Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; Monument Management Plan, 72214-72216 [2021-27535]

Download as PDF jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 72214 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 21, 2021 / Notices extended from or completed prior to the time established by this notice. ADDRESSES: Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar. SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; (843) 571– 4366; email: Julie.neer@safmc.net. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multistep process including: (1) Data Workshop; (2) Assessment Process utilizing webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a data report that compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Process is a stock assessment report that describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, HMS Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and NGO’s; International experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies. The items of discussion in the webinar are as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:02 Dec 20, 2021 Jkt 256001 Participants will discuss and make recommendations regrading what life history data may be included in the assessment of U.S. Caribbean Queen Triggerfish. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 business days prior to each workshop. Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change. (Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) Dated: December 16, 2021. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–27614 Filed 12–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [RTID 0648–XB606] Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; Monument Management Plan National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce; Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of intent; request for comments. AGENCY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), as co-leads, announce their intention to prepare a Monument Management Plan (MMP) for the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (Monument). NOAA and USFWS are updating their original SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 notice of intent to draft the MMP to include information about the expansion of the Monument in 2014, and to announce that NOAA and USFWS are co-leads in drafting the MMP. NOAA and USFWS are seeking input on issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of the Monument. NOAA and USFWS will also prepare a draft environmental assessment, concurrent with the management plan, to evaluate potential effects of implementing the proposed management alternatives for the Monument. Following the completion of the MMP, USFWS will prepare new individual Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCPs) and revise existing CCPs for National Wildlife Refuges within the Monument, as appropriate. DATES: We must receive comments by January 20, 2022. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2021–0122, by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to https://www.regulations.gov and enter NOAA–NMFS–2021–0122 in the Search box. Click on the ‘‘Comment’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Send written comments to Dr. Malia Chow, Branch Chief, Habitat Conservation Division, Pacific Islands Regional Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Inouye Regional Center, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received or uploaded after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA and USFWS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. We will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Additional information about the Monument and the seven refuge units is available at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/ pacific_remote_islands_marine_ national_monument and https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pacific-islands/ habitat-conservation/pacific-remoteislands-marine-national-monument. E:\FR\FM\21DEN1.SGM 21DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 21, 2021 / Notices Dr. Malia Chow, NOAA, (808) 725–5015, or malia.chow@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NOAA and USFWS are co-leads in the preparation of the MMP for the Monument, which was established by Presidential Proclamation 8336 and expanded by Presidential Proclamation 9173. With this notice, NOAA and USFWS update their original 2011 notice of intent (April 5, 2011, 76 FR 18775). NOAA and USFWS are making the updates to include the 2014 expansion of the Monument and to identify NOAA and USFWS as co-leads in drafting the MMP (previously, USFWS was the lead agency). A draft environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential effects of implementing the proposed management alternatives will also be prepared. When the draft MMP and EA are complete, NOAA and USFWS will publish a notice of availability to obtain comments and input from the public and other Federal agencies on the draft documents. We invite the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments to submit input on issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of the Monument. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 Monument Establishment On January 6, 2009, President George W. Bush issued Presidential Proclamation No. 8336, establishing the Monument under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431– 433). Upon establishment, the Monument incorporated approximately 495,189 square nautical miles (nm2), or 1,282,534 square kilometers (km2), within its boundaries, which extended 50 nm (93 km) out from the mean low water lines of Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands; Johnston, Palmyra, and Wake Atolls; and Kingman Reef. On September 25, 2014, President Barack Obama issued Presidential Proclamation No. 9173, which expanded the Monument by expanding the area around Jarvis Island and Johnston and Wake Atolls to include the waters and submerged lands to the extent of the seaward limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, generally to 200 nm (370 km) offshore. Monument Natural Resources The Monument contains significant objects of scientific interest and is home to one of the most widespread assemblages of marine and terrestrial protected areas in the Pacific Ocean. It is designated to protect and sustain many endemic (not found elsewhere) species, including corals, fish, shellfish, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:02 Dec 20, 2021 Jkt 256001 marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation. The 2014 expansion areas provide habitat and forage for tuna, turtles, manta rays, sharks, cetaceans, and seabirds. These areas also contain pristine deep sea and open ocean ecosystems with unique biodiversity, and approximately 165 seamounts (undersea mountains) that provide habitat for colonies of deepwater corals that are many thousands of years old. Agency Responsibilities The Proclamations require the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce, who delegated management responsibilities to USFWS and NOAA to prepare an MMP within their respective authorities for the Monument, and to promulgate implementing regulations that address specific actions necessary for the proper care and management of the Monument. With this notice, the Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce commit to working cooperatively together and with partners and stakeholders in the development of the MMP. Military Role in Management In accordance with the Proclamation, USFWS Director will not commence management of emergent lands at Wake Atoll unless and until a use agreement between the Secretary of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Interior is terminated. The Secretary of Defense also continues to manage those portions of the emergent lands of Johnston Atoll under the administrative jurisdiction of the Defense Department until such administrative jurisdiction is terminated, at which time those emergent lands shall be administered as part of the Monument and the Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR; Refuge). However, the MMP will recommend management actions for marine areas surrounding both Johnston and Wake Atolls. Fishing The Proclamations prohibit commercial fishing within the Monument. Consistent with this requirement, the MMP will not consider management alternatives to allow commercial fishing. The Proclamations do allow the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce to permit fishing for scientific exploration and research purposes. Noncommercial fishing may also be permitted, as long as it is managed as a sustainable activity. The noncommercial fishing permit process is established; information is available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 72215 permit/marine-national-monumentfishing-permit. Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) NOAA is responsible for the stewardship of the Nation’s ocean resources and their habitats, or ‘‘trust resources,’’ primarily through the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The trust resources are living marine resources and their habitats, including but not limited to commercial and recreational fishery resources, endangered and threatened marine species and their designated critical habitats, marine mammals, marine turtles, marshes, mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, other coastal habits, and areas identified as essential fish habitat (EFH), in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act. EFH is made up of those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity. Using the EFH, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act consultation processes, NOAA will work in collaboration and coordination with USFWS, partner agencies, project proponents, and stakeholders to conserve these trust resources. Overview of Refuges and Previous Planning Efforts Within the boundaries of the Monument, USFWS continues to administer pre-existing national wildlife refuges at Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands; Wake, Johnston, and Palmyra Atolls; and Kingman Reef, in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd–668ee; Refuge System Administration Act, as amended). USFWS manages these individual refuges, and the Monument as a whole, as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS). Howland Island, Baker Island, and Jarvis Island Howland Island, Baker Island, and Jarvis Island are unique places for climate change research and other research conducted at the Equator. These areas have deepwater corals, coral reefs, and corals in near-pristine condition, as well as predatordominated marine ecosystems with a biomass of top predators. CCPs were completed for the Baker Island, Howland Island, and Jarvis Island NWRs on September 24, 2008 (73 FR 76678; December 17, 2008). CCPs are required for each refuge in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act. E:\FR\FM\21DEN1.SGM 21DEN1 72216 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 21, 2021 / Notices Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll have relatively undisturbed coral reefs, with high levels of coral diversity, fish biomass, and large proportions of apex predators relative to other areas in the central Pacific Ocean. Johnston Atoll Johnston Atoll’s coral reefs help connect the Hawaiian Archipelago reef communities to others in the Pacific. This reef community is the originating source for much of the larvae for the Hawaiian Islands’ corals, invertebrates, and other reef fauna. The atoll’s reefs have the deepest reef-building corals on record. Wake Atoll Wake Atoll encompasses possibly the oldest living coral atoll in the world and has healthy and abundant coral and fish populations. CCPs have not been completed for Palmyra, Kingman, Wake, and Johnston Atoll NWRs. For the current MMP planning process, USFWS will focus on appropriate conservation and management recommendations for all refuges. Following the completion of the MMP, USFWS will prepare new CCPs and revise existing CCPs, as appropriate. Monument Management Plan Development Process The purpose for developing an MMP is to provide monument managers with a 15-year direction for the proper care and management of the significant objects of scientific interest that are within the boundaries of the Monument. The MMP will be consistent with Refuge purposes and will contribute toward the mission of the NWRS. The MMP will be consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and sound principles of marine protected area planning and fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and applicable policies. The EA will evaluate the impacts of implementing the proposed draft management plan, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321, as amended). jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 Public Involvement NOAA and USFWS will conduct the planning process in a manner that will provide participation opportunities for the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments. At this time, NOAA and USFWS encourage comments in the form of issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of the Monument. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:02 Dec 20, 2021 Jkt 256001 Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Below, we have identified the following preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities that may be addressed in the MMP. Additional issues may be identified during public scoping. Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Survey of Postgraduate Outcomes for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Program • Climate impacts and management approach • Invasive species prevention and control • Management access, maintenance, and island infrastructure • Seabird protection and management • Scientific exploration and research opportunities • Marine debris and abandoned floating fishing aggregation device removal • Cultural, historic, and maritime resources protection • Past and current military use • Legacy contaminants management and cleanup • Potential threats (e.g., trespass; illegal fishing; and shipwrecks, groundings, and spills) • Public awareness, education, and support • Emergency response to natural and manmade disasters and assessments • Inventory and monitoring of biological organisms and abiotic (nonliving) factors • Surveillance and enforcement regarding illegal fishing • Permit system for allowable public activities (special uses, recreational fishing) • Methods and best management practices for habitat conservation and restoration actions • International programs and collaboration • Opportunities for sustainable practices in management operations Next Steps USFWS and NOAA will consider all the public comments received from this NOI in developing the draft MMP. The draft MMP and EA will be made available for public comment once they are completed. Ngagne Jafnar Gueye, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, Columbia-Pacific Northwest and Pacific Islands Regions, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–27535 Filed 12–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [Docket No. ED–2021–SCC–0171] Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing a reinstatement with change of a previously approved collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before February 22, 2022. ADDRESSES: To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED– 2021–SCC–0171. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at ICDocketMgr@ed.gov. Please include the docket ID number and the title of the information collection request when requesting documents or submitting comments. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the PRA Coordinator of the Strategic Collections and Clearance Governance and Strategy Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, LBJ, Room 6W208D, Washington, DC 20202–8240. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Pamela Maimer, (202) 453–6891. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21DEN1.SGM 21DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 242 (Tuesday, December 21, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72214-72216]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-27535]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[RTID 0648-XB606]


Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument; Monument 
Management Plan

AGENCY:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce; 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), as co-leads, announce their 
intention to prepare a Monument Management Plan (MMP) for the Pacific 
Remote Islands Marine National Monument (Monument). NOAA and USFWS are 
updating their original notice of intent to draft the MMP to include 
information about the expansion of the Monument in 2014, and to 
announce that NOAA and USFWS are co-leads in drafting the MMP. NOAA and 
USFWS are seeking input on issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for 
the future management of the Monument. NOAA and USFWS will also prepare 
a draft environmental assessment, concurrent with the management plan, 
to evaluate potential effects of implementing the proposed management 
alternatives for the Monument. Following the completion of the MMP, 
USFWS will prepare new individual Comprehensive Conservation Plans 
(CCPs) and revise existing CCPs for National Wildlife Refuges within 
the Monument, as appropriate.

DATES: We must receive comments by January 20, 2022.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2021-0122, by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to https://www.regulations.gov and enter NOAA-NMFS-2021-0122 in the Search box. 
Click on the ``Comment'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter 
or attach your comments.
     Mail: Send written comments to Dr. Malia Chow, Branch 
Chief, Habitat Conservation Division, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 
National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Inouye Regional Center, 1845 
Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received or uploaded after the end of the 
comment period, may not be considered by NOAA and USFWS. All comments 
received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted 
for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal 
identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential 
business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted 
voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. We will accept 
anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to 
remain anonymous).
    Additional information about the Monument and the seven refuge 
units is available at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/pacific_remote_islands_marine_national_monument and https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pacific-islands/habitat-conservation/pacific-remote-islands-marine-national-monument.

