Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Chambers, Jefferson, and Galveston Counties, TX, 63721-63723 [E8-25496]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 208 / Monday, October 27, 2008 / Notices contained in 46 CFR chapter I, subchapter B. Forms: None. Respondents: Owners and operators of vessels, training institutions, and mariners. Frequency: On occasion. Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has decreased from 23,767 hours to 17,928 hours per year. 2. Title: Voyage Planning for Tank Barge Transits in the Northeast United States. OMB Control Number: 1625–0088. Summary: The information collection requirement for a voyage plan serves as a preventive measure and assists in ensuring the successful execution and completion of a voyage in the First Coast Guard District. The regulation associated with this collection of information (33 CFR 165.100) applies to primary towing vessels engaged in towing certain tank barges carrying petroleum oil in bulk as cargo. Need: Section 311 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105– 383, 33 U.S.C. 1231, and 46 U.S.C. 3719 authorize the Coast Guard to promulgate regulations for towing vessel and barge safety for the waters of the Northeast subject to the jurisdiction of the First Coast Guard District. This regulation is contained in 33 CFR 165.100. The information for a voyage plan will provide a mechanism for assisting vessels towing tank barges to identify those specific risks, potential equipment failures, or human errors that may lead to accidents. Forms: None. Respondents: Owners and operators of towing vessels. Frequency: On occasion. Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has decreased from 31,651 hours to 2,692 hours per year. Dated: October 20, 2008. D. T. Glenn, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology. [FR Doc. E8–25516 Filed 10–24–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Central Utah Project Completion Act Department of the Interior, Office of the Assistant Secretary—Water and Science. ACTION: Notice of Availability, Record of Decision (ROD) on the Lower Duchesne River Wetlands Mitigation Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES AGENCIES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:13 Oct 24, 2008 Jkt 217001 08–13) documenting the Department of the Interior’s decision to adopt the Proposed Action and approval to proceed with implementation. SUMMARY: The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science has signed the Record of Decision which documents the selection of the Proposed Action as presented in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Lower Duchesne River Wetlands Mitigation Project (LDWP), Duchesne and Uintah Counties, Utah, a mitigation component of the Central Utah Project (CUP). The FEIS was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and was filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on April 11, 2008. The ROD approves implementation of the project in accordance with statutory and contractual obligations. The Proposed Action fulfills a Central Utah Project need to complete certain environmental mitigation obligations of the Federal government to the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Agency, Ft. Duchesne, Utah. These mitigation commitments derive from construction and operation of the Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System (SACS) of the CUP. The SACS has diverted Ute Indian Tribal water away from the Duchesne River and, thereby, depleted water sources which historically supported wetlands, riparian habitats and associated fish and wildlife resources held in trust by the Federal government for the benefit of the Ute Indian Tribe. The LDWP will replace, restore and enhance these trust resources consistent with long-standing commitments and promises made by the Federal government to the Ute Indian Tribe. The Department of the Interior and the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission served as Joint Lead Agencies in compliance with NEPA. The Ute Indian Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation, Duchesne County and Uintah County served as Cooperating Agencies. The FEIS and ROD satisfy disclosure requirements of NEPA and will serve as NEPA compliance documentation for all contracts, agreements and permits that will be required for construction and operation of the project. For further information or to request copies of the FEIS, ROD or supporting resource technical reports contact Mr. Ralph G. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63721 Swanson at (801) 379–1254, or rswanson@uc.usbr.gov. Reed R. Murray, Program Director, Department of the Interior. [FR Doc. E8–25625 Filed 10–24–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–RK–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–R–2008–N0149; 20131–1265– 2LPP] Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Chambers, Jefferson, and Galveston Counties, TX Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability: Record of decision. AGENCY: SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the decision and availability of the record of decision (ROD) for the final environmental impact statement (EIS), comprehensive conservation plan (CCP), and land protection plan (LPP) for the Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Refuge Complex). We completed a thorough analysis of the environmental, social, and economic considerations and presented it in our final EIS, which we released to the public through a Federal Register notice on June 30, 2008. The ROD documents our decision to adopt and implement Refuge Management Alternative D and Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C. Refuge Management Alternative D is adopted as the CCP for the Refuge Complex and will direct the management activities on the Refuge Complex for the next 15 years. Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C is adopted as the LPP for the Refuge Complex and authorizes land acquisition from willing sellers within a designated 64,260-acre expansion area. DATES: The Acting Regional Director, Region 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, signed the ROD on September 16, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the ROD by any of the following methods: Agency Web Site: Download a copy of the document at http://www.fws.gov/ southwest/refuges/Plan/docs/ LINKS.pdf. E-mail: doug_stpierre@fws.gov. Include ‘‘TX Chenier Plain NWR Complex ROD’’ in the subject line of the message. E:\FR\FM\27OCN1.SGM 27OCN1 63722 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 208 / Monday, October 27, 2008 / Notices Mail: Doug St. Pierre, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 87103. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 409–267–3337 to make an appointment during regular business hours at Texas Chenier Plain NWR Complex Headquarters, 509 Washington Street, Anahuac, TX. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug St. Pierre, 505–248–6636. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Introduction With this notice, we finalize the CCP and LPP process for Moody, Anahuac, McFaddin, and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges. We started this process in a Federal Register notice (64 FR 56800, October 21, 1999). We released the draft EIS/CCP/LPP to the public, announcing and requesting comments in a notice of availability in the Federal Register (71 FR 61063; October 17, 2006). We announced the availability of the final EIS/CCP/LPP in the Federal Register (73 FR 36890) on June 30, 2008. The Refuge Complex is located along the upper Texas Gulf Coast between Houston, Texas, and the Louisiana border. This coastal ecosystem includes important freshwater, estuarine marshes, tallgrass prairie with small depressional wetlands, and coastal woodlots. These habitats are an important part of the primary wintering area for Central Flyway ducks and geese, and, additionally, are critical staging areas for neotropical landbirds migrating to and from Central and South America. In accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements, this notice announces our decision and the availability of the ROD for the final EIS/ CCP/LPP for the Refuge Complex. We completed a thorough analysis of the environmental, social, and economic considerations, which we included in the final EIS/CCP/LPP. The ROD documents our selection of Refuge Management Alternative D, the Preferred Alternative, for the CCP; and, our selection of Refuge Boundary Alternative C, the Preferred Alternative, for the LPP. The CCP will guide us in managing and administering Moody, Anahuac, McFaddin, and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges for the next 15 years. Refuge Management Alternative D, as we described in the final EIS/CCP/LPP, is the foundation for the CCP. The LPP authorizes acquisition of land or interests in land from willing sellers within the expanded boundaries of VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:13 Oct 24, 2008 Jkt 217001 Moody, Anahuac, McFaddin, and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges. Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C, as we described in the final EIS/CCP/LPP, is the foundation for the LPP, which outlines the expanded boundaries and lists the tracts/ownerships within these boundaries. Background The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd–668ee) (Improvement Act), which amended the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, requires us to develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose for developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan 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 our policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs identify wildlifedependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Improvement Act. CCP/LPP Alternatives and the Two Selected Alternatives Our draft EIS/CCP/LPP (71 FR 200) addressed several issues. To address these, we developed and evaluated the two following sets of alternatives: Refuge Management Alternatives Alternative A: (NEPA no action alternative) Continuation of current management. Alternative B: Emphasis on intensifying management of wetland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and other wetlanddependent migratory birds. Alternative C: Emphasis on native habitat restoration and addressing major threats to the ecosystem. Alternative D: Emphasis on an integrated management approach combining (1) Expanded habitat management and restoration programs, (2) new research and wildlife population monitoring, and (3) increased efforts to address major threats to the ecosystem. Alternative E: Emphasis on a passive management approach. PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternatives Alternative A: (NEPA no action alternative) No expansion, current status. Alternative B: Total 33,590-acre expansion. Alternative C: Total 64,260-acre expansion. Alternative D: Total 104,120-acre expansion. After considering the comments we received, we have selected Refuge Management Alternative D for the CCP. It documents our decision, based on the information contained in the final EIS and the entire administrative record. The Service believes that Refuge Management Alternative D (Preferred Alternative) represents the most desirable approach to meet the establishment purposes of the refuges in the Refuge Complex, the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the conservation of Trust fish and wildlife species including migratory birds and Threatened and Endangered species, while recognizing the need to address emerging threats to biological integrity, biological diversity, and ecosystem health. This alternative focuses on protecting and enhancing existing wetland and upland habitats on the Refuge Complex through active management, continues and expands efforts to enhance and restore native tallgrass coastal prairie and woodland habitat on suitable sites, continues and expands efforts to address major ecosystem threats, uses additional scientific monitoring and studies to guide an adaptive management approach with increased emphasis on declining or sensitive species, and expands wildlife-dependent recreational uses with an emphasis on enhancing the quality of the refuge visitor experience. Also, after considering the comments we received, we have selected Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C for the LPP. It documents our decision, based on the information contained in the final EIS and the entire administrative record. In selecting its Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative, the Service considered ecological values, benefits to management of existing refuges, levels of threat, and feasibility as affected by land ownership patterns and projected availability of funding. The newly approved refuge boundaries would contain the largest remaining tracts of native coastal prairie on the upper Texas coast, in addition to important areas of coastal marsh adjacent to existing refuges. E:\FR\FM\27OCN1.SGM 27OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 208 / Monday, October 27, 2008 / Notices Public Availability of Documents In addition to the methods in you can view or obtain documents at the following location: • Our Web site: http://www.fws.gov/ southwest/refuges/Plan/docs/ LINKS.pdf. ADDRESSES, Dated: October 20, 2008. Brian Millsap, Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico. [FR Doc. E8–25496 Filed 10–24–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management CFR Part 4, Subpart E, shall be deemed to have waived their rights. ADDRESSES: A copy of the decision may be obtained from: Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, 222 West Seventh Avenue, #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513–7504. