St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, Brevard County, FL, 66147-66148 [E9-29639]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 238 / Monday, December 14, 2009 / Notices • Mail: Gregory Helseth, BLM Southern Nevada District Office, 4701 North Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89130–2301; • In person: At any EIS public scoping meeting. Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the BLM Southern Nevada District Office. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Helseth, Renewable Energy Project Manager, (702) 515–5173; or e-mail NorthSolar_Proj@blm.gov. You may also use this contact information to request that your name be added to the project mailing list. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pacific Solar Investments Inc. has requested a ROW authorization for the construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of a solar energy generation project. The proposed project would consist of solar photovoltaic panels, including an electrical transmission substation and switchyard facilities. The proposed solar energy project would produce approximately 150 megawatts of electricity, and would be located on approximately 7,500 acres of public lands in the Amargosa Valley, Nye County, Nevada. The purpose of the public scoping process is to ascertain the relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis and guide the process for developing the EIS, including the development of alternatives. The BLM has preliminarily identified the following resource issues: Threatened and endangered species, visual resource impacts, recreation impacts, and socioeconomic effects. The BLM will use and coordinate the NEPA commenting process to satisfy the public involvement requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), as provided for in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). Native American Tribal consultations will be conducted and tribal concerns, including potential impacts on Indian trust assets, will be given due consideration. Federal, state, and local agencies, along with other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the BLM’s decision on this project, are invited to participate in the scoping process. Federal, state, and local agencies may request or be asked by the BLM to participate as a cooperating agency. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:54 Dec 11, 2009 Jkt 220001 While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7. Patrick Putnam, Field Manager, Pahrump Field Office. [FR Doc. E9–29697 Filed 12–11–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–HC–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 66147 Introduction With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for St. Johns NWR in Brevard County, Florida. This notice complies with our CCP policy to (1) Advise other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intention to conduct detailed planning on this refuge; and (2) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to consider in the environmental document and during development of the CCP. Background Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R4–R–2009–N206; 40136–1265–0000– S3] St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, Brevard County, FL AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment; request for comments. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and associated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). We provide this notice in compliance with our CCP policy to advise other Federal agencies, State agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to consider in the planning process. DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments by January 13, 2010. Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media announcements will be used to inform the public and State and local government agencies of the opportunities for input throughout the planning process. A public scoping meeting will be held early in the CCP development process. The date, time, and place for the meeting will be announced in the local media and on the refuge’s Internet web site as follows: http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/ subrefuges/SJ.html. ADDRESSES: Send comments, questions, and requests for more information to: Mr. Bill Miller, Wildlife Biologist, St. Johns NWR CCP, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 2683, Titusville, FL 32781. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bill Miller; telephone: 561/715–0023; fax: 321/861–1276; E-mail: St.JohnsCCP@fws.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The CCP Process The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd– 668ee), requires us to develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge purposes and contributing to 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, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Administration Act. Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established for specific purposes. We use these purposes as the foundation for developing and prioritizing the management goals and objectives for each refuge within the National Wildlife Refuge System, and to determine how the public can use each refuge. The planning process is a way for us and the public to evaluate management goals and objectives for the best possible conservation approach to this important wildlife habitat, while providing for wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are compatible with the refuge’s establishing purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for Tribal, State, and local governments; other agencies; organizations; and the public. At this time we encourage input in the form of issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of St. Johns NWR. The refuge’s Web site, E:\FR\FM\14DEN1.SGM 14DEN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 66148 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 238 / Monday, December 14, 2009 / Notices special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media outlets will be used to announce opportunities for input throughout the planning process. We will conduct the environmental assessment in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1968, as amended (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA