[Federal Register: July 20, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 138)]
[Page 41786-41787]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of availability of Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
for Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge, Marion, Montana

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announce that a Draft 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for Lost Trail 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 years.

DATES: Written comments must be received at the postal or electronic 
address listed below on or before August 19, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Please provide written comments to Bernardo Garza, Planning 
Team Leader, Division of Planning, Branch of Comprehensive Conservation 
Planning, Mountain-Prairie Region, PO Box 25486, Denver Federal Center, 
Denver, Colorado 80225-0486, or electronically to 
bernardo_garza@fws.gov. A copy of the Draft Plan and Environmental Assessment 

may be obtained by writing to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lost 
Trail National Wildlife Refuge, 6900A Pleasant Valley Road, Marion, 
Montana 59955; or download from http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/planning

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ray Washtak, Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge, 6900A 
Pleasant Valley Road, Marion, Montana 59955; telephone: (406) 858-2216; 
fax: (406) 858-2218; or e-mail: ray_washtak@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), 
comprised of nearly 9,300 acres, is long and narrow, and is nearly 
bisected throughout its length by the Pleasant Valley Road in Flathead 
County, in extreme northwestern Montana. This refuge was established in 
1999 and is nestled in Montana's Pleasant Valley, within the Fisher 
River Watershed. Lost Trail NWR can be described as a long valley 
crossed by Pleasant Valley Creek and encompassing the 182-acre Dahl 
Lake. Lost Trail NWR is comprised of wetlands, riparian corridors, 
uplands dominated by prairie and tame grasses, and temperate forests 
dominated by lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir. Besides numerous migratory 
waterfowl and neotropical bird species, this refuge is home to 
federally listed species such as the bald eagle, black tern, boreal 
toad, and Spalding's catchfly. Canada lynx and trumpeter swan 
occasionally use refuge habitats, and the grizzly bear, gray wolf, and 
bull trout occur in Pleasant Valley. Lost Trail NWR was established by 
Congress with the following purposes: (1) For use by migratory birds, 
with emphasis on waterfowl and other water birds; (2) for the 
conservation of fish and wildlife resources; (3) for fish and wildlife-
oriented recreation; and (4) for the conservation of endangered and 
threatened species.
    This Draft CCP/EA identifies and evaluates four alternatives for 
managing Lost Trail NWR for the next 15 years. Alternative D, the No 
Action Alternative, proposes continuation of current management of the 
refuge. Alternative A (Proposed Action) emphasizes restoration and 
maintenance of Dahl Lake, and other native habitats, in vigorous 
condition to promote biological diversity. High importance is placed on 
the control of invasive plant species with partners and integrated pest 
management. It provides habitat in order to contribute to conservation, 
enhancement and recovery of federally listed species; and possible 
modification of public uses to protect visitors, and minimize harmful 
interaction between users and listed species. Alternative B emphasizes 
manipulation of habitat to promote wildlife populations to provide the 
public with abundant quality wildlife

[[Page 41787]]

recreation, as well as, active research, documentation, and 
interpretation of cultural resources. This alternative calls for a 
contact station staffed 7 days a week. Alternative C calls for 
restoration of habitats to historic conditions, and allowance of 
natural processes to manage habitats; provides for increased protection 
of listed species, and de-emphasizing public use opportunities at the 
refuge (such as no fishing and hunting, except by special permits).
    The Proposed Action was selected because it best meets the purposes 
and goals of Lost Trail NWR, as well as the goals of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System. The Proposed Action will benefit migrating and 
nesting waterfowl and neotropical migrants, shore birds, federally 
listed species, large ungulates, as well as improvements in water 
quality from riparian habitat restoration. Environmental education and 
partnerships will result in improved wildlife-dependent recreational 
opportunities. Cultural and historical resources will be protected.

    Dated: May 27, 2005.
Ron Shupe,
Acting Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, CO.
[FR Doc. 05-14223 Filed 7-19-05; 8:45 am]