are listed below. The transcript for the session will also be available on the SAMHSA Advisory Council Web site as soon as possible after the meeting. Committee Name: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Advisory Committee for Women’s Services. Meeting Date: June 21, 2005, 1 p.m.–3 p.m. Place: 1 Choke Cherry Road, Conference Room 8–1082, Rockville, MD 20857. Type: Open. Contact: Carol Watkins, Executive Secretary, Advisory Committee for Women’s VerDate jul<14>2003 16:45 Jun 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 ACTION: Notice of these meetings is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 U.S.C. App. 2 (Pub. L. 92–463, 86 Stat. 770, as amended). Agenda of Working Group Meetings: The agenda for the Towing Vessel Inspection Working Group tentatively includes the following items: (1) What proposed equipment standards should be included in a subchapter devoted to the inspection for certification of towing vessels; and (2) Which standards found in existing regulations, if any, are suitable for inclusion in a subchapter devoted to the inspection for certification of towing vessels? Sfmt 4703 The meetings are open to the public. Please note that the meetings may close early if all business is finished. At the Chair’s discretion, members of the public may make oral presentations during the meeting. If you would like to make an oral presentation at the meeting, please notify the Assistant Executive Director (as provided above in for further information contact) no later than June 15, 2005. Written material for distribution at the meeting should reach the Coast Guard no later than June 15, 2005. Information on Services for Individuals With Disabilities For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact Mr. Miante at the number listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT as soon as possible. Dated: June 3, 2005. Raymond Petow, Acting Director of Standards, Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection. [FR Doc. 05–11588 Filed 6–10–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for the North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which consists of three national wildlife refuges—Coldwater River, Dahomey, and Tallahatchie, as well as a number of Farmers Home Administration tracts in the northern section of the Mississippi Delta. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 112 / Monday, June 13, 2005 / Notices SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Northern Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex are available for review and comment. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires the Service to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation plan is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, the plan identifies wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation. Significant issues addressed in the draft plan include: threatened and endangered species; waterfowl management; neotropical migratory birds; bottomland hardwood restoration; agriculture; visitor services (e.g., hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation); funding and staffing; cultural resources; land acquisition; and forest fragmentation. DATES: A meeting will be held to present the plan to the public. Mailings, newspaper articles, and posters will be the avenues to inform the public of the date and time for the meeting. Individuals wishing to comment on the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for the North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex should do so within 45 days following the date of this notice. ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment should be addressed to the North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2776 Sunset Drive, Grenada, Mississippi 38901; telephone 662/226–8286. The plan and environmental assessment may also be accessed and download from the Service’s Internet Web site http:// southeast. fws.gov/planning/. Comments on the draft plan may be submitted to the above address or via electronic mail to VerDate jul<14>2003 16:45 Jun 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 mike_dawson@fws.gov. Please include your name and return address in your Internet message. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home addresses from the record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Service developed for alternatives for managing the Complex and chose Alternative D as the preferred alternative. Alternatives The draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment evaluates the four alternatives for managing the Complex over the next 15 years. These alternatives are briefly described as follows: Alternative A. Existing Complex management and public outreach practices would be favored under this alternative. All management actions would be directed towards achieving the Complex’s primary purposes, including (1) preserving wintering waterfowl habitat; (2) providing production habitat for wood ducks; (3) meeting the habitat conservation goals of national and international plans; and (4) preserving wetlands, all the while contributing to other national, regional, and state goals to protect and restore migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, and resident species. Refuge management programs would continue to be developed and implemented with limited baseline biological information. Active habitat management would be implemented through water level manipulations and moist-soil, cropland, and forest management designed to provide a diverse complex of habitats that meets the foraging, resting, and breeding requirements for a variety of species. The staff of the Complex would continue to restore and maintain existing wetland, open water, moist-soil, and bottomland hardwood forest habitats. Land would be acquired from willing sellers within the current 47,816-acre acquisition boundary. Hunting and fishing would continue to be major focuses of the public use program, with no expansion of current opportunities. Current restrictions or prohibitions would remain. Environmental education, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography would be accommodated at present levels. If funding becomes available, a visitor center and headquarters office PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 34145 would be constructed on Highway 82 at the Povall Tract. Alternative B. This alternative would emphasize significantly more public recreational uses while maintaining current habitat management. Any additional staff, emphasis, and resources would be directed to allow for more public activities. Current moistsoil, cropland, forest, and wetland management would continue. Hunting and fishing opportunities would be increased as funding and personnel allow. Auto tours, canoe trails, foot trails, interpretive trail(s), and observation towers and blinds would be added for environmental education, wildlife photography, and watchable wildlife programs. Additional staff would be used for developing and presenting both on- and off-site environmental education and interpretation programs. An outreach coordinator would be employed to serve the Complex. A visitor center and headquarters office would be constructed on Highway 82 at the Povall Tract and jointly shared with the Service’s Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery. New subheadquarters and visitor contact stations would be constructed at Coldwater River, Dahomey, and Tallahatchie Refuges. Land acquisition within the current acquisition boundaries would continue with emphasis on those lands that could provide additional public use opportunities. Any additional expansions, up to 10 percent of the current acquisition boundary, would focus on public use opportunities. Alternative C. Under this alternative, refuge lands would be intensively managed to provide high quality habitat for wildlife, particularly migratory birds. Any areas within the Complex with pumping capabilities (wells) and water control structures would be managed for moist-soil vegetation, or would be force-account farmed (with 100 