Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Rockingham County, NH; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact, 59412-59414 [2012-23799]

Download as PDF 59412 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 188 / Thursday, September 27, 2012 / Notices Ending date Beginning date 020178 020180 020182 010183 070183 010185 070185 010186 070186 010187 100187 010188 040188 100188 040189 100189 040191 010192 040192 100192 070194 100194 040195 070195 040196 070196 040198 010199 040199 040100 040101 070101 010102 010103 100103 040104 070104 100104 040105 100105 070106 010108 040108 070108 100108 010109 040109 010111 040111 100111 ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... 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Dated: September 21, 2012. David V. Aguilar, Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 013180 013182 123182 063083 123184 063085 123185 063086 123186 093087 123187 033188 093088 033189 093089 033191 123191 033192 093092 063094 093094 033195 063095 033196 063096 033198 123198 033199 033100 033101 063001 123101 123102 093003 033104 063004 093004 033105 093005 063006 123107 033108 063008 093008 123108 033109 123110 033111 093011 123112 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R5–R–2012–N126; BAC–4311–K9–S3] [FR Doc. 2012–23822 Filed 9–26–12; 8:45 am] Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Rockingham County, NH; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact BILLING CODE 9111–14–P Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the final comprehensive SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:00 Sep 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Underpayments (percent) 6 12 20 16 11 13 11 10 9 9 10 11 10 11 12 11 10 9 8 7 8 9 10 9 8 9 8 7 8 9 8 7 6 5 4 5 4 5 6 7 8 7 6 5 6 5 4 3 4 3 Overpayments (percent) 6 12 20 16 11 13 11 10 9 8 9 10 9 10 11 10 9 8 7 6 7 8 9 8 7 8 7 7 8 9 8 7 6 5 4 5 4 5 6 7 8 7 6 5 6 5 4 3 4 3 Corporate overpayments (eff. 1–1–99) (percent) ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ ............................ 6 7 8 7 6 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 6 7 6 5 4 5 4 3 2 3 2 conservation plan (CCP) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, refuge) in Newington, New Hampshire, which includes the Karner blue butterfly conservation easement in Concord, New Hampshire. Great Bay NWR is administered by Parker River NWR in Newburyport, Massachusetts. In this final CCP, we describe how we will manage the refuge and Karner blue butterfly conservation easement for the next 15 years. You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI by ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 188 / Thursday, September 27, 2012 / Notices any of the following methods. You may request a hard copy or a CD–ROM. Agency Web site: Download a copy of the document at http://www.fws.gov/ northeast/planning/Great%20bay/ ccphome.html. Email: Send requests to northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Great Bay Refuge CCP’’ in the subject line of your email. Mail: Nancy McGarigal, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035. Fax: Attention: Nancy McGarigal, 413–253–8468. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 978–465–5753 to make an appointment during regular business hours at the Parker River NWR office, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Graham Taylor, Refuge Manager, Parker River NWR, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950; 978–465–5753 (phone); 978–465–2807 (fax); fw5rw_prnwr@fws.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with Introduction With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Great Bay NWR. We started this process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register (74 FR 28722) on June 17, 2009. We announced the release of the draft CCP/environmental assessment (EA) to the public and requested comments in a notice of availability in the Federal Register (77 FR 7176) on February 10, 2012. The Service established Great Bay NWR in 1992 to protect the natural diversity of fish, wildlife, and plants within its boundaries, protect federally listed species, preserve and enhance water quality and aquatic habitats, and fulfill the United State’s international treaty obligations relating to fish and wildlife resources. The refuge is located in the town of Newington in southeastern New Hampshire, on the eastern shore of the tidally influenced Great Bay Estuary. Prior to its establishment, refuge lands were part of the former Pease Air Force Base. The 1,103-acre refuge is the largest parcel of protected land on Great Bay Estuary, and includes a rich diversity of habitat types including oak-hickory forests, grasslands, shrub thickets, freshwater and saltwater wetlands, open water, and rocky shoreline. Great Bay NWR also includes the Karner blue butterfly conservation easement in Concord, New Hampshire. The 29-acre conservation easement is managed for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, and also supports VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:39 Sep 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 59413 other rare moths and butterflies. It primarily consists of a mix of open pitch pine/scrub oak, pine-hardwood, and other shrubland habitat. We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the final CCP for Great Bay NWR in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) requirements. We