[Federal Register: May 16, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 94)]
[Page 27587-27588]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson, Jennings and 
Monroe Counties, IN, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Becker County, 
MN, Tamarac Wetland Management District, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, 
Hubbard and Koochiching Counties, MN, and Big Muddy National Wildlife 
Refuge Authorized Within the Twenty Counties That Lie Along the 
Missouri River From Kansas City to St. Louis, MO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; request for comments.


SUMMARY: 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 Muscatatuck, 
Tamarac, and Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) and Tamarac 
Wetland Management District (WMD). We furnish this notice in compliance 
with our CCP 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.
    In addition, the Service is inviting comments on archeological, 
historic, and traditional cultural sites in accordance with the 
National Historic Preservation Act.
    Special mailings, newspaper articles, internet postings, and other 
media announcements will inform people of the opportunities for written 

ADDRESSES: Comments or requests for more information can be sent to the 
appropriate refuge at the following addresses:
    1. Attention: Refuge Manager, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, 
12985 East U.S. Hwy 50, Seymour, IN 47274.
    2. Attention: Refuge Manager, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge or 
Tamarac Wetland District, 35704 County Road 26, Rochert, MN 56578.
    3. Attention: Refuge Manager, Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge, 
4200 New Haven Road, Columbia, MO 65201.
    You may also find information on the CCP planning process and 
submit comments electronically on the planning Web site http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning
 or you may e-mail comments to r3planning@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marc Webber, Muscatatuck NWR, 812-522-
4352; Barbara Boyle, Tamarac NWR and WMD, 218-847-2641; or Tom Bell, 
Big Muddy NWR, 573-876-1826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: With this notice, we initiate the CCP for 
the Muscatatuck NWR with headquarters in Seymour, IN; the CCP for the 
Tamarac NWR and Tamarac WMD with headquarters in Rochert, MN; and the 
CCP for the Big Muddy NWR with headquarters in Columbia, MO.


The CCP Process

    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. Land 
parcels managed by the Service within a Wetland Management District are 
also units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 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.

[[Page 27588]]

    Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, including each of 
these NWRs, is established with specific purposes. The Service uses 
these purposes 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 us 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 for the future management of the 
Muscatatuck NWR, Tamarac NWR and WMD, and Big Muddy NWR. We invite 
anyone interested to respond to the following two questions:
    1. What issues do you want to see addressed in the CCP?
    2. What improvements would you recommend for the refuges?
    Responding to these two questions is optional; you are not required 
to provide information to us. Our Planning Team developed the questions 
to gather information about individual issues and ideas concerning 
these Refuges. Comments we receive will be used as part of the planning 
process; however, we will not reference individual comments in our 
reports or directly respond to them.
    We will also give the public an opportunity to provide input at 
open houses. You can obtain a schedule of the open house events by 
contacting the Refuge Managers listed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
    The environmental review of these projects 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); other appropriate Federal laws and regulations; 
and our policies and procedures for compliance with those regulations.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your 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: March 26, 2007.
Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, Robyn Thorson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
 [FR Doc. E7-9384 Filed 5-15-07; 8:45 am]