[Federal Register: February 20, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 33)]
[Page 7913-7914]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2008-N0319; 40136-1265-0000-S3]

Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge, St. Tammany and Washington 
Parishes, LA, and Pearl River County, MS

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to 
prepare a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and associated National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for Bogue Chitto National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR). We provide this notice in compliance with our 
CCP policy to advise other agencies, tribes, 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, we must receive your written comments 
by April 6, 2009. We will hold a public meeting during the scoping 
phase of the planning process; we will announce the meeting date, time, 
and place in local media.

ADDRESSES: Send comments, questions, and requests for information to: 
Tina Chouinard, Natural Resource Planner, Hatchie National Wildlife 
Refuge, 6772 Highway 76 South, Stanton, TN 38069.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tina Chouinard; telephone: 731/780-
8208; fax: 731/772-7839; e-mail: tina_chouinard@fws.gov .



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
Bogue Chitto NWR in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, Louisiana, and 
Pearl River County, Mississippi. 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 


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Improvement Act), which amended the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, 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 strategy 
for achieving refuge purposes and contributing to 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, wildlife 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We will 
review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with 
the Improvement Act.
    Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is 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

[[Page 7914]]

and objectives for the best possible conservation approach to this 
important wildlife habitat, while providing for wildlife-dependent 
recreation opportunities that are compatible with the refuge's 
establishing purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge 
    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 Bogue Chitto NWR. Special 
mailings, newspaper articles, and other media outlets will be used to 
announce opportunities for input throughout the planning process.
    We will conduct the environmental assessment 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.
    Bogue Chitto NWR was established in 1981 and encompasses 36,000 
acres of the Pearl River Basin. The refuge is located about 9 miles 
northeast of Slidell, Louisiana, in St. Tammany and Washington 
Parishes, and also in Pearl River County, Mississippi. There are two 
road access points: One from Interstate 59 at the Louisiana/Mississippi 
border, and one west of Mississippi Highway 43 on Dumas Wise Road. The 
roads provide access to a limited portion of the refuge. The office for 
the refuge is located at the Southeast Louisiana Refuge Complex 
Headquarters in Lacombe, LA.
    The refuge's bottomland hardwood forests contain sweetgum-water oak 
stands interspersed with bald cypress-water tupelo brakes and overcup 
oak-water hickory stands bisected by meandering, unchanneled rivers. 
Adjacent to these forested wetlands, the refuge is comprised of 
approximately 1,000 acres of upland pine habitat (e.g., longleaf pine, 
slash pine, and loblolly pine).
    Public use on Bogue Chitto NWR is primarily hunting and fishing, 
with some camping occurring along the rivers. Most of the refuge is 
accessible only by boat.

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.

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 

    Dated: December 18, 2008.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E9-3606 Filed 2-19-09; 8:45 am]