Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, Chesterfield County, VA; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact, 70805-70807 [2012-28752]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2012 / Notices accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless the collection displays a valid control number. Finding of No Significant Impact A Finding of No Significant Impact with respect to the environment has been made in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 50, which implement section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(C)(2)). The Finding of No Significant Impact is available for public inspection between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays in the Office of the Rules Docket Clerk, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410–0500. Dated: November 16, 2012. Mark Johnston, Acting Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. Office of the Secretary Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform Meeting Cancellation Office of the Secretary, Interior. Notice of meeting cancellation. AGENCY: The meeting of the Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform (the Commission) scheduled for December 6, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and December 7, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. is cancelled. The Commission’s public youth outreach session scheduled for December 6, 2012, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. is also cancelled. Notice of this meeting was published in the November 14, 2012, issue of the Federal Register (77 FR 67827). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Designated Federal Official, Lizzie Marsters, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Room 6118, Washington, DC 20240; or email to Lizzie_Marsters@ios.doi.gov. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with SUMMARY: The Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform was established under Secretarial Order No. 3292, dated December 8, 2009. The Commission plays a key role in the VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Nov 26, 2012 Jkt 229001 Dated: November 20, 2012. David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary. Introduction With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Presquile NWR. We started this process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register (76 FR 21001) on April 14, 2011. We announced the release of the draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA) to the public and requested comments in a notice of availability in the Federal Register (77 FR 47433) on August 8, 2012. The 1,329-acre Presquile NWR is an island in the James River near Hopewell, Virginia, 20 miles southeast of Richmond. The refuge was established in 1953 as ‘‘an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.’’ It is one of many important migratory bird stopover sites along the Atlantic Flyway and provides protected breeding habitat for Federal and State-listed threatened and endangered species, as well as many neotropical migrant bird species. The refuge is comprised of a variety of wildlife habitats, including the open backwaters of the James River, tidal swamp forest, tidal freshwater marshes, grasslands, mixed mesic forest, and river escarpment. Presquile NWR also offers a range of wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities, including environmental education programs for approximately 120 school-aged students each year, and a 3-day deer hunt each fall. We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the final CCP for Presquile 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 Presquile NWR for the next 15 years. Alternative B, as described for the refuge in the draft CCP/EA, and with minor modifications described below, is the foundation for the final CCP. [FR Doc. 2012–28691 Filed 11–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–W7–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R5–R–2012–N200; BAC–4311–K9–S3] Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, Chesterfield County, VA; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact 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 Presquile National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, refuge) in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Presquile NWR is administered by the Eastern Virginia Rivers NWR Complex in Warsaw, Virginia. In this final CCP, we describe how we will manage the refuge for the next 15 years. ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI by 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/presquile/ ccphome.html. Email: Send requests to EasternVirginiaRiversNWRC@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Presquile CCP’’ in the subject line of your email. Mail: Andy Hofmann, Project Leader, Eastern Virginia Rivers NWR Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1030, 335 Wilna Road, Warsaw, VA 22572. Fax: Attention: Andy Hofmann, 804– 333–1470. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call Andy Hofmann, Project Leader, at 804– 333–1470 extension 112 during regular business hours to make an appointment to view the document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andy Hofmann, Project Leader, Eastern Virginia Rivers NWR Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; mailing SUMMARY: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: address: P.O. Box 1030, 335 Wilna Road, Warsaw, VA 22572; 804–333– 1470 (phone); 804–333–3396 (fax); EasternVirginiaRiversNWRC@fws.gov (email) (please put ‘‘Presquile CCP’’ in the subject line). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. BILLING CODE 4210–67–P ACTION: Department’s ongoing efforts to empower Indian nations and strengthen nation-to-nation relationships. Future meetings will be announced through a separate notice in the Federal Register. The meetings cancelled by this notice will be rescheduled for a later date. AGENCY: [FR Doc. 2012–28642 Filed 11–26–12; 8:45 am] 70805 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Background The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd–668ee) (Refuge Administration Act), as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to develop a E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 70806 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2012 / Notices CCP for each refuge. 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 (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, environmental education, and interpretation. We will review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Refuge Administration Act. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with CCP Alternatives, Including the Selected Alternative Our draft CCP/EA (77 FR 47433) addressed several key issues, including: • Managing refuge forests, grasslands, marshes, and aquatic habitats to benefit species of conservation concern, including Federal- and State-listed species. • Protecting the water quality of wildlife habitats, including open water, tidal freshwater marsh, and tidal swamp forest, affecting the James River and Chesapeake Bay. • Providing more public access opportunities on Presquile 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 two alternatives for Presquile NWR in the draft CCP/EA. The alternatives identify several actions in common. Both alternatives include measures to continue to share staff across the Eastern Virginia Rivers NWR Complex, require a permit for refuge access, maintain existing facilities, control invasive species, protect cultural resources, monitor for climate change impacts, distribute refuge revenue sharing payments, support research on the refuge, and participate in conservation and education partnerships. There are other actions that differ among the alternatives. The draft CCP/EA provides a full description of both alternatives and relates each to the issues and concerns that arose during the planning process. Below, we provide summaries of the two alternatives. