[Federal Register: May 24, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 100)]
[Page 29973]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 29973]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment for the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge 
(Otay-Sweetwater Unit and Vernal Pools Stewardship Project), San Diego 
County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) intends to gather information necessary to prepare a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and an associated environmental 
assessment for the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge pursuant to 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), and the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370d). The Service is providing 
this notice to advise other agencies, Tribal Governments, and the 
public of our intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on 
the scope of the issues and alternatives to include in the CPP and the 
environmental document.

DATES: Written comments should be received at the address below no 
later than July 15, 2006.
    Public scoping meetings will be held as follows:
    (1) Wednesday, June 14, 2006--2 to 4 p.m., Otay Water District 
Office, Training Room, 2554 Sweetwater Springs Boulevard, Spring 
Valley, California
    (2) Thursday, June 15, 2006--6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Jamul Primary 
School, Multipurpose Room, 14567 Lyons Valley Road, Jamul, California.

ADDRESSES: Please submit comments, questions, and requests for more 
information regarding the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge CCP or 
upcoming scoping meetings to: Victoria Touchstone, Refuge Planner, San 
Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, 
Carlsbad, CA 92011; Telephone: 760-431-9440 ext. 349; Fax: 760-930-
0256; Electronic mail: Victoria_Touchstone@fws.gov. Additional 
information is also available at http://sandiegorefuges.fws.gov, click 

on Comprehensive Conservation Plans.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966, as amended, requires the Service to develop 
a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for each National Wildlife 
Refuge. The purpose for 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 (Refuge 
System), consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife science, 
conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. The CCP process 
will involve establishing goals, long-range objectives, and strategies 
for achieving refuge purposes, developing and evaluating management 
alternatives, and providing priority consideration for wildlife-
dependent recreational uses including hunting, fishing, wildlife 
observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation.
    The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) was established in 
1996 under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended. The Refuge's approved acquisition boundary, which includes 
both the Otay-Sweetwater Unit and Vernal Pools Stewardship Project, 
encompasses approximately 52,080 acres. Approximately 8,280 acres 
within the acquisition boundary have been acquired by the Service to 
date. These lands are located at the eastern edge of the San Diego 
metropolitan area in southwestern San Diego County, generally between 
northeastern Chula Vista and the communities of Jamul, Dehesa, and 
    The primary purposes of the Refuge are to contribute to the 
recovery of endangered, threatened, and rare species, such as the Quino 
checkerspot butterfly, California gnatcatcher, and San Diego mesa mint; 
to support the native biodiversity of the southwestern San Diego Region 
by contributing to the development of a regional preserve under the San 
Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program; and to provide 
opportunities for compatible wildlife-dependent recreation.
    The Refuge has not been officially opened for public use, but does 
provide potential opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreational 
uses including hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, 
environmental education, and interpretation. All potential public uses 
on the Refuge will be evaluated for compatibility with Refuge purposes 
and the mission of the Refuge System. These Compatibility 
Determinations will be conducted during the CCP process and a written 
record of the determination will be provided for public review and 
comment as an appendix to the future Draft CCP/EA.
    Comments and concerns received during this scoping process will be 
used to help identify key issues, develop goals, establish habitat 
management and public use strategies, and draft management 
alternatives. Additional opportunities for public participation will 
occur throughout the planning process, and details about these 
opportunities will be provided in special mailings, newspaper articles, 
and other announcements. Involvement and input from interested federal, 
state, and local agencies, Tribal governments, organizations, and 
individuals is encouraged. We expect to have the draft CCP/EA completed 
and made available for public review in summer 2007 and the CCP process 
completed by 2008.

Steve Thompson,
Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. E6-7911 Filed 5-23-06; 8:45 am]