[Federal Register: May 13, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 92)]
[Page 25899-25900]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Revise the Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Togiak National 
Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice and solicitation of comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) intends to revise 
the comprehensive conservation plan (comprehensive plan) for the Togiak 
National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. The Service furnishes this notice to 
advise agencies and the public of its intentions, and to gather 
information needed to revise the plan in compliance with 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), the National Environmental Policy Act, 
as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) and its implementing regulations. 
Specifically, we would like suggestions on the scope of issues which 
should be addressed in the plan. We will also evaluate the wilderness 
review and wild and scenic rivers study that were completed previously 
for refuge lands and waters.

DATES: Comments should be received no later than November 1, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Address comments to Margaret Arend, Refuge Planning Office, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 
99503, telephone (907) 786-3393; fax (907) 786-3965.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: For additional information, contact Margaret

[[Page 25900]]

Arend, Refuge Planning, at (907)786-3393, fax (907) 786-3965.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.) was signed into law 
on December 2, 1980. The broad purpose of this law is to provide for 
the disposition and use of a variety of federally owned lands in 
Alaska. Section 303 of ANILCA established Togiak National Wildlife 
Refuge which includes the Cape Newenham National Wildlife Refuge. 
ANILCA lists the purposes for which Togiak Refuge was established and 
is managed, which are 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 uses by local residents; and to ensure water quality and 
necessary water quantity within the refuge. Section 304(g) of ANILCA 
directs the Service to prepare comprehensive plans for all refuges and 
to revise them ``from time to time.''
    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, which 
amended the Refuge Administration Act, also includes requirements for 
system wide refuge planning. Should any provisions of the Refuge 
Administration Act conflict with the provisions of ANILCA, the 
provisions of ANILCA shall prevail for refuges in Alaska. Plans 
identify and describe: 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 plans 
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 Togiak comprehensive plan was completed in 1987. Much of the 
management direction in the comprehensive plan is now out of date due 
to changes in laws, regulations, and circumstances. In 1991 the Service 
completed a public use management plan which provided additional 
guidance for management of public use along popular sport fishing 
rivers. In 1997 the Refuge began to revise the public use management 
plan to address increasing public use of the Refuge. The Service has 
decided to combine the comprehensive plan and the public use management 
plan and prepare one revised comprehensive conservation plan and 
environmental impact statement for the Refuge.
    This notice formally begins the revision of the comprehensive plan 
for the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. In addition to soliciting 
public comments through this notice, public comments on issues to be 
addressed in the revision will be solicited through newsletters and 
other mailings. The comprehensive plan revision will be discussed 
during community meetings in Togiak, Quinhagak, Goodnews, Platinum, 
Manokotak, Alegnigik, Clark's Point, Dillingham and Anchorage, AK 
between April and November 1999. Once issues are identified, the 
Service will identify options to address the issues and prepare a draft 
comprehensive plan and draft environmental impact statement. This 
document is scheduled to be released for public review in the fall of 
2000. After public review and comment on the draft plan and 
environmental impact statement, including public meetings, a final plan 
and environmental impact statement will be prepared and released.
    In preparing and revising the plan, the Service will consult with 
appropriate State agencies and Native corporations and will hold public 
meetings to ensure that residents of local villages and political 
subdivisions of the State which are most affected by administration of 
the Refuge have the opportunity to present their views on the plan 
revisions. Before adopting a plan, The Service will publish a notice in 
the Federal Register and will provide an opportunity for public views 
and comment.
    Electronic Access: Interested persons may submit comments and data 
by electronic mail (E-mail) to: Maggi__Arend@fws.gov. Submit electronic 
comments as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and 
any form of encryption. WordPerfect Version 8 or compatible file 
formats are acceptable.

David B. Allen,
Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 99-12050 Filed 5-12-99; 8:45 am]