completed a thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, which we included in the draft CCP/EA. The CCP will guide us in managing and administering Great Bay NWR for the next 15 years. Alternative B, as described for the refuge in the draft CCP/EA, and with the modifications described below, is the foundation for the final CCP. evaluated three alternatives for Great Bay NWR in the draft CCP/EA. These alternatives have some actions in common, such as controlling invasive species, monitoring wildlife diseases, protecting the rocky shore, reducing impacts from climate change, protecting cultural resources, and distributing refuge revenue sharing payments to the town of Newington, New Hampshire. There are other actions that differ among the alternatives. The draft CCP/ EA describes each alternative in detail and relates them to the issues and concerns that arose during the planning process. Below, we provide summaries for the three Great Bay alternatives evaluated in the draft CCP/EA. Background The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd–68ee) (Refuge Administration Act), as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to develop a CCP for each NWR. The purpose for developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan for achieving refuge purposes and contributing to the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), 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 Refuge Administration Act. Alternative A (Current Management) CCP Alternatives, Including the Selected Alternative Our draft CCP/EA (77 FR 7176) addressed several key issues, including: • Managing a diversity of habitat types, including grasslands, shrublands, wetlands, and forest to benefit Federal and State species of concern. • Protecting the water quality of the Great Bay Estuary. • Providing more public access opportunities on Great Bay NWR. • Balancing the protection of historic resources with wildlife and habitat conservation. To address these issues and develop a plan based on the refuge’s establishing purposes, vision, and goals, we This is the Service-preferred alternative. It combines the actions we believe would best achieve the refuge’s purposes, vision, and goals, and is consistent with the intent of NWRS policy on Biological Integrity, Diversity, and Environmental Health (601 FW 3). This alternative would also best respond to the issues that arose during the planning process. Alternative B would improve our management of refuge habitats to benefit species of conservation concern in the Great Bay area and coastal New Hampshire. In particular, we would emphasize habitat for priority species such as migratory waterfowl, wading birds, forest-dependent songbirds, New PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Management Alternatives This alternative is the ‘‘No Action’’ alternative required by NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). It describes our current management activities, including those planned, funded, or underway, and serves as the baseline against which to compare alternatives B and C. Alternative A would continue to emphasize our current biological program priorities, including maintaining impoundments for migratory birds and managing grasslands for grassland-dependent species of concern. The refuge would remain unstaffed and we would continue to rely on volunteers to help with seasonal activities. Our visitor services program would continue to focus on wildlife observation and photography, and we would continue to provide a 2-day fall deer hunt. On the Karner blue butterfly easement, we would continue to actively manage habitat for Karner blue butterflies in partnership with New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG). Alternative B (Habitat Diversity and Focal Species Emphasis) E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 59414 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 188 / Thursday, September 27, 2012 / Notices England cottontails, and forest bats. We would also manage estuarine and aquatic species of concern, including shellfish and migratory fish. We would also remove the Lower Peverly Pond Dam to restore approximately 1,100 feet of stream habitat, while maintaining the dams at Upper Peverly Pond and Stubbs Pond to benefit a range of fish and wildlife species of conservation concern. We would also expand our conservation, research, and management partnerships to help restore and conserve the Great Bay estuarine ecosystem. This alternative would enhance our visitor services programs. We would improve our trails, create new interpretive materials, expand on the existing volunteer program, and offer visitors more opportunities to learn about the refuge’s history, its resources, and its surrounding area. We would also evaluate an expansion of hunting opportunities to include wild turkey and a fall bow season for deer. These expanded programs would be possible through increased staffing and a new refuge headquarters/visitor contact facility. On the Karner blue butterfly easement, we would enhance our partnership with NHFG to help manage habitat on the easement to support this species’ recovery. We would also expand the easement’s visitor services program by installing new interpretive signs and trails, offering guided walks, and updating our Web site. erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with Alternative C (Emphasis on Natural Processes) Alternative C primarily