[[Page 72215]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Malia Chow, NOAA, (808) 725-5015, 
or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NOAA and USFWS are co-leads in the 
preparation of the MMP for the Monument, which was established by 
Presidential Proclamation 8336 and expanded by Presidential 
Proclamation 9173. With this notice, NOAA and USFWS update their 
original 2011 notice of intent (April 5, 2011, 76 FR 18775). NOAA and 
USFWS are making the updates to include the 2014 expansion of the 
Monument and to identify NOAA and USFWS as co-leads in drafting the MMP 
(previously, USFWS was the lead agency). A draft environmental 
assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential effects of implementing the 
proposed management alternatives will also be prepared. When the draft 
MMP and EA are complete, NOAA and USFWS will publish a notice of 
availability to obtain comments and input from the public and other 
Federal agencies on the draft documents.
    We invite the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local 
governments to submit input on issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions 
for the future management of the Monument.

Monument Establishment

    On January 6, 2009, President George W. Bush issued Presidential 
Proclamation No. 8336, establishing the Monument under the authority of 
the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431-433). Upon establishment, 
the Monument incorporated approximately 495,189 square nautical miles 
(nm\2\), or 1,282,534 square kilometers (km\2\), within its boundaries, 
which extended 50 nm (93 km) out from the mean low water lines of 
Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands; Johnston, Palmyra, and Wake Atolls; 
and Kingman Reef. On September 25, 2014, President Barack Obama issued 
Presidential Proclamation No. 9173, which expanded the Monument by 
expanding the area around Jarvis Island and Johnston and Wake Atolls to 
include the waters and submerged lands to the extent of the seaward 
limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, generally to 200 nm (370 km) 
offshore.

Monument Natural Resources

    The Monument contains significant objects of scientific interest 
and is home to one of the most widespread assemblages of marine and 
terrestrial protected areas in the Pacific Ocean. It is designated to 
protect and sustain many endemic (not found elsewhere) species, 
including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water 
birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation. The 2014 expansion areas 
provide habitat and forage for tuna, turtles, manta rays, sharks, 
cetaceans, and seabirds. These areas also contain pristine deep sea and 
open ocean ecosystems with unique biodiversity, and approximately 165 
seamounts (undersea mountains) that provide habitat for colonies of 
deepwater corals that are many thousands of years old.

Agency Responsibilities

    The Proclamations require the Secretaries of the Interior and 
Commerce, who delegated management responsibilities to USFWS and NOAA 
to prepare an MMP within their respective authorities for the Monument, 
and to promulgate implementing regulations that address specific 
actions necessary for the proper care and management of the Monument. 
With this notice, the Department of the Interior and Department of 
Commerce commit to working cooperatively together and with partners and 
stakeholders in the development of the MMP.

Military Role in Management

    In accordance with the Proclamation, USFWS Director will not 
commence management of emergent lands at Wake Atoll unless and until a 
use agreement between the Secretary of the Air Force and the Secretary 
of the Interior is terminated. The Secretary of Defense also continues 
to manage those portions of the emergent lands of Johnston Atoll under 
the administrative jurisdiction of the Defense Department until such 
administrative jurisdiction is terminated, at which time those emergent 
lands shall be administered as part of the Monument and the Johnston 
Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR; Refuge). However, the MMP will 
recommend management actions for marine areas surrounding both Johnston 
and Wake Atolls.

Fishing

    The Proclamations prohibit commercial fishing within the Monument. 
Consistent with this requirement, the MMP will not consider management 
alternatives to allow commercial fishing. The Proclamations do allow 
the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce to permit fishing for 
scientific exploration and research purposes. Noncommercial fishing may 
also be permitted, as long as it is managed as a sustainable activity. 
The noncommercial fishing permit process is established; information is 
available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/permit/marine-national-monument-fishing-permit.

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act)

    NOAA is responsible for the stewardship of the Nation's ocean 
resources and their habitats, or ``trust resources,'' primarily through 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The trust resources are living marine 
resources and their habitats, including but not limited to commercial 
and recreational fishery resources, endangered and threatened marine 
species and their designated critical habitats, marine mammals, marine 
turtles, marshes, mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, other coastal 
habits, and areas identified as essential fish habitat (EFH), in 
accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act. EFH is made up of those 
waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, 
or growth to maturity. Using the EFH, Endangered Species Act, and 
Marine Mammal Protection Act consultation processes, NOAA will work in 
collaboration and coordination with USFWS, partner agencies, project 
proponents, and stakeholders to conserve these trust resources.

