[Federal Register: March 12, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 47)]
[Page 11048-11049]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment for Watercress Darter National Wildlife 
Refuge in Jefferson County, Alabama.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service intends to gather information 
necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and 
environmental assessment for Watercress Darter 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 April 26, 

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for more 
information to Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box

[[Page 11049]]

5087, Fort McClellan, AL 36205; Telephone 256-848-6833.

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.
    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 within 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, and local 
governments; agencies; organizations; and the public to participate in 
issue scoping and public 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 the Watercress Darter 
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.
    Open house style meeting(s) will be held throughout the scoping 
phase of the comprehensive conservation plan development process. 
Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media announcements 
will be used to inform the public and State and local government 
agencies of the opportunities for input throughout the planning 
    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. Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance with 
the Freedom of Information Act and Service and Departmental policies 
and procedures.
    Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1980 
to protect the endangered watercress darter and its habitat. Refuge 
objectives are to: Protect the watercress darter and its habitat; 
provide habitat for a natural diversity of wildlife and plants; and 
provide opportunity for compatible outdoor recreation, 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: February 8, 2007.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
 [FR Doc. E7-4372 Filed 3-9-07; 8:45 am]