relies on ecosystem processes, such as natural disturbances, to affect the diversity and integrity of refuge habitats. In particular, we would no longer maintain much of the grasslands and shrublands on the refuge, allowing them to naturally transition to forest. We would remove all three of the refuge’s impoundments on Peverly Brook and restore these areas to native stream habitat. We would also expand our visitor services program by creating new trails and opening up more of the refuge to public use. Under this alternative, management of the Karner blue butterfly easement would be similar to alternative B. Comments We solicited comments on the draft CCP/EA for Great Bay NWR from February 10 to March 19, 2012 (77 FR 7176). During the comment period, we received 25 written responses. We evaluated all of the substantive comments we received, and include a summary of those comments and our VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:00 Sep 26, 2012 Jkt 226001 responses to them, as appendix K in the final CCP. Selected Alternative After considering the comments we received on our draft CCP/EA, we have made several minor changes to alternative B, including adding or revising several management strategies. These changes are described in the FONSI (appendix L in the final CCP) and in our response to public comments (appendix K in the final CCP). We have selected alternative B to implement for Great Bay NWR, with these minor changes, for several reasons. Alternative B comprises a mix of actions that, in our professional judgment, work best towards achieving the refuge’s purposes, vision, and goals, NWRS policies, and the goals of other State and regional conservation plans. We also believe that alternative B most effectively addresses key issues raised during the planning process. The basis of our decision is detailed in the FONSI (appendix L in the final CCP). Public Availability of Documents You can view or obtain the final CCP, including the FONSI, as indicated under ADDRESSES. Dated: August 29, 2012. Deborah Rocque, Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region. [FR Doc. 2012–23799 Filed 9–26–12; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–ES–2012–N177; FF08E00000– FXES11120800000F2–123–F2] Application From Marys River Ranch, Elko County, NV, for an Enhancement of Survival Permit; Safe Harbor Agreement AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. Notice of availability and receipt of application. ACTION: In response to an application from Marys River Ranch (applicant), the Fish and Wildlife Service (we, the Service) is considering issuance of an enhancement of survival permit pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). The enhancement of survival permit application includes a proposed safe harbor agreement (SHA) between the applicant and the Service. The proposed SHA provides for voluntary habitat restoration, maintenance, or enhancement activities SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 to facilitate the repatriation and recovery of Lahontan cutthroat within the enrolled property. The proposed duration of both the SHA and permit is 50 years. The Service has made a preliminary determination that the proposed SHA and permit application are eligible for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). The basis for this determination is contained in an environmental action statement, which also is available for public review. DATES: Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. on October 29, 2012. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Edward D. Koch, State Supervisor, by U.S. mail; or hand delivered to the Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Suite 234, Reno, NV 89502; or faxed to 775–861–6301 (for further information and instructions on the reviewing and commenting process, see Availability of Documents section below). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chad Mellison, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, at the address shown above or by telephone at 775–861–6300. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, please call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability of Documents Individuals wishing copies of the permit application, the environmental action statement, or the full text of the proposed SHA, including a map of the proposed permit area, references, and description of the proposed permit area, should contact the office and personnel listed in the ADDRESSES section. Documents also will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at this office (see ADDRESSES). Background Information Under a safe harbor agreement, participating landowners voluntarily undertake management activities on their property to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Safe harbor agreements, and the subsequent enhancement of survival permits that are issued pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation efforts for listed species by assuring property owners that they will not be subjected to increased property use restrictions as a result of their efforts to attract listed species to their property, or to increase the numbers or E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 188 (Thursday, September 27, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59412-59414]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23799]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2012-N126; BAC-4311-K9-S3]


Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Rockingham County, NH; Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for Great Bay National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR, refuge) in Newington, New Hampshire, which 
includes the Karner blue butterfly conservation easement in Concord, 
New Hampshire. Great Bay NWR is administered by Parker River NWR in 
Newburyport, Massachusetts. In this final CCP, we describe how we will 
manage the refuge and Karner blue butterfly conservation easement for 
the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI by

[[Page 59413]]

any of the following methods. You may request a hard copy or a CD-ROM.
    Agency Web site: Download a copy of the document at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/planning/Great%20bay/ccphome.html.
    Email: Send requests to northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include ``Great 
Bay Refuge CCP'' in the subject line of your email.
    Mail: Nancy McGarigal, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.
    Fax: Attention: Nancy McGarigal, 413-253-8468.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 978-465-5753 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at the Parker River NWR 
office, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Graham Taylor, Refuge Manager, Parker 
River NWR, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950; 978-465-5753 
(phone); 978-465-2807 (fax); fw5rw_prnwr@fws.gov (email).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Great Bay NWR. We 
started this process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register 
(74 FR 28722) on June 17, 2009. We announced the release of the draft 
CCP/environmental assessment (EA) to the public and requested comments 
in a notice of availability in the Federal Register (77 FR 7176) on 
February 10, 2012.
    The Service established Great Bay NWR in 1992 to protect the 
natural diversity of fish, wildlife, and plants within its boundaries, 
protect federally listed species, preserve and enhance water quality 
and aquatic habitats, and fulfill the United State's international 
treaty obligations relating to fish and wildlife resources. The refuge 
is located in the town of Newington in southeastern New Hampshire, on 
the eastern shore of the tidally influenced Great Bay Estuary. Prior to 
its establishment, refuge lands were part of the former Pease Air Force 
Base. The 1,103-acre refuge is the largest parcel of protected land on 
Great Bay Estuary, and includes a rich diversity of habitat types 
including oak-hickory forests, grasslands, shrub thickets, freshwater 
and saltwater wetlands, open water, and rocky shoreline.
    Great Bay NWR also includes the Karner blue butterfly conservation 
easement in Concord, New Hampshire. The 29-acre conservation easement 
is managed for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, and also 
supports other rare moths and butterflies. It primarily consists of a 
mix of open pitch pine/scrub oak, pine-hardwood, and other shrubland 
habitat.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for Great Bay NWR in accordance with National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) requirements. We completed a 
thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, which we 
included in the draft CCP/EA.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering Great Bay NWR 
for the next 15 years. Alternative B, as described for the refuge in 
the draft CCP/EA, and with the modifications described below, is the 
foundation for the final CCP.

Background

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-68ee) (Refuge Administration Act), as amended by the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to 
develop a CCP for each NWR. The purpose for developing a CCP is to 
provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan for achieving refuge 
purposes and contributing to the mission of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System (NWRS), 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 Refuge 
Administration Act.

CCP Alternatives, Including the Selected Alternative

    Our draft CCP/EA (77 FR 7176) addressed several key issues, 
including:
     Managing a diversity of habitat types, including 
grasslands, shrublands, wetlands, and forest to benefit Federal and 
State species of concern.
     Protecting the water quality of the Great Bay Estuary.
     Providing more public access opportunities on Great Bay 
NWR.
     Balancing the protection of historic resources with 
wildlife and habitat conservation.
    To address these issues and develop a plan based on the refuge's 
establishing purposes, vision, and goals, we evaluated three 
alternatives for Great Bay NWR in the draft CCP/EA. These alternatives 
have some actions in common, such as controlling invasive species, 
monitoring wildlife diseases, protecting the rocky shore, reducing 
impacts from climate change, protecting cultural resources, and 
distributing refuge revenue sharing payments to the town of Newington, 
New Hampshire. There are other actions that differ among the 
alternatives. The draft CCP/EA describes each alternative in detail and 
relates them to the issues and concerns that arose during the planning 
process. Below, we provide summaries for the three Great Bay 
alternatives evaluated in the draft CCP/EA.

