[Federal Register: September 1, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 170)]
[Page 52138-52139]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact 
Statement for Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Williamson, 
Jackson, and Union Counties, IL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that the Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) is available for Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. 
The Final 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 and objectives in the CCP describe how the 
agency intends to manage the refuge over the next 15 years.

[[Page 52139]]

DATES: A Record of Decision will be signed by the Regional Director, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3, Fort Snelling, Minnesota, no 
sooner than 30 days after publication of this notice by the 
Environmental Protection Agency, in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final CCP/EIS may be viewed at the Crab 
Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and public libraries near 
the refuge. You may access and download a copy via the Planning Web 
site at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/craborchard, or you may 

obtain a copy on compact disk by contacting: U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Division of Conservation Planning, Bishop Henry Whipple 
Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, Minnesota 55111 (1-
800-247-1247, extension 5429) or Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, 
8588 Route 148, Marion, IL 62959 (618-997-3344). A limited number of 
hardcopies will be available for distribution at the Refuge 


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Located in southern Illinois and consisting 
of 43,888 acres, Crab Orchard NWR was established in 1947 for wildlife, 
agriculture, recreation, and industry. The Draft CCP/EIS was released 
for public review October 17, 2005, (70 FR 60364-60365, October 17, 
2005) for a 90-day comment period ending January 17, 2006. The Refuge 
hosted a public meeting attended by 145 people. In addition, the refuge 
manager met with 10 groups to explain the contents of the Draft CCP/EIS 
and receive comments. We received comments via letters, e-mails, and 
comment forms from 643 correspondents and we received one petition with 
592 signatures.
    In response to public and agency comments, several changes were 
made to Alternative E, the preferred alternative, for the Final CCP/
EIS. These changes include a reduction in the size of the proposed no-
wake zone on Crab Orchard Lake; an increase in the size of the area 
proposed for gas motor use on Devils Kitchen Lake; retention of 
primitive sites at Devils Kitchen Campground rather than closure of the 
campground; inclusion of an objective and strategies for the management 
of conservation easements; and inclusion of an objective and strategies 
for management of forests to favor oak-hickory over maple. 
Typographical and editorial corrections were made throughout the 
document and additional discussion was included to clarify meaning and 
intentions related to the 14-day stay limit in campgrounds, recreation 
fee program, and the small fishing contest policy.
    When the Record of Decision is available, we will publish a notice 
of availability in the Federal Register. The Record of Decision will 
document which alternative in the Final CCP/EIS will become the 15-year 
CCP for the Refuge.
    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: July 3, 2006.
Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort Snelling, 
[FR Doc. E6-14561 Filed 8-31-06; 8:45 am]