percent of crops left standing) to benefit migratory waterfowl. Cooperative farming fields would be planted in rice, milo, corn, or soybeans (in order of preference) and flooded during the late fall and winter. The wood duck next box program would be expanded on all three refuges and would extend onto Farmers Home Administration tracts with suitable brood habitat. On sites with permanent water, wood duck brood habitat would be developed to promote brood survival. Boxes would be cleaned and maintained regulatory to allow two and three broods per box per year. Primary emphasis would be placed on meeting objectives of the various step- E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 34146 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 112 / Monday, June 13, 2005 / Notices down plans and providing habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. These habitats and their uses would be monitored on the refuge to ensure that goals and objectives were met. Population and habitat surveys would be conducted throughout the refuges to develop baseline data to determine initial population levels and habitat conditions. Staff would monitor changes over time. Wildlife-dependent recreation activities (e.g., hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation) would be allowed, but only when and where they do not detract from, or conflict with, wildlife management activities and objectives. Infrastructures on the refuges (e.g., trails and blinds) would be developed primarily to conduct wildlife management activities. A visitor center and headquarters office would be constructed on Highway 82 at the Povall Tract. Under this alternative, the Complex would continue to seek from willing seller lands within the present acquisition boundary. Highest priority would be given to those lands adjacent to existing refuge tracts and those lands supporting unique habitats. Additionally, the Complex would concentrate all future off-refuge partnerships on promoting more intensive wildlife management on privately owned lands. Personnel priorities would include employing a biologist and/or technician for the Complex and a forester to conduct forest management activities at Dahomey Refuge. Alternative D. The Service’s planning team has identified Alternative D as the preferred alternative. This alternative was developed based on public input and the best professional judgment of the planning team. The objectives and strategies presented in the draft plan were developed as a direct result of the selection of Alternative D. Alternative D represents a combination and/or compromise between Alternative B (Public Use Emphasis) and Alternative C (Wildlife Management Emphasis). Whereas these two alternatives seek to maximize either expanded public use or expanded wildlife management opportunities, Alternative D seeks to optimize the benefits of the Complex to wildlife and people. Under Alternative D, refuge lands would be more intensively managed than at present to provide high quality habitat for wildlife, particularly migratory birds. Any areas within the Complex with pumping capabilities VerDate jul<14>2003 16:45 Jun 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 (wells) and water control structures would be managed for moist-soil vegetation or would be force-account farmed (with 100 percent of crops left standing) to benefit migratory waterfowl. Cooperative farming fields would be planted in rice, milo, corn, or soybeans (in order of preference) and flooded during the late fall and winter. The wood duck nest box program would be expanded on all three refuges and may extend onto some Farmers Home Administration tracts that have suitable brood habitat. Boxes would be cleaned and maintained regularly to allow two and three broods per box per year. Increased emphasis would be placed on meeting objectives of various stepdown plans providing habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. These habitats and their uses would be monitored on the refuge to ensure that goals and objectives were met. Population and habitat surveys would be conducted throughout the refuges to develop baseline data to determine initial population levels and habitat conditions. Staff would monitor changes over time. This alternative would encourage more public recreational uses even while intensifying current habitat management. Additional staff, emphasis, and resources would be more or less evenly divided between enhancing public use opportunities and wildlife/habitat management. Hunting and fishing opportunities would be increased as funding and personnel allow. Moist-soil, cropland, forest, and wetland management would also intensify to the extent permitted by funding and staffing limits. An auto tour, a canoe trial, one or more foot trail(s) and/or interpretative trail(s), an observation tower, and one or more blinds would be added for environmental education, photography, and watchable wildlife programs. Staff may be added for developing and presenting both on- and off-site environmental education and interpretation programs. Under Alternative D, the Complex would continue to seek from willing sellers lands within the present acquisition boundary, expanding Complex acreage by up to an additional 10 percent of the current acquisition boundary. Highest priority would be given to those lands adjacent to existing refuge tracts and those lands supporting unique habitats or offering wildlifedependent public use opportunities. Additionally, the Complex would concentrate future off-refuge partnerships on promoting more PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 intensive wildlife management on privately owned lands. Personnel priorities would include employing additional law enforcement offices for the Complex, an outreach coordinator to serve the Complex as a whole, a biologist and/or technician for each refuge to include the Farmers Home Administration tracts, and a forester to conduct forest management activities at Dahomey Refuge. A visitor center and headquarters office would be constructed on Highway 82 at the Povall Tract and jointly shared with the Service’s Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery. New subheadquarters and visitor contact stations would be constructed at Coldwater River, Dahomey, and Tallahatchie Refuges. Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 105–57. Dated: March 14, 2005. Cynthia K. Dihner, Acting Regional Director. [FR Doc. 05–11617 Filed 6–12–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–M DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians—Sale and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice publishes the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ Liquor Control Ordinance. The Ordinance regulates and controls the possession, sale and consumption of liquor within the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ tribal lands. This Ordinance allows for the possession and sale of alcoholic beverages within the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ tribal lands, permits alcohol sales by tribally licensed vendors, and increases the ability of the tribal government to control the tribe’s liquor distribution and possession. At the same time, it will provide an important source of revenue for the continued operation and strengthening of the tribal government and the delivery of tribal services. EFFECTIVE DATE: This Ordinance is effective on June 13, 2005. De Springer, Regional Tribal Operations FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 112 (Monday, June 13, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34144-34146]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-11617]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan and Environmental Assessment for the North Mississippi National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex, which consists of three national wildlife 
refuges--Coldwater River, Dahomey, and Tallahatchie, as well as a 
number of Farmers Home Administration tracts in the northern section of 
the Mississippi Delta.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 34145]]

SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Draft 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for the 
Northern Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex are available for 
review and comment. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration 
Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997, requires the Service to develop a 
comprehensive conservation plan for each national wildlife refuge. The 
purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation plan is to provide 
refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge purposes 
and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge 
System, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife 
management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. In 
addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife 
and their habitats, the plan identifies wildlife-dependent recreational 
opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for 
hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation.
    Significant issues addressed in the draft plan include: threatened 
and endangered species; waterfowl management; neotropical migratory 
birds; bottomland hardwood restoration; agriculture; visitor services 
(e.g., hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, 
and environmental education and interpretation); funding and staffing; 
cultural resources; land acquisition; and forest fragmentation.

DATES: A meeting will be held to present the plan to the public. 
Mailings, newspaper articles, and posters will be the avenues to inform 
the public of the date and time for the meeting. Individuals wishing to 
comment on the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental 
Assessment for the North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex 
should do so within 45 days following the date of this notice.

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan and Environmental Assessment should be addressed to the North 
Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2776 Sunset Drive, 
Grenada, Mississippi 38901; telephone 662/226-8286. The plan and 
environmental assessment may also be accessed and download from the 
Service's Internet Web site http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/. 
Comments on the draft plan may be submitted to the above address or via 
electronic mail to mike_dawson@fws.gov. Please include your name and 
return address in your Internet message. Our practice is to make 
comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available 
for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents 
may request that we withhold their home addresses from the record, 
which we will honor to the extent allowable by law.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Service developed for alternatives for 
managing the Complex and chose Alternative D as the preferred 
alternative.

