[Federal Register: September 14, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 177)]
[Page 54401-54402]
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 and 
Associated Environmental Assessment for Howland Island, Baker Island, 
and Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuges

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is gathering 
information necessary to prepare Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCP) 
and associated environmental documentation for Howland Island National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Baker Island NWR, and Jarvis Island NWR

[[Page 54402]]

(refuges, collectively). These refuges are unincorporated insular 
areas, or U.S. territories, located near the equator in the Pacific 
Ocean, approximately 1,300 to 1,600 miles south to southwest of 
Honolulu, Hawaii, and are administered as units of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System. The Service is publishing this notice in 
compliance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act 
of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.) and the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing regulations for the 
following purposes: (1) To advise the public and other agencies of this 
effort; (2) to obtain public comments, suggestions, and information on 
the issues to be addressed in the CCP; and (3) to determine interest 
from public and other agencies in attending public scoping meetings. 
Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media announcements 
will be used to inform the public and foreign, State, and local 
government agencies of the opportunities for input throughout the 
planning process.

DATES: Please provide written comments by October 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, requests for more information, or requests 
to be added to the mailing list for this project to: Charles Pelizza, 
Refuge Conservation Planner, Pacific and Remote Islands National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 5-231, Honolulu, HI 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles Pelizza, Refuge Conservation 
Planner, (808) 792-9490, or visit the following Service Web sites:
    (1) http://pacific.fws.gov/planning    (2) http://www.fws.gov/pacific/pacificislands/wnwr/pbakernwr.html.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Howland Island NWR, Baker Island NWR, and 
Jarvis Island NWR, established in 1974, collectively contain the 
following habitats: Approximately 1,946 acres of emergent island, and 
101,806 acres of coral reefs, submerged lands, and associated waters. 
Howland Island and Baker Island are part of the Phoenix Islands and 
Jarvis Island is part of the Line Island archipelago. These island 
refuges and their coral reefs provide habitat for thousands of nesting 
seabirds, endemic coral reef fish, giant clams, sea turtles, marine 
mammals, and other endangered species. With the exception of brief 
research and management visits, the refuges are closed to public 
visitation to: protect their fragile ecosystems from invasion by exotic 
species; and provide nesting habitat for seabirds that is free of 
predators and excessive human disturbance.
    By Federal law, all lands within the National Wildlife Refuge 
System are to be managed in accordance with an approved CCP. The 
purpose of a CCP is to develop a vision for a refuge and provide 
management guidance for maintenance, restoration, and use of refuge 
resources during the next 15 years. During the planning process, the 
Service will consider many elements including wildlife and habitat 
management, public recreational activities, and cultural resource 
protection. The comments and suggestions from the public on how the 
refuges should be managed will be considered during the development of 
the CCP.
    Several preliminary issues have been identified and will be 
addressed in the CCP. These issues include: continued cooperation and 
communication with a growing list of partners and cooperators in 
planning and implementing refuge management activities; evaluating 
recreational opportunities; increasing opportunities to monitor and 
collect adequate baseline biological information such as wildlife 
populations or the presence of invasive species; and improving 
recognition by the public and other agencies regarding refuge 
boundaries, mandates, and management activities. Additional issues will 
be identified during public scoping.

CCP Process: Public Comment Opportunities

    With the publication of this notice, the public is encouraged to 
submit written comments. Public comments received will be used by the 
Service to identify issues to be considered in preliminary 
alternatives. As the CCP process progresses, two more public comment 
periods will be announced and occur as follows: when the preliminary 
alternatives are developed and released for public review and comments; 
and when the alternatives are then refined and analyzed in a draft CCP/
NEPA document which is also released for public review and comments. 
All comments received become part of the public record and may be 
released. Comments already submitted are on record and need not be 

    Dated: September 6, 2005.
David J. Wesley,
Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 05-18206 Filed 9-13-05; 8:45 am]