[Federal Register: October 1, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 190)]
[Page 58944]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Arapaho 
National Wildlife Refuge, Walden, CO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Summary for Arapaho National 
Wildlife Refuge is available. This CCP, prepared pursuant to the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 and the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, describes how the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service intends to manage this Refuge for the next 15 

ADDRESSES: A copy of the Plan or Summary may be obtained by writing to 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. 
Box 457, 953 Jackson County Road 32, Walden, Colorado 80480-
0457; or download from http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/planning.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ann Timberman, Project Leader, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 
457, 953 Jackson County Road 32, Walden, Colorado 80480-0457. 
Phone 970-723-8202; fax 970-723-8528; or e-mail: 



    Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), comprised of 23,243 acres, 
is long and narrow and is nearly bisected throughout its length by the 
Illinois River, within the headwaters of the North Platte River basin, 
in Jackson County, northern Colorado. The Refuge is situated in a high 
valley locally known as North Park where the native upland plant 
community is dominated by sagebrush and grasses, and bottomland plant 
associations include grassy wet meadows and willow-dominated riparian 
habitats, as well as natural and man-made wetlands. Over 250 species of 
birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes utilize, occur at, or 
migrate through this Refuge as well as over 390 species of plants, 
including one federally endangered species endemic only to North Park. 
Arapaho NWR was established by Congress in 1967 with two purposes: ``* 
* * for uses as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management 
purpose, for migratory birds (Migratory Bird Conservation Act); and ``* 
* * for the development, advancement, management, conservation, and 
protection of fish and wildlife resources * * *'' and ``* * * for the 
benefit of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in performing 
its activities and services.''
    The availability of the Draft CCP and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for 30-day public review and comment was announced in the Federal 
Register on August 13, 2003, in Volume 68, Number 156. The Draft CCP/EA 
identified and evaluated four alternatives for managing Arapaho NWR for 
the next 15 years. Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative, would have 
continued current management of the Refuge. Alternative 4 (Preferred 
Alternative) emphasizes achieving the biological potential of the 
Refuge through restoration of riparian habitat functions, enhancement 
and protection of wet meadow and wetland habitats and research on 
upland sage-steppe habitats within the Refuge as well as promoting 
partnerships and cooperating with other agencies and groups to enhance 
wildlife-dependent activities throughout North Park. Alternative 2 
would have emphasized working on achieving the purposes of the Refuge 
through activities at the North Park landscape level while Alternative 
3 would have maximized wildlife benefits by focusing on habitat 
restoration, enhancement and protection and de-emphasizing public use 
opportunities at the Refuge.
    Based on this assessment and comments received, the Preferred 
Alternative 4 was selected for implementation. The preferred 
alternative was selected because it best meets the purposes and goals 
of the Refuge, as well as the goals of the National Wildlife Refuge 
System. The preferred alternative will also benefit prairie dogs, large 
ungulates, shore birds, migrating and nesting waterfowl, and 
neotropical migrants, as well as improvements in water quality from 
riparian habitat restoration. Environmental education and partnerships 
will result in improved wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities 
throughout North Park. Cultural and historical resources will be 

    Dated: August 11, 2004.
John A. Blankenship,
Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 04-22045 Filed 9-30-04; 8:45 am]