Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Bear Lake County, ID, and Oxford Slough Waterfowl Production Area, Franklin and Bannock Counties, ID; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact, 33433-33435 [2013-13046]

Download as PDF tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 4, 2013 / Notices Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App., 2, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary, Wildland Fire Executive Council (WFEC) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The next meeting will be held June 25–26, 2013. ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on June 25– 26, 2013 at the National Association of Counties, 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shari Eckhoff, Designated Federal Officer, 300 E Mallard Drive, Suite 170, Boise, Idaho 83706; telephone (208) 334–1552; fax (208) 334–1549; or email Shari_Eckhoff@ios.doi.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The WFEC is established as a discretionary advisory committee under the authorities of the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture, in furtherance of 43 U.S.C. 1457 and provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a-742j), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et. seq), the National Wildlife Refuge System improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), and the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et.seq) and in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2. The Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture certify that the formation of the WFEC is necessary and is in the public interest. The purpose of the WFEC is to provide advice on coordinated nationallevel wildland fire policy and to provide leadership, direction, and program oversight in support of the Wildland Fire Leadership Council. Questions related to the WFEC should be directed to Shari Eckhoff (Designated Federal Officer) at Shari_Eckhoff@ios.doi.gov or (208) 334–1552 or 300 E. Mallard Drive, Suite 170, Boise, Idaho, 83706–6648. Meeting Agenda: The meeting agenda will include: (1) Welcome and introduction of Council members; (2) Presentation and Deliberation on the Cohesive Strategy National Trade-off Analysis; (3) Public comments which will be scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day; and (4) closing remarks. Participation is open to the public. Public Input: All WFEC meetings are open to the public. Members of the public who wish to participate must notify Shari Eckhoff at Shari_Eckhoff@ios.doi.gov no later than the Friday preceding the meeting. Those who are not committee members and wish to present oral statements or obtain information should contact Shari VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:33 Jun 03, 2013 Jkt 229001 Eckhoff via email no later than the Friday preceding the meeting. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. Questions about the agenda or written comments may be emailed or submitted by U.S. Mail to: Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary, Office of Wildland Fire, Attention: Shari Eckhoff, 300 E. Mallard Drive, Suite 170, Boise, Idaho 83706–6648. WFEC requests that written comments be received by the Friday preceding the scheduled meeting. Attendance is open to the public, but limited space is available. Persons with a disability requiring special services, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, should contact Ms. Eckhoff at (202) 527–0133 at least seven calendar days prior to the meeting. Dated: May 23, 2013. Shari Eckhoff, Designated Federal Officer. [FR Doc. 2013–13131 Filed 6–3–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–J4–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R1–R–2013–N048; 12560–0000–10137 S3] Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Bear Lake County, ID, and Oxford Slough Waterfowl Production Area, Franklin and Bannock Counties, ID; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: 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 the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, refuge), 7 miles south of Montpelier, Idaho; the refuge-managed Thomas Fork Unit (Unit) in Montpelier; and the Oxford Slough Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) in Oxford, Idaho. The final CCP describes how we will manage the refuge and WPA 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 of the document. PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33433 Agency Web site: Download the final CCP and FONSI at http://www.fws.gov/ bearlake/refuge_planning.html. Email: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Bear Lake NWR CCP’’ in the subject line of the message. U.S. Mail: Annette de Knijf, Refuge Manager, Bear Lake NWR, Box 9, Montpelier, ID 83254. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 208–847–1757 to make an appointment during regular business hours at the Refuge Headquarters at 322 North 4th St. (Oregon Trail Center), Montpelier, ID. For more information on locations for viewing or obtaining documents, see ‘‘Public Availability of Documents’’ under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Annette de Knijf, Refuge Manager, Bear Lake NWR, 322 North 4th St. (Oregon Trail Center), Montpelier, ID 83254; phone (208) 847–1757. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Bear Lake County, Idaho, and the Oxford Slough Waterfowl Production Area in Franklin and Bannock Counties, Idaho. We started this process through a notice in the Federal Register (75 FR 35829; June 23, 2010). We released the draft CCP/EA to the public, announcing and requesting comments in a notice of availability in the Federal Register (77 FR 59639; September 28, 2012). For more information about the history and purposes of the refuge and WPA, see that notice. We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the CCP for Bear Lake NWR and Oxford Slough WPA in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We completed a thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, which we included in the draft CCP/EA. The final CCP will guide us in managing and administering the refuge and WPA for the next 15 years. Alternative 3, as we described in the draft CCP/EA, forms the basis of the final CCP. Background The CCP Process The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (together referred to as the Refuge Administration Act), 16 U.S.C. 668dd–668ee, requires us to develop a CCP for each national E:\FR\FM\04JNN1.SGM 04JNN1 33434 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 4, 2013 / Notices 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, our policies, and NEPA. In addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs identify compatible 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 each CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Refuge Administration Act. Implementing a CCP is subject to the availability of funding and any additional compliance requirements. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES CCP Selected Alternative To address issues identified during our CCP planning process, we developed and evaluated alternatives and identified the preferred alternative for the refuge and WPA. The preferred alternative, which was selected for the CCP, is briefly summarized below. For full details of all the alternatives, please review the draft CCP/EA (see the Public Availability of Documents section for ways to view or obtain the CCP/EA). Selected Alternative (Alternative 3) Under the Selected Alternative we will continue to provide habitat for waterfowl breeding and fall migration at Bear Lake NWR. We will use water level manipulations and other strategies to provide a variety of wetland habitats that benefit a wide range of priority species. Water in the individual wetland units of Bear Lake NWR will be managed to simulate natural hydrologic variability (normal, drought, and flood conditions), while providing a consistent annual acreage of wetland habitat types across the refuge. We will continue to work with PacifiCorp to manage water levels on the refuge for wildlife and habitat while abiding by the stipulations of the Bear River Compact and the 1968 Agreement between PacifiCorp and the Service. We will reduce meadow and upland haying operations on Bear Lake NWR, the Thomas Fork Unit, and Oxford Slough WPA by 44 percent (3,533 acres to 1,492 acres) over the next 15 years, with three 5-year cycles. Farming will be reduced from 214 acres to 154 acres. Former cropland and hayed areas will be restored to native wet meadow or grassland communities. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:33 Jun 03, 2013 Jkt 229001 We will work in partnership with PacifiCorp and other stakeholders to study and consult on the effects, desirability, and feasibility of reducing sediment loading in the Mud Lake Complex of Bear Lake NWR. We will analyze the feasibility of, and make recommendations on, techniques to exclude carp and non-native game fish within the Mud Lake Complex, and work in partnership with PacifiCorp and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to study and consult on the effects of fish passage at irrigation diversions and water control structures within the Refuge. We will manage water at the Thomas Fork Unit to simulate natural hydrologic variability (normal, drought, and flood conditions), restore stream habitat on the Thomas Fork Unit for spawning Bonneville cutthroat trout, and pursue increased reliability of late season water at Oxford Slough WPA to benefit nesting waterfowl and waterbirds. Public uses that are currently allowed on the refuge and WPA will continue. The Thomas Fork Unit will continue to be closed to public use. We will construct additional facilities to support wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, interpretation, and fishing at Bear Lake NWR. Plans for a combined refuge office and small visitor contact station with an environmental education classroom on or near the refuge will be developed within 5 years of CCP completion, and we will seek funding to construct these facilities. We will establish a visitor services position in the Southeast Idaho