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Nov 26, 2012 Jkt 229001 Management Alternatives Alternative A (Current Management) This alternative is the ‘‘no action’’ alternative required by NEPA. Alternative A defines our current management activities, including those planned, funded, or underway, and serves as the baseline against which to compare alternative B. Under alternative A, we will continue to protect tidal swamp forest and marsh habitats for priority refuge resources of concern on the refuge, such as the bald eagle, prothonotary warbler, American black duck and other waterfowl, and the federally threatened sensitive jointvetch. We would accomplish this through continued partnerships with universities and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and by limiting public access in sensitive areas. For James River aquatic resources, we would continue to improve riparian habitat, work with the James River Association (JRA) on water quality monitoring, and support efforts by Virginia Commonwealth University and other partners to restore sustainable, healthy populations of the federally endangered Atlantic sturgeon. We would also continue to maintain approximately 200 acres of grassland habitat for breeding and migrating songbirds. Additionally, we would continue to provide environmental education programs both on- and off-refuge in partnership with the JRA, support wildlife-dependent recreation, and implement the 3-day fall deer hunt. Alternative B (Focus on Species of Conservation Concern; Service-Preferred Alternative) Alternative B is the Service-preferred alternative. It combines the actions we believe would best achieve the refuge’s purposes, vision, and goals and respond to public issues. Under alternative B, we would emphasize the management of specific refuge habitats to support priority species whose habitat needs would benefit other species of conservation concern that are found in the area. Species of conservation concern include migrating waterfowl, waterbirds, and forest-dependent birds, the federally endangered Atlantic sturgeon, and the federally threatened sensitive joint-vetch. We would emphasize maintaining and restoring the forest integrity of tidal freshwater marsh, tidal swamp forest, the James River and associated backwater habitats, and mature mixed mesic forest habitats through increased monitoring and data collection, and a more aggressive response to habitat changes associated PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with invasive species, global climate change, or storm events. We would promote natural succession on 200 acres of grassland habitat, resulting in its conversion to transitional mixed mesic forest habitat over the long term, for the benefit of migratory bird species. We would also expand our conservation, research, monitoring, and management partnerships to help restore and conserve the refuge. This alternative would enhance our visitor services programs to improve opportunities for environmental education and wildlife-dependent recreation. The improvements would include expanding the on-refuge environmental education program through a partnership with the JRA and enhancing interpretive materials. We would also evaluate opportunities to expand the hunting program to include turkey hunting and deer and/or turkey hunting opportunities for youth. Comments We solicited comments on the draft CCP/EA for Presquile NWR from August 2 to September 7, 2012 (77 FR 47433). During the comment period, we received 19 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 F 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 minor editorial, formatting, and typographical errors. These changes are described in the FONSI (appendix G in the final CCP) and in our response to public comments (appendix F in the final CCP). We have selected alternative B to implement for Presquile 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, Refuge System 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 G in the final CCP). Public Availability of Documents You can view or obtain the final CCP, including the FONSI, as indicated under ADDRESSES. E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2012 / Notices Dated: October 9, 2012. Deborah Rocque, Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region. [FR Doc. 2012–28752 Filed 11–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR • Stakeholder Input on the BIE Special Education Annual Performance Report; • Public Comment (via conference call, January 11, 2013, meeting only *); and • BIE Advisory Board—Advice and Recommendations. Bureau of Indian Affairs Advisory Board for Exceptional Children Dated: November 20, 2012. Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2012–28692 Filed 11–26–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–6W–P AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. Notice of meeting. 70807 Planned agenda items include a welcome and introduction of new Council members, election of a chair and vice chair, discussion of charter and operating procedures, and presentations by the Socorro and Rio Puerco Field Office Managers. The comment period during which the public may address the RAC is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. on December 10, 2012. All RAC meetings are open to the public. Depending on the number of individuals wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. ACTION: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is announcing that the Advisory Board for Exceptional Children (Advisory Board) will hold its next meeting in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting is to meet the mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) for Indian children with disabilities. Bureau of Land Management Thomas E. Gow, Acting District Manager. [LLNMA00000.L12200000.DF0000] [FR Doc. 2012–28731 Filed 11–26–12; 8:45 am] Notice of Public Meeting, Albuquerque District Resource Advisory Council Meeting, New Mexico BILLING CODE 4310–AG–P The Advisory Board will meet on Thursday, January 10, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, January 11, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at 1849 C Street NW., Main Interior Building, Room 3624, Washington, DC; telephone number (202) 208–6123. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sue Bement, Designated Federal Officer, Bureau of Indian Education, Albuquerque Service Center, Division of Performance and Accountability, 1011 Indian School Road NW., Suite 332, Albuquerque, NM 87104; telephone number (505) 563–5274. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the BIE is announcing that the Advisory Board will hold its next meeting in Washington, DC. The Advisory Board was established under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) to advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, on the needs of Indian children with disabilities. The meetings are open to the public. The following items will be on the agenda: • Report from Acting BIE Director; • Report from Supervisory Education Specialist, Special Education, BIE, Division of Performance and Accountability; • Updates from the BIE, Division of Performance and Accountability; • Group work on Board Priorities; SUMMARY: SUMMARY: wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:05 Nov 26, 2012 Jkt 229001 AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Albuquerque District Resource Advisory Council (RAC), will meet as indicated below. DATES: The meeting date is December 10, 2012, at the BLM Albuquerque District Office, 435 Montano Rd., Albuquerque, NM, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. The public may send written comments to the RAC, 435 Montano Rd., Albuquerque, NM 87107. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chip Kimball, BLM Albuquerque District Office, 435 Montano Rd., Albuquerque, NM 87107, 505–761– 8734. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8229 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 10member RAC advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in New Mexico. * During the January 11, 2013 meeting, time has been set aside for public comment via conference call from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The call-in information is: Conference Number 1–888– 417–0376, Passcode 1509140. PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMTC 00900.L16100000.DP0000] Notice of Public Meeting, Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council Meeting Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Public Meeting. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The next regular meeting of the Eastern Montana RAC will be held on December 6, 2012, in Billings, Montana. The meeting will start at 8:00 a.m. and adjourn at approximately 3:30 p.m. ADDRESSES: When determined, the meeting location will be announced in a news release. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Jacobsen, Public Affairs Specialist, BLM Eastern Montana/Dakotas District, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, Montana, 59301, (406) 233–2831, mark_jacobsen@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–677–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 228 (Tuesday, November 27, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70805-70807]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28752]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2012-N200; BAC-4311-K9-S3]


Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, Chesterfield County, VA; 
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 Presquile National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR, refuge) in Chesterfield County, Virginia. 
Presquile NWR is administered by the Eastern Virginia Rivers NWR 
Complex in Warsaw, Virginia. In this final CCP, we describe how we will 
manage the refuge for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI by 
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/presquile/ccphome.html.
    Email: Send requests to EasternVirginiaRiversNWRC@fws.gov. Include 
``Presquile CCP'' in the subject line of your email.
    Mail: Andy Hofmann, Project Leader, Eastern Virginia Rivers NWR 
Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1030, 335 Wilna Road, 
Warsaw, VA 22572.
    Fax: Attention: Andy Hofmann, 804-333-1470.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call Andy Hofmann, Project Leader, at 
804-333-1470 extension 112 during regular business hours to make an 
appointment to view the document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andy Hofmann, Project Leader, Eastern 
Virginia Rivers NWR Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; mailing 
address: P.O. Box 1030, 335 Wilna Road, Warsaw, VA 22572; 804-333-1470 
(phone); 804-333-3396 (fax); EasternVirginiaRiversNWRC@fws.gov (email) 
(please put ``Presquile CCP'' in the subject line).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Presquile NWR. We 
started this process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register 
(76 FR 21001) on April 14, 2011. We announced the release of the draft 
CCP and environmental assessment (EA) to the public and requested 
comments in a notice of availability in the Federal Register (77 FR 
47433) on August 8, 2012.
    The 1,329-acre Presquile NWR is an island in the James River near 
Hopewell, Virginia, 20 miles southeast of Richmond. The refuge was 
established in 1953 as ``an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other 
management purpose, for migratory birds.'' It is one of many important 
migratory bird stopover sites along the Atlantic Flyway and provides 
protected breeding habitat for Federal and State-listed threatened and 
endangered species, as well as many neotropical migrant bird species. 
The refuge is comprised of a variety of wildlife habitats, including 
the open backwaters of the James River, tidal swamp forest, tidal 
freshwater marshes, grasslands, mixed mesic forest, and river 
escarpment.
    Presquile NWR also offers a range of wildlife-dependent 
recreational opportunities, including environmental education programs 
for approximately 120 school-aged students each year, and a 3-day deer 
hunt each fall.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for Presquile 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 Presquile NWR 
for the next 15 years. Alternative B, as described for the refuge in 
the draft CCP/EA, and with minor 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-668ee) (Refuge Administration Act), as amended by the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to 
develop a

