South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, CA, 71937-71939 [E7-24640]

Download as PDF mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2007 / Notices Office of Infrastructure Protection, National Protection and Programs Directorate, United States Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528, telephone (703) 235–3667. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: CIPAC facilitates interaction between government officials and representatives of the community of owners and operators for each of the critical infrastructure/key resource (CI/KR) sectors identified in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. The scope of CIPAC’s activities includes planning; coordinating among government and CI/KR owner/operator security partners; implementing security program initiatives; conducting operational activities related to critical infrastructure protection security measures, incident response, recovery, infrastructure resilience, reconstituting CI/KR assets and systems for both manmade as well as naturally occurring events; and sharing threat, vulnerability, risk mitigation, and infrastructure continuity information and best practices. CIPAC Sub-Councils: Each critical infrastructure sector maintains a Sector Coordinating Council (SCC). SCC infrastructure owner and/or operator membership includes critical infrastructure owners and/or operators as well as owner and/or operator’s representative trade associations deemed by each SCC as necessary participants to accommodate the above scope of activities. Each critical infrastructure sector also maintains a Government Coordinating Council (GCC) whose membership is formed and recognized by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the sector’s Sector Specific Agency (SSA). A sector’s GCC membership includes the SSA and all relevant Federal, State, local, Tribal, and/or Territorial government agencies (or their representative bodies) whose mission interests also involve the scope of the CIPAC activities identified above for that particular sector. The SLTTGCC: As defined above; relevant Federal, State, local, Tribal, and Territorial government entities within each Sector have always been included as CIPAC members. DHS has recently established the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC) in order to enhance coordination between CI/KR experts from the private sector and all levels of government. The SLTTGCC functions as a forum for State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government leaders to engage the Federal government and CI/ KR owners and/or operators within the VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:40 Dec 18, 2007 Jkt 214001 National CI/KR sector partnership framework. SLTTGCC members assume a central role in promoting National communication and coordination on critical infrastructure protection policies, strategies, and programs. The SLTTGCC enhances National efforts to secure, protect, sustain, and support the resilience of the Nation’s CI/KR. DHS policy requires and the SLTTGCC strives to achieve National geographic diversity as well as broad crossdisciplinary representation among the SLTTGCC membership. The SLTTGCC includes SLTT homeland security directors or equivalents who have programmatic policy, planning and operational responsibilities related to CI/KR protection. SLTTGCC members are recognized leaders who are accountable for the development, improvement, and maintenance of SLTT critical infrastructure protection policies or programs in their day-to-day governmental mission activities. DHS encourages any such officials who are committed to serve as national representatives to seek SLTTGCC membership by submitting a resume or CV accompanied by an email or letter detailing their interest to SLTTGCC@dhs.gov. Additional information on the SLTTGCC is available at http://www.dhs.gov/slttgcc. CIPAC Membership: CIPAC Membership includes (i) CI/KR owner and/or operator entities; (ii) trade associations representing the interests of CI/KR owners and/or operators that own and invest in infrastructure assets or in the systems and processes to secure them, or representing CI/KR owners and/or operators whom are held responsible by the public for CI/KR operations and the response and recovery when their CI/KR assets and systems are disrupted; and (iii) each sector’s GCC; and, based upon DHS’ recent establishment of this council, (iv) State, local, Tribal, and Territorial governmental officials comprising the DHS SLTTGCC. CIPAC Membership Roster and Council Information: The current roster of CIPAC membership is published on the CIPAC Web site (http:// www.dhs.gov/cipac) and is updated as the CIPAC membership changes. Members of the public may visit the CIPAC Web site at any time to obtain current CIPAC membership as well as the current and historic list of CIPAC meetings and agendas. Dated: December 20, 2007. Nancy Wong, Designated Federal Officer for the CIPAC. [FR Doc. E7–24632 Filed 12–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–10–P PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71937 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, CA Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability: final environmental impact statement/ environmental impact report. AGENCY: SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) announce that the final environmental impact statement/ environmental impact report (EIS/EIR) for the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project is available for distribution. The final EIS/EIR, which we prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), describes the restoration plan (plan) for 15,100 acres (ac) (6,111 hectares (ha)) of former commercial salt ponds in south San Francisco Bay. The SBSP Restoration Project would use a combination of restored tidal marsh, managed ponds, flood control measures and public access features to meet the three goals of the plan: to restore wildlife habitat, to provide flood protection, and to provide wildlifeoriented public access. The ponds are located at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and at the Eden Landing State Ecological Reserve. The FEIS/EIR includes program-level evaluation of the SBSP long-term alternatives as well as project-level analysis of the first phase of restoration (the Phase 1 actions). We and the CDFG jointly have prepared the final EIS/EIR to analyze the impacts of the SBSP. The final EIS/ EIR presents a limited evaluation of the potential impacts associated with the list of possible South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study (Shoreline Study) actions. In the draft EIS/EIR, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) was identified as the co-lead agency for NEPA compliance. However, this caused confusion as to the exact nature of the relationship of the Shoreline Study to the EIS/EIR for the SPSP Restoration Project. To eliminate this confusion, the Corps is no longer a colead agency on the SBSP Restoration project EIS/EIR. The Corps will remain a cooperating agency because they will use the final EIS/EIR to issue Clean Water Act 404 permits for the SBSP Restoration Project. The Corps will separately complete the Shoreline Study. The Shoreline Study area E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 71938 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES includes the SBSP Restoration Project area as well as shoreline and floodplain areas in the counties of Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the Final EIS/EIR for the SBSP Restoration Project by writing to Mendel Stewart, Project Leader, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 9500 Thornton Avenue, Newark, CA 94560, or you may request one through the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project Web site, at http:// www.southbayrestoration.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mendel Stewart, Project Leader, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, at the above address; telephone (510) 792–4275, or John Krause, California Department of Fish and Game, Region 3 Headquarters, P.O. Box 47, Yountville, CA 94599; telephone (707) 944–5500. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On March 16, 2003, the State of California and the Service acquired 15,100 ac of commercial salt ponds from Cargill, in South San Francisco Bay. The purpose of the acquisition was to protect, restore and enhance the property for fish and wildlife, as well as to provide opportunities for wildlifeoriented recreation and education. Of the acquired lands, CDFG owns and manages the 5,500-ac Eden Landing pond complex and we own the 8,000-ac Alviso pond complex and the 1,600-ac Ravenswood pond complex. We planned the SBSP Restoration Project in close coordination with a related but separate project, the Shoreline Study. The Congressionally authorized Shoreline Study, which the Corps will conduct, will identify and recommend for Federal funding one or more projects for flood damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, and related purposes, such as public access. Planning for the Shoreline Study will be conducted through several stages referred to as Interim Feasibility Studies, and the Corps is currently developing alternatives for the first stage of the Shoreline Study (the Alviso Ponds and Santa Clara County Interim Feasibility Study) in partnership with the Study’s non-Federal sponsors, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the California Coastal Conservancy, and in cooperation with the Service. Potential Shoreline Study actions include flood protection improvements, ecosystem restoration, and recreation and public access features, which may overlap considerably with proposed SBSP Restoration Project actions. VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:40 Dec 18, 2007 Jkt 214001 The Initial Stewardship Plan (ISP) is an interim plan now in operation to maintain and enhance the biological and physical conditions within the SBSP area in the interim period between the cessation of salt production and the implementation of the long-term restoration plan that will emerge from the SBSP Restoration Project planning process. Because the SBSP Restoration Project will be implemented in phases over time, some ponds may be managed under the ISP for many years. The ISP actions include construction and operation of water control structures to circulate bay waters through a series of pond clusters to maintain low salinity, provide wildlife habitat, and maintain at least the current level of flood protection. Three of the ponds’ levees were breached to allow full tidal wetland restoration. Additionally, some ponds are managed as seasonal wetlands that are allowed to fill with rain water in the winter and dry through evaporation during the summer months, while other ponds are operated as high salinity ponds to provide habitat for wildlife requiring those conditions. Certain ponds are still being managed by Cargill, while the company reduces the salinity levels by moving the saltiest brines to its plant site in Newark, California. The actual long-term restoration