Complex that will serve all refuges in the Complex. This will allow the refuge to recruit and train volunteers that would assist in providing expanded wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities. Hunting of waterfowl, small game (cottontails), and upland birds (gray partridge, grouse, ring-necked pheasant) will continue to be allowed on 7,450 acres (40 percent) of Bear Lake NWR, with enhancements to improve access. Hunting of waterfowl, small game, upland game birds, big game, and trapping of furbearers will continue to be allowed on the Oxford Slough WPA in accordance with State regulations. Comments We solicited public comments on the draft CCP/EA for 30 days, from September 28 to October 29, 2012 (77 FR 59639). We received comments from 14 entities. To address public comments received on the draft CCP/EA, responsive changes and clarifications were made to the final CCP where appropriate. These changes are PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 summarized in the FONSI. The major changes follow. • The strategy ‘‘In partnership with PacifiCorp, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and other partners, construct four fish passage ladder projects on the Rainbow bridge; Paris Creek, Paris Dike, and Bloomington Creek to increase fish spawning passage and reconnect the two most genetically viable populations of Bonneville cutthroat trout in the Bear River by 2027’’ was changed to: ‘‘Throughout the lifetime of the CCP, work in partnership with PacifiCorp and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to study and consult on the effects of fish passage at irrigation diversions and water control structures within the refuge.’’ • The strategy ‘‘Implement feasibility and engineering studies on techniques to further reduce sediment loading within the Mud Lake Complex. By 2020, provide recommendations to reduce the sedimentation rate of Bear River water diversions and better facilitate carp and non-native game fish exclusion’’ was changed to: ‘‘Work in partnership with PacifiCorp and other stakeholders to study and consult on the effects, desirability, and feasibility of reducing sediment loading in the Mud Lake Unit.’’ The strategy ‘‘By 2020, provide recommendations to better facilitate carp and non-native game fish exclusion’’ was added. Selected Alternative After considering the comments received, we have selected Alternative 3 for implementation. The goals, objectives, and strategies under Alternative 3 best achieve the purpose and need for the CCP while maintaining balance among the varied management needs and programs. Alternative 3 addresses the purposes, issues, and relevant mandates of the refuge and WPA and is consistent with principles of sound fish and wildlife management. Public Availability of Documents In addition to the information in you can view copies of the draft CCP/EA on the internet at http:// www.fws.gov/bearlake/ refuge_planning.html, and printed copies will be available for review at the following libraries: Bear Lake County Library, 138 North 6th Street, Montpelier, ID 83254; Larsen-Sant Public Library, 109 South 1st East, Preston, ID 83263. ADDRESSES, E:\FR\FM\04JNN1.SGM 04JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 4, 2013 / Notices Dated: February 27, 2013. Richard Hannan, Acting Regional Director, Pacific Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2013–13046 Filed 6–3–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Gaming Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Approved Tribal-State Class III Gaming Amendments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice publishes approval of an Agreement to Amend the Class III Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the State of Arizona (Amendment). DATES: Effective Date: June 4, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paula L. Hart, Director, Office of Indian Gaming, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary—Policy and Economic Development, Washington, DC 20240, (202) 219–4066. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), Public Law 100– 497, 25 U.S.C. 2701et seq., the Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register notice of approved Tribal-State compacts for the purpose of engaging in Class III gaming activities on Indian lands. The Amendment consists of clarifications and minor changes to various sections of the current compact. The Amendment also modifies the frequency of the Tribe’s payments to the State or local governments. Dated: May 28, 2013. Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2013–13262 Filed 6–3–13; 8:45 am] Gila and Salt River Meridian, Arizona T. 18 S., R. 12 E, Sec. 3, Lots 1–4, inclusive, S1⁄2NE1⁄4, E1⁄2SW1⁄4, NW1⁄4SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SW1⁄4SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SE1⁄4, except any portion lying within McGee Ranch Road right-of-way as shown in Book 2 of road maps at Pages 184, 185, and 186. (As reserved in U. S. patents 1048789, 929394 and 1080490) BILLING CODE 4310–4N–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [LLAZP02000.L54100000.FR0000. LVCLA09A5130.241A; AZA–34655] Notice of Realty Action: Application for Conveyance of Federally Owned Mineral Interests in Pima County, AZ Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Realty Action. AGENCY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:33 Jun 03, 2013 Jkt 229001 Upon publication of this notice, the BLM is temporarily segregating the federally owned mineral interests in the land covered by the application from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws, for up to 2 years while the BLM processes the application. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is processing an application under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) to convey the federally owned mineral interests of 2,286.19 acres located in Pima County, Arizona, to the surface owner, Freeport-McMoRan Sierrita Inc. DATES: Interested persons may submit written comments to the BLM at the address listed below. Comments must be received no later than July 19, 2013. ADDRESSES: Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix District Office, 21605 North Seventh Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027. Detailed information concerning this action is available for review at this address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benedict Parsons, Realty Specialist, at 623–580–5637. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 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 for the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The location of the federally owned mineral interest segregated by this notice is intended to be identical in location as the privately owned surface interest of the applicant. The tract of land referred to in this notice consists of several miscellaneously shaped parcels of land totaling 2,286.19 acres situated in Pima County, Arizona, and is described as follows: SUMMARY: The area described contains 458.62 acres. Sec. 4, Portions of lots 1 and 2, lying South of the southerly right-of-way of McGee Ranch Road as shown in Book 2 of road maps at Pages 184, 185, and 186, E1⁄2NW1⁄4SW1⁄4, SW1⁄4NW1⁄4SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SW1⁄4SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SE1⁄4SW1⁄4, PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33435 N1⁄2SE1⁄4, N1⁄2SW1⁄4SE1⁄4, and N1⁄2SE1⁄4SE1⁄4, excluding any portion lying within the legal description as described in Quiet Title Judgment, recorded in Superior Court Case No. 312364 on December 17, 1996, in Docket 10443, at Page 2348, together with a portion of that land described in said Quiet Title Judgment falling within SW1⁄4NW1⁄4SE1⁄4 and the NW1⁄4SW1⁄4SE1⁄4, more specifically described as follows: BEGINNING at the South Quarter corner of said Section 4, an aluminum capped pin, marked LS 13007; THENCE North 00 degrees 00 minutes 20 seconds East along the Westerly line of said Southeast Quarter, 1321.95 feet to a 1⁄2 inch rebar; THENCE continue North 00 degrees 00 minutes 20 seconds East, 138.52 feet; THENCE South 89 degrees 59 minutes 40 seconds East, 95.60 feet to the existing fence line; THENCE South 00 degrees 09 minutes 17 seconds West, 1460.40 feet along said fence line to the Southerly line of said Section 4; THENCE South 88 degrees 28 minutes 11 seconds West, 90.98 feet along said Section line to the POINT OF BEGINNING. (As reserved in U. S. patents 1048789, 1048790 and 1080490) The area described contains 242.55 acres. Sec. 5, Lots 1–4, inclusive, S1⁄2NE1⁄4, S1⁄2NW1⁄4, NE1⁄4SE1⁄4, N1⁄2NW1⁄4SE1⁄4, except any portion lying within McGee Ranch Road right-of-way as shown in Book 2 of road maps at Pages 184, 185, and 186, and except any portion lying within the legal description as described in Quiet Title Judgment, recorded in Superior Court Case No. 312364 on December 17, 1996, in Docket 10443, at Page 2348. (As reserved in U. S. patent 843078) The area described contains 366.20 acres. Sec. 6, Lot 1, SE1⁄4NE1⁄4, NE1⁄4SE1⁄4, E1⁄2E1⁄2SW1⁄4SE1⁄4, and SE1⁄4SE1⁄4, excluding Mineral Survey No. 4667 as described in U.S. patent 02–76–0031. (As reserved in U.S. patents 843078 and 1059077) The area described contains 163.16 acres. Sec. 7, SE1⁄4NE1⁄4NW1⁄4, NE1⁄4SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, and SW1⁄4SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, excluding Mineral Survey No. 4667 as described in U.S. patent 02–76–0031. (As reserved in U.S. patent 1077829) The area described contains 15.78 acres. Sec. 10, NE1⁄4NW1⁄4, and S1⁄2NW1⁄4. (As reserved in U.S. patent 1080490) The area described contains 120 acres. Sec. 15, N1⁄2, NE1⁄4SW1⁄4, and W1⁄2SW1⁄4, excluding Mineral Survey No. 4428 as described in U.S. patent 1221420, Mineral Survey No. 4389 as described in U.S. patent 1166564, and Mineral Survey E:\FR\FM\04JNN1.SGM 04JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 107 (Tuesday, June 4, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33433-33435]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13046]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-R-2013-N048; 12560-0000-10137 S3]


Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Bear Lake County, ID, and 
Oxford Slough Waterfowl Production Area, Franklin and Bannock Counties, 
ID; 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 the Environmental 
Assessment (EA) for the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, 
refuge), 7 miles south of Montpelier, Idaho; the refuge-managed Thomas 
Fork Unit (Unit) in Montpelier; and the Oxford Slough Waterfowl 
Production Area (WPA) in Oxford, Idaho. The final CCP describes how we 
will manage the refuge and WPA 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 of 
the document.
    Agency Web site: Download the final CCP and FONSI at http://www.fws.gov/bearlake/refuge_planning.html.
    Email: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include ``Bear Lake NWR CCP'' 
in the subject line of the message.
    U.S. Mail: Annette de Knijf, Refuge Manager, Bear Lake NWR, Box 9, 
Montpelier, ID 83254.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 208-847-1757 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at the Refuge Headquarters at 
322 North 4th St. (Oregon Trail Center), Montpelier, ID. For more 
information on locations for viewing or obtaining documents, see 
``Public Availability of Documents'' under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Annette de Knijf, Refuge Manager, Bear 
Lake NWR, 322 North 4th St. (Oregon Trail Center), Montpelier, ID 
83254; phone (208) 847-1757.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Bear Lake 
National Wildlife Refuge in Bear Lake County, Idaho, and the Oxford 
Slough Waterfowl Production Area in Franklin and Bannock Counties, 
Idaho. We started this process through a notice in the Federal Register 
(75 FR 35829; June 23, 2010). We released the draft CCP/EA to the 
public, announcing and requesting comments in a notice of availability 
in the Federal Register (77 FR 59639; September 28, 2012). For more 
information about the history and purposes of the refuge and WPA, see 
that notice.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
CCP for Bear Lake NWR and Oxford Slough WPA in accordance with National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We 
completed a thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, 
which we included in the draft CCP/EA.
    The final CCP will guide us in managing and administering the 
refuge and WPA for the next 15 years. Alternative 3, as we described in 
the draft CCP/EA, forms the basis of the final CCP.

