[Federal Register: July 7, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 129)]
[Page 39038-39039]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-R-2010-N118; 30136-1265-0000-S3]

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge and Wetland Management District, 

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 Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge 
(NWR) and Tamarac Wetland Management District (WMD) for public review 
and comment. In this draft CCP/EA we describe how we propose to manage 
the refuge and district for the next 15 years.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by August 6, 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 
Tamarac NWR.
    1. Agency Web site: View or download a copy of the document and 
comment at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/Tamarac/index.html.
    2. E-mail: r3planning@fws.gov. Include ``Tamarac Draft CCP/EA'' in 
the subject line of the message.
    3. Fax: 218-847-2641.
    4. Mail: Attention: Refuge Manager, Tamarac National Wildlife 
Refuge, 35704 County Road 26, Rochert, Minnesota 56578.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Boyle, 218-847-2641.



    With this notice, we continue the CCP process for Tamarac NWR and 
WMD, which we began by publishing a notice of intent on (72 FR 27587-
27588, May 16, 2007). For more about the initial process and the 
history of this refuge and district, see that notice.
    The 42,738-acre Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge was established in 
1938. The Refuge includes 2,180 Federally-designated wilderness acres. 
The Tamarac Wetland Management District consists of 8,577 acres of 
wetland easements distributed throughout five counties.


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, invasive species, and demand for additional 
recreation opportunities and visitor services. To address these issues, 
we developed and evaluated the following alternatives during the 
planning process.

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Alternative 1: Management of Habitat in Context of Providing Migratory 
Bird Benefits and Complemented with Priority Public Use (Preferred 
    The preferred alternative for Tamarac NWR over the next 15 years 
directs management of habitats to focus on maintaining and using 
ecological processes that shaped these communities prior to European 
settlement and will allow for some emphasis of priority bird habitat. 
Wildlife-dependant recreation opportunities, biological surveys and 
monitoring activities, and native

[[Page 39039]]

habitats would all increase under the preferred alternative.
Alternative 2: Pre-Settlement Ecological Processes
    Refuge management actions will approximate ecological processes 
that promoted the native communities present prior to European 
settlement, emphasizing the use of natural hydrological and fire 
regimes. Environmental interpretation and education programs will 
emphasize the role of ecological processes in creating natural pre-
European settlement habitats and cultural history.
Alternative 3: Focused Management for Priority Migratory Birds
    The focus of this alternative will be management for U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Region 3) priority wetland and grassland birds. 
Environmental interpretation and education programs on and off the 
Refuge will focus on the importance of managing for Service priority 
wetland and forest birds and their habitats.
Alternative 4: Current Management Direction of Conservation, 
Restoration, and Preservation (No Action)
    Current management is focused on providing a variety of upland and 
wetland habitats to benefit an array of migratory and resident species. 
Forest lands are harvested to maintain early and mid-successional 
stages. Wetlands are actively managed to benefit migratory birds, 
especially waterfowl. Visitor services include a variety of 
environmental education programs, an auto-tour route, annual open 
houses, foot trails, a visitor contact station, and observation 

Tamarac Wetland Management District

Alternative 1: Restoration and Management of Habitat by Facilitating 
Natural Ecological Processes but Also Providing for Migratory Bird 
Benefits (Preferred Alternative)
    This alternative will result in a more active and growing WMD. 
Wildlife resources of concern will be identified and targeted for 
protection and enhancement. Management of upland habitats will focus on 
maintaining and using ecological processes that shaped these 
communities prior to European settlement including fire and grazing. 
Growth of the WMD will include fee and easement acquisitions as funding 
is available. Priority will be given to core areas, corridors and 
critical sites.
Alternative 2: Pre-Settlement Ecological Processes
    Under Alternative 2, WMD actions will approximate ecological 
processes that promoted the native communities present prior to 
European settlement, emphasizing the use of natural hydrological and 
fire regimes. Vegetative communities and wildlife diversity will then 
be expected to resemble pre-settlement conditions. Actions on private 
lands, such as the use of prescribed fire and grazing, will be used if 
possible. The WMD will not grow as much as under Alternative 1 but 
landowner interaction will be similar.
Alternative 3: Current Management Direction (No Action)
    Current management is focused on providing habitats to benefit 
migratory birds, especially nesting waterfowl. Landowners are primarily 
responsible for maintaining habitat and controlling invasive plant 
species. No growth in easement land holdings has occurred since the 
mid-1990s. Emphasis will be on maintaining relationships with existing 
landowners and enforcement issues. New acquisitions and partnerships 
will continue on an opportunistic basis.

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: June 18, 2010.
Lynn M. Lewis,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
[FR Doc. 2010-16425 Filed 7-6-10; 8:45 am]