Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges, Located in Clark County and Skamania County, WA, 4608-4609 [E6-1024]

Download as PDF rmajette on PROD1PC67 with NOTICES 4608 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 18 / Friday, January 27, 2006 / Notices Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222–ARLSQ, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail); hope_grey@fws.gov (e-mail); or (703) 358–2269 (fax). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the information collection requirements, explanatory information, or related material, contact Hope Grey, Information Collection Clearance Officer, at the above addresses or by telephone at (703) 358– 2482. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which implement the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). Federal agencies may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge contains significant natural and recreational resources. We estimate that the area accommodates over 50,000 visits per year, and this can result in significant resource and social impacts. We propose to gather information that will help support application of visitor carrying capacity at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. Study objectives will focus on three elements of carrying capacity frameworks that can benefit the most from empirical data: (1) Collecting baseline data on visitor use and perceptions of associated resource and social impacts, (2) identifying indicators and standards of quality, and (3) management of visitor use to ensure that we maintain standards of quality. Title of Collection: Research to Support Analysis and Management of Carrying Capacity at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. OMB Control Number: This is a new collection. Service Form Number: None. Frequency of Responses: One time per respondent. Description of Respondents: Visitors to Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. Estimated Number of Respondents: 500. Estimated Number of Responses: 500. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 125 hours. We estimate that the reporting burden will average 15 minutes per respondent. We invite your comments concerning this information collection on: (1) Whether or not the collection of VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:17 Jan 26, 2006 Jkt 208001 information is necessary to properly manage visitor carrying capacity, including whether or not the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of our burden estimate; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information we want to collect; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents. The information collections in this program are part of a system of records covered by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a). 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. There may also be limited circumstances in which we would withhold a respondent’s identity from the administrative record, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this clearly at the beginning of your comment. We will not consider anonymous comments. We generally make all submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses available for public inspection in their entirety. Dated: January 13, 2006. Hope Grey, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. E6–1057 Filed 1–26–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges, Located in Clark County and Skamania County, WA Fish and Wildlife Service, DOI. Notice of decision and availability of the Finding of No Significant Impact and Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has prepared a Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (Final CCP) and related Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges (Gorge PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Refuges). The Gorge Refuges are located in southwest Washington within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Final CCP was prepared pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as amended, and in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing regulations. The Service’s Regional Director for the Pacific Region has considered a reasonable range of management alternatives and has selected Alternative B of the CCP for managing the Gorge Refuges for the next 15 years. DATES: The Final CCP and FONSI are available now. The FONSI was signed on August 26, 2005. Implementation of the Final CCP may begin immediately. ADDRESSES: Printed copies of the Final CCP are available for viewing at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, 301 N. Third Avenue, Ridgefield, WA. These documents and other project information are also available online for viewing and downloading at http:// pacific.fws.gov/planning. Copies of the Final CCP may be obtained by writing to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 457, Ridgefield, WA 98642. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Project Leader, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 457, Ridgefield, WA 98642, phone (360) 887– 4106. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gorge Refuges are located in Skamania and Clark Counties, Washington, in the Columbia River Gorge downstream of Bonneville Dam. The administration center for these Refuges is the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, located 25 miles northwest of Steigerwald Lake Refuge. Planning for the Gorge Refuges occurred simultaneously because: the Refuges are located in close proximity to one another within the Columbia River floodplain; many of the same issues and management opportunities occur at all three Refuges; and they are all part of the lower Columbia River ecosystem. The Gorge Refuges are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) administered by the Service. It is Service policy to have all lands within the NWRS managed in accordance with an approved CCP. The CCP guides management decisions and identifies refuge goals, long-range objectives, and strategies for achieving refuge purposes. During the planning process for the Gorge Refuges’ CCP, many elements were considered, including habitat and wildlife E:\FR\FM\27JAN1.SGM 27JAN1 rmajette on PROD1PC67 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 18 / Friday, January 27, 2006 / Notices management, habitat protection and acquisition, public and recreational uses, and cultural resources. Public input during this planning process was considered in the development of the CCP. The notice of availability of the Draft CCP for a 30-day public review and comment period was published in the Federal Register on August 20, 2004 (69 FR 51706). The Draft CCP identified and evaluated three alternatives for managing the Refuges. The Service received 18 comment