[Federal Register: February 26, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 38)]
[Page 10279-10280]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2008-N0013; 50130-1265-0000-S3]

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Genesee County and Orleans 
County, NY

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 an associated 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document for Iroquois National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR). We provide this notice in compliance with our 
planning policy to advise other agencies, Tribes, and the public of our 
intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of 
issues to consider. We are also requesting public comments.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by April 30, 2008. We will hold public meetings to begin the CCP 
planning process; see Public Meetings under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. 
We will announce opportunities for public input in local news media 
throughout the CCP planning process, and will announce upcoming public 
meetings in local news media and the refuge Web site.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
of the following methods.
    Electronic mail: northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include ``Iroquois NWR 
CCP/EA'' in the subject line of the message.
    U.S. Postal Service: Iroquois NWR, 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY, 
    In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call 585-948-5445 to make 
an appointment during regular business hours at 1101 Casey Road, 
Alabama, NY.
    Fax: 585-948-9538.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Roster, Project Leader, at 585-
948-5445, or Thomas Bonetti, Planning Team Leader, at 413-253-8307.



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
Iroquois NWR in Genessee County and Orleans County, NY. We provide this 
notice in compliance with our planning policy to (1) advise other 
Federal and State agencies and the public of our intention to conduct 
detailed planning on this refuge and (2) obtain suggestions and 
information on the scope of topics to consider in the environmental 
document and during development of the CCP.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(Improvement Act) (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), 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 (NWRS), 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 and NEPA.
    We establish each unit of the NWRS for specific purposes. We use 
these purposes as the bases to develop and prioritize management goals 
and objectives for the refuge within the NWRS mission, and to determine 
how the public can use the refuge. The planning process is a way for us 
and the public to evaluate management goals and objectives for the best 
possible conservation approach to this important wildlife habitat, 
while providing for wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that 
are compatible with the refuge's establishing purposes and the mission 
of the NWRS. Our CCP process provides opportunities for Tribal, State, 
and local governments; agencies; organizations; and the public to 
participate. At this time, we encourage the public to provide input in 
the form of issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future 
management of Iroquois NWR.
    We will conduct the environmental review of this environmental 
assessment in accordance with the requirements of NEPA, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA regulations (40 CFR parts

[[Page 10280]]

1500-1508); other appropriate Federal laws and regulations; and our 
policies and procedures for compliance with those laws and regulations.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

    Iroquois NWR was established in 1958 under the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Act for ``* * *use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any 
other management purpose, for migratory birds (16 U.S.C. 715d).'' The 
refuge consists of more than 10,800 acres within the rural townships of 
Alabama and Shelby, New York, midway between Buffalo and Rochester. 
Freshwater marshes and hardwood swamps are bounded by forests, 
grasslands, and wet meadows. These areas serve the habitat needs of 
both migratory and resident wildlife, including waterfowl, songbirds, 
mammals, and amphibians, as well as numerous indigenous plant species.

Scoping: Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    We have identified preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities 
that we may address in the CCP. We have briefly summarized these issues 
below. During public scoping, we may identify additional issues.
    Iroquois NWR incorporates several management techniques to create 
desired habitat types and wildlife rich environments. Some of the 
management techniques to be addressed in the CCP will include 
prescribed fire, haying, water level management, invasive species 
control through herbicide application, removal of select artificial 
nest structures, and mechanical manipulation of habitats.
    Additionally, public use throughout the refuge will be reevaluated 
in relation to wildlife-dependent recreation and other mission 
compatible uses. These uses will include waterfowl, big game, small 
game, and turkey hunting; fishing and fishing access points; trapping 
area(s) and the permitting process; seasonal access throughout the 
refuge; deletion, addition, or modification of the trails, overlooks, 
and parking areas; and visitor facilities.

Public Meetings

    We will involve the public through open houses, informational and 
technical meetings, and written comments. We will release mailings, 
news releases, and announcements to provide information about 
opportunities for public involvement in the planning process. You can 
obtain the schedule from the planning team leader or project leader 
(see ADDRESSES). You may also submit comments anytime during the 
planning process by mail, electronic mail, or fax (see ADDRESSES). 
There will be additional opportunities to provide public input once we 
have prepared a draft CCP.
    We anticipate that public meetings will be held in three locations: 
Basom, New York; Albion, New York; and Batavia, New York. For specific 
information including dates, times, and locations, contact the project 
leader (see ADDRESSES) or visit our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/

Public Availability of Comments

    Our practice is to make comments, including names, home addresses, 
home phone numbers, and electronic mail addresses of respondents 
available for public review. Individual respondents may request that we 
withhold their names and/or home addresses, etc., but if you wish us to 
consider withholding this information, you must state this prominently 
at the beginning of your comments. In addition, you must present a 
rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must 
demonstrate that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted 
invasion of privacy. Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. 
In the absence of exceptional, documentable circumstances, this 
information will be released. We will always make submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or 
businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

    Dated: February 19, 2008.
Wendi Weber,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Hadley, Massachusetts.
[FR Doc. E8-3571 Filed 2-25-08; 8:45 am]