Background

The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(together referred to as the Refuge Administration Act), 16 U.S.C. 
668dd-668ee, requires us to develop a CCP for each national

[[Page 33434]]

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, our policies, and NEPA. In addition to 
outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their 
habitats, CCPs identify compatible 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 
each CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Refuge 
Administration Act. Implementing a CCP is subject to the availability 
of funding and any additional compliance requirements.

CCP Selected Alternative

    To address issues identified during our CCP planning process, we 
developed and evaluated alternatives and identified the preferred 
alternative for the refuge and WPA. The preferred alternative, which 
was selected for the CCP, is briefly summarized below. For full details 
of all the alternatives, please review the draft CCP/EA (see the Public 
Availability of Documents section for ways to view or obtain the CCP/
EA).
Selected Alternative (Alternative 3)
    Under the Selected Alternative we will continue to provide habitat 
for waterfowl breeding and fall migration at Bear Lake NWR. We will use 
water level manipulations and other strategies to provide a variety of 
wetland habitats that benefit a wide range of priority species. Water 
in the individual wetland units of Bear Lake NWR will be managed to 
simulate natural hydrologic variability (normal, drought, and flood 
conditions), while providing a consistent annual acreage of wetland 
habitat types across the refuge. We will continue to work with 
PacifiCorp to manage water levels on the refuge for wildlife and 
habitat while abiding by the stipulations of the Bear River Compact and 
the 1968 Agreement between PacifiCorp and the Service. We will reduce 
meadow and upland haying operations on Bear Lake NWR, the Thomas Fork 
Unit, and Oxford Slough WPA by 44 percent (3,533 acres to 1,492 acres) 
over the next 15 years, with three 5-year cycles. Farming will be 
reduced from 214 acres to 154 acres. Former cropland and hayed areas 
will be restored to native wet meadow or grassland communities.
    We will work in partnership with PacifiCorp and other stakeholders 
to study and consult on the effects, desirability, and feasibility of 
reducing sediment loading in the Mud Lake Complex of Bear Lake NWR. We 
will analyze the feasibility of, and make recommendations on, 
techniques to exclude carp and non-native game fish within the Mud Lake 
Complex, and work in partnership with PacifiCorp and the Idaho 
Department of Fish and Game to study and consult on the effects of fish 
passage at irrigation diversions and water control structures within 
the Refuge.
    We will manage water at the Thomas Fork Unit to simulate natural 
hydrologic variability (normal, drought, and flood conditions), restore 
stream habitat on the Thomas Fork Unit for spawning Bonneville 
cutthroat trout, and pursue increased reliability of late season water 
at Oxford Slough WPA to benefit nesting waterfowl and waterbirds.
    Public uses that are currently allowed on the refuge and WPA will 
continue. The Thomas Fork Unit will continue to be closed to public 
use. We will construct additional facilities to support wildlife 
observation, photography, environmental education, interpretation, and 
fishing at Bear Lake NWR. Plans for a combined refuge office and small 
visitor contact station with an environmental education classroom on or 
near the refuge will be developed within 5 years of CCP completion, and 
we will seek funding to construct these facilities. We will establish a 
visitor services position in the Southeast Idaho Complex that will 
serve all refuges in the Complex. This will allow the refuge to recruit 
and train volunteers that would assist in providing expanded wildlife-
dependent recreation opportunities.
    Hunting of waterfowl, small game (cottontails), and upland birds 
(gray partridge, grouse, ring-necked pheasant) will continue to be 
allowed on 7,450 acres (40 percent) of Bear Lake NWR, with enhancements 
to improve access. Hunting of waterfowl, small game, upland game birds, 
big game, and trapping of furbearers will continue to be allowed on the 
Oxford Slough WPA in accordance with State regulations.

Comments

    We solicited public comments on the draft CCP/EA for 30 days, from 
September 28 to October 29, 2012 (77 FR 59639). We received comments 
from 14 entities. To address public comments received on the draft CCP/
EA, responsive changes and clarifications were made to the final CCP 
where appropriate. These changes are summarized in the FONSI. The major 
changes follow.
     The strategy ``In partnership with PacifiCorp, Idaho 
Department of Fish and Game, and other partners, construct four fish 
passage ladder projects on the Rainbow bridge; Paris Creek, Paris Dike, 
and Bloomington Creek to increase fish spawning passage and reconnect 
the two most genetically viable populations of Bonneville cutthroat 
trout in the Bear River by 2027'' was changed to: ``Throughout the 
lifetime of the CCP, work in partnership with PacifiCorp and the Idaho 
Department of Fish and Game to study and consult on the effects of fish 
passage at irrigation diversions and water control structures within 
the refuge.''
     The strategy ``Implement feasibility and engineering 
studies on techniques to further reduce sediment loading within the Mud 
Lake Complex. By 2020, provide recommendations to reduce the 
sedimentation rate of Bear River water diversions and better facilitate 
carp and non-native game fish exclusion'' was changed to: ``Work in 
partnership with PacifiCorp and other stakeholders to study and consult 
on the effects, desirability, and feasibility of reducing sediment 
loading in the Mud Lake Unit.'' The strategy ``By 2020, provide 
recommendations to better facilitate carp and non-native game fish 
exclusion'' was added.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments received, we have selected 
Alternative 3 for implementation. The goals, objectives, and strategies 
under Alternative 3 best achieve the purpose and need for the CCP while 
maintaining balance among the varied management needs and programs. 
Alternative 3 addresses the purposes, issues, and relevant mandates of 
the refuge and WPA and is consistent with principles of sound fish and 
wildlife management.

Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to the information in ADDRESSES, you can view copies of 
the draft CCP/EA on the internet at http://www.fws.gov/bearlake/refuge_planning.html, and printed copies will be available for review 
at the following libraries: Bear Lake County Library, 138 North 6th 
Street, Montpelier, ID 83254; Larsen-Sant Public Library, 109 South 1st 
East, Preston, ID 83263.


[[Page 33435]]


    Dated: February 27, 2013.
Richard Hannan,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-13046 Filed 6-3-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P