[Federal Register: July 6, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 129)]
[Page 37037-37039]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Guam National Wildlife Refuge, Dededo, Guam

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan; 
announcement of public meeting and open house; and request for 


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service, we) intends to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan (CCP) and associated environmental compliance document for the 
Guam National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The Refuge includes the 
Ritidian Unit in northern Guam and two overlay units, the Andersen Air 
Force Base Unit in northern Guam and the Navy Unit. The Navy Unit 
includes portions of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station 
(NCTS) and Public Works Center (PWC) in northern Guam, and portions of 
the Naval Station and Ordnance Annex areas in central and southern 
Guam. We are furnishing this notice to advise the public and other 
agencies of our intentions, and to obtain public comments, suggestions, 
and information on the scope of issues to be considered during the CCP 
planning process. The Refuge will hold a public open house to provide 
information about the CCP and the planning process, and to obtain 
public comments (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for details).

[[Page 37038]]

DATES: Please provide written comments on the scope of the CCP by 
August 31, 2007. To begin the CCP planning process, a public meeting 
will be held on July 14, 2007, which is also the first day of an open 
house that will run through July 22, 2007, see SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION for details.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for information to 
Chris Bandy, Project Leader, Guam National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 
8134, MOU-3, Dededo, GU 96929. Comments may be faxed to the Refuge at 
(671) 355-5098; or e-mailed to FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include 
``Guam NWR CCP'' in the subject line of the message. Additional 
information about the CCP planning process is available on the Internet 
at: http://www.fws.gov/pacific/planning.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chris Bandy, Project Leader, Guam 
National Wildlife Refuge, phone (671) 355-5096.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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), requires all 
lands within the National Wildlife Refuge System to be managed in 
accordance with an approved CCP. A CCP guides a refuge's management 
decisions, and identifies long-range goals, objectives, and strategies 
for achieving the purposes for which the refuge was established. During 
the CCP planning process many elements will be considered, including 
wildlife and habitat protection and management, and public use 
opportunities. Public input during the planning process is essential. 
The CCP for the Guam Refuge will describe the purposes and desired 
conditions for the Refuge units, and the long-term conservation goals, 
objectives, and strategies for fulfilling the purposes and achieving 
those conditions. As part of the planning process, the Service will 
prepare an environmental compliance document in accordance with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 
4371 et seq.)

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.