[[Page 70806]]

CCP for each refuge. 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 
(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, 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 47433) addressed several key issues, 
including:
     Managing refuge forests, grasslands, marshes, and aquatic 
habitats to benefit species of conservation concern, including Federal- 
and State-listed species.
     Protecting the water quality of wildlife habitats, 
including open water, tidal freshwater marsh, and tidal swamp forest, 
affecting the James River and Chesapeake Bay.
     Providing more public access opportunities on Presquile 
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 two alternatives 
for Presquile NWR in the draft CCP/EA. The alternatives identify 
several actions in common. Both alternatives include measures to 
continue to share staff across the Eastern Virginia Rivers NWR Complex, 
require a permit for refuge access, maintain existing facilities, 
control invasive species, protect cultural resources, monitor for 
climate change impacts, distribute refuge revenue sharing payments, 
support research on the refuge, and participate in conservation and 
education partnerships. There are other actions that differ among the 
alternatives. The draft CCP/EA provides a full description of both 
alternatives and relates each to the issues and concerns that arose 
during the planning process. Below, we provide summaries of the two 
alternatives.

Management Alternatives

Alternative A (Current Management)
    This alternative is the ``no action'' alternative required by NEPA. 
Alternative A defines our current management activities, including 
those planned, funded, or underway, and serves as the baseline against 
which to compare alternative B. Under alternative A, we will continue 
to protect tidal swamp forest and marsh habitats for priority refuge 
resources of concern on the refuge, such as the bald eagle, 
prothonotary warbler, American black duck and other waterfowl, and the 
federally threatened sensitive joint-vetch. We would accomplish this 
through continued partnerships with universities and the Virginia 
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and by limiting public access 
in sensitive areas. For James River aquatic resources, we would 
continue to improve riparian habitat, work with the James River 
Association (JRA) on water quality monitoring, and support efforts by 
Virginia Commonwealth University and other partners to restore 
sustainable, healthy populations of the federally endangered Atlantic 
sturgeon. We would also continue to maintain approximately 200 acres of 
grassland habitat for breeding and migrating songbirds.
    Additionally, we would continue to provide environmental education 
programs both on- and off-refuge in partnership with the JRA, support 
wildlife-dependent recreation, and implement the 3-day fall deer hunt.
Alternative B (Focus on Species of Conservation Concern; Service-
Preferred Alternative)
    Alternative B is the Service-preferred alternative. It combines the 
actions we believe would best achieve the refuge's purposes, vision, 
and goals and respond to public issues. Under alternative B, we would 
emphasize the management of specific refuge habitats to support 
priority species whose habitat needs would benefit other species of 
conservation concern that are found in the area. Species of 
conservation concern include migrating waterfowl, waterbirds, and 
forest-dependent birds, the federally endangered Atlantic sturgeon, and 
the federally threatened sensitive joint-vetch. We would emphasize 
maintaining and restoring the forest integrity of tidal freshwater 
marsh, tidal swamp forest, the James River and associated backwater 
habitats, and mature mixed mesic forest habitats through increased 
monitoring and data collection, and a more aggressive response to 
habitat changes associated with invasive species, global climate 
change, or storm events. We would promote natural succession on 200 
acres of grassland habitat, resulting in its conversion to transitional 
mixed mesic forest habitat over the long term, for the benefit of 
migratory bird species. We would also expand our conservation, 
research, monitoring, and management partnerships to help restore and 
conserve the refuge.
    This alternative would enhance our visitor services programs to 
improve opportunities for environmental education and wildlife-
dependent recreation. The improvements would include expanding the on-
refuge environmental education program through a partnership with the 
JRA and enhancing interpretive materials. We would also evaluate 
opportunities to expand the hunting program to include turkey hunting 
and deer and/or turkey hunting opportunities for youth.

Comments

    We solicited comments on the draft CCP/EA for Presquile NWR from 
August 2 to September 7, 2012 (77 FR 47433). During the comment period, 
we received 19 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 F 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 minor 
editorial, formatting, and typographical errors. These changes are 
described in the FONSI (appendix G in the final CCP) and in our 
response to public comments (appendix F in the final CCP).
    We have selected alternative B to implement for Presquile 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, Refuge System 
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 G in the final CCP).

Public Availability of Documents

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


[[Page 70807]]


    Dated: October 9, 2012.
Deborah Rocque,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2012-28752 Filed 11-26-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P