regulations (40 CFR parts 1500–1508); other appropriate Federal laws and regulations; and our policies and procedures for compliance with those laws and regulations. St. Johns NWR, in Brevard County, Florida, is managed as a unit of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Other refuges in the Complex include Merritt Island, Lake Wales Ridge, Pelican Island, Archie Carr, and Lake Woodruff. The refuge has two main management units: State Road 50 and Bee Line. The refuge was established in 1971 to provide protection for threatened and endangered species and native diversity. The primary purpose is to ‘‘conserve fish or wildlife which are listed as endangered species or threatened species * * * (or) plants * * *’’ (16 U.S.C. 1534, Endangered Species Act). A secondary purpose provides for native species diversity and applies to specific refuge tracts for the ‘‘conservation, management, and restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans’’ (16 U.S.C. 668dd(a)(2), National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act). St. Johns NWR was originally envisioned to provide habitat for threatened and endangered species, specifically for the conservation of the dusky seaside sparrow, first discovered in 1872. Historic flood control projects, including channelization and interbasin diversions, helped drain wetlands for development purposes throughout Florida. These actions significantly altered dusky seaside sparrow habitat throughout the State. In 1967, the dusky seaside sparrow was listed as endangered by the Department of the Interior and by 1979, surveys determined that it had declined to 20 individual males. The last known sighting of this species in the wild was 1980. Despite our efforts to protect and recover the species through regulations, land acquisition, and land management efforts specifically targeting the needs of the dusky seaside sparrow, the species never recovered and was declared extinct in December 1990. St. Johns NWR was named for and is part of the southern headwaters of the St. Johns River—a river system that runs south to north, eventually flowing into VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:54 Dec 11, 2009 Jkt 220001 the Atlantic Ocean in northeastern Florida. The refuge is connected through surface and groundwater to the 310-mile-long St. Johns River and plays an important role in the river’s health and integrity. Over time, the refuge’s hydrologic setting has been altered through various dredge and fill activities both on the refuge (prior to refuge establishment) and off (prior to and after refuge establishment), which today poses considerable management challenges. Off-refuge hydrologic inputs are conveyed from the residentially developed areas surrounding the refuge through channelization and may lead to an overall decrease in refuge water quality. In addition, off-site inputs may alter water quantity, timing, and flows, thus impacting wetland composition and value for the benefit of fish and wildlife. Flood protection provided by existing channels and levees continues to be a valued commodity and is continually in demand as lands surrounding the refuge are converted to residential and commercial settings. Today, the 6,194-acre St. Johns NWR is home to at least 20 Federal- and Statelisted species, including the federally listed wood stork, crested caracara, eastern indigo snake, and American alligator. It is managed to benefit a diversity of species and a wide array of wetland habitats, including spartina marsh, the predominant habitat type found on the refuge. Its wetland marshes provide valuable resources for marshland species, including black rail and other secretive marsh birds. Refuge marshlands are managed primarily through the application of prescribed fire to maintain mosaics of marsh habitat. Public Availability and Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, and/or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority This notice is published under the authority of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 105–57. PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: October 30, 2009. Mark J. Musaus, Acting Regional Director. [FR Doc. E9–29639 Filed 12–11–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–R–2009–N210; 20131–1265– 2CCP–S3] Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Cameron and Willacy Counties, TX AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability: draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment; request for comments. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and environmental assessment (EA) for the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge, NWR) for public review and comment. In these documents, we describe alternatives, including our preferred alternative, to manage this Refuge for the 15 years following approval of the final CCP. DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by February 12, 2010. We will announce upcoming public meetings in local news media. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments or requests for copies or more information by any of the following methods. You may request hard copies or a CD–ROM of the documents. E-mail: mark_sprick@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Laguna Atascosa Draft CCP and EA’’ in the subject line of the e-mail. Fax: Attn: Mark Sprick, Natural Resource Planner, 505–248–6874. U.S. Mail: Mark Sprick, AICP, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 87103–1306. In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular business hours (8:00 am to 4:30 pm) at 500 Gold Avenue, SW., 4th Floor, Room 4005, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Internet/Web site: http:// www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/Plan/ index.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sonny Perez, Wildlife Refuge Manager, Laguna Atascosa NWR, CCP–Project, 22817 Ocelot Road, Los Fresnos, TX 78566, or by phone at 956–748–3607, or E:\FR\FM\14DEN1.SGM 14DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 238 (Monday, December 14, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66147-66148]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-29639]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2009-N206; 40136-1265-0000-S3]