of the salt ponds is the subject of the SBSP Restoration Project. Implementation of the long-term restoration plan is expected to be conducted in phases, with some phases extending beyond 20 years. The Final EIS/EIR is programmatic, covering the long-term plan for the entire SBSP planning area, and is project-specific for the Phase 1 projects that will be implemented in the near term. The Draft EIS/EIR was available for a 55-day public review and comment period, which we announced via several methods, including press releases and public notices, including in the Federal Register (69 FR 64965, November 9, 2004). The Draft EIS/EIR identified and evaluated three programmatic alternatives for the SBSP Restoration Project: A No Action Alternative (Alternative A), a Managed Pond Emphasis Alternative (Alternative B), and a Tidal Emphasis Alternative (Alternative C). Under the No Action alternative (Alternative A), the expected scenario at Year 50 is evaluated as if no long-term restoration plan is implemented. CDFG and the Service would continue to operate and maintain the ponds in a manner similar to the ISP, although it is assumed that CDFG and the Service would not have the funding to maintain PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 full ISP operations over the 50-year planning horizon. No new public access or recreational facilities are proposed under this alternative. Under the Managed Pond Emphasis Alternative (50 percent tidal habitat: 50 percent managed ponds by area) (Alternative B), the expected scenario at Year 50 would contain approximately 7,500 ac of tidal habitat and 7,500 ac of managed pond habitat. Approximately 20 percent of the managed ponds would be reconfigured to improve foraging, roosting, and nesting opportunities for shorebirds, waterfowl, and other waterbirds. In addition, Alternative B would provide a cohesive line of flood protection along the perimeter of the project area. This alternative would also provide public access and recreation features in the form of trails and viewing platforms, interpretive stations, waterfowl hunting, access to and interpretation of cultural resource features, opportunities for education and interpretation, non-motorized boat launching points, and associated staging and parking areas. Under the Tidal Emphasis Alternative (90 percent tidal habitat: 10 percent managed ponds by area), the expected scenario at Year 50 would contain approximately 13,400 ac of tidal habitat and 1,600 ac of managed pond habitat. All managed ponds in Alternative C would be reconfigured to substantially enhance foraging, roosting, and nesting opportunities for shorebirds, waterfowl, and other waterbirds. Flood protection under Alternative C would be similar to Alternative B, with the exception that more of the existing slough levees would be abandoned in Alternative C. Alternative C would also provide public access and recreation features similar to those described for Alternative B. Alternative C is the preferred alternative. Alternatives B and C are ‘‘bookends’’ that represent possible outcomes ranging from a 50:50 tidal to managed pond scenario to a 90:10 tidal to managed pond scenario. The optimal configuration of tidal habitat and managed ponds that achieves the SBSP objectives while avoiding significant impacts to environmental resources would fall somewhere between these bookends and would be guided by the Adaptive Management Plan, the cornerstone of the SBSP. The Draft EIS/EIR also addressed, at the project level, Phase 1 of the SBSP. The Phase 1 actions are common elements of the long-term Alternatives B and C. Phase 1 actions would include a range of habitat types and early experiments that will be used to inform the Adaptive Management Plan. These E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 243 / Wednesday, December 19, 2007 / Notices include creating tidal, muted tidal, and managed pond habitats, as well as a variety of public-access features. We incorporated comments we received during the review period on the draft EIS/EIR into our final EIS/EIR, as appropriate. Appendix O of the final EIS/EIR contains a list of the comments we received and our responses to comments. We will make a decision no sooner than 30 days after the publication of the final EIS/EIR. It is anticipated that a Record of Decision will be issued by the Service in the spring of 2008. We provide this notice under regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1506.6). Dated: December 11, 2007. Ken McDermond, Deputy Regional Director, Region 8. [FR Doc. E7–24640 Filed 12–18–07; 8:45 am] draft policy for Mosquito and MosquitoBorne Disease Management Policy Pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997. This draft policy outlines the procedures refuge managers will follow in planning and implementing mosquito and mosquito-borne disease management within the Refuge System. We received several requests to extend the public comment period beyond the November 29, 2007, due date. In order to ensure that the public has an adequate opportunity to review and comment on our draft policy, we are reopening the comment period for an additional 60 days. Dated: December 11, 2007. Kenneth Stansell, Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. E7–24675 Filed 12–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service Indian Gaming RIN 1018–AT72 Draft Mosquito and Mosquito-Borne Disease Management Policy Pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of reopening of comment period. AGENCY: SUMMARY: We are reopening the comment period on the Federal Register notice published on October 15, 2007, that invited the public to comment on the Draft Mosquito and Mosquito-Borne Disease Management Policy Pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997. DATES: Submit comments on or before February 19, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this draft policy by mail to: Michael J. Higgins, Biologist, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 670, Arlington, Virginia 22203; by fax to 703–358–2248; or by e-mail to refugesystempolicycomments@fws.gov. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael J. Higgins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 177 Admiral Cochrane Drive, Annapolis, MD 21401. Telephone: 410–573–4520; FAX: 410– 269–0832. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a Federal Register notice dated October 15, 2007 (72 FR 58321), we published a VerDate Aug<31>2005 21:40 Dec 18, 2007 Jkt 214001 Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Deemed Approved Amended Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice publishes the Deemed Approved Amended TribalState Compact between the State of California and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. DATES: Effective Date: December 19, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George T. Skibine, Director, Office of Indian Gaming, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary—Policy and Economic Development, Washington, DC 20240, (202) 219–4066. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under Section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA) Public Law 100–497, 25 U.S.C. 2710, the Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register notice of approved Tribal—State compacts for the purpose of engaging in Class III gaming activities on Indian lands. The compact allows for an increase in gaming devices and any devices or games authorized under State law to the State lottery. Finally, the term of the compact is until December 31, 2030. The Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, through his delegated authority, is publishing notice that the Amendment between the State of California and the PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71939 Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is now in effect. Dated: December 13, 2007. Carl J. Artman, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. E7–24563 Filed 12–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–4N–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Gaming Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Deemed Approved Amended Tribal–State Class III Gaming Compact AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice publishes the Deemed Approved Amended Tribal– State Compact between the State of California and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. DATES: Effective Date: December 19, 2007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George T. Skibine, Director, Office of Indian Gaming, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary—Policy and Economic Development, Washington, DC 20240, (202) 219–4066. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under Section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA) Public Law 100–497, 25 U.S.C. 2710, the Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register notice of approved Tribal–State compacts for the purpose of engaging in Class III gaming activities on Indian lands. The compact allows for an increase in gaming devices and any devices or games authorized under State law to the State lottery. Finally, the term of the compact is until December 31, 2030. The Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, through his delegated authority, is publishing notice that the Amendment between the State of California and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians is now in effect. Dated: December 13, 2007. Carl J. Artman, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. E7–24566 Filed 12–18–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–4N–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Gaming AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 19, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71937-71939]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-24640]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: final environmental impact statement/
environmental impact report.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the 
California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) announce that the final 
environmental impact statement/environmental impact report (EIS/EIR) 
for the South Bay Salt Pond (SBSP) Restoration Project is available for 
distribution. The final EIS/EIR, which we prepared in accordance with 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), describes the 
restoration plan (plan) for 15,100 acres (ac) (6,111 hectares (ha)) of 
former commercial salt ponds in south San Francisco Bay. The SBSP 
Restoration Project would use a combination of restored tidal marsh, 
managed ponds, flood control measures and public access features to 
meet the three goals of the plan: to restore wildlife habitat, to 
provide flood protection, and to provide wildlife-oriented public 
access. The ponds are located at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay 
National Wildlife Refuge and at the Eden Landing State Ecological 
Reserve.
    The FEIS/EIR includes program-level evaluation of the SBSP long-
term alternatives as well as project-level analysis of the first phase 
of restoration (the Phase 1 actions).
