[Federal Register: October 17, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 199)]
[Page 60365]
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 
Environmental Assessment for Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

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

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is preparing a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
document for Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This notice 
advises the public that the Service intends to gather information 
necessary to prepare a CCP and an EA pursuant to the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended, and the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The public is invited to participate in the 
planning process. The Service is furnishing this notice in compliance 
with the Service's CCP policy to:
    1. Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions; and
    2. Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental documents.
    The Service will solicit information from the public via open 
houses, meetings, and written comments. Special mailings, newspaper 
articles, refuge Web site postings, and announcements will provide 
information regarding opportunities for public involvement in the 
planning process. The first public meetings are scheduled for the week 
of November 7, 2005.

DATES: Please provide written comments to the address below by December 
1, 2005.
    Send Comments To: Thomas Bonetti, Refuge Planner, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, Massachusetts, 01035. 
Additional information is available on the refuge Web site at: http://primehook.fws.gov

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Bonetti, Refuge Planner, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, 
Massachusetts, 01035, 413-253-8307; or e-mail 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), 
the Service is to manage all lands within the National Wildlife Refuge 
System in accordance with an approved CCP. The plan guides management 
decisions and identifies refuge goals, long-range objectives, and 
strategies for achieving refuge purposes. The planning process will 
consider many elements, including wildlife and habitat management, 
public recreational activities such as hunting and fishing, and 
cultural resource protection. Public input into the planning process is 
    The CCP will provide other agencies and the public with information 
regarding the future desired conditions for the refuge and how the 
Service will implement management strategies. The Service will prepare 
an EA in accordance with procedures for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370d). Concurrent 
with the CCP process, the Service will conduct a wilderness review and 
incorporate a summary of the review into the CCP, as well as include 
compatibility determinations for all applicable refuge uses.
    In 1963, Prime Hook NWR was established under the authority of the 
Migratory Bird Conservation Act for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or 
any other management purpose, expressly for migratory birds. Many farms 
and residences were once present on what is now the refuge. Prime Hook 
NWR was established primarily to preserve coastal wetlands as wintering 
and breeding habitat for migratory waterfowl. It is located on the west 
shore of Delaware Bay, 22 miles southeast of Dover, Delaware. Refuge 
habitat types are varied and are currently managed to maintain a 
diversity of wildlife species. Prime Hook NWR consists of over 9,700 
acres, of which 7,400 acres are fresh marsh, tidal marsh, and open 
water. Other habitats include 1,000 acres of timber and brush and 1,300 
acres of grasslands and croplands. Data collection has been initiated 
to create computerized mapping, including vegetation, topography, 
habitat types and existing land uses.
    Comments received will be used to help identify key issues and to 
develop refuge goals, habitat management and visitor services 
strategies. Additional opportunities for public participation will 
occur throughout the planning process, which is expected to be 
completed in 2008. The outcome of this planning process will be a CCP 
to guide refuge management for the next 15 years.

    Dated: September 21, 2005.
Richard O. Bennett,
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, 
[FR Doc. 05-20682 Filed 10-14-05; 8:45 am]