St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, Brevard County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to 
prepare a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and associated National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for St. Johns National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR). We provide this notice in compliance with our 
CCP policy to advise other Federal agencies, State agencies, Tribes, 
and the public of our intentions, and to obtain suggestions and 
information on the scope of issues to consider in the planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by January 13, 2010.
    Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media announcements 
will be used to inform the public and State and local government 
agencies of the opportunities for input throughout the planning 
process. A public scoping meeting will be held early in the CCP 
development process. The date, time, and place for the meeting will be 
announced in the local media and on the refuge's Internet web site as 
follows: http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/subrefuges/SJ.html.

ADDRESSES: Send comments, questions, and requests for more information 
to: Mr. Bill Miller, Wildlife Biologist, St. Johns NWR CCP, Merritt 
Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 2683, Titusville, FL 
32781.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bill Miller; telephone: 561/715-
0023; fax: 321/861-1276; E-mail: St.JohnsCCP@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
St. Johns NWR in Brevard County, Florida. This notice complies with our 
CCP policy to (1) Advise other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and 
the public of our intention to conduct detailed planning on this 
refuge; and (2) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of 
issues to consider in the environmental document and during development 
of the CCP.

Background

The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), requires us to develop a CCP for each national 
wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a CCP is to provide refuge 
managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge purposes and 
contributing to 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, wildlife photography, and environmental education 
and interpretation. We will review and update the CCP at least every 15 
years in accordance with the Administration Act.
    Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established for 
specific purposes. We use these purposes as the foundation for 
developing and prioritizing the management goals and objectives for 
each refuge within the National Wildlife Refuge System, and to 
determine how the public can use each refuge. The planning process is a 
way for us and the public to evaluate management goals and objectives 
for the best possible conservation approach to this important wildlife 
habitat, while providing for wildlife-dependent recreation 
opportunities that are compatible with the refuge's establishing 
purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for Tribal, 
State, and local governments; other agencies; organizations; and the 
public. At this time we encourage input in the form of issues, 
concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of St. Johns 
NWR. The refuge's Web site,

[[Page 66148]]

special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media outlets will be 
used to announce opportunities for input throughout the planning 
process.
    We will conduct the environmental assessment in accordance with the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1968, as 
amended (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA regulations (40 CFR parts 
1500-1508); other appropriate Federal laws and regulations; and our 
policies and procedures for compliance with those laws and regulations.
    St. Johns NWR, in Brevard County, Florida, is managed as a unit of 
the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Other refuges in 
the Complex include Merritt Island, Lake Wales Ridge, Pelican Island, 
Archie Carr, and Lake Woodruff. The refuge has two main management 
units: State Road 50 and Bee Line.
    The refuge was established in 1971 to provide protection for 
threatened and endangered species and native diversity. The primary 
purpose is to ``conserve fish or wildlife which are listed as 
endangered species or threatened species * * * (or) plants * * *'' (16 
U.S.C. 1534, Endangered Species Act). A secondary purpose provides for 
native species diversity and applies to specific refuge tracts for the 
``conservation, management, and restoration of the fish, wildlife, and 
plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and 
future generations of Americans'' (16 U.S.C. 668dd(a)(2), National 
Wildlife Refuge Administration Act).
    St. Johns NWR was originally envisioned to provide habitat for 
threatened and endangered species, specifically for the conservation of 
the dusky seaside sparrow, first discovered in 1872. Historic flood 
control projects, including channelization and interbasin diversions, 
helped drain wetlands for development purposes throughout Florida. 
These actions significantly altered dusky seaside sparrow habitat 
throughout the State. In 1967, the dusky seaside sparrow was listed as 
endangered by the Department of the Interior and by 1979, surveys 
determined that it had declined to 20 individual males. The last known 
sighting of this species in the wild was 1980. Despite our efforts to 
protect and recover the species through regulations, land acquisition, 
and land management efforts specifically targeting the needs of the 
dusky seaside sparrow, the species never recovered and was declared 
extinct in December 1990.
    St. Johns NWR was named for and is part of the southern headwaters 
of the St. Johns River--a river system that runs south to north, 
eventually flowing into the Atlantic Ocean in northeastern Florida. The 
refuge is connected through surface and groundwater to the 310-mile-
long St. Johns River and plays an important role in the river's health 
and integrity. Over time, the refuge's hydrologic setting has been 
altered through various dredge and fill activities both on the refuge 
(prior to refuge establishment) and off (prior to and after refuge 
establishment), which today poses considerable management challenges. 
Off-refuge hydrologic inputs are conveyed from the residentially 
developed areas surrounding the refuge through channelization and may 
lead to an overall decrease in refuge water quality. In addition, off-
site inputs may alter water quantity, timing, and flows, thus impacting 
wetland composition and value for the benefit of fish and wildlife. 
Flood protection provided by existing channels and levees continues to 
be a valued commodity and is continually in demand as lands surrounding 
the refuge are converted to residential and commercial settings.
    Today, the 6,194-acre St. Johns NWR is home to at least 20 Federal- 
and State-listed species, including the federally listed wood stork, 
crested caracara, eastern indigo snake, and American alligator. It is 
managed to benefit a diversity of species and a wide array of wetland 
habitats, including spartina marsh, the predominant habitat type found 
on the refuge. Its wetland marshes provide valuable resources for 
marshland species, including black rail and other secretive marsh 
birds. Refuge marshlands are managed primarily through the application 
of prescribed fire to maintain mosaics of marsh habitat.

Public Availability and Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, and/or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying 
information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Authority

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

    Dated: October 30, 2009.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E9-29639 Filed 12-11-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P