[Federal Register: December 27, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 248)]
[Page 77782-77783]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact for Grand Cote National 
Wildlife Refuge in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact 
for Grand Cote 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. The compatibility determinations for 
hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental 
education and interpretation, all-terrain vehicle use, cooperative 
farming, and resource research studies, are also available within the 

ADDRESSES: A copy of the plan may be obtained by writing to the Grand 
Cote National Wildlife Refuge, 401 Island Road, Marksville, Louisiana 
71351. The plan may also be accessed and downloaded from the Service's 
Website http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Grande Cote National Wildlife Refuge is 
located about 5 miles west of the city of Marksville, Louisiana 
(population 6,087), and 20 miles southeast of Alexandria, Louisiana 
(population 46,000), south of Highway 1, west of Highway 115, and north 
and east of Highway 114. The refuge is part of the central Louisiana 
National wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes Grand Cote, Lake 
Ophelia, and Cat Island National Wildlife Refuges and several fee and 
easement Farm Service Agency sites. The refuge covers 6,075 acres but 
could reach 13,000 acres if all land within the approved acquisition 
boundary is purchases. The refuge was established in 1989 to provide 
wintering habitat for mallards, pintails, blue-winged teal, and wood 
ducks, as well as production habitat for wood ducks to meet the goals 
of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The refuge consists of 
a complex of bottomland hardwood forests, agricultural lands, moist-
soil areas, and direct access roads and trails. annually, more than 
2,000 visitors participate in refuge activities.
    The availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment for a 45-day public review and comment period 
was announced in the Federal Register on June 16, 2006 (71 FR 34955). 
The draft plan and environmental assessment identified and evaluated 
three alternatives for managing the refuge over the next 15 years. 
alternative 1 represents o change from current management of the 
refuge. Under this alternative, 6,075 acres of refuge lands would 
continue to be protected, maintained, restored, and enhanced for 
resident wildlife, waterfowl, and threatened and endangered species. 
Under Alternative 2, the ``preferred alternative,'' more staff, 
equipment, and facilities would be added in order to maximize 
management and restoration of the refuge's wetland and moist-soil 
habitats and hydrology in support of migratory and resident waterfowl 
and other wildlife, especially white-tailed deer and woodcock. 
Alternative 3 would add more staff, equipment, and facilities in order 
to maximize bottomland hardwood forest restoration in support of 
migratory birds and other wildlife.

[[Page 77783]]

    Based on the environmental assessment and the comments received, 
the Servcie adopted Alternative 2 as its preferred alternative. This 
alternative was considered to be the most effective for meeting the 
purposes of the refuge by conserving, restoring, and managing the 
refuge's wetlands and moist-soil habitats and hydrology. Alternative 2 
best achieves national, ecosystem, and refuge-specific goals and 
objectives and positively addresses significant issues and concerns 
expressed by the public.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTAT: Tina Chouinard, Natural Resource 
Planner, Central Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, telephone: 
318/253-4238; fax: 318/253-7139; e-mail: tina_chouinard@fws.gov; or by 
writing to the Natural Resource Planner at the address in the 

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

    Dated: September 12, 2006.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
    Editorial Note: This document was received at the Office of the 
Federal Register on December 21, 2006.
[FR Doc. 06-9871 Filed 12-26-05; 8:45 am]