[Federal Register: September 30, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 188)]
[Page 50235-50236]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service


Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, Stevensville, MT

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to 
gather information necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation 
plan (CCP) and associated environmental documents for Lee Metcalf 
National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Stevensville, Montana. We furnish 
this notice in compliance with Service CCP policy to advise other 
agencies and the public of our intentions and to obtain suggestions and 
information on the scope of issues to consider in the planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
November 13, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
of the following methods.
    E-mail: leemetcalf@fws.gov. Include ``Lee Metcalf CCP'' in the 
subject line of the message.
    Fax: Laura King, Planning Team Leader, 406-644-2661.
    U.S. Mail: Laura King, Planning Team Leader, National Bison Range, 
Division of Refuge Planning, 58355 Bison Range Road, Moiese, MT 59824.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the above address or at the Lee Metcalf National 
Wildlife Refuge office located in Stevensville, Montana, at 4567 
Wildfowl Lane.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura King, 406-644-2211, extension 
210 (phone); or Michael Spratt, Chief, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 
25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225.



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
Lee Metcalf NWR for the conservation and enhancement of its natural 
resources. This notice complies with our CCP policy to (1) Advise other 
Federal and State agencies, tribes, and the public of our intention to 
conduct detailed planning on this refuge and (2) obtain suggestions and 
information on the scope of issues to consider in the environmental 
document and during development of the CCP.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act), as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, 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, 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 Administration 
    Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System was established 
for specific purposes. We use these purposes as the foundation for 
developing and prioritizing the management goals and objectives for 
each refuge within the National Wildlife Refuge System mission, and to 
determine how the public can use each refuge. The planning process is a 
way for us and the public to evaluate management goals and objectives 
that will ensure the best possible approach to wildlife, plant, and 
habitat conservation, while providing for wildlife-dependent recreation 
opportunities that are compatible with each refuge's establishing 
purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for tribal, 
State, and local governments; agencies; organizations; and the public. 
At this time we encourage input in the form of issues, concerns, ideas, 
and suggestions for the future management of Lee Metcalf NWR.
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project and 
develop environmental documents in accordance with the requirements of 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); other 
appropriate Federal laws and regulations; and our policies and 
procedures for compliance with those laws and regulations.

Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

    This Refuge was established in 1963 and has two purposes:
    (1) ``For use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other 
management purpose, for migratory birds'' (Migratory Bird Conservation 
Act); and
    (2) ``for (a) incidental fish and wildlife oriented recreational 
development, (b) the protection of natural resources, [and] (c) the 
conservation of endangered species or threatened species'' (Refuge 
Recreation Act).
    This Refuge is located in Ravalli County, 2 miles north of 
Stevensville, Montana. The Refuge is one of the Nation's smaller 
refuges, encompassing 2,800 acres, but it is one of the few remaining 
undeveloped areas in the Bitterroot Valley. The Refuge lies along the 
meandering Bitterroot River and is comprised of wet meadow and forested 
habitats and has created and modified wetlands. This Refuge provides 
numerous opportunities for the public, including walking trails and an 
outdoor classroom for students and visitors. The Refuge provides 
habitat for raptors, including ospreys and numerous waterfowl species.

Scoping: Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    We have identified preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities 
that we may address in the CCP. During public scoping, we may identify 
additional issues.

[[Page 50236]]

    We request input as to which issues affecting management or public 
use should be addressed during the planning process. We are especially 
interested in receiving public input in the following areas:
    (a) What do you value most about this Refuge?
    (b) What problems or issues do you see affecting management of this 
    (c) What changes, if any, would you like to see in the management 
of this Refuge?

We provide the above questions for your optional use. We have no 
requirement that you provide information; however, any comments the 
planning team receives will be used as part of the planning process.

Public Meetings

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting to be scheduled for fall 2009. You can obtain the schedule from 
the planning team leader or the Refuge office (see addresses). Exact 
dates and times for these public meetings are yet to be determined, but 
will be announced via local and State media, the Region 6 planning Web 
site at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/planning/ccp.htm, and a 
planning update. If you would like to be notified of this meeting by 
mail, please provide your mailing address to the planning team leader 
(ADDRESSES). There will be additional opportunities to provide public 
input once we have prepared a draft CCP.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Dated: September 8, 2009.
Noreen E. Walsh,
Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E9-23551 Filed 9-29-09; 8:45 am]