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Bureau of Land Management by phone at 907–271–5960, or by e-mail at ak.blm.conveyance@ak.blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunication device (TTD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877– 8330, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to contact the Bureau of Land Management. [F–14907–A2, F–14907–B2, F–14930–B2; AK–964–1410–KC–P] Michael Bilancione, Land Transfer Resolution Specialist, Land Transfer Adjudication I. [FR Doc. E8–25493 Filed 10–24–08; 8:45 am] Alaska Native Claims Selection BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. Notice of decision approving lands for conveyance. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SUMMARY: As required by 43 CFR 2650.7(d), notice is hereby given that an appealable decision approving lands for conveyance pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act will be issued to NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. The lands are in the vicinity of Noatak and Selawik, Alaska, and are located in: [F–14943–B; AK–964–1410–KC-P] ACTION: Bureau of Land Management mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Kateel River Meridian, Alaska T. 16 N., R. 7 W., Secs. 18, 19, 30, and 31. Containing approximately 2,347 acres. T. 25 N., R. 20 W., Secs. 11 to 14, inclusive; Secs. 23, 24, and 26. Containing approximately 4,340 acres. T. 27 N., R. 20 W., Secs. 11 to 14, inclusive. Containing approximately 2,560 acres. Aggregating approximately 9,247 acres. The subsurface estate in these lands will also be conveyed to NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. when the surface estate is conveyed. Notice of the decision will also be published four times in the Arctic Sounder. DATES: The time limits for filing an appeal are: 1. Any party claiming a property interest which is adversely affected by the decision shall have until November 26, 2008 to file an appeal. 2. Parties receiving service of the decision by certified mail shall have 30 days from the date of receipt to file an appeal. Parties who do not file an appeal in accordance with the requirements of 43 VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:13 Oct 24, 2008 Jkt 217001 Alaska Native Claims Selection AGENCY: the decision shall have until November 26, 2008 to file an appeal. 2. Parties receiving service of the decision by certified mail shall have 30 days from the date of receipt to file an appeal. Parties who do not file an appeal in accordance with the requirements of 43 CFR Part 4, Subpart E, shall be deemed to have waived their rights. ADDRESSES: A copy of the decision may be obtained from: Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, 222 West Seventh Avenue, #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513–7504. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Bureau of Land Management by phone at 907–271–5960, or by e-mail at ak.blm.conveyance@ak.blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunication device (TTD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8330, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to contact the Bureau of Land Management. Jason Robinson, Land Law Examiner, Land Transfer Adjudication I. [FR Doc. E8–25494 Filed 10–24–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P Bureau of Land Management, Interior. Notice of decision approving lands for conveyance. ACTION: As required by 43 CFR 2650.7(d), notice is hereby given that an appealable decision approving the surface and subsurface estates in certain lands for conveyance pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act will be issued to Tanacross, Incorporated. The lands are in the vicinity of Tanacross, Alaska, and are located in: SUMMARY: Copper River Meridian, Alaska T. 20 N., R. 11 E., Tract A, that portion more particularly described as (protracted) Sec. 24. Containing approximately 640 acres. T. 20 N., R. 12 E., Tract A, those portions more particularly described as (protracted) Secs. 3, 4, and 5; Secs. 7 to 10, inclusive; Secs. 17, 18, and 19; Sec. 30. Containing approximately 6,880 acres. Aggregating approximately 7,520 acres. Notice of the decision will also be published four times in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. DATES: The time limits for filing an appeal are: 1. Any party claiming a property interest which is adversely affected by PO 00000 63723 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service [Docket No. MMS–2008–MRM–0033] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, Comment Request Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior. ACTION: Notice of an extension of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010– 0087). AGENCY: SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. We changed the title to meet OMB requirements. The previous title of this information collection request (ICR) was ‘‘30 CFR part 227—Delegation to States; 30 CFR part 228—Cooperative Activities with States and Indian Tribes; and 30 CFR part 229—Delegation to States.’’ The new title is ‘‘30 CFR parts 227, 228, and 229, Delegated and Cooperative Activities with States and Indian Tribes.’’ Submit written comments on or before December 26, 2008. DATES: E:\FR\FM\27OCN1.SGM 27OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 208 (Monday, October 27, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63721-63723]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-25496]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-R-2008-N0149; 20131-1265-2LPP]


Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Chambers, 
Jefferson, and Galveston Counties, TX

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: Record of decision.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
decision and availability of the record of decision (ROD) for the final 
environmental impact statement (EIS), comprehensive conservation plan 
(CCP), and land protection plan (LPP) for the Texas Chenier Plain 
National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Refuge Complex). We completed a 
thorough analysis of the environmental, social, and economic 
considerations and presented it in our final EIS, which we released to 
the public through a Federal Register notice on June 30, 2008. The ROD 
documents our decision to adopt and implement Refuge Management 
Alternative D and Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C. Refuge 
Management Alternative D is adopted as the CCP for the Refuge Complex 
and will direct the management activities on the Refuge Complex for the 
next 15 years. Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C is adopted as 
the LPP for the Refuge Complex and authorizes land acquisition from 
willing sellers within a designated 64,260-acre expansion area.

DATES: The Acting Regional Director, Region 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, signed the ROD on September 16, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the ROD by any of the 
following methods:
    Agency Web Site: Download a copy of the document at http://
www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/Plan/docs/LINKS.pdf.
    E-mail: doug_stpierre@fws.gov. Include ``TX Chenier Plain NWR 
Complex ROD'' in the subject line of the message.

[[Page 63722]]

    Mail: Doug St. Pierre, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 1306, 
Albuquerque, NM 87103.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 409-267-3337 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at Texas Chenier Plain NWR 
Complex Headquarters, 509 Washington Street, Anahuac, TX.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug St. Pierre, 505-248-6636.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    With this notice, we finalize the CCP and LPP process for Moody, 
Anahuac, McFaddin, and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges. We 
started this process in a Federal Register notice (64 FR 56800, October 
21, 1999). We released the draft EIS/CCP/LPP to the public, announcing 
and requesting comments in a notice of availability in the Federal 
Register (71 FR 61063; October 17, 2006). We announced the availability 
of the final EIS/CCP/LPP in the Federal Register (73 FR 36890) on June 
30, 2008.
    The Refuge Complex is located along the upper Texas Gulf Coast 
between Houston, Texas, and the Louisiana border. This coastal 
ecosystem includes important freshwater, estuarine marshes, tallgrass 
prairie with small depressional wetlands, and coastal woodlots. These 
habitats are an important part of the primary wintering area for 
Central Flyway ducks and geese, and, additionally, are critical staging 
areas for neotropical landbirds migrating to and from Central and South 
America.
    In accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 
1506.6(b)) requirements, this notice announces our decision and the 
availability of the ROD for the final EIS/CCP/LPP for the Refuge 
Complex. We completed a thorough analysis of the environmental, social, 
and economic considerations, which we included in the final EIS/CCP/
LPP. The ROD documents our selection of Refuge Management Alternative 
D, the Preferred Alternative, for the CCP; and, our selection of Refuge 
Boundary Alternative C, the Preferred Alternative, for the LPP.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering Moody, Anahuac, 
McFaddin, and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges for the next 15 
years. Refuge Management Alternative D, as we described in the final 
EIS/CCP/LPP, is the foundation for the CCP. The LPP authorizes 
acquisition of land or interests in land from willing sellers within 
the expanded boundaries of Moody, Anahuac, McFaddin, and Texas Point 
National Wildlife Refuges. Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C, as 
we described in the final EIS/CCP/LPP, is the foundation for the LPP, 
which outlines the expanded boundaries and lists the tracts/ownerships 
within these boundaries.