letters on the Draft CCP. The comments received were incorporated, when appropriate, and responded to in the Final CCP. With the management program described in detail in the Final CCP, the Service will focus on restoring and maintaining biological diversity with particular emphasis on the conservation targets identified in the Final CCP. The Service will continue management of existing wetlands and restore and enhance emergent wetlands on the Gorge Refuges to increase native moist soil plant composition. Approximately 191 acres of managed grasslands will be maintained to support populations of wintering Canada geese. Riparian bottomland forests, riparian scrubshrub, and native oak communities will be expanded and restored to support conservation targets. Inventory, monitoring, and research will increase on the Gorge Refuges. Working with partners, the Service will seek to remove barriers to fish passage within Gibbons Creek, Indian Mary Creek, and Hardy Creek watersheds. The Service will participate in ongoing efforts to clean up Gibbons Creek and prevent contaminants from entering Steigerwald Lake Refuge. The Service will work with partners to secure additional wetland habitat and develop a waterfowl hunt program that is compatible and consistent with the establishing purpose and goals for Steigerwald Lake Refuge. Opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography and environmental education and interpretation will increase, and the Service will officially open the portion of the Columbia Dike Trail on Steigerwald Lake Refuge to bicycling, horseback riding, jogging, and leashed pets. The Service is furnishing this notice to advise other agencies and the public of the availability of the Final CCP, to provide information on the desired conditions for the Gorge Refuges, and to detail how the Service will implement management strategies. Based on the review and evaluation of the information contained in the environmental assessment, the Regional Director has determined that implementation of the Final CCP does VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:17 Jan 26, 2006 Jkt 208001 not constitute a major Federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the meaning of Section 102(2)(c) of the NEPA. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared. Future site-specific proposals discussed in the Final CCP will be addressed in separate planning efforts with full public involvement. Dated: January 20, 2006. Cynthia U. Barry, Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon. [FR Doc. E6–1024 Filed 1–26–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 122205B] Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement and Final Habitat Conservation Plan AGENCIES: Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Interior; National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of final environmental impact statement. SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services) announce the availability for public review of a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), final Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), and final Implementing Agreement (IA), related to an application by the State of Washington for Endangered Species Act (ESA) Incidental Take Permits (ITPs). The final documents reflect changes made to the draft documents resulting from comments received during the 90-day public comment period. Responses to comments received from the public are included in the EIS. This notice provides an opportunity for the public to review the final documents and responses to public comments. The EIS addresses the proposed issuance of ITPs by both Services under the ESA, to the Washington Department of Natural Resources, on behalf of the State of Washington (State), for forest practices activities conducted according to the Washington Forest Practices Rules (forest practices). The proposed ITPs would authorize incidental take of PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4609 aquatic species (16 listed fish species, 54 unlisted fish species, 7 unlisted amphibian species), by covered forest practices implemented under the forest practices rules. The EIS also addresses a proposed limit to the ESA section 9 prohibition against take of listed species under the ESA, such that the prohibition would not apply to forest practices regulated by the State of Washington on non-Federal and nontribal lands. DATES: Consistent with 40 CFR 1506.10, the Services will not make a decision on the proposed action until at least February 27, 2006. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Sally Butts, Project Manager, FWS, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 102, Lacey, WA 98503, facsimile (360)753–9518; or Laura Hamilton, Project Manager, NMFS, 510 Desmond Drive SE, Suite 103, Lacey, WA 98503, facsimile (360)753–9517. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The final documents are posted on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/ westwafwo/consplan/docs.html. For further information, or to receive the documents on CD ROM, please contact Sally Butts, Project Manager, FWS, (360)753–5832; or Laura Hamilton, Project Manager, NMFS, (360)753–5820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1538) and implementing regulations prohibit the ‘‘taking’’ of a species listed as endangered or threatened. The term take is defined under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1532(19)) as to mean harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct. ‘‘Harm’’ is defined by FWS regulation to include significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and sheltering (50 CFR 17.3, 50 CFR 222.102). NMFS’ definition of harm includes significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, spawning, migrating, rearing, and sheltering (64 FR 60727). Section 10 of the ESA and implementing regulations specify requirements for the issuance of ITPs to non-Federal landowners for the take of endangered and threatened species. Any proposed take must be incidental to otherwise lawful activities, not appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in E:\FR\FM\27JAN1.SGM 27JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 18 (Friday, January 27, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4608-4609]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-1024]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No 
Significant Impact for the Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake, and Pierce 
National Wildlife Refuges, Located in Clark County and Skamania County, 
WA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, DOI.

ACTION: Notice of decision and availability of the Finding of No 
Significant Impact and Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan.

