[Federal Register: December 28, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 249)]
[Page 78219-78220]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for 
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Washington County, ME

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice: Intent to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is preparing a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This notice advises the 
public that the Service intends to gather information necessary for 
preparing the CCP and EA 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. The Service is furnishing this notice in compliance 
with Service planning policy, to (1) advise other Federal and State 
agencies and the public of our intention to conduct detailed planning 
on this refuge; and, (2) obtain suggestions and information on the 
scope of issues to include in the environmental document.
    The Service will involve the public through open houses, 
informational and technical meetings, and written comments. Special 
mailings, newspaper articles, Web sites, and announcements will provide 
information about opportunities for public involvement in the planning 

DATES: We are planning to begin public scoping meetings in March 2007. 
We will announce their locations, dates, and times at least 2 weeks in 
advance, in special mailings and local newspaper notices, on our Web 
site, and through personal contacts.

ADDRESSES: Moosehorn NWR, 103 Headquarters Road, Suite 1, Baring, ME 
04694, at 207-454-7161 (telephone); 207-454-2550 (FAX); 
fw5rw_mhnwr@fws.gov (e-mail); http://www.fws.gov/northeast/moosehorn/ (Web 


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Nancy McGarigal, Refuge Planner, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035; 
413-253-8562 (telephone); 413-253-8468 (FAX); e-mail 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under 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), the Service is 
to manage all lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) in 
accordance with an approved CCP. The plan guides management decisions 
and identifies refuge goals, management objectives, and strategies for 
achieving refuge purposes over a 15-year period.
    The planning process will cover many elements, including wildlife 
and habitat management, visitor and recreational activities, wilderness 
area management, cultural resource protection, and facilities and 
infrastructure. Compatibility determinations will be completed for all 
applicable refuge uses. We will also conduct a wilderness review on 
refuge fee lands not currently designated as wilderness and a wild and 
scenic rivers evaluation to determine whether any areas on the refuge 
qualify for those Federal designations.
    Public input into the planning process is essential. The comments 
we receive will help identify key issues and refine our goals and 
objectives for managing refuge resources and visitors. Additional 
opportunities for public participation will arise throughout the 
planning process, which we expect to complete by September 2008. We are 
presently summarizing refuge data and collecting other resource 
information to provide us a scientific basis for our resource 
decisions. We will prepare the EA in accordance with the Council on 
Environmental Quality procedures for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370d).
    The 28,885-acre Moosehorn NWR, established in 1937, is one of the 
oldest refuges in the NWRS. Its purposes are to conserve and protect 
fish and wildlife resources, including endangered and threatened 
species, and to protect its wetlands and wilderness resources. The 
refuge headquarters is located in the town of Baring, Maine. The 
refuge's two divisions include the 20,131-acre Baring

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Division, which borders the St. Croix River and Canada, and the 8,754-
acre Edmunds Division, located along Cobscook Bay. Within the existing 
refuge boundary, 7,462 acres (30 percent) are designated part of the 
National Wilderness Preservation System.
    Land cover on the refuge includes approximately 15 percent in 
wetlands and 85 percent in uplands. Generally, refuge lands are 
characterized by rolling hills, large rock outcrops, scattered 
boulders, second-growth northern hardwood-conifer forest, and some 
pockets of pure spruce-fir. Numerous streams, beaver flowages, bogs, 
marshes, and scrub-shrub and forested wetlands are imbedded within the 
forested landscape.
    We estimate that 54,000 refuge visitors annually engage in hunting, 
fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and/or interpretation. 
Over 65 miles of trails and roads closed to vehicular traffic provide 
access for these activities on refuge lands. Special events, 
environmental education and interpretive programs and self-guided 
interpretive trails, observation platforms, and photography blinds 
enhance visitor experiences.

    Dated: November 9, 2006.
Richard O. Bennett,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, 
[FR Doc. E6-22285 Filed 12-27-06; 8:45 am]