[Federal Register: December 29, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 249)]
[Page 77176-77177]
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 Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 
Jackson County, MS, and Mobile County, AL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region, intends to 
gather information necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation 
plan and environmental assessment pursuant to the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and its implementing regulations.
    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, 
requires the Service to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for 
each national

[[Page 77177]]

wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation 
plan is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for 
achieving refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of 
fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service 
policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on 
conserving wildlife and their habitats, plans identify wildlife-
dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including 
opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation.
    The purpose of this notice is to achieve the following:
    (1) Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and
    (2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issue to 
include in the environmental document.

DATES: An open house style meeting will be held during the scoping 
phase and public draft phase of the comprehensive conservation plan 
development process. Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other 
media announcements will be used to inform the public and state and 
local government agencies of the dates and opportunities for input 
throughout the planning process.

ADDRESSES: Comments and requests for more information regarding the 
Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge planning process should be sent to: 
Mike Dawson, Refuge Planner, Fish and Wildlife Service, 6578 Dogwood 
View Parkway, Suite B, Jackson, Mississippi 39213; Telephone: 601/965-
4903, ext. 20; Fax: 601/965-4010; Electronic mail: mike_dawson@fws.gov 
To ensure consideration, written comments must be received no later 
than February 13, 2005. Our practice is to make comments, including 
names and addresses of respondents, available for public review during 
regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that we 
withhold their home addresses from the record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowable by law.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge was 
established in 1992 under the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986, 
to protect one of the largest expanses of undisturbed pine savanna 
habitats in the Gulf Coastal Plain region. It consists of 9,831 acres 
within an approved acquisition boundary of 17,741 acres. The refuge 
also manages 930 acres of Farm Service Agency tracts. The largest 
portion of the refuge consists of a mosaic of pine savannas, 
interspersed with poorly drained evergreen bays and pond cypress stands 
graduating to estuarine salt marshes to the south.
    Recreation and education opportunities on the refuge include 
hunting photography , and wildlife observation. Approximately 2,500 
people visit the refuge annually.
    The Service will conduct a comprehensive conservation planning 
process that will provide opportunity for state and local governments, 
agencies, organizations, and the public to participate in issue scoping 
and public comment. Comments received by the planning team will be used 
as part of the planning process.

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 

    Dated: October 27, 2005.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 05-24592 Filed 12-28-05; 8:45 am]