[Federal Register: May 12, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 90)]
[Page 22176-22177]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service


Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for 12 National Wildlife 
Refuges in North Dakota

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: final comprehensive conservation plan 
and finding of no significant impact for environmental assessment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 
that our final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for 12 National 
Wildlife Refuges (Refuges) in the State of North Dakota is available. 
This final CCP describes how we intend to manage these particular 
Refuges in the State for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: To obtain a copy of the CCP, write to John Esperance, 
Division of Refuge Planning, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 134 Union 
Boulevard, Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80228; or download a copy from 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Esperance, 303-236-4369 (phone); 
303-236-4792 (fax); or John--Esperance@ fws.gov (e-mail).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 12 North Dakota Refuges this CCP covers 
are Audubon, Chase Lake, Kellys Slough, Lake Alice, Lake Ilo, Lake 
Nettie, Lake Zahl, McLean, Shell Lake, Stump Lake, Stewart Lake, and 
White Lake. These sites are located throughout the State of North 
    All 12 Refuges were established under authority to provide breeding 
ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. These 12 Refuges 
conserve, restore, and enhance the ecological diversity of grasslands 
and wetlands of the North Dakota prairie to support healthy populations 
of ducks and geese, other migratory birds, and native species. Through 
this work, these 12 Refuges provide vital resting and breeding habitat.
    We made available our draft CCP and environmental assessment to the 
public for a 30-day review and comment period by publishing a Federal 
Register notice

[[Page 22177]]

on August 28, 2008 (73 FR 50834). The draft CCP/EA evaluated 3 
alternatives for managing the 12 Refuges for the next 15 years.
    The preferred alternative will provide for enhanced wetland and 
upland management, where warranted, on Refuge lands. Management 
objectives for various habitat types are based on habitat preferences 
of groups of target species, such as waterfowl, migratory shore birds, 
grassland bird species, and priority species. Refuge staff will focus 
on high-priority tracts and medium-priority tracts. The Refuge staff 
will implement compatible production enhancement techniques for 
targeted migratory bird populations. The Refuge staff will maintain 
existing environmental education and public use programs, with 
additional waterfowl emphasis. We propose, at a future date, a new 
environmental learning center for Audubon Refuge, and we are also 
planning interpretive panels for Lake Alice Refuge.
    We selected the preferred alternative because it best meets the 
purposes and goals of the Refuge, as well as the mission and goals of 
the National Wildlife Refuge System. The preferred alternative will 
benefit migrating and nesting waterfowl, shore birds, migratory upland 
birds, and resident wildlife. Environmental education and partnerships 
will result in improved wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities. 
Cultural and historical resources as well as federally listed species 
will be protected.
    We are furnishing this notice to advise other agencies and the 
public of the availability of the final CCP and Finding of No 
Significant Impact, to provide information on desired conditions for 
the Refuges, and to detail how we will implement management strategies. 
Based on the review and evaluation of the information contained in the 
environmental assessment, our Regional Director has determined that 
implementation of the final CCP does not constitute a major Federal 
action that would significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment within the meaning of Section 102(2)(c) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement 
will not be prepared. Future site-specific proposals discussed in the 
final CCP will be addressed in separate planning efforts with full 
public involvement.

    Dated: March 10, 2009.
Noreen E Walsh,
Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E9-11024 Filed 5-11-09; 8:45 am]