[Federal Register: December 9, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 235)]
[Page 65137-65138]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-R-2009-N226; 10137-1265-0000 S3]

Oregon Islands, Three Arch Rocks, and Cape Meares National 
Wildlife Refuges, Clatsop, Tillamook, Lincoln, Lane, Coos, and Curry 
Counties, OR

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of comprehensive conservation plan, 
wilderness stewardship plan, and finding of no significant impact.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our completed comprehensive conservation plan (CCP), 
wilderness stewardship plan (WSP), and finding of no significant impact 
(FONSI) for the Oregon Islands, Three Arch Rocks, and Cape Meares 
National Wildlife Refuges (Refuges) in Oregon. In this CCP, we describe 
how we will manage the Refuges for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You can obtain printed or CD-ROM copies of the CCP/WSP/FONSI 
by any of the following methods:
    Agency Web Site: Download a copy of the CCP/WSP/FONSI at http://
    E-mail: oregoncoastccp@fws.gov. Include ``Oregon Islands CCP'' in 
the subject line of the message.

[[Page 65138]]

    Mail: Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 SE Marine 
Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call (542) 867-4550 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours to view the CCP/FONSI at 2127 
SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader, (542) 867-



    With this notice, we complete the current CCP process for the 
Oregon Islands, Three Arch Rocks, and Cape Meares Refuges. We started 
this process with a notice of intent published in the Federal Register 
(71 FR 62605, October 26, 2006). We released the Draft CCP/
Environmental Assessment (EA) to the public, requesting comments in a 
notice of availability in the Federal Register (74 FR 28270, June 15, 
    The Oregon Islands, Three Arch Rocks, and Cape Meares Refuges are 
parts of the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Planning 
for these Refuges occurred simultaneously because all three Refuges 
consist of rocks, reefs, islands, and headlands located along the 
Oregon coast, and many of the same issues and management opportunities 
occur at all three Refuges.
    These Refuges span the coast of Oregon and support a rich diversity 
of wildlife habitats including coastal rocks, reefs, islands, and 
forested and grass-covered headlands. Oregon Islands Refuge includes 
1,854 rocks, reefs, islands, and two headland units, spanning 320 miles 
of the Oregon Coast. With the exception of Tillamook Rock, all of the 
rocks, reefs, and islands within the Refuge are included in the Oregon 
Islands Wilderness Stewardship Area. The Three Arch Rocks Refuge and 
Wilderness Stewardship area is located offshore in the Pacific Ocean, 
one-half mile west of Oceanside, Oregon, in Tillamook County. The 
Refuge encompasses nine rocks and islands with a total land area of 15 
acres. Cape Meares Refuge consists of vertical coastal cliffs, rock 
outcroppings, and rolling headlands with old-growth forest dominated by 
Sitka spruce and western hemlock.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the CCP/WSP/FONSI 
for Oregon Islands, Three Arch Rocks, and Cape Meares Refuges in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) [40 CFR 
1506.6(b)] requirements. We completed a thorough analysis of impacts on 
the human environment, which we included in the EA that accompanied the 
Draft CCP.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering the Refuges for 
the next 15 years. Alternative 2, as we described in the Draft CCP/EA, 
is the foundation for the completed CCP. We made minor additions and 
corrections to the CCP based on public comments we received on the 
Draft CCP/EA.


    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 direction 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 Act.

CCP Alternatives, Including the Selected Alternative

    We addressed several issues in our Draft CCP/EA through development 
and evaluation of two alternatives for managing the Refuges. The Draft 
CCP/EA was available for a 30-day public review and comment period. The 
Service received 11 comments on the Draft CCP, which were incorporated 
into or responded to in the completed CCP. No substantive changes were 
required to address public comments. One new strategy was added to 
emphasize communication with all branches of the military that conduct 
flights along the Oregon coast to educate pilots about the Refuges and 
the impacts caused by low-level overflights along the Oregon coast. 
Additional text was added to highlight the Service's plan to formalize 
the U.S. Coast Guard's supporting role in reporting Federal wildlife 
violations and enforcing Refuge regulations.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received, we selected Alternative 
2 for the CCP. As planned in the CCP, we will develop law-enforcement 
assistance agreements to increase resource protection along the coast; 
continue seabird surveys; develop GIS-based inventory and monitoring 
programs for target wildlife and plant species; actively work with 
partners to design and implement research on seabirds, pinnipeds, 
climate change, and other pertinent issues; expand the volunteer 
program to include interpretation at new locations; and develop 
agreements with school districts to implement environmental education 
programs at Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks Refuges.
    For Cape Meares Refuge, we will maintain closed areas; create a 
wildlife checklist; conduct an official boundary survey and post the 
boundary; and develop law enforcement assistance agreements, as planned 
in the CCP. We will also increase the volunteer interpreter presence 
and recruit more volunteers to lead guided walks. Environmental 
education and evening campground programs at adjacent Cape Lookout 
State Park will be developed and implemented.

Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to the methods in ADDRESSES, you can view or obtain 
documents at the following locations:
     Our Web site: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/CCP.htm.
     Public libraries on the Oregon Coast will have a copy of 
the CCP in their Reference sections.

    Dated: November 12, 2009.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. E9-29316 Filed 12-8-09; 8:45 am]