Patuxent Research Refuge, Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties, MD; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact, 76169-76171 [2013-29832]

Download as PDF pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2013 / Notices discretion of the PHA and provided that the total number of units in a project that will receive project-based voucher (PBV) assistance or other project-based assistance will not exceed 25 percent of the number of dwelling units (assisted or unassisted) in the project or the 20 percent of authorized budget authority, a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract may be amended during the three-year period immediately following the execution date of the HAP contract to add additional PBV contract units in the same project. Granted By: Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. Date Granted: August 9, 2013. Reason Waived: This regulation was waived since the original contract for this project was executed in 2004 and waiving this regulation would ensure the financial stability of the HUD-approved mixed finance project. Contact: Laure Rawson, Director, Housing Voucher Management and Operations Division, Office of Public Housing and Voucher Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4210, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 708–0477. D Regulation: 24 CFR 984.303(d). Project/Activity: San Diego County Housing Authority (SDCHA), San Diego County, CA. Nature of Requirement: This regulation limits extensions of Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) contracts by a public housing agency to two years beyond the initial five-year term of the FSS contract. Granted By: Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. Date Granted: August 29, 2013. Reason Waived: This regulation was waived because failure to complete the contract within the contract term was due to serious health challenges within her family and job market conditions during a severe economic downturn in California. Contact: Laure Rawson, Director, Housing Voucher Management and Operations Division, Office of Public Housing and Voucher Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4210, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 708–0477. D Regulation: 24 CFR 985.101(a). Project/Activity: Ware Housing Authority (WHA), Ware, MA. Nature of Requirement: HUD’s regulation at 24 CFR 985.101(a) provides that a PHA must submit the HUD-required Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) certification form within 60 calendar days after the end of its fiscal year. Granted By: Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. Date Granted: September 16, 2013. Reason Waived: This waiver was granted since the executive director was terminated by the Board of Directors prior to the due date of the SEMAP certification and no one else had entry rights to submit WHA’s certification. WHA was permitted to submit its SEMAP certification after the due date. Contact: Laure Rawson, Director, Housing Voucher Management and Operations VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Dec 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 Division, Office of Public Housing and Voucher Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4210, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 708–0477. D Regulation: 24 CFR 985.101(a). Project/Activity: Chester Housing Authority (CHA), Chester, SC. Nature of Requirement: HUD’s regulation at 24 CFR 985.101(a) provides that a PHA must submit the HUD-required Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) certification form within 60 calendar days after the end of its fiscal year. Granted By: Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. Date Granted: September 30, 2013. Reason Waived: This waiver was granted since the acting executive director resigned in August prior to the due date of the SEMAP certification and no one else had entry rights to submit CHA’s certification. CHA was permitted to submit its SEMAP certification after the due date. Contact: Laure Rawson, Director, Housing Voucher Management and Operations Division, Office of Public Housing and Voucher Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4210, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 708–0477. [FR Doc. 2013–29828 Filed 12–13–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R5–R–2013–N097; BAC–4311–K9–S3] Patuxent Research Refuge, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties, MD; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: 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 Patuxent Research Refuge (Patuxent RR, refuge), located in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties, Maryland. 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/patuxent/ ccphome.html. Email: Send requests to northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76169 ‘‘Patuxent CCP’’ in the subject line of your email. Mail: Bill Perry, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035. Fax: Attention: Bill Perry, 413–253– 8468. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 301–497–5580 to make an appointment (necessary for view/pickup only) during regular business hours at Patuxent RR, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708. For more information on locations for viewing or obtaining documents, see ‘‘Public Availability of Documents’’ under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Brad Knudsen, Refuge Manager, 301–437– 5580 (phone) or Bill Perry, Planning Team Leader, 413–253–8688 (phone); northeastplanning@fws.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Introduction With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Patuxent RR. We started this process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register (76 FR 12563) on March 16, 2010. 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 24929) on October 10, 2012. Patuxent RR was established in 1936 by Executive Order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt ‘‘to effectuate further the purposes of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act’’ and ‘‘as a wildlife experiment and research refuge.’’ The total approved acquisition boundary encompasses 12,841 acres between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC, an area with one of the highest densities of development in the United States. Currently, about 10,000 of Patuxent RR’s 12,841 acres are forest, but the refuge also contains grasslands, freshwater marshes, shrub and early successional forest, and open water. It provides important habitat for a variety of migratory birds of conservation concern. The refuge also offers unique opportunities for environmental education and interpretation in an urban setting. It is home to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, a leading international research institute for wildlife and applied environmental research. We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the final CCP for Patuxent RR in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 76170 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2013 / Notices (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 Patuxent RR 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. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 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 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 (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, 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 24929) addressed several key issues, including: • Evaluating reforestation of the refuge. • Better understanding the implications and trade-offs of habitat management on refuge wildlife. • Identifying and addressing climate change concerns impacting the refuge. • Providing more public use opportunities on the refuge. • Inventorying historic resources on the refuge, providing public access to these resources, and highlighting the historical significance of the refuge. • Expanding and strengthening partnerships. To address these issues and develop a plan based on the refuge’s establishing purposes, vision, and goals, we evaluated three management alternatives for Patuxent RR in the draft CCP/EA. The alternatives have several actions in common. All alternatives VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Dec 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 include measures to control invasive species, monitor and abate diseases affecting wildlife and plant health, coordinate with USGS to house and support research efforts, protect cultural resources, continue existing projects managed by outside programs, and minimize impacts from the shooting ranges located on the refuge. There are also several actions that are common to both alternatives B and C. These include using green technology to update refuge buildings and grounds, constructing additional space for environmental education and interpretation classes, and collaborating with stakeholders on a redesign of the shooting ranges. There are other actions that differ among the alternatives. The draft CCP/EA provides a full description of each alternative and relates each to the issues and concerns that arose during the planning process. Below, we provide summaries of the three alternatives. Management Alternatives Alternative A (Current Management) Alternative A (current management) satisfies the NEPA requirement of a ‘‘no action’’ alternative, which we define as ‘‘continuing current management.’’ It describes our existing management priorities and activities, and serves as a baseline for comparing and contrasting alternatives B and C. It would maintain our present levels of approved refuge staffing and the biological and visitor programs now in place. We would continue to manage for and maintain a diversity of habitats, including forests, forested wetlands, pine-oak savannah, grasslands, and scrub-shrub on the refuge. The refuge would continue to provide an active visitor use program that supports environmental education and interpretation, hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation and photography. Alternative B (Forest Restoration and Mixed Public Use) This alternative is the Servicepreferred alternative. It combines the actions we believe would most effectively achieve the refuge’s purposes, vision, and goals, and respond to the issues raised during the scoping period. It emphasizes the management of specific refuge habitats to support species of conservation concern in the Chesapeake Bay region. In particular, it emphasizes forest biodiversity and ecosystem function. This includes the restoration of a number of impoundments and grasslands to forested areas to support forest interior-dwelling bird species and other forest-dependent species. In addition, alternative B strives to PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 promote wildlife-dependent public uses, while allowing for nonwildlifedependent public uses. In particular, it promotes higher quality hunting and fishing programs, expands wildlife observation and photography opportunities, and initiates new interpretive and environmental education opportunities. Alternative C (Maximize Forest Interior Restoration and Emphasize Wildlifedependent Public Use Activities) Alternative C would focus on maximizing interior forest habitat. This would require active management to restore a majority of impoundments and grasslands into forested areas that would support forest interior-dwelling species, in addition to other species of conservation concern. Alternative C also focuses on accommodating wildlifedependent public uses while minimizing nonwildlife-dependent uses, particularly by expanding wildlife observation and photography opportunities, and reducing the number of special events and interpretive programming. Comments We solicited comments on the draft CCP/EA for Patuxent RR from October 10 to November 26, 2012 (77 FR 24929). During the comment period, we received 73 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 I in the final CCP. Selected Alternative After considering the comments we received on our draft CCP/EA, we made several minor changes to alternative B, including correcting minor editorial, formatting, and typographical errors. These changes are described in the FONSI (appendix H in the final CCP) and in our response to public comments (appendix I in the final CCP). We have selected alternative B to implement for Patuxent RR, 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 H in the final CCP). E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 241 / Monday, December 16, 2013 / Notices Public Availability of Documents You can view or obtain the final CCP, including the FONSI, as indicated under ADDRESSES. Dated: September 30, 2013. Wendi Weber, Regional Director, Northeast Region. [FR Doc. 2013–29832 Filed 12–13–13; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–HQ–IA–2013–N283; FXIA16710900000–145–FF09A30000] Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of receipt of applications for permit. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities. DATES: We must receive comments or requests for documents on or before January 15, 2014. ADDRESSES: Brenda Tapia, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 212, Arlington, VA 22203; fax (703) 358–2280; or email DMAFR@fws.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brenda Tapia, (703) 358–2104 (telephone); (703) 358–2280 (fax); DMAFR@fws.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Public Comment Procedures A. How do I request copies of applications or comment on submitted applications? Send your request for copies of applications or comments and materials concerning any of the applications to the contact listed under ADDRESSES. Please include the Federal Register notice publication date, the PRTnumber, and the name of the applicant in your request or submission. We will not consider requests or comments sent to an email or address not listed under ADDRESSES. If you provide an email address in your request for copies of applications, we will attempt to respond to your request electronically. VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Dec 13, 2013 Jkt 232001 Please make your requests or comments as specific as possible. Please confine your comments to issues for which we seek comments in this notice, and explain the basis for your comments. Include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include. The comments and recommendations that will be most useful and likely to influence agency decisions are: (1) Those supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) Those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. We will not consider or include in our administrative record comments we receive after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or comments delivered to an address other than those listed above (see ADDRESSES). B. May I review comments submitted by others? Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the street address listed under ADDRESSES. The public may review documents and other information applicants have sent in support of the application unless our allowing viewing would violate the Privacy Act or Freedom of Information Act. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. II. Background To help us carry out our conservation responsibilities for affected species, and in consideration of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), along with Executive Order 13576, ‘‘Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government,’’ and the President’s Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009—Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009), which call on all Federal agencies to promote openness and transparency in Government by disclosing information to the public, we invite public comment on these permit applications before final action is taken. PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76171 III. Permit Applications A. Endangered Species Applicant: Dragonwood Conservancy, Eustis, FL; PRT–47027A The applicant requests amendment of their captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) to include Cuban ground iguana (Cyclura nubila nubila), Grand Cayman blue iguana (Cyclura lewisi), and Cayman Brac ground iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis) to enhance the species’ propagation or survival. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Theresa Aronson, Sudbury, MA; PRT–21858B The applicant requests a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for golden parakeet (Guarouba guarouba) to enhance the species’ propagation or survival. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5year period. Applicant: University of Illinois, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Maywood, IL; PRT–21469B The applicant requests a permit to import biological samples from chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) in Kigoma, Tanzania, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species and scientific research on the incidence of disease in the wild population. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Memphis Zoological Garden, Memphis, TN; PRT–671021 The applicant requests renewal of their captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the following families and species, to enhance the species’ propagation or survival. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5year period. Family: Bovidae Canidae Cebidae Cercopithecidae Equidae Felidae (does not include jaguar, margay or ocelot) Hominidae Hylobatidae Lemuridae Rhinocerotidae Columbidae Falconidae Gruidae Psittacidae (does not include the thickbilled parrot) E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 241 (Monday, December 16, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76169-76171]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29832]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2013-N097; BAC-4311-K9-S3]


