[Federal Register: May 7, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 88)]
[Page 25285-25286]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2010-N020; BAC-4311-K9 S3]

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Philadelphia and 
Delaware Counties, PA

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 environmental 
assessment (EA) for John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) at 
Tinicum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We provide this notice in 
compliance with our CCP policy to advise other Federal and State 
agencies, Tribal Governments, and the public of our intentions, and to 
obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to consider 
in the planning process. We are also announcing public meetings and 
requesting public comments.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
June 11, 2010. We will announce opportunities for public input in local 
news media throughout the CCP process.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
of the following methods:
    Electronic Mail: northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include ``John Heinz 
NWR CCP'' in the subject line of the message.
    Facsimile: Attention: Nancy McGarigal, 413-253-8468.
    U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center 
Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.
    In-Person Drop-off. You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum, 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., 
Philadelphia, PA 19153.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary Stolz, Refuge Manager, John Heinz 
NWR at Tinicum, 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19153; phone: 
(215) 365-3118; electronic mail: gary--stolz(copyright)fws.gov.



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
John Heinz NWR at Tinicum, in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, 
Pennsylvania. This notice complies with our CCP policy to (1) advise 
other Federal and State agencies, Tribal Governments, 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 to the mission of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), 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.
    Each unit of the NWRS 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 NWRS, and to 
determine how the public can use each

[[Page 25286]]

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 NWRS.
    Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for Tribal, 
State, and local governments, conservation organizations, and the 
public. At this time, we encourage input in the form of issues, 
concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of John 
Heinz NWR.
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project and 
develop an EA 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.

John Heinz NWR

    Under legislation passed by Congress in 1972, authorization was 
given to the Secretary of the Interior to acquire 1,200 acres to 
preserve Tinicum Marsh and establish a ``Tinicum National Environmental 
Center.'' The Congressional mandate set forth for the refuge was to 
preserve, restore, and enhance habitat; provide opportunities for the 
public to study wildlife in its natural habitat; and to promote 
environmental education. In November 1991, in a bill sponsored by 
Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA), the name of the refuge was changed to 
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum to honor the late 
Senator who helped preserve Tinicum Marsh.
    The refuge protects five varied habitats: Freshwater tidal marsh, 
impounded water, woods, meadow, and field. The 200 acres of freshwater 
tidal marsh represents approximately 80 percent of Pennsylvania's 
remaining coastal wetlands. The refuge is an important stopover for 
migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway, and provides breeding 
habitat for several State-listed threatened and endangered species. It 
has over 10 miles of trails, and visitors can actually pass through, or 
by, most of the habitats using these trails.
    John Heinz NWR is the most urban refuge managed by the Service. 
Over 100,000 visitors come to the refuge each year, and the refuge's 
urban setting provides unique opportunities for public education and 
involvement. To better address these opportunities and promote 
environmental education, the refuge completed construction on the 
Cusano Environmental Education Center in 2001.
    The mission of the Cusano Environmental Education Center is to 
demonstrate, within an urban setting, the importance of the natural 
world to the quality of human life and to inspire visitors to become 
responsible stewards of the environment.
    Scoping: Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities. The 
planning team has identified some preliminary issues, concerns, and 
opportunities to address in the CCP. We list below the categories for 
issues we have identified. During public scoping, we expect additional 
issues may be raised.
    (1) Ecoregional or ecosystemwide issues, such as climate change, 
regional land conservation, and protection of water quality throughout 
the Delaware River estuary;
    (2) Biological program issues, such as habitat and species 
management needs, protection, restoration, monitoring, inventories, and 
    (3) Public use program issues, such as the breadth and quality of 
programs, public access, user conflicts, and use impacts on natural 
    (4) Infrastructure and staffing issues, such as appropriateness of 
facilities, safety, accessibility, and additional staffing needs;
    (5) Community relations and outreach issues and opportunities, such 
as tourism, and local economic impacts; and
    (6) Coordination and communication issues and opportunities with 
other environmental educators, and Federal, State, and Tribal 
Governments, and with non-governmental conservation partners.

Public Meetings

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting. You can obtain the schedule from the refuge manager (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may also send comments anytime during 
the planning process by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile (see 
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, electronic 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: March 29, 2010.
Richard O. Bennett,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Hadley, MA 01035.
[FR Doc. 2010-10819 Filed 5-6-10; 8:45 am]