    We and the CDFG jointly have prepared the final EIS/EIR to analyze 
the impacts of the SBSP. The final EIS/EIR presents a limited 
evaluation of the potential impacts associated with the list of 
possible South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study (Shoreline Study) 
actions. In the draft EIS/EIR, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) 
was identified as the co-lead agency for NEPA compliance. However, this 
caused confusion as to the exact nature of the relationship of the 
Shoreline Study to the EIS/EIR for the SPSP Restoration Project. To 
eliminate this confusion, the Corps is no longer a co-lead agency on 
the SBSP Restoration project EIS/EIR. The Corps will remain a 
cooperating agency because they will use the final EIS/EIR to issue 
Clean Water Act 404 permits for the SBSP Restoration Project. The Corps 
will separately complete the Shoreline Study. The Shoreline Study area

[[Page 71938]]

includes the SBSP Restoration Project area as well as shoreline and 
floodplain areas in the counties of Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa 
Clara.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the Final EIS/EIR for the SBSP 
Restoration Project by writing to Mendel Stewart, Project Leader, San 
Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 9500 Thornton Avenue, Newark, 
CA 94560, or you may request one through the South Bay Salt Pond 
Restoration Project Web site, at http://www.southbayrestoration.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mendel Stewart, Project Leader, San 
Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, at the above address; 
telephone (510) 792-4275, or John Krause, California Department of Fish 
and Game, Region 3 Headquarters, P.O. Box 47, Yountville, CA 94599; 
telephone (707) 944-5500.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On March 16, 2003, the State of California and the Service acquired 
15,100 ac of commercial salt ponds from Cargill, in South San Francisco 
Bay. The purpose of the acquisition was to protect, restore and enhance 
the property for fish and wildlife, as well as to provide opportunities 
for wildlife-oriented recreation and education. Of the acquired lands, 
CDFG owns and manages the 5,500-ac Eden Landing pond complex and we own 
the 8,000-ac Alviso pond complex and the 1,600-ac Ravenswood pond 
complex.
    We planned the SBSP Restoration Project in close coordination with 
a related but separate project, the Shoreline Study. The 
Congressionally authorized Shoreline Study, which the Corps will 
conduct, will identify and recommend for Federal funding one or more 
projects for flood damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, and related 
purposes, such as public access. Planning for the Shoreline Study will 
be conducted through several stages referred to as Interim Feasibility 
Studies, and the Corps is currently developing alternatives for the 
first stage of the Shoreline Study (the Alviso Ponds and Santa Clara 
County Interim Feasibility Study) in partnership with the Study's non-
Federal sponsors, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the 
California Coastal Conservancy, and in cooperation with the Service. 
Potential Shoreline Study actions include flood protection 
improvements, ecosystem restoration, and recreation and public access 
features, which may overlap considerably with proposed SBSP Restoration 
Project actions.
    The Initial Stewardship Plan (ISP) is an interim plan now in 
operation to maintain and enhance the biological and physical 
conditions within the SBSP area in the interim period between the 
cessation of salt production and the implementation of the long-term 
restoration plan that will emerge from the SBSP Restoration Project 
planning process. Because the SBSP Restoration Project will be 
implemented in phases over time, some ponds may be managed under the 
ISP for many years. The ISP actions include construction and operation 
of water control structures to circulate bay waters through a series of 
pond clusters to maintain low salinity, provide wildlife habitat, and 
maintain at least the current level of flood protection. Three of the 
ponds' levees were breached to allow full tidal wetland restoration. 
Additionally, some ponds are managed as seasonal wetlands that are 
allowed to fill with rain water in the winter and dry through 
evaporation during the summer months, while other ponds are operated as 
high salinity ponds to provide habitat for wildlife requiring those 
conditions. Certain ponds are still being managed by Cargill, while the 
company reduces the salinity levels by moving the saltiest brines to 
its plant site in Newark, California.
