Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact, 56088-56090 [2014-22272]

Download as PDF 56088 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 181 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5760–N–01] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Regional Analysis of Impediments Guidance for Sustainable Communities Grantees Office of the Economic Resilience, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment. SUMMARY: Comments Due Date: November 17, 2014. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410–5000; DATES: telephone 202–402–3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at Colette.Pollard@hud.gov for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the tollfree Federal Relay Service at (800) 877– 8339. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathryn Dykgraaf, Program Analyst, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10180, Washington, DC 20410; email at Kathryn.C.Dykgraaf@hud.gov or telephone 202–402–6731. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. This is not a toll-free number. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Dykgraaf. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A. A. Overview of Information Collection Title of Information Collection: Regional Analysis of Impediments Guidance for Sustainable Communities Grantees. OMB Approval Number: 2501–0031. Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection. Form Number: N/A. Description of the need for the information and proposed use: HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities presently requires all Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) Regional Planning grantees to complete a Fair Housing Equity Assessment. The grantees each have the option of choosing to develop a Regional Analysis of Impediments (AI) in lieu of the FHEA, which (if prepared in accordance with the standards set forth below and in the Fair Housing Planning Guide) would fulfill the FHEA requirement as well as the HUD AFFH regulatory requirement for any participating jurisdiction or state that signed on. The option to prepare a regional AI also offers SCI grantees an opportunity to develop more meaningful deliverables while conserving resources and reducing duplication. This guidance, a written product reflecting the information shared in the 2012 online webinars, will assist grantees in structuring their fair housing analyses. Respondents: Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grantees. Number of respondents Frequency of response Responses per annum Burden hour per response Annual burden hours Hourly cost per response Annual cost Total ............................. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Information collection 40 Every 5 years 8 200 1600 $40 $64,000 B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:27 Sep 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 Authority: Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35. Dated: September 12, 2014. Harriet Tregoning, Director, Office of Economic Resilience. [FR Doc. 2014–22325 Filed 9–17–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P Conservation Plan (CCP) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, which includes the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and Coachella Valley NWR. In the CCP, we describe how we will manage these Refuges for the next 15 years. The CCP and FONSI are available now. The FONSI was signed on March 6, 2014. Implementation of the CCP will begin immediately. DATES: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R8–R–2014–N062; FXRS12610800000–145–FF08R00000] Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex; 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 our final Comprehensive SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI by any of the following methods. You may request a CD–ROM. A limited number of paper copies are available. Agency Web site: Download a copy of the document(s) at http://www.fws.gov/ refuge/Sonny_Bono_Salton_Sea/what_ we_do/planning.html. Email: Victoria_Touchstone@fws.gov. Include ‘‘Sonny Bono Salton Sea CCP’’ in the subject line of the message. Fax: Attn: Victoria Touchstone, 619– 476–9149. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\18SEN1.SGM 18SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 181 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 / Notices U.S. Mail: Victoria Touchstone, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 2358, Chula Vista, CA 91912. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Copies of the final CCP and FONSI may also be viewed at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR Office between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; call 760–348–5278 for directions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Victoria Touchstone, Refuge Planner, at 619–476–9150, extension 103 (by telephone; you may also use one of the methods under ADDRESSES), or Chris Schoneman, Project Leader, at 760–348– 5278, extension 227. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, which includes the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and Coachella Valley NWR. The Refuge Complex is located in parts of Imperial and Riverside Counties, California. In the CCP, we describe how we will manage these Refuges for the next 15 years. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background The Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR was established as a 32,766-acre sanctuary and breeding ground for birds and other wildlife in 1930 (Executive Order 5498). Additional leased lands have been added to the Refuge under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 715d), ‘‘for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds,’’ and the Lea Act (16 U.S.C. 695), ‘‘for the management and control of migratory waterfowl, and other wildlife.’’ Today, with the original Refuge lands covered by the waters of the Salton Sea, management activities are focused on about 2,000 acres of primarily leased land. Approximately 900 acres consist of managed wetlands that support resident and migratory birds, and another 850 acres are farmed to provide forage for wintering geese and other migratory birds. Existing public uses include waterfowl hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, interpretation, and scientific research. The Coachella Valley NWR was established in 1985 under the authorities of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1534), ‘‘to conserve (A) fish or wildlife which are listed as endangered species or threatened species or (B) plants.’’ The 3,577-acre Refuge, which is part of the larger Coachella Valley Preserve, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:27 Sep 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 protects the federally listed endangered Coachella Valley milk-vetch (Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae) and threatened Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata), as well as other desert-dwelling species adapted to living in the sand dune habitat of the Coachella Valley. Access onto the Refuge is limited to a designated corridor for equestrian and hiking use. We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the final CCP for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR Complex 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 environmental assessment (EA) that accompanied the draft CCP. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd–668ee) (Administration Act), as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to develop a CCP for each national 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, 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 intend to review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Administration Act. Our draft CCP and EA were available for a 30-day public review and comment period, which we announced via several methods, including press releases, updates to constituents, and a Federal Register notice (78 FR 44144; July 23, 2013). The draft CCP/EA identified and evaluated three alternatives for managing the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and three alternatives for managing the Coachella Valley NWR for the next 15 years. Alternatives Considered Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR Under Alternative A (no action), management would continue unchanged. Under Alternative B (preferred alternative), the Service would expand current habitat PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 56089 management activities to enhance habitat quality, particularly in managed wetlands and agricultural fields; initiate the phased restoration of shallow saline water habitat at Red Hill Bay, an area of the Salton Sea that has recently receded; implement predator management to protect nesting western gull-billed terns (Gelochelidon nilotica vanrossemi) and black skimmers (Rynchops niger); and implement an integrated pest management (IPM) plan to control invasive plants. Various actions were also proposed to improve existing public use facilities and provide additional opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. Under Alternative C, the Service would implement wildlife and habitat management actions, including predator management and an IPM plan, similar to those proposed in Alternative B. The proposals for public use in Alternative C would focus on enhancing existing facilities in Units 1 and 2, rather than providing additional public use facilities. Coachella Valley NWR Under Alternative A (no action), management would continue unchanged. Under Alternative B (preferred alternative), the Service would increase listed and sensitive species management; implement an IPM plan to control invasive plants; enhance the habitat quality of an old agricultural site by reintroducing appropriate native plant species; and, in partnership with others, develop and implement a longterm sand transport monitoring plan. Also proposed is an expanded public outreach program. Occasional guided tours of the Refuge would continue at current levels, and the only public access onto the Refuge would occur on a designated trail corridor that extends along portions of the Refuge’s western and northern boundary. The remainder of the Refuge would continue to be closed to the public. Under Alternative C, the Service would expand current management to protect listed and sensitive species; implement an IPM Plan to control invasive plants; and initiate a comprehensive restoration plan for an old agricultural site on the Refuge to restore creosote bush scrub habitat. In addition, the existing public outreach program would be expanded and interpretive signs would be installed along the existing trail corridor. Occasional guided tours of the Refuge would continue at current levels, and public access would continue to be limited to the existing public trail corridor. All other areas within the E:\FR\FM\18SEN1.SGM 18SEN1 56090 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 181 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 / Notices Refuge would remain closed to the public. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service Selected Alternative for Each Refuge asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES During the review period for the draft CCP and EA, we received 13 letters containing over 85 comments. Comments focused on land tenure, Colorado River water history, water rights, water levels in the Salton Sea, groundwater availability in the Coachella Valley, cultural resource protection, water quality, geothermal development, restoration of Red Hill Bay, protection of nesting western gullbilled terns, and restoration and management of the Salton Sea. We incorporated comments we received into the CCP when appropriate, and we responded to the comments in an appendix to the CCP. In the FONSI, we selected Alternative B (restore and enhance habitat quality; expand opportunities for wildlife observation, environmental education, and interpretation) for implementation on the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and Alternative B (expand management actions to support listed and sensitive species; expand public outreach) for implementation on the Coachella Valley NWR. The FONSI documents our decision and is based on information and analysis contained in the EA. The alternative we selected for each of the Refuges within the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR Complex was determined to be the alternative that would most effectively achieve Refuge purposes, goals, and objectives; contribute to the National Wildlife Refuge System mission; and be consistent with principles of sound fish and wildlife management. Implementation of the selected alternative will be subject to the availability of funding and other resources, and may occur incrementally over the life of the 15-year plan. Based on the associated EA, the selected alternatives are not expected to result in significant environmental impacts and therefore do not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement. Alexandra Pitts, Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2014–22272 Filed 9–17–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:27 Sep 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 [FWS–R1–R–2013–N221; 12560–0000–10137 S3] Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, American Samoa; Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact for Environmental Assessment Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the environmental assessment (EA) for the Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR or Refuge). In this CCP, we describe how we will manage the Refuge for the next 15 years. ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the 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 CCP and FONSI at www.fws.gov/pacific/ planning or www.fws.gov/refuge/Rose_ Atoll/what_we_do/planning.html. Email: FW1PlanningComments@ fws.gov. Include ‘‘Rose Atoll NWR CCP’’ in the subject line of the message. Fax: Attn: Project Leader, (808) 792– 9586. Mail: Pacific Reefs National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 5–231, Box 50167, Honolulu, HI 96813. In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/Marine National Monument, c/o National Park Service, Pago Pago, AS 96799. For more information on locations for viewing or obtaining documents, see ‘‘Public Availability of Documents’’ under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan White, Project Leader, phone (808) 792–9481. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Introduction With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for the Refuge. We started this process with a notice of intent published in the Federal Register (74 FR 57701; November 9, 2009). We released the Draft CCP/EA to the public in a notice of availability requesting comments published in the Federal Register (77 FR 61426; October 9, 2012). We announce the availability of the FONSI for the CCP/EA in accordance PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We completed a thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment in the Draft CCP/EA. Rose Atoll NWR, located in American Samoa, was established in 1973 to conserve and protect fish and wildlife resources. The CCP will guide us in managing and administering the Refuge for the next 15 years. Alternative B in the Draft CCP/EA was selected for implementation. To address public comments received on the Draft CCP/ EA, changes and clarifications were made to the Final CCP where appropriate. A summary of the public comments we received is included in the Final CCP with our responses. Background 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) and other acts, 16 U.S.C. 668dd– 668ee, requires us to develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. We develop a CCP to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan for achieving refuge purposes and contributing toward the National Wildlife Refuge System’s mission, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and our policies. We will review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Refuge Administration Act. Selected Alternative Under the selected alternative, refuge management will emphasize protecting, restoring and maintaining habitats including the lagoon, perimeter crustose coralline algal reef, ava (channel), beach strand, and littoral forest, as well as species that rely on these habitats (e.g., corals, fish, seabirds, shorebirds, sea turtles, native plants, giant clams, and other invertebrates). Strategies for accomplishing the above include developing monitoring protocols, installing a remote camera system, increasing surveys, implementing a rapid response program to control existing and prevent new nonnative species, restoring native plants, and increasing applied research. Increasing the frequency of management trips to the Refuge and strengthening partnerships with the American Samoa Government, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and other partners are key components of our management direction. More frequent E:\FR\FM\18SEN1.SGM 18SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 181 (Thursday, September 18, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56088-56090]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-22272]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2014-N062; FXRS12610800000-145-FF08R00000]


Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex; 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 our final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea 
National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, which includes the Sonny Bono 
Salton Sea NWR and Coachella Valley NWR. In the CCP, we describe how we 
will manage these Refuges for the next 15 years.

DATES: The CCP and FONSI are available now. The FONSI was signed on 
March 6, 2014. Implementation of the CCP will begin immediately.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI by 
any of the following methods. You may request a CD-ROM. A limited 
number of paper copies are available.
    Agency Web site: Download a copy of the document(s) at http://
www.fws.gov/refuge/SonnyBonoSaltonSea/
whatwedo/planning.html.
    Email: VictoriaTouchstone@fws.gov. Include ``Sonny Bono 
Salton Sea CCP'' in the subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Victoria Touchstone, 619-476-9149.

[[Page 56089]]

    U.S. Mail: Victoria Touchstone, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
P.O. Box 2358, Chula Vista, CA 91912.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Copies of the final CCP and FONSI may 
also be viewed at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR Office between 8 a.m. 
to 3 p.m.; call 760-348-5278 for directions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Victoria Touchstone, Refuge Planner, 
at 619-476-9150, extension 103 (by telephone; you may also use one of 
the methods under ADDRESSES), or Chris Schoneman, Project Leader, at 
760-348-5278, extension 227.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce the availability of our final Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan (CCP) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) 
for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, 
which includes the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and Coachella Valley NWR. 
The Refuge Complex is located in parts of Imperial and Riverside 
Counties, California. In the CCP, we describe how we will manage these 
Refuges for the next 15 years.

Background

    The Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR was established as a 32,766-acre 
sanctuary and breeding ground for birds and other wildlife in 1930 
(Executive Order 5498). Additional leased lands have been added to the 
Refuge under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 
U.S.C. 715d), ``for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other 
management purpose, for migratory birds,'' and the Lea Act (16 U.S.C. 
695), ``for the management and control of migratory waterfowl, and 
other wildlife.'' Today, with the original Refuge lands covered by the 
waters of the Salton Sea, management activities are focused on about 
2,000 acres of primarily leased land. Approximately 900 acres consist 
of managed wetlands that support resident and migratory birds, and 
another 850 acres are farmed to provide forage for wintering geese and 
other migratory birds. Existing public uses include waterfowl hunting, 
fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, 
interpretation, and scientific research.
    The Coachella Valley NWR was established in 1985 under the 
authorities of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1534), 
``to conserve (A) fish or wildlife which are listed as endangered 
species or threatened species or (B) plants.'' The 3,577-acre Refuge, 
which is part of the larger Coachella Valley Preserve, protects the 
federally listed endangered Coachella Valley milk-vetch (Astragalus 
lentiginosus var. coachellae) and threatened Coachella Valley fringe-
toed lizard (Uma inornata), as well as other desert-dwelling species 
adapted to living in the sand dune habitat of the Coachella Valley. 
Access onto the Refuge is limited to a designated corridor for 
equestrian and hiking use.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR Complex 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 environmental assessment (EA) 
that accompanied the draft CCP.
    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act), as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to develop 
a CCP for each national 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, 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 intend to review and update the CCP at 
least every 15 years in accordance with the Administration Act.
    Our draft CCP and EA were available for a 30-day public review and 
comment period, which we announced via several methods, including press 
releases, updates to constituents, and a Federal Register notice (78 FR 
44144; July 23, 2013). The draft CCP/EA identified and evaluated three 
alternatives for managing the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and three 
alternatives for managing the Coachella Valley NWR for the next 15 
years.

