[Federal Register: May 3, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 84)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
Intent To Revise the Comprehensive Conservation Plan and To
Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Kodiak National Wildlife
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice and Solicitation of Comments.
SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Service is revising the comprehensive
conservation plan (comprehensive plan) for Kodiak National Wildlife
Refuge, Alaska. This notice advises agencies and the public of our
intent to gather information necessary to revise the plan and
associated environmental impact statement (EIS) pursuant to the Alaska
National Interest Lands Conservation Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 3100 et
seq.), the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as
amended (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), and the National Environmental Policy
Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) and its implementing regulations.
Specifically, we are seeking suggestions and information regarding the
scope of issues to be addressed in the revised comprehensive plan and
EIS. The comprehensive plan, completed in 1987, needs to be updated in
response to new and revised laws, regulations and policies, and
changing circumstances, and to provide management direction for about
175,000 acres of land acquired since completion of the comprehensive
plan. In addition, we will re-evaluate the wilderness review and wild
and scenic rivers study that were completed previously for refuge lands
DATES: Comments should be received no later than June 30, 1999.
ADDRESSES: Address comments to: Mike Haase, Refuge Planning, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503; fax:
907/786-3965; electronic mail (E-mail): Mikel__Haase@fws.gov (submit as
ASCII without special characters or any form of encryption or as
WordPerfect files up to Version 8).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Mike Haase at 907/786-3402.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 19, 1941, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt established Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge by Executive
Order 8857. The purpose of the refuge was to preserve the natural
feeding and breeding range of the brown bear and other wildlife.
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) was
signed into law on December 2, 1980. This law clarified how federally
owned lands in Alaska would be managed and used. Section 303 of ANILCA
redesignated Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and added about 50,000
acres on Afognak and Ban islands to the refuge. The purposes for which
Kodiak Refuge was established and shall be managed, as stated in
ANILCA, include: to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats
in their natural diversity; to fulfill the international treaty
obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and
their habitats; to provide the opportunity for continued subsistence
use by local residents; and to ensure water quality and necessary water
quantity within the refuge.
Section 304(g) of ANILCA states that comprehensive plans shall be
prepared and ``from time to time'' revised for each refuge. Before
these comprehensive plans are prepared the following shall be
identified and described: the populations and habitats of the fish and
wildlife resources of the refuge; the special values of the refuge, as
well as any other archeological, cultural, ecological, geological,
historical, paleontological, scenic, or wilderness value of the refuge;
areas of the refuge that are suitable for use as administrative sites
or visitor facilities, or for visitor services; present and potential
requirements for access; and significant problems which may adversely
affect the populations and habitats of fish and wildlife. The
comprehensive plans shall: designate areas within the refuge according
to their respective resources and values; specify programs for
conserving fish and wildlife and maintaining the special values of the
refuge; specify uses which may be compatible with the major purposes of
the refuge; and identify opportunities to be provided for fish and
wildlife-oriented recreation, ecological research, environmental
education and interpretation of refuge resources and values, if they
are compatible with the purposes of the refuge.
The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, which
amended the Refuge Administration Act, includes provisions for system
wide refuge planning. This direction is being incorporated into
national planning policy for the refuge system and will apply to
refuges in Alaska. Should any provisions of the Refuge Administration
Act conflict with the provisions of ANILCA, the provisions of ANILCA
shall prevail for refuges in Alaska.
The Kodiak comprehensive plan, wilderness review, and environmental
impact statement was completed in 1987. A public use management plan
was prepared for the refuge and approved in 1993.
In preparing and revising comprehensive plans ANILCA requires
consultation with appropriate State agencies and Native corporations
and public hearings are to be held at appropriate locations to insure
that those primarily affected by administration of the refuge
(residents of local villages and political subdivisions of the State)
have the opportunity to present their views with respect to the
comprehensive plan revision. Before adopting a comprehensive plan,
public notice in the Federal Register and an opportunity for public
review and comment are required.
The comprehensive plan states that a full review and updating of
the comprehensive plan will occur every 10 to 15 years, more often if
In late 1998 we began reviewing the comprehensive plan for the
refuge to determine if it should be revised.
Implementation of on-the-ground management actions is generally moving
forward and refuge objectives are being accomplished. However, some of
the management direction provided in the comprehensive plan needs to be
updated. New and amended laws (e.g., the Refuge Improvement Act), new
or revised regulations and policies, and changes in circumstances
(e.g., federal management of subsistence hunting on Alaska refuges)
need to be included in the management policies and guidelines.
Management direction for approximately 175,000 acres of land acquired
since the comprehensive plan was completed also needs to be
incorporated into the plan. In addition, we believe that a re-
evaluation of the wild and scenic river study (completed in the late
1970's) and the wilderness review (part of the original comprehensive
plan/EIS) is necessary, given the amount of time that has passed since
the original recommendations were made. Therefore, the Service has
decided that a revision of the Kodiak comprehensive plan is necessary.
This notice formally begins the revision of the comprehensive plan
for the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. As the first step, we are
soliciting comments on the issues to be addressed in the revised plan/
EIS. Comments should be specific and should address refuge resources,
how we manage those resources, and how the public is affected. In
addition to soliciting public comments through this notice, public
comments will be solicited through a newsletter to be mailed to
approximately 2,000 individuals and organizations on our mailing list.
The comprehensive plan revision will be addressed during a series of
community meetings to be held in Akhiok, Karluk, Larsen Bay, Old
Harbor, Ouzinkie, and Port Lions in March and April 1999. Meetings will
be scheduled during May in Kodiak and Anchorage. Once issues are
identified, we will develop options to address the issues and prepare a
draft comprehensive plan/EIS. This document is scheduled to be released
for public review in the fall of 2000. After public review and comment
on the draft comprehensive plan/EIS, including public hearings, a final
comprehensive plan/EIS will be prepared and released.
Acting Deputy Regional Director, Anchorage, Alaska.
[FR Doc. 99-10947 Filed 4-30-99; 8:45 am]
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