[Federal Register: December 13, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 239)]
[Page 74931-74932]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge and Wetland Management District

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of final comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces that a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Lacreek National Wildlife 
Refuge (Refuge) and Wetland Management District (WMD) is available. 
This CCP describes how the Service intends to manage this Refuge and 
WMD for the next 15 years.

DATES: Written comments must be received at the postal or electronic 
address listed below on or before February 12, 2007.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the CCP or Summary may be obtained by writing to

[[Page 74932]]

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Refuge Planning, 134 Union 
Boulevard, Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80228; or downloaded from http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/planning

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Spratt, Planning Team Leader, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, telephone 303-236-4366; fax 303-236-
4792; or e-mail: Michael_spratt@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Refuge was established in 1935 by 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt through Executive Order No. 7160 ``* * 
* as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other 
wildlife.'' The Refuge lies in the Lake Creek Valley on the northern 
edge of the Nebraska Sandhills and includes 16,410 acres of native 
sandhills, sub-irrigated meadows, impounded fresh water marshes, and 
tall and mixed-grass prairie uplands.
    The WMD was started as part of the Small Wetlands Acquisition 
Program, in the 1950s, to save wetlands from various threats, 
particularly draining. The passage of Public Law 85-585, in August of 
1958, amended the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act 
(Duck Stamp Act) of 1934, allowing for the acquisition of Waterfowl 
Production Areas and Easements for Waterfowl Management Rights 
(easements). The WMD is located in Stanley, Todd, Harding, Jackson, 
Jones, Lawrence, Lyman, Meade, Mellette, Fall River, Haakon, Custer, 
Pennington, Bennett, and Butte counties of South Dakota.
    We announced the availability of the draft CCP and Environmental 
Assessment (EA) for a 30-day public review and comment period in the 
Federal Register on January 13, 2006 (71 FR 2264-2265). The Draft CCP 
was sent to more than 60 Tribal governments, State of Utah officials, 
state and federal congressional delegates, other federal agencies, city 
and county officials, public citizens, non-governmental organizations, 
private businesses and consulting companies, community colleges and 
universities, and public libraries. During the 30-day public review 
period, we received 18 written comments and held a public meeting in 
Martin, South Dakota. No substantive changes were made to the document 
based on public comments.
    The Draft CCP/EA identified and evaluated three management 
alternatives for managing the Refuge and the WMD for the next 15 years. 
Alternative A, the No Action Alternative, would continue current 
management of the Refuge. Alternative B, Integrated Restoration, the 
Proposed Action, would strive to restore ecological processes and 
achieve habitat conditions that require reduced management over time, 
recognizing the place of the refuge in the overall landscape and 
community. Alternative C, Comprehensive Grassland Restoration, would 
focus management on restoration of grassland habitat and its associated 
species. Based on this assessment and comments received, Alternative B 
was selected for implementation. We selected the preferred alternative 
(Alternative B) because it best meets the purposes for which the Refuge 
and the WMD were established, and is preferable to the ``no action'' 
alternative and Alternative C in light of physical, biological, 
economic, and social factors. The preferred alternative will continue 
to provide public access for wildlife-dependent recreation, 
environmental education, and interpretation.
    As part of this plan, we developed a black-tailed prairie dog 
management plan for the Refuge. Management will include any activity 
conducted to control the size of prairie dog towns, maintain habitat 
suitability for black-tailed prairie dogs, and/or ensure the long-term 
viability of black-tailed prairie dogs at the Refuge, within a 
biologically and socially compatible zone over the next 15 years.
    The Service is furnishing this notice to advise other agencies and 
the public of the availability of the Final CCP, to provide information 
on the desired conditions for the Refuge and the WMD, and to detail how 
the Service will implement management strategies. Based on the review 
and evaluation of the information contained in the environmental 
assessment, the Regional Director has determined that implementation of 
the Final CCP does not constitute a major Federal action that would 
significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the 
meaning of Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act. 
Therefore, we will not prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

    Dated: May 23, 2006.
James J. Slack,
Deputy Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, CO.

    Editorial Note: This document was received by the Office of the 
Federal Register December 8, 2006.
 [FR Doc. E6-21216 Filed 12-12-06; 8:45 am]