[Federal Register: September 26, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 186)]
[Page 54673-54674]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of the Final Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan (CCP) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce our decision and 
the availability of the Final CCP and FONSI for Lacassine National 
Wildlife Refuge in Cameron and Evangeline Parishes, Louisiana. The CCP 
was prepared pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997, and in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and describes how the refuge will be 
managed for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the CCP/FONSI may be obtained by writing to: 
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, 1428 Highway 27, Bell City, 
Louisiana 70630; Telephone: 337/598-2216. The CCP/FONSI may also be 
accessed and downloaded from the Service's Web site: http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Judy McClendon, Refuge Planner, at the 
address in the ADDRESSES section or by electronic mail at the following 
address: judy_mcclendon@fws.gov.

    Introduction: With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for 
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, begun as announced in the Federal 
Register (68 FR 2566; January 17, 2003). For more about the process, 
see that notice. We released the Draft CCP and Environmental Assessment 
(EA) to the public, announcing and requesting comments in a notice of 
availability in the Federal Register (71 FR 65832; November 9, 2006). 
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, established on December 30, 1937, 
is one of four refuges that makes up the Southwest Louisiana National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex. The 34,724-acre refuge is strategically 
located on the boundary of coastal marshes and agricultural habitats at 
the southern terminus of the Mississippi and Central Flyways, making 
the refuge critically important to migratory birds, especially 
wintering waterfowl.
    With this notice, we announce our decision and the availability of 
the Final CCP/FONSI in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act [40 CFR 1506.6(b)] requirements. We completed a thorough 
analysis of the environmental, social, and economic considerations, 
which we included in the Final CCP/FONSI. The FONSI documents the 
selection of Alternative B, the preferred alternative.
    Alternatives and Preferred Alternative: The Draft CCP/EA identified 
and evaluated three alternatives for managing the refuge over the next 
15 years. Alternative A, the no-action alternative, would have 
continued current management of the refuge. Alternative C would refocus 
management priority to actively investigating and extending the life/
value of Lacassine Pool as a migratory bird sanctuary. We chose 
Alternative B (maximize refuge management capabilities in all programs) 
as our preferred alternative. This determination was made based on the

[[Page 54674]]

best professional judgment of the planning team and the comments 
received on the Draft CCP/EA. We believe this management alternative 
will be the most effective one to contribute to the purposes for which 
the refuge was established and to the mission of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System. Implementation of the goals, objectives, and strategies 
in the CCP will allow us to manage the refuge for migratory birds, with 
special emphasis on waterfowl (especially northern pintails and mottled 
ducks); native flora and fauna; and rare and endangered species and 
habitat types. The refuge will provide opportunities for research by 
serving as a demonstration area and outdoor laboratory for those 
studying the ecology of southwest Louisiana wetlands. It will encourage 
appropriate and compatible wildlife-dependent recreation, such as 
hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation.

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

    Dated: April 12, 2007.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E7-18982 Filed 9-25-07; 8:45 am]