[Federal Register: January 9, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 5)]
[Page 972-973]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Medicine Lake, MT

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; request for comments.


SUMMARY: This notice advises that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) intends to gather information necessary to prepare a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and associated environmental 
documents for the Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex 
in Northeast Montana, which includes Medicine Lake NWR, Lamesteer NWR, 
and the Northeast Montana Wetland Management District.

[[Page 973]]

    The Service is furnishing this notice in compliance with Service 
CCP policy to advise other agencies and the public of its intentions, 
and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to be 
considered in the planning process.

DATES: Written comments must be received by February 8, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Comments or requests for more information regarding the 
Medicine Lake NWR Complex should be sent to Laurie Shannon, Planning 
Team Leader, Division of Refuge Planning, P.O. Box 25486, Denver 
Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Shannon, 303-236-4317, or John 
Esperance, Chief, Branch of Comprehensive Conservation Planning, 303-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Service has initiated the CCP for the 
Medicine Lake NWR Complex with headquarters in Medicine Lake, Montana.
    The Medicine Lake NWR Complex is located within the highly 
productive prairie pothole region of the Northern Great Plains, along 
the western edge of the Missouri Coteau, in northeastern Montana. It is 
composed of three individual units: Medicine Lake NWR, Lamesteer NWR, 
and the Northeast Montana Wetland Management District. Together these 
units are dispersed across four counties and require management of more 
than 73,532 acres of Service-owned lands, wetland and/or grassland 
easements, or leases on privately owned land. Medicine Lake NWR 
encompasses 31,534 acres including 11,360 acres of designated 
wilderness and was established in 1935 as ``* * * a refuge and breeding 
ground for migratory birds and other wildlife'' (Executive Order 7148, 
dated August 29, 1935). The Wetland Management District was established 
in 1968 and consists of Waterfowl Production Areas and wetland and 
grassland easements. The purpose of these acquired Waterfowl Production 
Areas and easements is to function as ``waterfowl production areas 
subject to * * * all of the provisions of the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Stamp Act * * * except the inviolate sanctuary 
provisions'' (16 U.S.C. 718). Lamesteer NWR, established in 1942 as an 
easement refuge, was described as ``800 acres in Wibaux County, 
Montana, * * * as refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and 
other wildlife'' (Executive Order 9166, dated May 19, 1942).
    The Medicine Lake NWR Complex is home to more than 270 species of 
birds, 38 species of mammals, and 17 species of reptiles and 
amphibians. Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, including 
the Medicine Lake NWR Complex, has specific purposes for which it was 
established and for which legislation was enacted. Those 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 these refuges. The planning process is a way 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 refuges' establishing 
purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    The Service will conduct a comprehensive conservation planning 
process that will provide opportunity for Tribal, State, and local 
governments; agencies; organizations; and the public to participate in 
issue scoping and public comment. The Service is requesting input for 
issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of 
the Medicine Lake NWR Complex. Anyone interested in providing input is 
invited to respond to the following three questions.
    (1) What do you value most about the Medicine Lake NWR Complex?
    (2) What problems or issues do you want to see addressed in the 
    (3) What changes, if any, would you like to see in the management 
of the Medicine Lake NWR Complex?
    The Service has provided the above questions for your optional use; 
you are not required to provide information to the Service. The 
planning team developed these questions to facilitate finding out more 
information about individual issues and ideas concerning these three 
units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Comments received by the 
planning team will be used as part of the planning process; individual 
comments will not be referenced in our reports or responded to 
    An opportunity will be given to the public to provide input at the 
open house to scope issues and concerns (schedules can be obtained from 
the planning team leader at the above address). Comments may also be 
submitted anytime during the planning process by writing to the above 
address. All information provided voluntarily by mail, phone, or at 
public meetings becomes part of the official public record (i.e., 
names, addresses, letters of comment, input recorded during meetings). 
If requested under the Freedom of Information Act by a private citizen 
or organization, the Service may provide informational copies.
    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) of 1969, 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. All comments received from individuals on 
Service Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements 
become part of the official public record. Requests for such comments 
will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, NEPA 
(40 CFR 1506.6(f)), and other Departmental and Service policies and 
procedures. When requested, the Service generally will provide comment 
letters with the names and addresses of the individuals who wrote the 
comments. However, the telephone number of the commenting individual 
will not be provided in response to such requests to the extent 
permissible by law.

    Dated: November 17, 2006.
James J. Slack,
Deputy Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado.
 [FR Doc. E7-72 Filed 1-8-07; 8:45 am]