Patuxent Research Refuge, Prince George's and Anne Arundel 
Counties, MD; 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 Patuxent Research Refuge 
(Patuxent RR, refuge), located in Prince George's and Anne Arundel 
Counties, Maryland. 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/patuxent/ccphome.html.
    Email: Send requests to northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include 
``Patuxent CCP'' in the subject line of your email.
    Mail: Bill Perry, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.
    Fax: Attention: Bill Perry, 413-253-8468.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 301-497-5580 to make an 
appointment (necessary for view/pickup only) during regular business 
hours at Patuxent RR, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708. For 
more information on locations for viewing or obtaining documents, see 
``Public Availability of Documents'' under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Knudsen, Refuge Manager, 301-437-
5580 (phone) or Bill Perry, Planning Team Leader, 413-253-8688 (phone); 
northeastplanning@fws.gov (email).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Patuxent RR. We 
started this process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register 
(76 FR 12563) on March 16, 2010. 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 
24929) on October 10, 2012.
    Patuxent RR was established in 1936 by Executive Order by President 
Franklin D. Roosevelt ``to effectuate further the purposes of the 
Migratory Bird Conservation Act'' and ``as a wildlife experiment and 
research refuge.'' The total approved acquisition boundary encompasses 
12,841 acres between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC, an area 
with one of the highest densities of development in the United States. 
Currently, about 10,000 of Patuxent RR's 12,841 acres are forest, but 
the refuge also contains grasslands, freshwater marshes, shrub and 
early successional forest, and open water. It provides important 
habitat for a variety of migratory birds of conservation concern. The 
refuge also offers unique opportunities for environmental education and 
interpretation in an urban setting. It is home to the U.S. Geological 
Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, a leading 
international research institute for wildlife and applied environmental 
research.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for Patuxent RR in accordance with National Environmental 
Policy Act

