[Federal Register: October 26, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 207)]
[Page 62605-62606]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan for 
Cape Meares, Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent and announcement of five public open house 


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) intends to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
(CCP) for the Cape Meares, Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks National 
Wildlife Refuges (Refuges); and announces five public open house 
meetings. The Refuges are located in Clatsop, Tillamook, Lincoln, Lane, 
Coos and Curry Counties in Oregon. We are furnishing this notice to 
advise the public and other agencies of our intentions and obtain 
public comments, suggestions, and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the CCP.

DATES: Please provide written comments on the scope of the CCP by 
December 11, 2006. Five public open house meetings will be held to 
begin the CCP planning process; see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for 
dates, times, and locations.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for further 
information to Project Leader, Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex, 2127 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365. Comments may 
be faxed to the Refuge Complex office at (541) 867-4551, or e-mailed to 
FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Additional information concerning the 

Refuges is available on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/.
 Addresses for the public meeting locations are listed 


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader, Oregon 
Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, phone (541) 867-4550.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966 (Refuge Administration Act), as amended (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), requires all lands within the National Wildlife 
Refuge System to be managed in accordance with an approved CCP. A CCP 
guides a refuge's management decisions, and identifies long-range 
refuge goals, objectives, and strategies for achieving the purposes for 
which the refuge was established. During the CCP planning process many 
elements will be considered, including wildlife and habitat protection 
and management, and public use opportunities. Public input during the 
planning process is essential. The CCP for the Cape Meares, Oregon 
Islands, and Three Arch Rocks Refuges will describe the purposes and 
desired conditions for the Refuges and the long-term conservation 
goals, objectives, and strategies for fulfilling the purposes and 
achieving those conditions. The Service will prepare an environmental 
document for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and NEPA's implementing procedures.


    Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Oregon coast 
between Tillamook Bay and Netarts Bay, and was established in 1938 
through the acquisition of excess lands from the U.S. Coast Guard. The 
Refuge is comprised of two units separated by Cape Meares State Scenic 
Viewpoint, which is managed by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department 
(OPRD). Cape Meares Refuge includes vertical coastal cliffs, rock 
outcroppings, and rolling headlands, with an old-growth forest 
dominated by Sitka spruce and western hemlock. A smaller section of 
old-growth blowdown forest in early seral stage is also present within 
the Refuge boundary adjacent to a clearcut. Management programs at the 
Cape Meares Refuge are primarily focused on preserving the old growth 
forest, maintaining the integrity of a Research Natural Area, 
protecting seabird nesting colonies and a peregrine falcon eyrie, and 
providing opportunities for the public to learn about wildlife 

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through wildlife viewing and interpretation on adjacent OPRD lands. 
Public use on the Cape Meares Refuge is managed cooperatively by the 
OPRD and the Service through a Memorandum of Agreement.
    The Oregon Islands Refuge is located along 320 miles of the Oregon 
coast, and includes 1,853 rocks, islands and reefs, and two headlands 
(Coquille Point in Coos County, and Crook Point in Curry County). In 
1970, 1978 and 1996, the rocks, islands and reefs within the Refuge 
were designated wilderness, with the exception of Tillamook Rock. The 
rocks, reefs and islands of Oregon Islands Refuge and wilderness lands 
were acquired to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for birds and 
marine mammals. The Coquille Point headland was acquired in 1991 to: 
Provide a buffer zone between the Refuge's offshore islands and 
mainland development; protect a bluff zone for the wildlife species 
that are dependent on it; and provide one of the best opportunities 
along the Oregon coast for wildlife observation. The Crook Point 
headland was acquired in 2000 to provide permanent protection to one of 
the few remaining undisturbed headlands on the Oregon coast, resulting 
in increased protection for major near shore seabird breeding colonies 
and pinniped pupping and haulout sites within the Oregon Islands 
Refuge. A relatively undisturbed intertidal zone, unique geological 
formations, rare plants, and cultural resource sites on the mainland 
are also protected within the Refuge.
    The Three Arch Rocks Refuge is located a half-mile west of the town 
of Oceanside, and is comprised of nine rocks and islands encompassing 
15 acres of seabird and marine mammal habitat. The Refuge was 
established in 1907 and was accorded Wilderness status in 1970. The 
Refuge is closed to public use to protect seabirds, marine mammals, and 
their habitats from human disturbance. A seasonal closure of the waters 
within 500 feet of the Refuge is enforced yearly from May 1 through 
September 15. Interpretation, wildlife photography, and wildlife 
observation are all existing public uses of Three Arch Rocks Refuge, 
which occur offsite at both Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint and from 
Oceanside Beach State Recreation Area.

Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    Preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities that have been 
identified and may be addressed in the CCP, are briefly summarized 
below. Additional issues will be identified during public scoping.
    During the CCP planning process, the Service will analyze methods 
for protecting the resources of the Cape Meares Refuge in the long 
term, while continuing to provide quality opportunities for wildlife-
dependent recreation in partnership with OPRD, volunteers, and a 
Friends group.
    At the Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks Refuges, the Service 
will identify and consider a wide range of techniques and partnerships 
in the CCP, for protection of the sensitive and irreplaceable wildlife, 
habitat, and cultural resources contained within these Refuges. 
Opportunities for the public to enjoy the Refuges will be examined. The 
Service will also evaluate the extensive inventory, monitoring, and 
research needs of these Refuges, within the context of Refuge needs and 
priorities, and in the wider context of regional, national, and 
international conservation priorities, and will analyze and determine 
methods for prioritizing and accomplishing these needs.

Public Meetings

    Five public open house meetings will be held in November 2006. The 
public open house meetings will be held on weeknights between 6:30 p.m. 
and 8:30 p.m. Addresses and dates for the public meetings follow.
    1. November 1, 2006, Newport High School, Boone Center Room, 322 NE 
Eads St., Newport, OR 97365.
    2. November 6, 2006, Oceanside Community Center, 1550 Pacific St., 
Oceanside, OR 97134.
    3. November 8, 2006, Cannon Beach Elementary School, 268 Beaver, 
Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
    4. November 14, 2006, Brookings High School Auditorium, 564 Fern 
St., Brookings, OR 97415.
    5. November 15, 2006, Bandon High School Cafeteria, 550 Ninth 
Street, SW., Bandon, OR 97411.
    Opportunities for public input will be announced throughout the CCP 
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, NEPA, and Service 
and Departmental policies and procedures.

    Dated: September 25, 2006.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. E6-17940 Filed 10-25-06; 8:45 am]