[Federal Register: May 19, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 96)]
[Page 28952-28953]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge: Allamakee, 
Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson Counties, IA; Grant and Richland 
Counties, WI; and Jo Daviess County, IL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that the Draft 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP), Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) and Land Protection Plan is available for Driftless Area National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
    The CCP was prepared pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge 
System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969. Goals and objectives in the CCP describe how the 
agency intends to manage the refuge over the next 15 years.

DATES: Comments on the Draft CCP/EIS must be received on or before July 
22, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Draft CCP/EIS are available on compact disk or 
hard copy. You may access and download a copy via the planning Web site 
(http://fws.gov/midwest/planning/DriftlessArea/index.html) or you may 

obtain a copy by writing to the following address: U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Division of Conservation Planning, Bishop Henry 
Whipple Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, Minnesota 
    All comments should be addressed to Driftless Area National 
Wildlife Refuge, Attention: CCP Comment, P.O. Box 460, McGregor, Iowa 
55987 or direct e-mail to r3planning@fws.gov. Comments may also be 
submitted through the Service's regional Web site at http://fws.gov/midwest/planning/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Lindell or Cathy Henry at (563) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge 
was established in 1989 to protect habitat for the threatened northern 
monkshood plant and endangered Iowa Pleistocene snail. The Refuge was 
authorized to acquire land in eight counties of northeast Iowa, 
northwest Illinois, and southwest Wisconsin. The Refuge is situated 
within the driftless geologic land form, an area never glaciated or 
missed by the most recent glacial advance.
    Refuge land conservation focuses on conservation of algific (cold 
producing) talus slope systems, a landform/habitat feature unique to 
karst terrain that provides cold microclimate required by northern 
monkshood, Pleistocene snails, and other glacial relict species. Refuge 
land conservation consists of acquisition and management easements. 
Driftless Area NWR now consists of 781 acres within nine units in four 
northeastern Iowa counties. The Draft CCP/EIS preferred alternative, 
and integrated Draft Land Protection Plan, proposes conservation of 
additional lands (through fee title purchase from willing sellers, or 
other means, such as management easements) in the counties initially 
authorized, and proposes conservation of suitable habitat in five 
additional counties in Iowa, four additional counties in Wisconsin, and 
five counties in Minnesota. Additional information about the target 
species gained since listing, and the listing of Leedy's roseroot, 
which occupies similar habitat in southeast Minnesota, indicate the 
need to increase the geographic area of conservation.
    The plan addresses four primary issues identified by the public and 
Refuge: (1) Habitat management; (2) visitor services; (3) refuge 
expansion; and (4) species assessments. The EIS evaluates three 
alternatives for future management of the Driftless Area NWR. The 
preferred alternative calls for ultimately acquiring 6,000 additional 
acres. Over the next 15 years we would permanently conserve 2,275 of 
these acres within 22 counties in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and 
Wisconsin. Under the preferred alternative we would achieve endangered 
species recovery and conservation of other species of concern, multiple 
recovery goals for delisting of the Iowa Pleistocene snail through 
increased habitat management, and a carefully monitored increase in 
environmental education and wildlife observation programs.
    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.

[[Page 28953]]

668dd-668ee et seq) requires the Service to develop a CCP for each 
National Wildlife Refuge. The purpose in developing a CCP 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 for conserving 
wildlife and their habitats, the CCP identifies wildlife-dependent 
recreational opportunities available to the public, including 
opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will 
review and update these CCPs at least every 15 years in accordance with 
the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, 
and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-

    Dated: March 7, 2005.
Charles M. Wooley,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ft. Snelling, 
[FR Doc. 05-9986 Filed 5-18-05; 8:45 am]