[Federal Register: June 22, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 120)]
[Page 35927-35928]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan and Environmental Assessment for San Joaquin River National 
Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces that a 
Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment 
(Draft CCP/EA) for San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) 
is available for review and comment. This Draft CCP/EA, prepared 
pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as 
amended, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, describes 
the Service's proposal for managing the Refuge for the next 15 years. 
The draft compatibility determinations for several public uses are also 
available for review with the Draft CCP/EA.

DATES: Written comments must be received at the address below by July 
24, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the Draft CCP/EA should be addressed to: Kim 
Forrest, Project Leader, San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, 
947-C West Pacheco Boulevard, Los Banos, California 93635. Comments may 
also be submitted via electronic mail to FW8PlanComments@fws.gov. 
Please type ``San Joaquin River CCP'' in the subject line.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kim Forrest, Project Leader, San Joaquin 
River National Wildlife Refuge, 947-C West Pacheco Boulevard, Los 
Banos, California 93635 or Mark Pelz, Chief, Refuge Planning, CA/NV 
Operations Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 95825, 
phone (916) 414-6500.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may be obtained 
by writing to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attn: Mark Pelz, CA/
NV Refuge Planning Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 
95825. Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may be viewed at this address or at 
San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, 947-C West Pacheco 
Boulevard, Los Banos, CA. The Draft CCP/EA will also be available for 
viewing and downloading online at http://www.fws.gov/pacific/planning. 

Printed documents will also be available for review at the following 
libraries: Los Banos Branch Library, 1312 7th St, Los Banos, CA 93635; 
and Modesto Library 1500 ``I'' Street, Modesto, CA 95354.


    The San Joaquin River NWR was established in 1987 primarily to 
protect and manage wintering habitat for Aleutian Canada geese, a 
federally listed endangered species. Since that time, the Refuge's 
focus has expanded to include protecting other sensitive species and 
restoring natural habitats and ecological processes. This Refuge and 
its management have been important factors in the recovery of the 
Aleutian Canada goose and its removal in 2001 from the Threatened and 
Endangered Species List. The Refuge is Located just west of Modesto, 

Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the CCP is to provide a coherent, integrated set of 
management actions to help attain the Refuges' establishing purposes, 
and vision, goals, and objectives. The CCP identifies the Refuges' role 
in support of the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System and 
describes the Service's management actions.


    The Draft CCP/EA identifies and evaluates four alternatives for 
managing the Refuge for the next 15 years. The proposed action is to 
implement Alternative D as described in the EA. Alternative D best 
achieves the Refuges' purposes, vision, and goals; contributes to the 
Refuge System mission; addresses the significant issues and relevant 
mandates; and is consistent with principles of sound fish and wildlife 
    In Alternative A (No Action), existing management programs, which 
focus on Aleutian Canada goose, would continue unchanged. The Service 
would also continue the current visitor services program, which is 
limited to wildlife photography and observation from a

[[Page 35928]]

platform. Management for the benefit of Aleutian Canada geese is also 
central to the other three Alternatives. However, they also expand 
Refuge management for the benefit of additional wildlife and habitats. 
Alternative B places greater emphasis on wetland restoration and 
management and would expand visitor services for all priority public 
uses, including fishing and hunting. Alternative C focuses on 
restoration and management of riparian habitats and providing non-
consumptive wildlife-dependant recreation opportunities. Alternative D, 
the preferred alternative, includes a balance of wetland and riparian 
restoration and management and expands opportunities for all priority 
public uses, including fishing and hunting.

Public Comments

    After the review and comment period ends for this Draft CCP/EA, 
comments will be analyzed by the Service and addressed in the Final 
CCP. All comments received from individuals, including names and 
addresses, become part of the official public record and may be 
released. Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance with 
the Freedom of Information Act, the Council on Environmental Quality's 
NEPA regulations and other Service and Departmental policies and 

    Dated: June 16, 2006.
Ken McDermond,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations, Sacramento, California.
 [FR Doc. E6-9848 Filed 6-21-06; 8:45 am]