Alternatives Considered

Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR

    Under Alternative A (no action), management would continue 
unchanged. Under Alternative B (preferred alternative), the Service 
would expand current habitat management activities to enhance habitat 
quality, particularly in managed wetlands and agricultural fields; 
initiate the phased restoration of shallow saline water habitat at Red 
Hill Bay, an area of the Salton Sea that has recently receded; 
implement predator management to protect nesting western gull-billed 
terns (Gelochelidon nilotica vanrossemi) and black skimmers (Rynchops 
niger); and implement an integrated pest management (IPM) plan to 
control invasive plants. Various actions were also proposed to improve 
existing public use facilities and provide additional opportunities for 
wildlife observation and photography.
    Under Alternative C, the Service would implement wildlife and 
habitat management actions, including predator management and an IPM 
plan, similar to those proposed in Alternative B. The proposals for 
public use in Alternative C would focus on enhancing existing 
facilities in Units 1 and 2, rather than providing additional public 
use facilities.

Coachella Valley NWR

    Under Alternative A (no action), management would continue 
unchanged. Under Alternative B (preferred alternative), the Service 
would increase listed and sensitive species management; implement an 
IPM plan to control invasive plants; enhance the habitat quality of an 
old agricultural site by reintroducing appropriate native plant 
species; and, in partnership with others, develop and implement a long-
term sand transport monitoring plan. Also proposed is an expanded 
public outreach program. Occasional guided tours of the Refuge would 
continue at current levels, and the only public access onto the Refuge 
would occur on a designated trail corridor that extends along portions 
of the Refuge's western and northern boundary. The remainder of the 
Refuge would continue to be closed to the public.
    Under Alternative C, the Service would expand current management to 
protect listed and sensitive species; implement an IPM Plan to control 
invasive plants; and initiate a comprehensive restoration plan for an 
old agricultural site on the Refuge to restore creosote bush scrub 
habitat. In addition, the existing public outreach program would be 
expanded and interpretive signs would be installed along the existing 
trail corridor. Occasional guided tours of the Refuge would continue at 
current levels, and public access would continue to be limited to the 
existing public trail corridor. All other areas within the

[[Page 56090]]

Refuge would remain closed to the public.

Selected Alternative for Each Refuge

    During the review period for the draft CCP and EA, we received 13 
letters containing over 85 comments. Comments focused on land tenure, 
Colorado River water history, water rights, water levels in the Salton 
Sea, groundwater availability in the Coachella Valley, cultural 
resource protection, water quality, geothermal development, restoration 
of Red Hill Bay, protection of nesting western gull-billed terns, and 
restoration and management of the Salton Sea. We incorporated comments 
we received into the CCP when appropriate, and we responded to the 
comments in an appendix to the CCP. In the FONSI, we selected 
Alternative B (restore and enhance habitat quality; expand 
opportunities for wildlife observation, environmental education, and 
interpretation) for implementation on the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR and 
Alternative B (expand management actions to support listed and 
sensitive species; expand public outreach) for implementation on the 
Coachella Valley NWR. The FONSI documents our decision and is based on 
information and analysis contained in the EA.
    The alternative we selected for each of the Refuges within the 
Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR Complex was determined to be the alternative 
that would most effectively achieve Refuge purposes, goals, and 
objectives; contribute to the National Wildlife Refuge System mission; 
and be consistent with principles of sound fish and wildlife 
management. Implementation of the selected alternative will be subject 
to the availability of funding and other resources, and may occur 
incrementally over the life of the 15-year plan. Based on the 
associated EA, the selected alternatives are not expected to result in 
significant environmental impacts and therefore do not require the 
preparation of an environmental impact statement.

Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, 
California.
[FR Doc. 2014-22272 Filed 9-17-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P