Proposed Programmatic Statewide Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Agreement, Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWC or Applicant) has applied to the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for an enhancement of survival permit (ESP) pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The ESP application includes a proposed Safe Harbor Agreement (Agreement) for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, (Picoides borealis) (RCW), for a period of 99 years. If approved, the Agreement would allow the Applicant to issue Certificates of Inclusion (CI) throughout the State of Florida to eligible non-Federal landowners that complete an approved Safe Harbor Management Agreement (SHMA). We announce the opening of a 30-day comment period and request comments from the public on the Applicant's ESP application; the accompanying proposed Agreement, and the supporting Environmental Action Statement (EAS) Screening Form. All comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the official administrative record and may be made available to the public, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act. For further information and instructions on reviewing and commenting on this application, see the ADDRESSES section, below.
Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge
The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge are available for review and comment. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires the Service to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation plan is to provide refuge manages with a 15- year strategy 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 Service policies, In addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, plans identify wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation. Significant issues addressed in the draft plan include: threatened and endangered species, waterfowl management, neotropical migratory birds, bottomland hardwood restoration, fisheries management, visitor services, funding and staffing, cultural resources, and land protection.