[Federal Register: May 22, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 98)]
[Page 24031-24032]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-R-2008-N0346; 60138-1265-6CCP-S3]

Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Pathfinder National 
Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce that 
the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Pathfinder 
National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is available. This CCP, prepared 
pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, describes how the 
Service intends to manage the Pathfinder NWR for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the CCP or Summary may be obtained by writing to 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Refuge Planning, 134 Union 
Boulevard, Suite 300, Lakewood, Colorado 80228, or downloaded from 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Toni Griffin, 303-236-4378 (phone); 
303-236-4792 (fax); or toni_griffin@fws.gov (e-mail).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Located in central Wyoming in a high plains 
basin near the headwaters of the Platte-Kansas Ecosystem, Pathfinder 
National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) lies approximately 47 miles southwest of 
Casper, Wyoming. The Pathfinder NWR is managed by Service staff 
headquartered at the Arapaho NWR near Walden, Colorado.
    Pathfinder NWR was established by Executive Order 7425, August 1, 
1936, which designated the Pathfinder Wildlife Refuge, ``as a refuge 
and breeding ground for birds and other wildlife.'' Pathfinder NWR was 
established as an overlay refuge on Bureau of Reclamation lands. The 
Bureau of Reclamation administers lands within the Pathfinder Project 
boundary for North Platte Project purposes including flood control, 
irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. A Memorandum of 
Agreement specifies the management responsibilities of the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service while preserving the autonomy of Bureau of 
Reclamation to manage Pathfinder Dam and Reservoir.
    This final CCP identifies goals, objectives, and strategies for the 
management of Pathfinder NWR that emphasize management of refuge 
habitats for migratory birds. The CCP places high importance on 
obtaining baseline data for the refuge, control of invasive plant 
species, and utilizing partnerships to support the purposes of the 
refuge. It seeks to provide habitats to contribute to conservation, 
enhancement, and production of migratory bird species while protecting 
Federally listed species.
    The availability of the draft CCP and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
was announced in the Federal Register on July 28, 2008 (73 FR 43777-
78), and made available for a 30-day public review and comment period. 
The draft CCP/EA evaluated three alternatives for managing Pathfinder 
NWR for the next 15 years.
    The preferred alternative would modify the Memorandum of Agreement 
between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Service to eliminate Service 
interest in lands (approximately 10,800 acres) that are difficult to 
manage and provide minimal opportunity to improve wildlife habitat. 
Remaining refuge areas will be evaluated and managed for the benefit of 
migratory bird species. Monitoring and management of invasive species 
on the refuge will be increased. With additional staffing, the Service

[[Page 24032]]

will collect baseline biological information for wildlife and habitats. 
Wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities will be provided and 
enhanced where compatible with refuge purposes. Efforts will be 
increased to maintain and develop partnerships that promote wildlife 
and habitat research and management. This will enable the Service to 
focus efforts on manageable lands, thereby enhancing refuge management 
and efficiently directing refuge resources toward accomplishing the 
mission of the Refuge System.
    The preferred alternative was selected 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 shore birds, migrating and nesting waterfowl, 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 
    We are furnishing this notice to advise other agencies and the 
public of the availability of the final CCP and provide information 
about the desired conditions for the Pathfinder NWR. Based on the 
review and evaluation of the information contained in the EA, the 
Regional Director has determined that implementation of the Final Plan 
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.

    Dated: January 7,2009.
Noreen E. Walsh,
Deputy Regional Director.

    Editorial Note: This document was received in the Office of the 
Federal Register on May 19, 2009.

 [FR Doc. E9-12002 Filed 5-21-09; 8:45 am]