Alternatives

    The draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental 
assessment evaluates the four alternatives for managing the Complex 
over the next 15 years. These alternatives are briefly described as 
follows:
    Alternative A. Existing Complex management and public outreach 
practices would be favored under this alternative. All management 
actions would be directed towards achieving the Complex's primary 
purposes, including (1) preserving wintering waterfowl habitat; (2) 
providing production habitat for wood ducks; (3) meeting the habitat 
conservation goals of national and international plans; and (4) 
preserving wetlands, all the while contributing to other national, 
regional, and state goals to protect and restore migratory birds, 
threatened and endangered species, and resident species. Refuge 
management programs would continue to be developed and implemented with 
limited baseline biological information. Active habitat management 
would be implemented through water level manipulations and moist-soil, 
cropland, and forest management designed to provide a diverse complex 
of habitats that meets the foraging, resting, and breeding requirements 
for a variety of species. The staff of the Complex would continue to 
restore and maintain existing wetland, open water, moist-soil, and 
bottomland hardwood forest habitats. Land would be acquired from 
willing sellers within the current 47,816-acre acquisition boundary.
    Hunting and fishing would continue to be major focuses of the 
public use program, with no expansion of current opportunities. Current 
restrictions or prohibitions would remain. Environmental education, 
wildlife observation, and wildlife photography would be accommodated at 
present levels. If funding becomes available, a visitor center and 
headquarters office would be constructed on Highway 82 at the Povall 
Tract.
    Alternative B. This alternative would emphasize significantly more 
public recreational uses while maintaining current habitat management. 
Any additional staff, emphasis, and resources would be directed to 
allow for more public activities. Current moist-soil, cropland, forest, 
and wetland management would continue. Hunting and fishing 
opportunities would be increased as funding and personnel allow.
    Auto tours, canoe trails, foot trails, interpretive trail(s), and 
observation towers and blinds would be added for environmental 
education, wildlife photography, and watchable wildlife programs. 
Additional staff would be used for developing and presenting both on- 
and off-site environmental education and interpretation programs. An 
outreach coordinator would be employed to serve the Complex.
    A visitor center and headquarters office would be constructed on 
Highway 82 at the Povall Tract and jointly shared with the Service's 
Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery. New sub-headquarters and 
visitor contact stations would be constructed at Coldwater River, 
Dahomey, and Tallahatchie Refuges.
    Land acquisition within the current acquisition boundaries would 
continue with emphasis on those lands that could provide additional 
public use opportunities. Any additional expansions, up to 10 percent 
of the current acquisition boundary, would focus on public use 
opportunities.
    Alternative C. Under this alternative, refuge lands would be 
intensively managed to provide high quality habitat for wildlife, 
particularly migratory birds. Any areas within the Complex with pumping 
capabilities (wells) and water control structures would be managed for 
moist-soil vegetation, or would be force-account farmed (with 100 
percent of crops left standing) to benefit migratory waterfowl. 
Cooperative farming fields would be planted in rice, milo, corn, or 
soybeans (in order of preference) and flooded during the late fall and 
winter.
    The wood duck next box program would be expanded on all three 
refuges and would extend onto Farmers Home Administration tracts with 
suitable brood habitat. On sites with permanent water, wood duck brood 
habitat would be developed to promote brood survival. Boxes would be 
cleaned and maintained regulatory to allow two and three broods per box 
per year.
    Primary emphasis would be placed on meeting objectives of the 
various step-

