[Federal Register: March 2, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 40)]
[Page 10109-10110]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Assessment for Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge in 
LaSalle and Catahoula Parishes, Louisiana


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Southeast Region, intends to gather information necessary to 
prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment 
for Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge, pursuant to the National 
Environmental Policy Act 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 wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a 
comprehensive conservation plan is so 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, the 
plan identifies wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available 
to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife 
observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and 
    The purpose of this notice is to achieve the following:
    (1) Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and

[[Page 10110]]

    (2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental document.

DATES: Open house style meeting(s) will be held throughout the scoping 
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 opportunities for input throughout the planning 

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for more 
information to Tina Chouinard, Natural Resource Planner, Central 
Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 401 Island Road, 
Marksville, Louisiana 71351. To ensure consideration, written comments 
must be received within 45 days following the date of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge was 
established in 1958 primarily as a wintering area for migratory 
waterfowl. The refuge, in east-central LaSalle Parish and west-central 
Catahoula Parish, about 30 miles northeast of Alexandria and 12 miles 
east of Jena, now totals 25,162 acres. The 6,671-acre Headquarters Unit 
borders 9 miles of the northeast shore of Catahoula Lake, a 26,000-acre 
natural wetland renowned for its large concentrations of migratory 
waterfowl. The 18,491-acre Bushley Bayou Unit, located 8 miles west of 
Jonesville, was established in May 2001. The acquisition was made 
possible through a partnership agreement between The Conservation Fund, 
American Electric Power, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
    The refuge lies within a physiographic region known as the Lower 
Mississippi River Alluvia Valley. This valley was, at one time, a 25-
million-acre forested wetland complex that extended along both sides of 
the Mississippi River from Illinois to Louisiana. Although the refuge 
was part of this very productive bottomland hardwood ecosystem, most of 
the forest on the refuge was cleared in the early 1970s for agriculture 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Natural Resource Planner, Central 
Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, telephone: 318/253-4238; 
fax: 318/253-7139; e-mail: tina_chouinard@fws.gov.; or mail (write to 
the Natural Resource Planner at address in ADDRESSES section).

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Pub. L. 

    Dated: January 28, 2005.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 05-4012 Filed 3-1-05; 8:45 am]