[[Page 76170]]

(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 Patuxent RR 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 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 (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, 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 24929) addressed several key issues, 
including:
     Evaluating reforestation of the refuge.
     Better understanding the implications and trade-offs of 
habitat management on refuge wildlife.
     Identifying and addressing climate change concerns 
impacting the refuge.
     Providing more public use opportunities on the refuge.
     Inventorying historic resources on the refuge, providing 
public access to these resources, and highlighting the historical 
significance of the refuge.
     Expanding and strengthening partnerships.
    To address these issues and develop a plan based on the refuge's 
establishing purposes, vision, and goals, we evaluated three management 
alternatives for Patuxent RR in the draft CCP/EA. The alternatives have 
several actions in common. All alternatives include measures to control 
invasive species, monitor and abate diseases affecting wildlife and 
plant health, coordinate with USGS to house and support research 
efforts, protect cultural resources, continue existing projects managed 
by outside programs, and minimize impacts from the shooting ranges 
located on the refuge. There are also several actions that are common 
to both alternatives B and C. These include using green technology to 
update refuge buildings and grounds, constructing additional space for 
environmental education and interpretation classes, and collaborating 
with stakeholders on a redesign of the shooting ranges. There are other 
actions that differ among the alternatives. The draft CCP/EA provides a 
full description of each alternative and relates each to the issues and 
concerns that arose during the planning process. Below, we provide 
summaries of the three alternatives.

Management Alternatives

Alternative A (Current Management)
    Alternative A (current management) satisfies the NEPA requirement 
of a ``no action'' alternative, which we define as ``continuing current 
management.'' It describes our existing management priorities and 
activities, and serves as a baseline for comparing and contrasting 
alternatives B and C. It would maintain our present levels of approved 
refuge staffing and the biological and visitor programs now in place. 
We would continue to manage for and maintain a diversity of habitats, 
including forests, forested wetlands, pine-oak savannah, grasslands, 
and scrub-shrub on the refuge. The refuge would continue to provide an 
active visitor use program that supports environmental education and 
interpretation, hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation and 
photography.
Alternative B (Forest Restoration and Mixed Public Use)
    This alternative is the Service-preferred alternative. It combines 
the actions we believe would most effectively achieve the refuge's 
purposes, vision, and goals, and respond to the issues raised during 
the scoping period. It emphasizes the management of specific refuge 
habitats to support species of conservation concern in the Chesapeake 
Bay region. In particular, it emphasizes forest biodiversity and 
ecosystem function. This includes the restoration of a number of 
impoundments and grasslands to forested areas to support forest 
interior-dwelling bird species and other forest-dependent species. In 
addition, alternative B strives to promote wildlife-dependent public 
uses, while allowing for nonwildlife-dependent public uses. In 
particular, it promotes higher quality hunting and fishing programs, 
expands wildlife observation and photography opportunities, and 
initiates new interpretive and environmental education opportunities.
Alternative C (Maximize Forest Interior Restoration and Emphasize 
Wildlife-dependent Public Use Activities)
    Alternative C would focus on maximizing interior forest habitat. 
This would require active management to restore a majority of 
impoundments and grasslands into forested areas that would support 
forest interior-dwelling species, in addition to other species of 
conservation concern. Alternative C also focuses on accommodating 
wildlife-dependent public uses while minimizing nonwildlife-dependent 
uses, particularly by expanding wildlife observation and photography 
opportunities, and reducing the number of special events and 
interpretive programming.

Comments

    We solicited comments on the draft CCP/EA for Patuxent RR from 
October 10 to November 26, 2012 (77 FR 24929). During the comment 
period, we received 73 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 I in the final CCP.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received on our draft CCP/EA, we 
made several minor changes to alternative B, including correcting minor 
editorial, formatting, and typographical errors. These changes are 
described in the FONSI (appendix H in the final CCP) and in our 
response to public comments (appendix I in the final CCP).
    We have selected alternative B to implement for Patuxent RR, 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 H in the final CCP).

[[Page 76171]]

Public Availability of Documents

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

    Dated: September 30, 2013.
Wendi Weber,
Regional Director, Northeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-29832 Filed 12-13-13; 8:45 a.m.]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P