[Federal Register: June 11, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 112)]
[Page 31247-31248]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Associated National Environmental Policy Act Document for the 
Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge, Butte, Glenn, and Tehama 
Counties, California.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is preparing a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) document for Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge 
(NWR). This notice advises the public that the Service intends to 
gather information necessary to prepare a CCP and environmental 
documents pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966, as amended, and NEPA. The public is invited 
to participate in the planning process. The Service is furnishing this 
notice in compliance with the Service CCP policy:
    1. To advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and
    2. To obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental documents.
    3. To announce a series of public open houses to occur in May and 
June 2001. Information about the time and location of the open house is 
available by contacting the Refuge.

DATES: To ensure that the Service has adequate time to evaluate and 
incorporate suggestions and other input into the planning process, 
comments should be received on or before July 11, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments or requests to be added to the mailing 
list to the following address: Planning Team Leader--Sacramento River 
NWR, California / Nevada Refuge Planning Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1916, Sacramento, California, 95825.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Miki Fujitsubo, Planning Team 
Leader, (916) 414-6507.

History and Background

    The Refuge was established in 1989 by the authority provided under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Emergency Wetlands Resources 
Act of 1986, using monies made available through the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund Act of 1965. The Service proposed acquisition of 
18,000 acres of land for establishment of the multi-unit Sacramento 
River NWR. The multiple units of the refuge are located along both 
banks of the Sacramento River between Red Bluff and Princeton in Glenn, 
Butte, and Tehama Counties, California. A combination of fee title and 
conservation easement acquisitions was used to protect this habitat.
    Riparian habitat along the Sacramento River has been identified as 
critically important for various threatened and endangered species, 
fish, migratory birds, plants, and to the natural ecosystem of the 
River itself. There has been an 89 percent reduction of riparian 
vegetation throughout the Sacramento

[[Page 31248]]

Valley and foothills region, and probably in excess of a 95 percent 
reduction along the Valley's major river systems. The relatively small 
amount of remaining riparian woodland provides a strikingly 
disproportionate amount of habitat value for wildlife.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966, as amended, mandates that all lands within 
the National Wildlife Refuge System are to be managed in accordance 
with an approved CCP. The CCP will guide management decisions and 
identify refuge goals, long-range objectives and management strategies 
for achieving refuge purposes. The planning process will consider many 
elements, including habitat and wildlife management, habitat 
protection, cultural resources, and environmental effects. Public input 
into this planning process is very important. The CCP will provide 
other agencies and the public with a clear understanding of the desired 
conditions for the refuges and how the Service will implement 
management strategies.
    The Service is soliciting information from the public via written 
comments. The Service will send out special mailings, newspaper 
articles, and announcements to people who are interested in the refuge. 
These mailings will provide information on how to participate in public 
involvement for the CCP. Comments received will be used to develop 
goals, key issues, and habitat management strategies. Additional 
opportunities for public participation will occur throughout the 
process, which is expected to be completed in mid-2002. Data collection 
has been initiated to create computerized mapping, including 
vegetation, topography, habitat types and existing land uses.
    The outcome of this planning process will be a CCP to guide refuge 
management for the next 15 years and accompanying NEPA document.
    We have estimated that a draft CCP and NEPA document will be made 
available for public review in early 2002.

    Dated: May 17, 2001.
John Engbring,
Acting California/Nevada Operations Manager,U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service,Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 01-14577 Filed 6-8-01; 8:45 am]