    Guam National Wildlife Refuge is located on the island of Guam, the 
southernmost island in the Mariana Islands Archipelago in the western 
Pacific Ocean. Guam is a U.S. Territory located between 13[deg]15' and 
13[deg]14' N latitude, and between 144[deg]30' and 144[deg]57' E 
longitude. The Refuge is comprised of three units: the Ritidian Unit, 
in northern Guam; the Andersen Air Force Base Unit, in northern Guam; 
and the Navy Unit, with areas in northern, central, and southern Guam.
    The Ritidian Unit, in northern Guam, is approximately 772 acres 
including approximately 370 acres of terrestrial land and 401 acres of 
marine waters. The Unit includes a densely vegetated coastal plain 
bounded on one side by sheer limestone cliffs jutting to approximately 
200 feet above sea level. Native vegetation on the Ritidian Unit 
includes high-quality coastal strand, backstrand, and limestone forest 
natural communities; a sandy beach; and nearshore marine habitats to 
the depth of 30 meters (approximately 100 feet). The clear waters of 
the Ritidian Unit feature sandy areas, platform reefs, and coral 
habitats that support a diversity of fish, marine invertebrates, and 
algae and provide foraging areas for endangered hawksbill and green sea 
    The terrestrial lands on the Ritidian Unit are designated critical 
habitat for the endangered Mariana crow, the endangered Guam 
Micronesian kingfisher, and the threatened Mariana fruit bat. 
Threatened green sea turtles nest on the Unit's beach.
    Management programs at the Ritidian Unit focus on preserving and 
restoring essential wildlife habitat, and protection and recovery of 
endangered and threatened species. Protecting habitat for endangered 
species also conserves a rich diversity of other plant and animals 
species. The Ritidian Unit supports a diversity of tropical trees, 
shrubs, vines, ferns, cycads, grasses, and other species that in turn 
provide habitat for native birds, the Mariana fruit bat, tree snails, 
coconut crabs, land crabs, skinks, geckos, and a myriad of native 
    The Ritidian Unit is the only Refuge site on northern Guam open to 
the public. Visitors have access to it seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. 
to 4:00 p.m., except for Federal holidays. A variety of visitor 
programs are offered in the open areas, including certain types of 
fishing, wildlife observation and photography, natural and cultural 
resources interpretation, and environmental education. A recently 
opened nature center provides visitors with additional information 
about the wildlife values of the Unit. The public enjoys opportunities 
to picnic, swim, snorkel, SCUBA dive, and hike in open portions of the 
Ritidian Unit. Collection of traditionally important plant parts for 
medicine or food is allowed in a designated area with a Special Use 
    The 10,219-acre Air Force Unit at Andersen Air Force Base in 
northern Guam is contiguous with the Ritidian Unit and includes high-
quality native limestone forest, coastal strand, and backstrand natural 
communities and beaches. The Air Force Unit supports some of the last 
remaining endangered Mariana crows, threatened Mariana fruit bats, and 
endangered Serianthes nelsoni trees in the wild, and supports a 
diversity of other native wildlife and plant species.
    The Navy Unit includes approximately 12,237 acres of native 
habitats in north, central, and south Guam. High-quality habitats on 
the Navy Unit include limestone forest, backstrand, coastal strand, and 
beaches in northern and central Guam; and ravine forests, limestone 
forests, mangroves, and wetlands in southern and central Guam. These 
areas provide habitat for a diversity of tropical plants and wildlife, 
including threatened Mariana fruit bats, endangered Mariana swiftlets, 
endangered Mariana Moorhen, threatened green turtles, and a rich 
diversity of other plants, skinks, lizards, land snails, and land 
crabs. Several freshwater rivers and springs are located on Navy lands 
and support aquatic fauna.
    Both the Air Force and Navy work cooperatively with the Service, 
the Guam Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, and other 
conservation partners to implement proactive measures to protect and 
enhance wildlife and habitat, while operating the military bases for 
their primary use.
    Natural resources and management programs on the Air Force and Navy 
Units are described in their respective Integrated Natural Resources 
Management Plans (INRMPs) for Navy and Air Force lands on Guam. Both 
INRMPs are currently being updated and will be incorporated into the 
CCP for the Guam Refuge. The Service is a close cooperator in the 
INRMPs' planning processes and will continue to have input on proposed 
natural resource management priorities and programs on the overlay 
Refuge units. The CCP will incorporate the revised or draft INRMPs by 
reference, extracting those programs that the Service will be most 
closely involved with in the foreseeable future.

[[Page 37039]]

Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    A brief summary of the preliminary issues, concerns, and 
opportunities that have been identified follows. The issues fall into 
five general categories: (1) Natural resources management on the 
Ritidian Unit; (2) management of visitor services on the Ritidian Unit; 
(3) management of cultural resources on the Ritidian Unit; (4) 
facilities, operations, and maintenance on the Ritidian Unit; and (5) 
natural resources management priorities on the Air Force and Navy 
Units. Additional issues may be identified during public scoping.
    The CCP will focus on management at the Ritidian Unit. During the 
CCP planning process, the Service will analyze methods for protecting 
the unique and important natural and cultural resources of the 
terrestrial and marine portions of the Ritidian Unit in the long term, 
while continuing to provide quality opportunities for wildlife-
dependent public uses.
    The Ritidian Unit includes important cultural and historic 
resources that reflect human occupation and use of the area during pre-
western contact periods, the early post-contact period, and on through 
to the modern era. Service archaeologists, working in coordination with 
the Guam Historic Preservation Office, have developed a draft Cultural 
Resources Management Plan (CRMP) for the Ritidian Unit that will be 
distributed for public review with the CCP. Ensuring adequate 
protection and management of unique cultural resources at Ritidian, and 
their study and interpretation, are topics that will be covered in the 
final CRMP.

Public Meeting and Open House

    The Refuge will hold a public meeting that will include a brief 
presentation and information and handouts about the Refuge and CCP 
planning process. The meeting will be held on Saturday, July 14, 2007, 
from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge 
Headquarters' Nature Center located on the Ritidian Unit, at the end of 
Route 3A, in northern Guam. An informal open house will continue in the 
Nature Center from July 15 through July 22, 2007. A specific area will 
be set up for the public to obtain information on the CCP planning 
process and provide written comments. The Nature Center is open from 
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (except Federal holidays). Additional 
opportunities for public input will be announced throughout the CCP 
planning process.

    Dated: June 29, 2007.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
 [FR Doc. E7-13084 Filed 7-5-07; 8:45 am]