[Federal Register: April 30, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 82)]
[Page 21284]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Assessment for Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife 
Refuge in St. Tammany Parish, LA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce that a Draft 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (Draft 
CCP/EA) for Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is available for 
review and comment. The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration 
Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997, requires the Service to develop a CCP for each 
national wildlife refuge. This Draft CCP, when final, will describe how 
we intend to manage Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge over the 
next 15 years.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your comments no later 
than May 30, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information to: 
Charlotte Parker, Natural Resource Planner, 61389 Highway 434, Lacombe, 
LA 70445; Telephone: 985/882-2029. The Draft CCP/EA may be accessed and 
downloaded from the Service's Internet Web site: http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/
 under ``Draft Documents.''

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge 
was established in 1994 and is presently comprised of approximately 
18,600 acres of coastal marsh and pine forested wetlands. The purposes 
of the refuge are to: Provide habitat for a natural diversity of 
wildlife associated with the marsh of the refuge; provide wintering 
habitat for migratory waterfowl; provide nesting habitat for wood 
ducks; provide habitat for non-game migratory birds; and provide 
opportunities for public outdoor recreation, such as hunting, fishing, 
hiking, bird watching, and environmental education and interpretation, 
whenever they are compatible with the purposes of the refuge.
    Significant issues addressed in the Draft CCP/EA include: Managing 
threatened and endangered species, species of concern, targeted 
species, and other species of Federal responsibility; conserving 
habitats native to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin; improving refuge 
visitor programs; increasing public outreach; providing formal 
environmental education programs; protecting archaeological and 
historical sites on the refuge; and, purchasing the remaining land 
inholdings within the established acquisition boundary of the refuge.
    Three management alternatives are considered in the Draft CCP/EA. 
Alternative A continues current management, with no new actions to 
improve or enhance existing programs. Alternative B, the proposed 
alternative, emphasizes management of natural resources based on 
maintaining and improving wetland habitats, monitoring targeted flora 
and fauna representative of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, and providing 
quality public use programs and wildlife-dependent recreational 
activities. Alternative C focuses on expanding public use activities to 
the fullest extent possible while conducting only mandated resource 
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project 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); other appropriate Federal laws and regulations; 
and our policies and procedures for compliance with those 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 NEPA (40 CFR 1506(f)), and Departmental and 
Service policies and procedures.

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

    Dated: March 13, 2007.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E7-8162 Filed 4-27-07; 8:45 am]