[Federal Register: December 19, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 245)]
[Page 77829]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 77829]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2008-N0269; 40136-1265-0000-S3]

Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge, Hyde County, NC

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: Final comprehensive conservation plan 
and finding of no significant impact.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for Swanquarter National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR). In the final CCP, we describe how we will manage 
this refuge for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the CCP may be obtained by writing to: Swanquarter 
NWR, 38 Mattamuskeet Road, Swan Quarter, NC 27885. The CCP may also be 
accessed and downloaded from the Service's Website: http://

Telephone: 252/926-4021.



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Swanquarter NWR. 
We started this process through a notice in the Federal Register on 
November 3, 2000 (65 FR 66256). For more about the process, please see 
that notice.
    Swanquarter NWR is on the Pamlico Sound in Hyde County, North 
Carolina, and was established by Presidential Order on June 23, 1932. 
The Service has acquired all of the property within the refuge's 
acquisition boundary. The refuge consists of 16,411 acres of saltmarsh 
islands and forested wetlands interspersed with potholes, creeks, and 
drains. Marsh vegetation is dominated by black needlerush and sawgrass. 
The mainland is forested by loblolly pine, pond pine, and bald cypress. 
Approximately 8,800 acres of the refuge have been designated a 
wilderness area. An additional 27,082 acres of adjacent, non-refuge 
open water are closed by Presidential Proclamation to the taking of 
migratory birds.
    Swanquarter NWR is in the South Atlantic Coastal Plain Ecosystem 
and is part of the migration corridor for migratory birds that use the 
Atlantic Flyway. Wildlife species of management concern at the refuge 
include the American black duck, lesser scaup, canvasback, redhead, 
surf scoter, seaside sparrow, sharp-tailed sparrow, brown-headed 
nuthatch, black-throated green warbler, black rail, yellow rail, 
clapper rail, Forster's tern, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, osprey, 
black bear, red wolf, Carolina pygmy rattlesnake, and the American 
alligator. The white-tailed deer is also a resident game species.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the final CCP and 
FONSI for Swanquarter NWR in accordance with National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) [40 CFR 1506.6(b)] requirements. We completed a 
thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, which we 
included in the Draft CCP/EA.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering Swanquarter NWR 
for the next 15 years. Alternative B, as we described in the final CCP, 
is the foundation for the CCP.


    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 in 
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, wildlife 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will 
review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with 
the Improvement Act.


    We released the draft comprehensive conservation plan and 
environmental assessment (Draft CCP/EA) to the public, announcing and 
requesting comments in a notice of availability in the Federal Register 
on July 3, 2008 (73 FR 38242). All comments were considered and 
thoroughly evaluated. Responses to the comments are contained in 
Appendix D of the final CCP.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received, we have selected 
Alternative B for implementation. Under Alternative B, the preferred 
alternative, the refuge will continue to provide habitat for migratory 
birds, threatened and endangered species, and other waterfowl and 
fauna. Surveying and monitoring will be expanded to obtain baseline 
data on other species, and will include mammals, reptiles, amphibians, 
and fish. The refuge will monitor the effects of management activities 
on both flora and fauna and adapt as needed. The public use and 
environmental education and outreach programs will be increased to 
include conducting two to ten programs for local school groups. Fishing 
and hunting opportunities will be expanded by increasing the number of 
use days and introducing deer hunting with archery equipment. An 
interpretive trail or boardwalk will be developed to provide greater 
access to the public.

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

    Dated: October 6, 2008.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-30273 Filed 12-18-08; 8:45 am]