Background

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Improvement Act), which amended the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, requires us to 
develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose for 
developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan 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 our 
policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on 
conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs identify wildlife-
dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including 
opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will 
review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with 
the Improvement Act.

CCP/LPP Alternatives and the Two Selected Alternatives

    Our draft EIS/CCP/LPP (71 FR 200) addressed several issues. To 
address these, we developed and evaluated the two following sets of 
alternatives:

Refuge Management Alternatives

    Alternative A: (NEPA no action alternative) Continuation of current 
management.
    Alternative B: Emphasis on intensifying management of wetland 
habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and other wetland-
dependent migratory birds.
    Alternative C: Emphasis on native habitat restoration and 
addressing major threats to the ecosystem.
    Alternative D: Emphasis on an integrated management approach 
combining (1) Expanded habitat management and restoration programs, (2) 
new research and wildlife population monitoring, and (3) increased 
efforts to address major threats to the ecosystem.
    Alternative E: Emphasis on a passive management approach.

Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternatives

    Alternative A: (NEPA no action alternative) No expansion, current 
status.
    Alternative B: Total 33,590-acre expansion.
    Alternative C: Total 64,260-acre expansion.
    Alternative D: Total 104,120-acre expansion.
    After considering the comments we received, we have selected Refuge 
Management Alternative D for the CCP. It documents our decision, based 
on the information contained in the final EIS and the entire 
administrative record. The Service believes that Refuge Management 
Alternative D (Preferred Alternative) represents the most desirable 
approach to meet the establishment purposes of the refuges in the 
Refuge Complex, the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and 
the conservation of Trust fish and wildlife species including migratory 
birds and Threatened and Endangered species, while recognizing the need 
to address emerging threats to biological integrity, biological 
diversity, and ecosystem health. This alternative focuses on protecting 
and enhancing existing wetland and upland habitats on the Refuge 
Complex through active management, continues and expands efforts to 
enhance and restore native tallgrass coastal prairie and woodland 
habitat on suitable sites, continues and expands efforts to address 
major ecosystem threats, uses additional scientific monitoring and 
studies to guide an adaptive management approach with increased 
emphasis on declining or sensitive species, and expands wildlife-
dependent recreational uses with an emphasis on enhancing the quality 
of the refuge visitor experience.
    Also, after considering the comments we received, we have selected 
Refuge Boundary Expansion Alternative C for the LPP. It documents our 
decision, based on the information contained in the final EIS and the 
entire administrative record. In selecting its Refuge Boundary 
Expansion Alternative, the Service considered ecological values, 
benefits to management of existing refuges, levels of threat, and 
feasibility as affected by land ownership patterns and projected 
availability of funding. The newly approved refuge boundaries would 
contain the largest remaining tracts of native coastal prairie on the 
upper Texas coast, in addition to important areas of coastal marsh 
adjacent to existing refuges.

[[Page 63723]]

Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to the methods in ADDRESSES, you can view or obtain 
documents at the following location:
     Our Web site: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/Plan/
docs/LINKS.pdf.

    Dated: October 20, 2008.
Brian Millsap,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, 
New Mexico.
[FR Doc. E8-25496 Filed 10-24-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P