    The actual long-term restoration of the salt ponds is the subject 
of the SBSP Restoration Project. Implementation of the long-term 
restoration plan is expected to be conducted in phases, with some 
phases extending beyond 20 years. The Final EIS/EIR is programmatic, 
covering the long-term plan for the entire SBSP planning area, and is 
project-specific for the Phase 1 projects that will be implemented in 
the near term.
    The Draft EIS/EIR was available for a 55-day public review and 
comment period, which we announced via several methods, including press 
releases and public notices, including in the Federal Register (69 FR 
64965, November 9, 2004). The Draft EIS/EIR identified and evaluated 
three programmatic alternatives for the SBSP Restoration Project: A No 
Action Alternative (Alternative A), a Managed Pond Emphasis Alternative 
(Alternative B), and a Tidal Emphasis Alternative (Alternative C).
    Under the No Action alternative (Alternative A), the expected 
scenario at Year 50 is evaluated as if no long-term restoration plan is 
implemented. CDFG and the Service would continue to operate and 
maintain the ponds in a manner similar to the ISP, although it is 
assumed that CDFG and the Service would not have the funding to 
maintain full ISP operations over the 50-year planning horizon. No new 
public access or recreational facilities are proposed under this 
alternative.
    Under the Managed Pond Emphasis Alternative (50 percent tidal 
habitat: 50 percent managed ponds by area) (Alternative B), the 
expected scenario at Year 50 would contain approximately 7,500 ac of 
tidal habitat and 7,500 ac of managed pond habitat. Approximately 20 
percent of the managed ponds would be reconfigured to improve foraging, 
roosting, and nesting opportunities for shorebirds, waterfowl, and 
other waterbirds. In addition, Alternative B would provide a cohesive 
line of flood protection along the perimeter of the project area. This 
alternative would also provide public access and recreation features in 
the form of trails and viewing platforms, interpretive stations, 
waterfowl hunting, access to and interpretation of cultural resource 
features, opportunities for education and interpretation, non-motorized 
boat launching points, and associated staging and parking areas.
    Under the Tidal Emphasis Alternative (90 percent tidal habitat: 10 
percent managed ponds by area), the expected scenario at Year 50 would 
contain approximately 13,400 ac of tidal habitat and 1,600 ac of 
managed pond habitat. All managed ponds in Alternative C would be 
reconfigured to substantially enhance foraging, roosting, and nesting 
opportunities for shorebirds, waterfowl, and other waterbirds. Flood 
protection under Alternative C would be similar to Alternative B, with 
the exception that more of the existing slough levees would be 
abandoned in Alternative C. Alternative C would also provide public 
access and recreation features similar to those described for 
Alternative B. Alternative C is the preferred alternative.
    Alternatives B and C are ``bookends'' that represent possible 
outcomes ranging from a 50:50 tidal to managed pond scenario to a 90:10 
tidal to managed pond scenario. The optimal configuration of tidal 
habitat and managed ponds that achieves the SBSP objectives while 
avoiding significant impacts to environmental resources would fall 
somewhere between these bookends and would be guided by the Adaptive 
Management Plan, the cornerstone of the SBSP.
    The Draft EIS/EIR also addressed, at the project level, Phase 1 of 
the SBSP. The Phase 1 actions are common elements of the long-term 
Alternatives B and C. Phase 1 actions would include a range of habitat 
types and early experiments that will be used to inform the Adaptive 
Management Plan. These

[[Page 71939]]

include creating tidal, muted tidal, and managed pond habitats, as well 
as a variety of public-access features.
    We incorporated comments we received during the review period on 
the draft EIS/EIR into our final EIS/EIR, as appropriate. Appendix O of 
the final EIS/EIR contains a list of the comments we received and our 
responses to comments.
    We will make a decision no sooner than 30 days after the 
publication of the final EIS/EIR. It is anticipated that a Record of 
Decision will be issued by the Service in the spring of 2008.
    We provide this notice under regulations for implementing NEPA (40 
CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: December 11, 2007.
Ken McDermond,
Deputy Regional Director, Region 8.
[FR Doc. E7-24640 Filed 12-18-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P