[Federal Register: May 26, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 99)]
[Page 24873]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-R-2009-N0023; 30136-1265-0000-S3]

Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Schoolcraft County, MI

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 the 
availability of the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Environmental 
Assessment (EA) for Seney National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Goals and 
objectives in the CCP describe how the agency intends to manage the 
refuge over the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final CCP and FONSI/EA may be viewed at the 
Seney National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters or at public libraries near 
the refuge. You may access and download a copy via the Planning Web 
site at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Planning/Seney, or you may obtain a 
copy on compact disk by contacting: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Division of Conservation Planning, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal 
Building, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, MN 55111 (1-800-247-1247, 
extension 5429), or Seney National Wildlife Refuge, 1674 Refuge 
Entrance Road, Seney, MI 49883 (906-586-9851). A limited number of 
hardcopies will be available for distribution at the Refuge 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg McClellan (906-586-9851).



    With this notice, we complete the CCP process for Seney NWR, which 
we began by publishing a notice of intent on April 21, 2006 (71 FR 
20722). For more information about the initial process, see that 
notice. We released the draft CCP and EA to the public, announcing and 
requesting comments in a notice of availability on September 3, 2008 
(73 FR 51506).
    Seney NWR was established in 1935 by Executive Order under the 
Migratory Bird Conservation Act for the protection and production of 
migratory birds and other wildlife. The Refuge encompasses 
approximately 95,238 acres; 25,150 acres comprise the Seney Wilderness 
Area in which is contained the Strangmoor Bog National Natural 
Landmark. The Refuge is also responsible for the 33-acre Whitefish 
Point Unit, a former Coast Guard Station at Whitefish Point, in 
Chippewa County.
    The Draft CCP/EA was released for public review September 3, 2008; 
the comment period lasted 35 days ending October 8, 2008. During the 
comment period the Refuge hosted an open house event. By the conclusion 
of the comment period we received 14 written responses from 
organizations and individuals. In response to these comments we made a 
number of minor edits to the final document.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments received, we have selected 
Alternative 2 (Management Gradients) for implementation. Under the 
selected alternative the Refuge will strive to manage its forests and 
water to allow unfettered succession to take place. Dynamic events such 
as windstorms, insect and tree disease outbreaks, and flooding and 
wildfire will play a more substantial role in shaping habitats.
    The major focus of the Refuge for the next 15 years will be on 
increasing biodiversity and regional resource conservation priority 
species habitat. The Refuge will be segmented into four general units 
with a management strategy tied to each unit. The units would follow a 
general gradient of management from low intensity (wilderness) to 
higher manipulation (managed impoundments and visitor use). The Refuge 
will also seek to increase wildlife-dependent public use opportunities.


    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee et seq.), requires the Service to develop a CCP 
for each National Wildlife Refuge. The purpose in developing a CCP is 
to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy 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 Service policies. In 
addition to outlining broad management direction for conserving 
wildlife and their habitats, the CCP identifies 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 National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act 
of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement 
Act of 1997, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
U.S.C. 4321-4370d).

    Dated: March 12, 2009.
Charles M. Wooley,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
 [FR Doc. E9-12116 Filed 5-22-09; 8:45 am]