Winnie Chan, 510-792-0222
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released for public review and comment a draft of the Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge. The draft Plan articulates conservation issues and presents management alternatives for the remote refuge, located 28 miles off the coast of San Francisco in San Francisco County.
The draft CCP/EA identifies and evaluates four alternatives for managing the refuge for the next 15 years. Each alternative describes a combination of wildlife, habitat, and public use management prescriptions designed to achieve the purposes for which the refuge was established. Comments will be accepted from the public through February 20, 2009.
The 211-acre Farallon National Wildlife Refuge consists of four groupings that were designated in 1909, "as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds" (Executive Order 1043, Feb. 27, 1909). The refuge supports the largest seabird breeding colony in the contiguous United States and provides wintering and nesting habitat for migratory seabirds and pinnipeds. In 1974, Congress designated all the islands except for Southeast as the Farallon Wilderness.
Highlights of the plan:
--Continue to provide breeding and resting habitat for migratory seabirds and marine mammals (primarily seals and sea lions);
--Monitor seabird and marine mammal population size and reproduction success;
--Eradicate nonnative house mice and remove individual problem western gulls affecting seabird populations;
--Continue management activities to restore native plants;
--Expands opportunities for education through the development of new school and public education materials;
--Develop a workshop for charter boat staff and naturalists to enhance the off-refuge tours they provide to the public; and
--Develop a visitor services plan that evaluates and implements on-site public uses such as guided tours.
A notice of availability of the CCP/EA was published in the Federal Register December 22 and is available on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/E8-30308.pdf . The draft CCP/EA can be viewed or downloaded from the Services refuge planning website at http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/farallon Copies are also available from the refuge office at 9500 Thornton Ave., Newark, CA 94560.
Comments on the draft CCP/EA should be mailed to: Winnie Chan, Refuge Planner, Farallon NWR CCP, San Francisco Bay NWR Complex, 9500 Thornton Avenue, Newark, CA 94560.You may also e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org"> or fax them to (510) 792?5828. If submitting by fax or e-mail, please type FNWR CCP in the subject line.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin, and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/cno.