[Federal Register: August 10, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 154)]
[Page 45059-45060]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

 Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Assessment; Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, 
Located in Liberty County, TX

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Southwest Region, intends to gather information necessary to 
prepare a CCP and EA for Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge 
(Refuge), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and its 
implementing regulations. The Service is furnishing this notice in 
compliance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act 
of 1966, to achieve the following:
    (1) Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and
    (2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental document.

DATES: Special mailings, newspaper articles, postings, and media 
announcements will inform people of opportunities for written input 
throughout the CCP planning process. Refuge fact sheets will be made 
available at local libraries in the surrounding communities. This 
notice of intent/public scoping process will continue until November 
30, 2007. Written comments submitted by mail or e-mail should be 
postmarked by that date to ensure consideration. Comments mailed after 
that date will be considered to the extent practical. Inquire at the 
following address for future dates of planning activities and due dates 
for comments.

ADDRESSES: Address comments and requests for more information to: 
Stuart Marcus, Refuge Manager, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, 
P.O. Box 10015, Liberty, Texas 77575; phone: 936-336-9786, fax: 936-
336-9847. Information concerning this Refuge may also be found at the 
following Web site: http://southwest.fws.gov. Comments submitted via e-

mail should be addressed to Yvette Truitt-Ortiz at 
Yvette_TruittOrtiz@fws.gov or Stuart_Marcus@fws.gov. Additionally, you may 

hand-deliver comments to Mr. Marcus at the Refuge, located 
approximately 48 miles east of Houston, Texas and 44 miles west of 
Beaumont, Texas on Highway 90. Our practice is to make comments, 
including names and addresses of respondents, available for public 
review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may 
request that we withhold their home address from the rulemaking record, 
which we will honor to the extent allowable by law.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yvette Truitt-Ortiz, Natural Resource 
Planner, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, New Mexico 
87103-1306; phone: 505-248-6452; fax 505-248-6874; e-mail 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997 requires that all lands within the National 
Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) are to be managed in accordance with an 
approved CCP. The CCP guides

[[Page 45060]]

management decisions and identifies refuge goals, long-range 
objectives, and strategies for achieving refuge purposes. Each refuge 
in the NWRS has specific purposes for which it was established. Those 
purposes are used to develop and prioritize management goals and 
objectives within the NWRS mission and to guide which public uses will 
occur on a given refuge.
    The planning process will consider many elements, including 
wildlife and habitat management, habitat protection and acquisition, 
wilderness preservation, public recreational activities, and cultural 
resource protection. Public input into the planning process is 
essential. The planning process is a way for the Service and the public 
to evaluate refuge management goals and objectives for the best 
possible conservation efforts of this important wildlife habitat. 
Concurrently, this process is also providing for wildlife-dependent 
recreation opportunities that are compatible with each refuge's 
establishing purposes and the mission of the NWRS.
    Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge is located in Liberty 
County, Texas, and encompasses 22,000 acres of bottomland hardwood 
forest along a portion of the Trinity River in southeastern Texas. The 
Refuge, which is a remnant of what was once a much larger natural area 
is a broad, flat floodplain made up of numerous sloughs, oxbows lakes, 
artesian wells, and tributaries. The CCP will provide other agencies 
and the public with a clear understanding of the desired conditions for 
the Refuge and how the Service will implement management strategies for 
the conservation and development of these natural resources.
    The Service, through this notice of intent, formally begins the 
comprehensive conservation planning process for Trinity River National 
Wildlife Refuge. The Service requests input on any and all issues 
concerning management or public recreation. Comments regarding the 
protection of threatened and/or endangered species, migratory birds, 
native species, and their habitats are encouraged.
    The Service has provided the above questions for optional use only. 
Comments received will be used as part of the planning process. 
Individual comments will not be referenced in our reports or directly 
responded to. The Service will continue to solicit information from the 
public and other agencies via open houses, meetings, and written 
comments. Special mailings, newspaper releases, and announcements will 
continue to inform people of the time and place of opportunities for 
further input to the CCP.
    Review of this project will be conducted in accordance with the 
National Environmental Policy act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 
et seq.), NEPA Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) found at http://www.thecrecom/fedlaw/default.htm
, other appropriate Federal laws, and 

Service policies and procedures for compliance with those regulations.
    The Service will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) in 
accordance with procedures for implementing NEPA found in the 
Department of the Interior Manual (DM Part 516, Chap 6). The decision 
to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement instead of an EA would be 
contingent upon the complexity of issues following the scoping phase of 
the CCP process.
    We estimate that the draft environmental documents will be 
available in fall 2009 for public review and comment.

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 

     Dated: November 3, 2006.
Christopher T. Jones,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, 
New Mexico.

    Editorial Note: This document was received at the Office of the 
Federal Register on August 7, 2007.

[FR Doc. E7-15710 Filed 8-9-07; 8:45 am]