[Federal Register: September 27, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 187)]
[Page 54921-54922]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Dillingham, AK

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of the Draft Revised Comprehensive
Conservation Plan, Draft Revised Public Use Management Plan, and
Environmental Assessment for Togiak National Wildlife Refuge; request
for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, we) announce
that the Draft Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and
Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Revised Public Use Management
Plan (PUMP) and EA for Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is available for
public comment. This Draft CCP/PUMP/EA describes how the Service
intends to manage the Togiak Refuge for the next 15 years.

DATES: We must receive written comments on the draft CCP/PUMP/EA by
January 18, 2008.

ADDRESSES: To provide written comments or to request a paper copy or a
compact disk of the Draft CCP/PUMP/EA, contact Maggi Arend, Planning
Team Leader, Division of Comprehensive Planning and Policy, MS 231,
1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503-6199, phone 907-786-3393, fax
907-786-3965 or electronically at fw7_togiak_planning@fws.gov. You
may also view or download the plan at: http://alaska.fws.gov/nwr/planning/togpol.htm.
 Copies of the Draft plan may be viewed at the

Togiak Refuge Office in Dillingham, Alaska; local area libraries, and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office in Anchorage,

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maggi Arend at the above address or
phone number.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Alaska National Interest Lands
Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 410hh et seq., 43 U.S.C. 1602 et
seq.) requires development of a CCP for all national wildlife refuges
in Alaska. The Draft CCP for Togiak Refuge was developed consistent
with Section 304(g) of ANILCA and the Refuge Administration Act as
amended by the Refuge Improvement Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.). 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, wildlife, and habitat management and conservation;
legal mandates; and Service policies. Plans define long-term goals and
objectives toward which refuge management activities are directed and
identify which uses may be compatible with the purposes of the refuge.
They identify wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities available to
the public, including hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and
photography, and environmental education and interpretation.
Comprehensive conservation plans are updated in accordance with
planning direction in Section 304(g) of ANILCA and with NEPA (42 U.S.C.
4321 et seq.).
    Togiak Refuge was established as Cape Newenham National Wildlife
Refuge in 1969 to protect and preserve the outstanding wildlife values,
including bird colonies and important habitat for other terrestrial and
marine wildlife. The refuge was expanded to 4,156,522 acres and
established as Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in 1980 by ANILCA. The
Togiak Refuge CCP was approved in 1987. The PUMP was approved in 1991
and incorporated the State of Alaska Special Land Use Designation for
the management of State lands within the boundary of the refuge and
including the lower Goodnews River drainage. The current document
includes revisions of each of these three plans. The core planning
team, which developed the range of alternatives for the CCP/PUMP,
included representatives of the State of Alaska and five recognized
Native Alaskan tribes from the vicinity of the refuge.

Comprehensive Plan

    This Draft CCP describes and evaluates two alternatives for
managing Togiak Refuge for the next 15 years.
    Alternative 1: This alternative encompasses policy development,
changes, and clarifications made in the years since the implementation
of the original Comprehensive Plan in 1987. It also includes a refuge
vision statement, goals, objectives, and certain strategies which will
guide refuge management into the future. Restrictions on helicopter use
for recreational purposes would be maintained.
    Alternative 2 (Current Management): Under this alternative, the
Refuge would continue to implement current management as outlined in
the 1987 Comprehensive Plan. The Refuge would continue to be managed
much as it is today, but without goals and objectives.

Public Use Plan

    The Draft Public Use Management Plan describes and evaluates five
alternatives for managing public use on Togiak Refuge. These
alternatives address four issues: public use at Cape Peirce Wildlife
Viewing Area; unguided recreational opportunites in the Kanektok and
Goodnews river watersheds; human waste management; and commercial sport
fishing guide opportunities.
    Alternative A: This alternative would carry forward existing
management into the future. At Cape Peirce, management would emphasize
wildlife viewing that complements the research and study of fish,
wildlife, plants, and their habitats and would continue current limits
on visitors to the area. There would be no limits on unguided
recreational users on the Kanektok and Goodnews rivers and no
additional management of human waste disposal. Commercial sport fishing
guide opportunities would remain at current levels.
    Alternative B: This alternative makes limited adjustments to
current management. At Cape Peirce, management would remain the same
except that 50% of permits would be allocated to the general public.
Unguided use of the Kanektok River watershed would be limited to the
same levels currently allowed for guided use. On the Goodnews River,
unguided use would be limited to the current level of use. Commercial
sport fishing guide opportunities would be expanded on the middle fork
of the Goodnews River.
    Alternative C (the preferred alternative): Under this alternative,
adjustments would be made to management in each of the issue areas. At
Cape Peirce, management would facilitate wildlife viewing that
complements the protection and preservation of the area's natural and
cultural resource values and opportunities for visitation would be
doubled. The allocation of permits would be the same as Alternative B,
but at low use levels the refuge manager may waive the requirement for
permits. Minimal facilities could be constructed for public health and
safety. Limits on the unguided recreational use of the Kanektok and
Goodnews rivers would be established for the peak use periods

[[Page 54922]]

only. The refuge would work with partners to facilitate the voluntary
use of approved disposal sites for human waste. Guided motorized access
to the North Fork Goodnews River would be limited from current maximum
allowable levels but would be above current use levels.
    Alternative D: This alternative would provide additional
opportunities for commercially guided recreation throughout the refuge.
At Cape Peirce, opportunities for visiting the area would be doubled
from current levels and would be commercially guided. Unguided
recreation on the Kanektok and Goodnews rivers would remain
unrestricted. Additional commercial sport fishing guide opportunities
would be provided on the Goodnews, Togiak, Osviak, and Matogak rivers.
    Alternative E: This alternative would reduce the level of use on
the Kanektok and Goodnews rivers and implement a human waste pack out
program on the Kanektok River. It would also provide additional
opportunities for public use at Cape Peirce. Commercial sport fishing
guide opportunities would be continued at current levels.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your name, 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.

    Dated: September 21, 2007.
Thomas O. Melius,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.
 [FR Doc. E7-19086 Filed 9-26-07; 8:45 am]