[Federal Register: June 1, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 104)]
[Page 30422-30423]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-R-2010-N042; 30136-1265-0000-S3]

Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Chariton County, MO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: draft comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and draft 
environmental assessment (EA) for Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge 
(NWR) for public review and comment. In this draft CCP/EA we describe 
how we propose to manage the refuge for the next 15 years.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by July 5, 2010. An open house style meeting will be held during the 
comment period to receive comments and provide information on the draft 
plan. Special mailings, newspaper articles, internet postings, and 
other media announcements will inform people of the meetings and 
opportunities for written comments.

ADDRESSES: Comments or requests for more information can be sent by any 
of the following methods. You may also drop off comments in person at 
Swan Lake NWR.
    1. Agency Web site: View or download a copy of the document and 
comment at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/SwanLake/index.html.
    2. E-mail: r3planning@fws.gov. Include ``Swan Lake Draft CCP/EA'' 
in the subject line of the message.
    3. Fax: 660-856-3687.
    4. Mail: Attention: Refuge Manager, Swan Lake National Wildlife 
Refuge, 16194 Swan Lake Avenue, Sumner, Missouri 64681.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitson, 660-856-3323.



    With this notice, we continue the CCP process for Swan Lake NWR, 
which we began by publishing a notice of intent on (71 FR 20722-20723, 
April 21, 2006). For more about the initial process and the history of 
this refuge, see that notice.
    Swan Lake NWR was established in 1937 by Executive Order 7563 to 
serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other 
wildlife. The Refuge includes 10,670 acres and is also responsible for 
managing 57 easements and outlying fee title tracts scattered across 15 
counties in Missouri.


The CCP Process

    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), requires us to develop a comprehensive 
conservation plan 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 
on conserving wildlife and their habitats, plans identify wildlife-
dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including 
opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation.

CCP Alternatives and Our Preferred Alternative

Priority Issues

    During the public scoping process, we, other stakeholders and 
partners, and the public identified several priority issues, which 
include habitat management, sedimentation, flooding, and demand for 
additional recreation opportunities and visitor services. To address 
these issues, we developed and evaluated the following alternatives 
during the planning process.

Alternative 1: Current Management Direction and Activities (No Action)

    The current management direction of Swan Lake NWR would be 
maintained under this alternative. For NEPA purposes, this is referred 
to as the ``No Action'' alternative, a misnomer as some changes will 
occur over the next 15 years. Management includes conservation, 
restoration, and preservation but occurs opportunistically as budgets 
allow. Farming and water management would continue in those areas where 
it currently exists. Some programs, especially environmental education 
and outreach, would see improvements only if budgets increase in the 

[[Page 30423]]

Alternative 2

    Under Alternative 2, we will focus on restoring Refuge streams as 
free flowing streams with fluctuating water levels and increasing the 
amount of native habitats. Many of the constructed management areas 
(moist soil units, open waters, and agricultural areas) are restored to 
more natural or historic landscape conditions. Duck and small game 
hunting are introduced as well as increased seasonal access for 
wildlife observation.

Alternative 3: (Preferred Alternative)

    Under Alternative 3, we will mimic components of historic 
hydrologic function within Refuge streams by allowing seasonal and 
annual variations in water levels. Manage up to 1,300 acres of emergent 
wetland habitat using moist soil techniques. Increase the amount of wet 
meadow and native prairie and reduce the amount of cropland. We will 
increase opportunities for hunting and wildlife observation as in 
Alternative 2, but also increase emphasis on interpretation and 
education and develop additional volunteer opportunities.

Public Meeting

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting. You can obtain the schedule from the address or Web site 
listed in this notice (see addresses). You may also submit comments 
anytime during the comment period.

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: April 6, 2010.
Christopher P. Jensen,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
[FR Doc. 2010-13009 Filed 5-28-10; 8:45 am]