[Federal Register: March 13, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 48)]
[Page 12710-12711]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Red River National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Draft Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Red River National Wildlife 
Refuge in 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 
pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and its implementing 
    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 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 habitat, plans 
identify 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
    (2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental document.

DATES: Announcements will inform people of opportunities for written 
input throughout the planning process. Public scoping meetings are 
planned and will be announced in local newspapers approximately 10 days 
prior to the meetings.

ADDRESSES: Comments and requests for more information regarding the Red 
River National Wildlife Refuge planning process should be sent to: 
Lindy Garner, Natural Resource Planner, North Louisiana National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex, 11372 Highway 143, Farmerville, Louisiana 
71241; Telephone: (318) 762-4222, ext. 5; Fax: (318) 726-4667; E-mail: 
northlarefuges@fws.gov. To ensure consideration, written comments must 

be received no later than April 12, 2006.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The refuge was created by Congress on 
October 13, 2000, with the passage of the Red River National Wildlife 
Refuge Act. Land acquisition for the refuge commenced in August 2002. 
There are three purposes of the refuge, as stated in the Red River 
National Wildlife Refuge Act:
     To provide for the restoration and conservation of native 
plants and animal communities on suitable sites in the Red River basin, 
including restoration of extirpated species.
     To provide habitat for migratory birds, and
     To provide technical assistance to private landowners in 
the restoration of their lands for the benefit of fish and wildlife.
    The refuge's enabling legislation authorizes it to acquire up to 
approximately 50,000 acres of Federal lands and waters along that 
section of

[[Page 12711]]

the Red River between Colfax, Louisiana, and the Arkansas state line, a 
distance of approximately 120 miles. the refuge growth will be 
strategically planned within the following five focus units:
     Lower Cane River (Natchitoches Parish).
     Spanish Lake Lowlands (Natchitoches Parish).
     Bayou Pierre Floodplain (Desoto and Red River Parishes).
     Headquarters Site (Bossier Parish).
     Wardview (Caddo Parish).
    Currently, the refuge consists of 7,721 acres of fee title lands 
comprised of restored bottomland hardwood forest, moist soils, shrub/
scrub, and fallow agricultural lands within four of the separate units. 
A headquarters/visitor center site is included near Shreveport/Bossier 
City. Another 1,100 acres of lands are under a management agreement at 
the Spanish Lake Lowlands Unit.
    The Service will conduct a comprehensive conservation planning 
process that will provide opportunity for state and local government 
agencies, organizations, and the public to participate in issue scoping 
and public comment. Comments received by the planning team will be used 
as part ot the planning process. All comments received from individuals 
become part of the official public record. Requests for such comments 
will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and 
the Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations [40 CFR 

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

    Dated: February 21, 2006.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 06-2360 Filed 3-10-06; 8:45 am]