[Federal Register: May 15, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 93)]
[Page 27329-27330]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to revise the comprehensive conservation plan 
and prepare an environmental impact statement for Yukon Delta National 
Wildlife Refuge.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, we), will be 
developing a revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Yukon Delta National Wildlife 
Refuge (Refuge). We will use local announcements, special mailings, 
newspaper articles, the Internet, and other media announcements to 
inform people of opportunities to provide input throughout the planning 
process. We will hold public meetings in communities within the Refuge 
during preparation of the revised plan. We will visit each of the 36 
occupied communities within the Refuge boundary as we revise this plan.

DATES: Please provide written comments on the scope of the CCP revision 
by January 31, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for further 
information to: Peter Wikoff, Planning Team Leader, Division of 
Conservation Planning and Policy, 1011 East Tudor Rd., MS-231, 
Anchorage, AK 99503. Comments may be faxed to (907) 786-3965, or sent 
via electronic mail to YukonDelta_planning@fws.gov. Additional 
information about the Refuge is available on the Internet at: http://alaska.fws.gov/nwr/planning/ydpol.htm

FOR FUTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Peter Wikoff, Planning Team Leader, 
phone (907) 786-3837 or Mikel Haase, Planning Team Leader, phone (907) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Established by the Alaska National Interest 
Lands Conservation Act (94 Stat. 2371) in 1980 (ANILCA), Yukon Delta 
National Wildlife Refuge is the second largest Refuge in the National 
Wildlife Refuge System. Stretching east for 300 miles from Nunivak 
Island in the Bering Sea to the village of Aniak, the Refuge spans more 
than 19 million acres. The two largest rivers in Alaska, the Yukon and 
the Kuskokwim, flow through the Refuge creating a delta which covers 
about 70% of the Refuge. This broad, flat area is less than 100 feet in 
elevation and covered by countless lakes and ponds. Flooding is common 
along rivers and lowlands. Wetlands, lakes, ponds, streams, inlets, 
bays, and coastal areas support an extremely varied community of fish 
and wildlife including one of the largest aggregations of water birds 
in North America. Each year over one million ducks, half a million 
geese and millions of shorebirds use the Refuge for both breeding and 
staging. The Refuge is also home to significant salmon fisheries.
    Thirty-six occupied communities lie within the Refuge boundaries. 
Alaskan Native peoples have occupied the region for close to 10,000 
years and their lives and culture are intertwined with the Refuge. 
Local Native corporations own vast tracts of lands within the Refuge.
    Refuge purposes include: (1) Conserving fish and wildlife 
populations and habitats in their natural diversity, including, but not 
limited to, shorebirds, seabirds, whistling swans, emperor, white-
fronted and Canada geese, black brant and other migratory birds, 
salmon, muskox, and marine mammals; (2) fulfilling international treaty 
obligations of the United States with respect to fish and wildlife and 
their habitats; (3) providing, in a manner consistent with purposes (1) 
and (2) above, the opportunity for continued subsistence use by local 
residents; and (4) ensuring, to the maximum extent practicable and in a 
manner consistent with purpose (1) above, water quality and necessary 
water quantity within the Refuge.
    We furnish this notice in accordance with the ANILCA, the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S. C. 668dd-
688ee), the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act (40 CFR 1500-1508), and Service policies.
    These laws and policies require all lands within the National 
Wildlife Refuge System to be managed in accordance with an approved CCP 
which articulates a 15 year plan for managing a Refuge and identifies 
Refuge goals and objectives. During the CCP process, we will consider 

[[Page 27330]]

elements, including: (1) Conservation of the Refuge's fish and wildlife 
populations and habitats in their natural diversity; (2) facilitation 
of subsistence use by local residents; (3) access for traditional 
activities; and (4) conservation of resource values, including cultural 
resources, wilderness, and rivers. The final revised CCP will detail 
programs, activities, and measures necessary to best administer the 
Refuge to protect these values and fulfill Refuge purposes over the 
next 15 years. Until the revised CCP is completed, management will 
continue to be guided by the original CCP, Federal legislation 
regarding management of National Wildlife Refuges, and other legal, 
regulatory, and policy guidance. The original CCP was approved in 1988.

Public Involvement

    We plan to hold public involvement activities in communities within 
the Refuge. We plan to visit every one of the occupied villages within 
the Refuge at least once during plan revision. With appropriate advance 
notice, scoping meetings will be held between October 15, 2007, and the 
end of February 2008, as weather and other conditions permit. We will 
also be accepting comments via mail, e-mail, telephone, and through 
personal contacts throughout the planning process.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your name, 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.

    Dated: May 8, 2007.
Thomas O. Melius,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.
 [FR Doc. E7-9285 Filed 5-14-07; 8:45 am]