[Federal Register: December 6, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 234)]
[Page 68892-68893]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment for Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge in 
Lanier County, Georgia.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service intends to gather information 
necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and 
environmental assessment for Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This 
notice is furnished in compliance with the Service's comprehensive 
conservation planning policy to advise other agencies and the public of 
our intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope 
of issues to be considered in the planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, comments must be received by January 7, 

ADDRESSES: Comments, questions, and requests for more information 
regarding Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge should be sent to: Ms. 
Laura Housh, Regional Planner, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 
Route 2, Box 3330, Folkston, Georgia 31537; Phone: 912/496-7366, Ext. 
244; Fax: 912/496-3332; E-mail: laura_housh@fws.gov. You may find 
additional information concerning the refuge at the refuge's Internet 
site: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/BanksLake.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. George Constantino, Refuge 
Manager, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge; Telephone: 912/496-7366.

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 the 
Service to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for each national 
wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation 
plan 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 and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service 
policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on 
conserving wildlife and their habitats, plans identify wildlife-
dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including 
opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation. Public 
input in this planning process is essential.
    Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established 
with specific purposes. These purposes are used to develop and 
prioritize management goals and objectives with the National Wildlife 
Refuge System mission, and to guide which public uses will occur on the 
refuge. The planning process is a means for the Service and the public 
to evaluate management goals and objectives for the best possible 
conservation efforts of this important wildlife habitat, while 
providing for wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are 
compatible with the refuge's establishing purposes and the mission of 
the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    A comprehensive conservation planning process will be conducted 
that will provide opportunities for Tribal, State, Federal, and local 
governments; non-governmental organizations; and the public to 
participate in issue scoping and comment. The Service invites anyone 
interested to respond to the following questions:
    1. What problems or issues do you want to see addressed in the 
comprehensive conservation plan?
    2. What improvements would you recommend for Banks Lake National 
Wildlife Refuge?
    The above questions have been provided for your optional use. You 
are not required to provide any information. The Planning Team 
developed these questions to gather information about individual issues 
and ideas concerning the refuge. The Planning Team will use comments it 
receives as part of the planning process; however, it will not 
reference individual comments or directly respond to them.
    Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media outlets will 
be used to announce opportunities for input throughout the planning 
process. An open house style meeting will be held to solicit comments 
during the scoping phase of the planning process.
    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.); NEPA regulations (40 
CFR parts 1500-1508); and other appropriate Federal laws and 
regulations. All comments received become part of the official public 
record. 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.
    Congress established Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge in 1985, 
for the protection and conservation of its unique environment, as well 
as for migratory and resident wildlife. The refuge comprises 3,559 
acres of open water, marsh, hardwood swamp, and uplands. The refuge 
coordinates with

[[Page 68893]]

State, Federal, and local agencies; The Nature Conservancy; Moody Air 
Force Base; and adjacent landowners to fulfill the mission of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System and promote sound ecological landscape 
management. Public use opportunities on the refuge include fishing, 
boating (e.g., small engine, canoe, and kayak), wildlife observation 
and photography, and hiking.

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

    Dated: October 31, 2007.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E7-23643 Filed 12-5-07; 8:45 am]