Management Alternatives

Alternative A (Current Management)
    This alternative is the ``No Action'' alternative required by NEPA 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). It describes our current management 
activities, including those planned, funded, or underway, and serves as 
the baseline against which to compare alternatives B and C. Alternative 
A would continue to emphasize our current biological program 
priorities, including maintaining impoundments for migratory birds and 
managing grasslands for grassland-dependent species of concern. The 
refuge would remain unstaffed and we would continue to rely on 
volunteers to help with seasonal activities. Our visitor services 
program would continue to focus on wildlife observation and 
photography, and we would continue to provide a 2-day fall deer hunt. 
On the Karner blue butterfly easement, we would continue to actively 
manage habitat for Karner blue butterflies in partnership with New 
Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG).
Alternative B (Habitat Diversity and Focal Species Emphasis)
    This is the Service-preferred alternative. It combines the actions 
we believe would best achieve the refuge's purposes, vision, and goals, 
and is consistent with the intent of NWRS policy on Biological 
Integrity, Diversity, and Environmental Health (601 FW 3). This 
alternative would also best respond to the issues that arose during the 
planning process.
    Alternative B would improve our management of refuge habitats to 
benefit species of conservation concern in the Great Bay area and 
coastal New Hampshire. In particular, we would emphasize habitat for 
priority species such as migratory waterfowl, wading birds, forest-
dependent songbirds, New

[[Page 59414]]

England cottontails, and forest bats. We would also manage estuarine 
and aquatic species of concern, including shellfish and migratory fish. 
We would also remove the Lower Peverly Pond Dam to restore 
approximately 1,100 feet of stream habitat, while maintaining the dams 
at Upper Peverly Pond and Stubbs Pond to benefit a range of fish and 
wildlife species of conservation concern. We would also expand our 
conservation, research, and management partnerships to help restore and 
conserve the Great Bay estuarine ecosystem.
    This alternative would enhance our visitor services programs. We 
would improve our trails, create new interpretive materials, expand on 
the existing volunteer program, and offer visitors more opportunities 
to learn about the refuge's history, its resources, and its surrounding 
area. We would also evaluate an expansion of hunting opportunities to 
include wild turkey and a fall bow season for deer. These expanded 
programs would be possible through increased staffing and a new refuge 
headquarters/visitor contact facility.
    On the Karner blue butterfly easement, we would enhance our 
partnership with NHFG to help manage habitat on the easement to support 
this species' recovery. We would also expand the easement's visitor 
services program by installing new interpretive signs and trails, 
offering guided walks, and updating our Web site.
Alternative C (Emphasis on Natural Processes)
    Alternative C primarily relies on ecosystem processes, such as 
natural disturbances, to affect the diversity and integrity of refuge 
habitats. In particular, we would no longer maintain much of the 
grasslands and shrublands on the refuge, allowing them to naturally 
transition to forest. We would remove all three of the refuge's 
impoundments on Peverly Brook and restore these areas to native stream 
habitat. We would also expand our visitor services program by creating 
new trails and opening up more of the refuge to public use. Under this 
alternative, management of the Karner blue butterfly easement would be 
similar to alternative B.

Comments

    We solicited comments on the draft CCP/EA for Great Bay NWR from 
February 10 to March 19, 2012 (77 FR 7176). During the comment period, 
we received 25 written responses. We evaluated all of the substantive 
comments we received, and include a summary of those comments and our 
responses to them, as appendix K in the final CCP.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received on our draft CCP/EA, we 
have made several minor changes to alternative B, including adding or 
revising several management strategies. These changes are described in 
the FONSI (appendix L in the final CCP) and in our response to public 
comments (appendix K in the final CCP).
    We have selected alternative B to implement for Great Bay NWR, with 
these minor changes, for several reasons. Alternative B comprises a mix 
of actions that, in our professional judgment, work best towards 
achieving the refuge's purposes, vision, and goals, NWRS policies, and 
the goals of other State and regional conservation plans. We also 
believe that alternative B most effectively addresses key issues raised 
during the planning process. The basis of our decision is detailed in 
the FONSI (appendix L in the final CCP).

Public Availability of Documents

    You can view or obtain the final CCP, including the FONSI, as 
indicated under ADDRESSES.

    Dated: August 29, 2012.
Deborah Rocque,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2012-23799 Filed 9-26-12; 8:45 a.m.]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P