[[Page 34146]]

down plans and providing habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. These 
habitats and their uses would be monitored on the refuge to ensure that 
goals and objectives were met. Population and habitat surveys would be 
conducted throughout the refuges to develop baseline data to determine 
initial population levels and habitat conditions. Staff would monitor 
changes over time.
    Wildlife-dependent recreation activities (e.g., hunting, fishing, 
wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education 
and interpretation) would be allowed, but only when and where they do 
not detract from, or conflict with, wildlife management activities and 
objectives. Infrastructures on the refuges (e.g., trails and blinds) 
would be developed primarily to conduct wildlife management activities. 
A visitor center and headquarters office would be constructed on 
Highway 82 at the Povall Tract.
    Under this alternative, the Complex would continue to seek from 
willing seller lands within the present acquisition boundary. Highest 
priority would be given to those lands adjacent to existing refuge 
tracts and those lands supporting unique habitats. Additionally, the 
Complex would concentrate all future off-refuge partnerships on 
promoting more intensive wildlife management on privately owned lands. 
Personnel priorities would include employing a biologist and/or 
technician for the Complex and a forester to conduct forest management 
activities at Dahomey Refuge.
    Alternative D. The Service's planning team has identified 
Alternative D as the preferred alternative. This alternative was 
developed based on public input and the best professional judgment of 
the planning team. The objectives and strategies presented in the draft 
plan were developed as a direct result of the selection of Alternative 
D.
    Alternative D represents a combination and/or compromise between 
Alternative B (Public Use Emphasis) and Alternative C (Wildlife 
Management Emphasis). Whereas these two alternatives seek to maximize 
either expanded public use or expanded wildlife management 
opportunities, Alternative D seeks to optimize the benefits of the 
Complex to wildlife and people.
    Under Alternative D, refuge lands would be more intensively managed 
than at present to provide high quality habitat for wildlife, 
particularly migratory birds. Any areas within the Complex with pumping 
capabilities (wells) and water control structures would be managed for 
moist-soil vegetation or would be force-account farmed (with 100 
percent of crops left standing) to benefit migratory waterfowl. 
Cooperative farming fields would be planted in rice, milo, corn, or 
soybeans (in order of preference) and flooded during the late fall and 
winter.
    The wood duck nest box program would be expanded on all three 
refuges and may extend onto some Farmers Home Administration tracts 
that have suitable brood habitat. Boxes would be cleaned and maintained 
regularly to allow two and three broods per box per year.
    Increased emphasis would be placed on meeting objectives of various 
step-down plans providing habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. These 
habitats and their uses would be monitored on the refuge to ensure that 
goals and objectives were met. Population and habitat surveys would be 
conducted throughout the refuges to develop baseline data to determine 
initial population levels and habitat conditions. Staff would monitor 
changes over time.
    This alternative would encourage more public recreational uses even 
while intensifying current habitat management. Additional staff, 
emphasis, and resources would be more or less evenly divided between 
enhancing public use opportunities and wildlife/habitat management. 
Hunting and fishing opportunities would be increased as funding and 
personnel allow. Moist-soil, cropland, forest, and wetland management 
would also intensify to the extent permitted by funding and staffing 
limits.
    An auto tour, a canoe trial, one or more foot trail(s) and/or 
interpretative trail(s), an observation tower, and one or more blinds 
would be added for environmental education, photography, and watchable 
wildlife programs. Staff may be added for developing and presenting 
both on- and off-site environmental education and interpretation 
programs.
    Under Alternative D, the Complex would continue to seek from 
willing sellers lands within the present acquisition boundary, 
expanding Complex acreage by up to an additional 10 percent of the 
current acquisition boundary. Highest priority would be given to those 
lands adjacent to existing refuge tracts and those lands supporting 
unique habitats or offering wildlife-dependent public use 
opportunities. Additionally, the Complex would concentrate future off-
refuge partnerships on promoting more intensive wildlife management on 
privately owned lands.
    Personnel priorities would include employing additional law 
enforcement offices for the Complex, an outreach coordinator to serve 
the Complex as a whole, a biologist and/or technician for each refuge 
to include the Farmers Home Administration tracts, and a forester to 
conduct forest management activities at Dahomey Refuge.
    A visitor center and headquarters office would be constructed on 
Highway 82 at the Povall Tract and jointly shared with the Service's 
Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery. New sub-headquarters and 
visitor contact stations would be constructed at Coldwater River, 
Dahomey, and Tallahatchie Refuges.

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 
105-57.

    Dated: March 14, 2005.
Cynthia K. Dihner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 05-11617 Filed 6-12-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-M