[Federal Register: December 5, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 232)]
[Page 72462-72463]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Supplement to the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Upper Mississippi River National 
Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that the 
Supplement to the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is available for Upper Mississippi 
River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The Supplement to the Draft 
CCP/EIS 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

[[Page 72463]]

and objectives in the CCP describe how the agency intends to manage the 
refuge over the next 15 years.

DATES: Written comments on the Supplement to the Draft CCP/EIS will be 
accepted up to 60 days after publication of this notice in the Federal 

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Supplement 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/uppermiss/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 55111.
    All comments should be addressed to Upper Mississippi National 
Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Attention: CCP Supplement Comment, 51 East 
4th Street, Room 101, Winona, Minnesota 55987, or direct e-mail to 
r3planning@fws.gov. Comments may also be submitted through the 

Service's regional Web site at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/uppermiss/index.html

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Don Hultman, at (507) 452-4232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Upper Mississippi River National 
Wildlife and Fish Refuge encompasses 240,000 acres along 261 miles of 
Mississippi River floodplain in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and 
Illinois. The Refuge was established by Congress in 1924 to provide a 
refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds, fish, other wildlife, 
and plants. The Refuge is perhaps the most important corridor of 
habitat in the central United States due to its species diversity and 
abundance, and is the most visited refuge in the United States with 3.7 
million annual visitors.
    The Draft CCP/EIS was released for public review May 1, 2005, for a 
120-day comment period ending August 31, 2005. The Refuge hosted 21 
public meetings and workshops attended by 2,900 people. The workshops 
resulted in 87 workgroup reports with comments or recommendations on 
major issues. We also received 2,438 written comments including 
comments from the four states involved, the Corps of Engineers, and 41 
conservation or recreation-related organizations, and 6 petitions with 
more than 3,000 signatures.
    In response to the high degree of public interest and comment, in 
July 2005 we announced through the media the intent to issue a new 
preferred alternative following the comment period to reflect the input 
received. This Supplement is the new preferred alternative and is 
called Alternative E--Modified Wildlife and Integrated Public Use 
Focus. This new preferred alternative, along with the previous four 
alternatives, will be included in the Final CCP/EIS.
    The Supplement contains both substantive and editorial changes to 
Alternative D, the initial preferred alternative. Substantive changes 
were made to several objectives which addressed several issues or 
topics, including: no hunting zones around some hiking/observation 
trails, changes to the boundaries and regulations for the Waterfowl 
Hunting Closed Areas, a 25 daily shotshell limit and 100 yard spacing 
requirement for waterfowl hunting, a managed hunt to address a 
waterfowl hunting firing line, changes to camping and other beach-
related recreational use, proposed Electric Motor Areas, and boat ramp 
launch fees.
    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 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: October 24, 2005.
Charles M. Wooley,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ft. Snelling, 
 [FR Doc. E5-6814 Filed 12-2-05; 8:45 am]