[Federal Register: September 1, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 170)]
[Page 52139-52140]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

St. Catherine Creek 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 St. Catherine Creek 
National Wildlife Refuge in Adams and Wilkinson Counties, Mississippi.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact 
for St. Catherine Creek 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 over the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: A plan may be obtained by calling Randy Breland, Refuge 
Manager, at 601/442-6696; or by writing to the Refuge Manager, St. 
Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge, 76 Pintail Lane, Natchez, 
Mississippi 39120. The plan may also be accessed and downloaded from 
the Service's Internet Web site at http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The availability of the draft comprehensive 
conservation plan and environmental assessment for a 45-day review 
period was announced in the Federal Register on November 3, 2005 (70 FR 
66845). The draft plan and environmental assessment evaluated four 
alternatives for managing the refuge. Alternative D was chosen as the 
preferred alternative. The preferred alternative will promote a greater 
understanding and protection of fish, wildlife, and their habitats, and 
quality, balanced recreational opportunities for visitors. Hunting and 
fishing will continue with greater emphasis on the quality of the 
experience. Education and interpretation will be promoted with regular 
programs and partnerships with local schools. Wildlife observation and 
photography opportunities will be expaned, including a birding trail 
and observation tower. A new visitor center and headquarters office 
will be constructed with space for interpretation, environmental 
education, and staff.
    Research studies on the refuge will be fostered and partnerships 
developed with other agencies and universities, providing needed 
resources and experiment sites, while meeting the needs of the refuge's 
wildlife and habitat management programs. Research will also benefit 
efforts throughout southwest Mississippi to conserve, enhance, restore, 
and manage native habitat. New surveys on birds, reptiles, and 
amphibians will be initiated to develop baseline information.
    Additional staff will include administrative, biological, and 
outreach personnel to accomplish objectives for establishing baseline 
data on refuge resources, managing habitats, providing opportunities 
and facilities for wildlife observation and photography, providing 
educational programs that promote a greater understanding of refuge

[[Page 52140]]

resources, and protecting natural and cultural resources and refuge 
    Under this alternative, the refuge will continue to seek 
acquisition of lands within the present acquisition boundary. Lands 
acquired as part of the refuge will be made available for compatible 
wildlife-dependent recreation and environmental education 
opportunities, where appropriate. Lands that provide high-quality 
habitat and connectivity to existing refuge lands will be priority 
acquisitions. Equally important acquisition tools to be used include: 
transfer lands, partnerships with conservation organizations, 
conservation easements with adjacent landowners, and leases/cooperative 
agreements with state agencies.
    Public comments were requested, considered, and incorporated 
throughout the planning process in numerous ways. Public outreach 
included open houses, public meetings, technical workgroups, planning 
update mailings, and Federal Register notices. During the draft 
comprehensive conservation plan/environmental assessment comment 
period, the Service received several comments, which were incorporated, 
when appropriate, and responded to in the comprehensive conservation 

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

    Dated: February 22, 2006.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.

    Editorial Note: This document was received at the Office of the 
Federal Register on August 29, 2006.

[FR Doc. 06-7381 Filed 8-31-06; 8:45 am]