Overview of Refuges and Previous Planning Efforts

    Within the boundaries of the Monument, USFWS continues to 
administer pre-existing national wildlife refuges at Baker, Howland, 
and Jarvis Islands; Wake, Johnston, and Palmyra Atolls; and Kingman 
Reef, in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee; Refuge System 
Administration Act, as amended). USFWS manages these individual 
refuges, and the Monument as a whole, as part of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System (NWRS).

Howland Island, Baker Island, and Jarvis Island

    Howland Island, Baker Island, and Jarvis Island are unique places 
for climate change research and other research conducted at the 
Equator. These areas have deepwater corals, coral reefs, and corals in 
near-pristine condition, as well as predator-dominated marine 
ecosystems with a biomass of top predators. CCPs were completed for the 
Baker Island, Howland Island, and Jarvis Island NWRs on September 24, 
2008 (73 FR 76678; December 17, 2008). CCPs are required for each 
refuge in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act.

[[Page 72216]]

Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll

    Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll have relatively undisturbed coral 
reefs, with high levels of coral diversity, fish biomass, and large 
proportions of apex predators relative to other areas in the central 
Pacific Ocean.

Johnston Atoll

    Johnston Atoll's coral reefs help connect the Hawaiian Archipelago 
reef communities to others in the Pacific. This reef community is the 
originating source for much of the larvae for the Hawaiian Islands' 
corals, invertebrates, and other reef fauna. The atoll's reefs have the 
deepest reef-building corals on record.

Wake Atoll

    Wake Atoll encompasses possibly the oldest living coral atoll in 
the world and has healthy and abundant coral and fish populations. CCPs 
have not been completed for Palmyra, Kingman, Wake, and Johnston Atoll 
NWRs. For the current MMP planning process, USFWS will focus on 
appropriate conservation and management recommendations for all 
refuges. Following the completion of the MMP, USFWS will prepare new 
CCPs and revise existing CCPs, as appropriate.

Monument Management Plan Development Process

    The purpose for developing an MMP is to provide monument managers 
with a 15-year direction for the proper care and management of the 
significant objects of scientific interest that are within the 
boundaries of the Monument. The MMP will be consistent with Refuge 
purposes and will contribute toward the mission of the NWRS. The MMP 
will be consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and sound principles 
of marine protected area planning and fish and wildlife management, 
conservation, legal mandates, and applicable policies. The EA will 
evaluate the impacts of implementing the proposed draft management 
plan, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 
U.S.C. 4321, as amended).

Public Involvement

    NOAA and USFWS will conduct the planning process in a manner that 
will provide participation opportunities for the public and Federal, 
Tribal, State, and local governments. At this time, NOAA and USFWS 
encourage comments in the form of issues, concerns, ideas, and 
suggestions for the future management of the Monument.

Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    Below, we have identified the following preliminary issues, 
concerns, and opportunities that may be addressed in the MMP. 
Additional issues may be identified during public scoping.

 Climate impacts and management approach
 Invasive species prevention and control
 Management access, maintenance, and island infrastructure
 Seabird protection and management
 Scientific exploration and research opportunities
 Marine debris and abandoned floating fishing aggregation 
device removal
 Cultural, historic, and maritime resources protection
 Past and current military use
 Legacy contaminants management and cleanup
 Potential threats (e.g., trespass; illegal fishing; and 
shipwrecks, groundings, and spills)
 Public awareness, education, and support
 Emergency response to natural and manmade disasters and 
assessments
 Inventory and monitoring of biological organisms and abiotic 
(nonliving) factors
 Surveillance and enforcement regarding illegal fishing
 Permit system for allowable public activities (special uses, 
recreational fishing)
 Methods and best management practices for habitat conservation 
and restoration actions
 International programs and collaboration
 Opportunities for sustainable practices in management 
operations

Next Steps

    USFWS and NOAA will consider all the public comments received from 
this NOI in developing the draft MMP. The draft MMP and EA will be made 
available for public comment once they are completed.

Ngagne Jafnar Gueye,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, Columbia-Pacific Northwest and Pacific Islands 
Regions, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-27535 Filed 12-20-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P