[Federal Register: February 23, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 36)]
[Page 8196-8197]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment for Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge; 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) intends to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
(CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA), pursuant to the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and its implementing 
regulations, for Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located 
within the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia. This notice also advises 
the public that the Service is withdrawing a previous notice, published 
on May 8, 2002, stating that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
would be developed for the refuge. Comments already received under the 
previous notice will be considered during preparation of the subject 
    The Service is furnishing this notice in compliance with the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.): (1) To advise other agencies and the public 
of our intentions, and (2) to obtain suggestions and information on the 
scope of issues to include in the environmental documents.

DATES: Please provide any comments on the subject CCP/EA by March 26, 
2007. The Service will notify the public of subsequent meetings on 
development of the proposed CCP/EA via Federal Register notice and 
other means, including special mailings, newspaper articles, and Web 
site announcements. Inquire at the address below for future dates of 
planning activity.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for more 
information to the following: Refuge Manager, Back Bay National 
Wildlife Refuge, 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456-4325, 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Bonetti, Refuge Planner, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, 
Massachusetts 01035, telephone 413-253-8307, fax 413-253-8468, 
electronic mail tom_bonetti@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By Federal law, all lands within the 
National Wildlife Refuge System are to be managed in accordance with an 
approved CCP. The CCP guides management decisions and identifies refuge 
goals, long-range objectives, and strategies for achieving refuge 
purposes. Public input into this planning process is essential. The CCP 
will provide other agencies and the public with a clear understanding 
of the desired conditions for the refuges and how the Service will 
implement management strategies. Public input into this planning 
process is essential.
    The Service began soliciting information from the public in early 
2002 via open houses, meetings, and written comments. Special mailings, 
newspaper articles, and Web site announcements helped to inform the 
public in the area near the refuge of the time and place of 
opportunities for input to the CCP.
    The Service has determined that, at this time, an EA is a more 
appropriate document than an EIS to accompany the CCP. The need to 
prepare an EIS is a matter of professional judgment requiring 
consideration of all issues in question. If the EA determines that the 
CCP will constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the 
quality of the human environment, an EIS will then be prepared. The 
primary purpose of an EIS is to ensure that a full and fair discussion 
of all significant environmental impacts occurs, and to inform decision 
makers and the public of the reasonable alternatives that would avoid 
or minimize adverse impacts or enhance the quality of the human 
    Review of this project will be conducted in accordance with the 
requirements of the NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), NEPA 
Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), other appropriate Federal laws 
and regulations, and Service policies and procedures for compliance 
with those regulations. Concurrent with the CCP process, the Service 
will conduct a wilderness review and incorporate a summary of the 
review into the CCP, as well as include compatibility determinations 
for all applicable refuge uses. We estimate that the Draft CCP/EA will 
be available in 2007.

[[Page 8197]]

    Dated: August 28, 2006.
Marvin E. Moriarty,
Regional Director, Region 5, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, 
    Editorial Note: This document was received by the Office of the 
Federal Register on February 20, 2007.

[FR Doc. E7-3110 Filed 2-22-07; 8:45 am]