[Federal Register: May 13, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 92)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
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
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
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,
[FR Doc. 99-12050 Filed 5-12-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P