[Federal Register: July 14, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 135)]
[Page 40360-40361]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2008-N0101; 80230-1265-0000-S3]

Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Cruz County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) intend to 
prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental 
Assessment (EA) for the Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge 
located in Santa Cruz County of California. We provide this notice in 
compliance with our CCP policy to advise other Federal and State 
agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intentions, and to obtain 
suggestions and information on the scope of issues to consider in the 
planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by August 13, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
of the following methods.
    E-mail: sfbaynwrc@fws.gov. Include ``Ellicott Slough CCP'' in the 
subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Winnie Chan, (510) 792-5828.
    U.S. Mail: San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 9500 
Thornton Avenue, Newark, California 94560.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Winnie Chan, Refuge Planner, or Diane 
Kodama, Refuge Manager, at (510) 792-0222.



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
Ellicott Slough NWR in Santa Cruz County, CA.

[[Page 40361]]

This notice complies with our CCP policy to (1) Advise other Federal 
and State agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intention to conduct 
detailed planning on this refuge and (2) obtain suggestions and 
information on the scope of issues to consider in the environmental 
document and during development of the CCP.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Improvement Act), which amended the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, requires us to 
develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose for 
developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan 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 our 
policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on 
conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs identify wildlife-
dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including 
opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will 
review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with 
the Improvement Act.
    Congress established each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge 
System for specific purposes. We use these purposes as the foundation 
for developing and prioritizing the management goals and objectives for 
each refuge within the National Wildlife Refuge System mission, and to 
determine how the public can use each refuge. The planning process is a 
way for us and the public to evaluate management goals and objectives 
that will ensure the best possible approach to wildlife, plant, and 
habitat conservation, while providing for wildlife-dependent recreation 
opportunities that are compatible with each refuge's establishing 
purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for Tribal, 
State, and local governments; agencies; organizations; and the public. 
We will be contacting identified stakeholders and individuals at this 
time for initial input. If you would like to meet with planning staff 
or would like to receive periodic updates, please contact us (see 
ADDRESSES section). We anticipate holding a public meeting once 
alternative management scenarios have been identified. At this time we 
encourage comments in the form of issues, concerns, ideas, and 
suggestions for the future management of Ellicott Slough NWR.
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) (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 laws and regulations.

Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge

    Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 
pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1537) and the 
Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 3901b). The nearly 
300-acre Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge, located in Santa 
Cruz County, California, consists of three non-contiguous units within 
and adjacent to Ellicott Slough and associated watersheds. The Refuge 
was established to protect the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed 
salamander by supporting two of the twenty known breeding populations 
of the salamander. Due to the sensitivity of the habitat, the Refuge is 
closed to the public. Through this CCP process, we will determine 
whether any wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities should be 
made available to the public.

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: July 7, 2008.
Ken McDermond,
Acting Regional Director, California and Nevada Region, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. E8-15916 Filed 7-11-08; 8:45 am]