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

SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) has prepared a Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
(Final CCP) and related Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for 
the Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges 
(Gorge Refuges). The Gorge Refuges are located in southwest Washington 
within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Final CCP was 
prepared pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration 
Act, as amended, and in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing regulations. The 
Service's Regional Director for the Pacific Region has considered a 
reasonable range of management alternatives and has selected 
Alternative B of the CCP for managing the Gorge Refuges for the next 15 
years.

DATES: The Final CCP and FONSI are available now. The FONSI was signed 
on August 26, 2005. Implementation of the Final CCP may begin 
immediately.

ADDRESSES: Printed copies of the Final CCP are available for viewing at 
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters, 301 N. Third 
Avenue, Ridgefield, WA. These documents and other project information 
are also available online for viewing and downloading at http://
pacific.fws.gov/planning. Copies of the Final CCP may be obtained by 
writing to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 
457, Ridgefield, WA 98642.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Project Leader, Ridgefield National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 457, Ridgefield, WA 98642, phone 
(360) 887-4106.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gorge Refuges are located in Skamania 
and Clark Counties, Washington, in the Columbia River Gorge downstream 
of Bonneville Dam. The administration center for these Refuges is the 
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, located 25 miles northwest 
of Steigerwald Lake Refuge. Planning for the Gorge Refuges occurred 
simultaneously because: the Refuges are located in close proximity to 
one another within the Columbia River floodplain; many of the same 
issues and management opportunities occur at all three Refuges; and 
they are all part of the lower Columbia River ecosystem.
    The Gorge Refuges are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System 
(NWRS) administered by the Service. It is Service policy to have all 
lands within the NWRS managed in accordance with an approved CCP. The 
CCP guides management decisions and identifies refuge goals, long-range 
objectives, and strategies for achieving refuge purposes. During the 
planning process for the Gorge Refuges' CCP, many elements were 
considered, including habitat and wildlife

[[Page 4609]]

management, habitat protection and acquisition, public and recreational 
uses, and cultural resources. Public input during this planning process 
was considered in the development of the CCP. The notice of 
availability of the Draft CCP for a 30-day public review and comment 
period was published in the Federal Register on August 20, 2004 (69 FR 
51706). The Draft CCP identified and evaluated three alternatives for 
managing the Refuges. The Service received 18 comment letters on the 
Draft CCP. The comments received were incorporated, when appropriate, 
and responded to in the Final CCP.
    With the management program described in detail in the Final CCP, 
the Service will focus on restoring and maintaining biological 
diversity with particular emphasis on the conservation targets 
identified in the Final CCP. The Service will continue management of 
existing wetlands and restore and enhance emergent wetlands on the 
Gorge Refuges to increase native moist soil plant composition. 
Approximately 191 acres of managed grasslands will be maintained to 
support populations of wintering Canada geese. Riparian bottomland 
forests, riparian scrub-shrub, and native oak communities will be 
expanded and restored to support conservation targets. Inventory, 
monitoring, and research will increase on the Gorge Refuges. Working 
with partners, the Service will seek to remove barriers to fish passage 
within Gibbons Creek, Indian Mary Creek, and Hardy Creek watersheds. 
The Service will participate in ongoing efforts to clean up Gibbons 
Creek and prevent contaminants from entering Steigerwald Lake Refuge. 
The Service will work with partners to secure additional wetland 
habitat and develop a waterfowl hunt program that is compatible and 
consistent with the establishing purpose and goals for Steigerwald Lake 
Refuge. Opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography and 
environmental education and interpretation will increase, and the 
Service will officially open the portion of the Columbia Dike Trail on 
Steigerwald Lake Refuge to bicycling, horseback riding, jogging, and 
leashed pets.
    The Service is furnishing this notice to advise other agencies and 
the public of the availability of the Final CCP, to provide information 
on the desired conditions for the Gorge Refuges, and to detail how the 
Service will implement management strategies. Based on the review and 
evaluation of the information contained in the environmental 
assessment, the Regional Director has determined that implementation of 
the Final CCP does not constitute a major Federal action that would 
significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the 
meaning of Section 102(2)(c) of the NEPA. Therefore, an Environmental 
Impact Statement will not be prepared. Future site-specific proposals 
discussed in the Final CCP will be addressed in separate planning 
efforts with full public involvement.

    Dated: January 20, 2006.
Cynthia U. Barry,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
 [FR Doc. E6-1024 Filed 1-26-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P