[Federal Register: October 5, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 194)]
[Page 59460-59461]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent to Prepare Comprehensive Conservation Plan for 
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Williamson, Jackson and Union 
Counties, IL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent (Revised) to prepare a Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan (CCP) for Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.


SUMMARY: This revised notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) intends to gather information necessary to 
prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and an associated 
environmental document for Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in 
Williamson, Jackson and Union Counties, Illinois. The Service is 
furnishing this notice in compliance with Service comprehensive 
conservation plan policy and the National Environmental Policy Act and 
implementing regulations to achieve the following:
    (1) Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and
    (2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues, 
opportunities, and concerns for inclusion in the environmental 

DATES: The Service will solicit information from the public via open 
houses, workshops, focus groups, and written comments. Special 
mailings, newspapers articles and radio announcements will inform 
people of the time and place of open houses. The date, time and place 
of open houses will also be posed on the Crab Orchard National Wildlife 
Refuge planning web site: http://www.fws.gov/r3pao/planning/cotop.htm
    Public Involvement: Public scoping will begin with three open 
houses in October. The first meeting is scheduled Thursday, October 19, 
from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Southwestern Illinois College in Red Bud, 
Illinois. The College is located at 500 West South Fourth Street. The 
meeting will be in the Dining Room of the New Classroom Building. A 
second meeting is scheduled Friday, October 20, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
at the Marion Hotel and Conference Center in Marion, Illinois. The 
hotel is located at 2600 West DeYoung Street near the intersection of 
Interstate 57 (Exit 54B) and Illinois New Route 13. A third open house 
is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Crab Orchard National Wildlife 
Refuge Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is located on the east side 
of Route 148 about 1\3/4\ miles south of the intersection of Route 148 
and New Route 13.

ADDRESSES: Address comments and requests from more information to: 
Refuge Manager, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, 8588 Route 148, 
Marion, IL 62959; or E-mail: conwr-ccp@fws.gov

Coordinator, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 8588 Route 148, Marion, IL 62959-9970, telephone 618-
997-3344; or Mr. John Schomaker, Refuge Planning Specialist, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, RO/AP, BHW Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Ft. 
Snelling, MN 55111, telephone 612-713-5476.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It is Service policy to have all lands 
within the National Wildlife Refuge System managed in accordance with 
an approved comprehensive conservation plan. The plan guides management 
decisions and identifies Refuge goals, objectives, and strategies for 
achieving Refuge purposes. Public input into this planning process is 
encouraged. The plan will provide other agencies and the public with a 
clear understanding of the desired future conditions of the Refuge and 
how the Service will implement management strategies. Some of the 
issues to be addressed in the plan include the following:
    (a) Habitat management;
    (b) Public use management;
    (c) Wildlife population management;
    (d) Wilderness management;
    (e) Industrial facilities management; and
    (f) Cultural resource identification and protection.
    After the public scoping of issues, a decision will be made whether 
to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact 
statement. If we decide to prepare an environmental impact statement, 
another notice of intent will be published announcing that decision. 
The environmental assessment or environmental impact statement will 
include several alternatives that address the issues and management 
strategies associated with these topics.
    Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge was established on August 5, 
1947, by Public law 80-361. This Act of Congress transferred certain 
Federal lands acquired in connection with the Crab Orchard Creek 
project and the Illinois Ordnance Plant to the Secretary of the 
Interior. This legislation

[[Page 59461]]

mandated that these lands be administered by the Secretary through the 
Fish and Wildlife Service ``for the conservation of wildlife, and for 
the development of the agricultural, recreational, industrial, and 
related purposes specified in this Act.''
    The 43,890-acre Refuge contains three large man-made lakes and 
numerous small ponds totaling 9,000 acres, 26,000 acres of forest and 
brush land, 5,000 acres of cropland, 2,000 acres of grassland, and 
2,000 acres of administrative lands. The Refuge supports an extensive 
variety of plant and animal species, hosts 1.2 million recreational 
visitors per year, provides facilities for industrial tenants, and 
sponsors cooperative farmers and permittee graziers. The 4,050-acre 
Crab Orchard Wilderness, the first wilderness are a designated in the 
State of Illinois, is within the Refuge.

    Dated: September 29, 2000.
Marvin E. Moriarty,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 00-25552 Filed 10-4-00; 8:45 am]