[Federal Register: April 11, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 69)]
[Page 18345]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:  Notice of availability of the Final Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact for Crocodile Lake National 
Wildlife Refuge in Monroe County, Florida.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact 
for Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge are available for 
distribution. The plan was prepared pursuant to the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and in accordance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and describes how the refuge 
will be managed for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the plan may be obtained by writing to the 
National Key Deer Refuge, 28950 Watson Boulevard, Big Pine Key, Florida 
33043. The plan may also be accessed and downloaded from the Service's 
Internet Web site http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge is 
located on North Key Largo in Monroe County, Florida, approximately 40 
miles southeast of Miami. The refuge was established in April 1980 
under the authorities of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as 
amended), and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (as 
amended in 1976). It currently covers 6,700 acres, including 650 acres 
of open water. It contains a mosaic of habitat types including tropical 
hardwood hammock, mangrove forests, and salt marshes. These habitats 
are vital for hundreds of plants and animals, including six federally 
listed species.
    The availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment for a 60-day public review and comment period 
was announced in the Federal Register on August 16, 2005 (70 FR 48187). 
The plan and environmental assessment identified and evaluated three 
alternatives for managing the refuge over the next 15 years. 
Alternative 2 was chosen as the ``preferred alternative.'' Under 
Alternative 2, 6,700 acres of refuge lands will be conserved, 
maintained, and enhanced. Increased efforts related to habitat 
restoration, exotics control, pest management, and monitoring are 
characteristics of this alternative. The increased management action 
will help to achieve the long-term goals and objectives in a timelier 
manner. This alternative will result in a more ecosystem-based 
management approach will views the refuge as a single system rather 
than separate habitat types. Federally listed species will still be 
primary concern, but needs of other resident and migratory wildlife 
will also be considered. This alternative will be the most effective 
for meeting the purposes of the refuge by conserving habitats and 
associated wildlife. It best achieves national, ecosystem, and refuge-
specific goals and objectives and positively addresses significant 
issues and concerns expressed by the public.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Van Fischer, Natural Resource Planner, 
National Key Deer Refuge Complex; telephone: 305/872-2239; Fax: 305/
872-3675; E-mail: van_fischer@fws.gov.

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

    Dated: February 23, 2006.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 06-3434 Filed 4-10-06; 8:45am]