[Federal Register: January 24, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 16)]
[Page 7660]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Establishment of the Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved 
the establishment of the Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge in the 
central Pacific Ocean to protect the coral reef ecosystem for the 
benefit of the wildlife that live on the lands and in the waters of the 

DATES: This action was effective on January 18, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles Houghten with the Fish and 
Wildlife Service in Portland, Oregon, 503-231-6207.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (we) approved the establishment of the Kingman Reef National 
Wildlife Refuge to protect approximately 25,874 acres (10,478.97 
hectares) of submerged coral reefs, and includes a total of 483,699 
acres (195,898.09 hectares) of submerged lands. The refuge boundary is 
designated to the extent of the 12-nautical mile (12 NM) territorial 
sea. In addition to a spectacular diversity of coral reef fishes, 
corals, and other marine organisms, Kingman Reef provides roosting, 
feeding and other essential habitat for migratory Pacific seabirds, and 
supports migratory shorebirds, and threatened green sea turtles.
    The authority to establish the Kingman Reef National Wildlife 
Refuge is the Endangered Species Act of 1976, as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531-1544). The U.S. Navy has a defense reservation over Kingman Reef, 
but it may be revoked in the future. We have been delegated 
administrative jurisdiction and control of Kingman Reef, including the 
reefs and territorial waters surrounding the island, by the Secretary 
of the Interior for the purpose of carrying out the mission of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System in accordance with the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee).
    The refuge encompasses emergent lands, coral reefs, and submerged 
lands and associated waters to 12-NM. We will manage the refuge for the 
conservation and management of native species of wildlife and fish and 
their habitats. We will give wildlife species identified as endangered 
or threatened management priority and will emphasize the stewardship of 
endangered and threatened sea turtles, migratory seabirds that forage 
in the refuge waters, and the coral reef and pelagic wildlife. Our 
management actions include protection of the refuge waters and wildlife 
from commercial fishing activities, enhancement of the environment 
through the implementation of navigational guidelines and aids to 
navigation that will protect the shallow reefs from maritime 
groundings, periodic monitoring surveys of the coral reef environment, 
and periodic clearance of any marine debris. We will, through the 
establishment of the refuge, establish a no-take marine preserve in the 
waters of the refuge. Therefore, we will close the refuge to commercial 
fishing. We will also do scientific research and monitoring.
    In compliance with our policy and the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, we distributed an Environmental Assessment and a 
Conceptual Management Plan for a 30-day public review and comment 
period. We evaluated two alternatives for the protection and management 
of wildlife and habitat.
    Based on the documentation contained in the revised Environmental 
Assessment and Conceptual Management Plan, we signed a Finding of No 
Significant Impact on January 17, 2001. The Conceptual Management Plan 
will serve as an interim management plan until we develop a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan.

    Dated: January 18, 2001.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-2148 Filed 1-23-01; 8:45 am]