[Federal Register: June 19, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 117)]
[Page 35285-35286]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
(CCP) for Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge, Maxwell, NM

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces that 
the Final CCP for the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge is available. 
This CCP 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 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee et seq.), and the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370d). Goals 
and objectives in the CCP describe how the Service intends to manage 
the refuge over the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the CCP are available on compact disk or in hard 
copy, and can be obtained by writing: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Attn: Carol Torrez, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, 
New Mexico, 87103-1306. It will be available for viewing or downloaded 
online at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/plan/index.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Hoban, Refuge Manager, Maxwell 
National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 276, Maxwell, New Mexico 87728: 
telephone: 505-375-2331; or Carol Torrez, Biologist/Natural Resource 
Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 
1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87103-

[[Page 35286]]

1306; telephone: 505-248-6821; e-mail: carol_torrez@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge is 
located in Colfax County, in northeastern New Mexico. This 3,699 acre 
refuge is comprised of 2,300 acres of grassland; 907 acres of lakes 
(which are leased from Vermejo Conservancy District); 50 acres of 
wetlands; 39 acres of woodlots; 440 acres of croplands; several miles 
of irrigation canals; and 10 acres of administrative lands. It was 
established on August 24, 1965 by the authority of the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Act of 1929 (16 U.S.C. 712d) ``* * * for use as an 
inviolate sanctuary, or any other management purpose, for migratory 
birds.'' The refuge provides important habitat for numerous migratory 
waterfowl and neotropical bird species, as well as other resident 
    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 of developing CCPs 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 
science, conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. In 
addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife 
and their habitats, the CCPs identify wildlife-dependent recreational 
opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for 
hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation. These CCPs will be reviewed 
and updated 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.
    The availability of Maxwell NWR's Draft CCP and Environmental 
Assessment (EA) for a 60-day public review and comment period was 
announced in the Federal Register on December 23, 2005 (70 FR 76323). 
The Draft CCP/EA identified and evaluated three alternatives for 
managing the refuge for the next 15 years. Alternative A, the No Action 
Alternative, would have continued current management of the refuge. 
Alterative B, the Preferred Alternative, would implement a variety of 
management activities (farming, prescribed burning, experimental 
grazing, and mechanical and chemical invasive species control methods) 
to improve habitat and benefit a wide variety of wildlife species that 
use the refuge. Alternative C proposes to manage Maxwell NWR as part of 
a complex with Las Vegas NWR and turn all farming efforts over to 
cooperative farmers. Based on this assessment and comments received, 
the Preferred Alternative (Alternative B) was selected for 
implementation. This alternative was selected because it best meets the 
purposes and goals of the refuge, as well as the goals of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System. Management of the refuge for the next 15 years 
will focus on farming to provide food for migrating and wintering 
waterfowl, encouraging ecological integrity, promoting native prairie 
restoration, controlling invasive plant species, and enhancing habitat 
for grassland birds and other resident wildlife. Opportunities for 
wildlife-dependent activities such as observation, photography, 
environmental education, and interpretation will be enhanced. 
Partnerships with county, state, and Federal agencies, private 
landowners, and conservation groups will also enable the refuge to 
achieve its goals and objectives, minimize costs, and bridge 
relationships with others.

    Dated: April 14, 2006.
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, 
New Mexico.
[FR Doc. E6-9569 Filed 6-16-06; 8:45 am]