[Federal Register: July 15, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 135)]
[Page 41232-41233]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-NWRS-2010-N056; 1265-0000-10137 S3]

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Canyon, Owyhee, Payette, and 
Washington Counties, ID; Malheur County, OR

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; announcement of open houses; request for 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to 
prepare a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for Deer Flat National 
Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The Refuge has units located in Canyon, 
Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties, ID, and Malheur County, OR. 
We will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate the 
potential effects of various CCP alternatives. This notice also 
requests public comments and announces public open houses; see DATES, 
ADDRESSES, and SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for the details. We issue this 
notice in compliance with our CCP policy to notify the public and other 
agencies of our intentions and to obtain suggestions and information on 
the scope of issues we will consider during the CCP planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by September 10, 2010. Public open houses will be held on July 28, 
August 20, and August 21, 2010; see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for 

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
of the following methods:
    E-mail: deerflat@fws.gov.
    Fax: Attn: Refuge Manager, (208) 467-1019.
    U.S. Mail: Refuge Manager, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, 
13751 Upper Embankment Road, Nampa, ID 83686.
    In-Person Drop-Off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the above address, or at the 
public open house.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Brown-Scott, phone (208) 467-



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
the Refuge. This notice complies with our CCP policy to (1) advise the 
public, other Federal and State agencies, and Tribes of our intention 
to conduct detailed planning on the Refuge, and (2) obtain suggestions 
and information on the scope of issues to consider during development 
of the Draft CCP/EIS.


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 the Service to develop a 
comprehensive conservation plan for each national wildlife refuge. The 
purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation plan 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. We will review and update 
the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act.
    Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System 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 National Wildlife Refuge System mission, and to 
determine how the public can use each refuge. The planning and public 
involvement process is a way for the Service 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 
National Wildlife Refuge System.
    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 future management of the Refuge.
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project and 
develop an EIS 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.

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge

    The Refuge was established in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt. 
Its purpose is to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory 
birds and other wildlife. The Refuge encompasses 11,860 acres in two 
units--the Lake Lowell Unit and the Snake River Islands Unit. The Lake 
Lowell Unit encompasses 10,640 acres located in Canyon County, ID. The 
Lake Lowell Unit is an overlay refuge, on an off-stream Bureau of 
Reclamation (Reclamation) irrigation project. Reclamation owns and 
operates two dams on Lake Lowell to manage the lake's water for 
irrigation. Reclamation will participate in our CCP planning, NEPA, and 
public involvement process as a cooperating agency. The Snake River 
Islands Unit includes over 100 islands along 113 miles of the Snake 
River located in Canyon, Payette, Owyhee, and Washington Counties in 
ID; and Malheur County, OR.
    The Refuge provides a variety of wildlife habitats, including the 
open waters and wetland edges of Lake Lowell, sagebrush uplands and 
riparian forest around the lake, and grassland and riparian forests on 
the Snake River Islands. In early summer, western grebes, white 
pelicans, mallards, and wood ducks congregate on the lake. When the 
lake is drawn down in late summer for irrigation, large numbers of 
shorebirds--including least sandpipers, godwits, yellowlegs, and 
plovers--feed on the exposed mudflats. Duck populations peak in mid-
December, with 40,000-70,000 ducks using Lake Lowell annually. The 
Snake River Islands' grassland, shrub, and riparian forest habitats and 
surrounding waters provide habitat throughout the year for herons, 
cormorants, songbirds, and predators such as foxes, coyotes, red-tailed 
hawks, and American kestrels.

[[Page 41233]]

Over 250 species of birds and 30 species of mammals can be found on the 

Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    We have identified preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities 
that we may address in the CCP. We will be refining these issues and/or 
identifying additional issues, with input from the public, partners, 
and Federal, State, local and tribal governments during the public 
comment period. Some of these issues follow.
     What actions should we take to sustain and restore 
priority wildlife species and habitats over the next 15 years?
     What, where, when, and how should wildlife-dependent and 
other public use opportunities be provided?
     Are existing Refuge access points and uses adequate and 
     Should some areas of the Refuge be managed as undisturbed 
wildlife sanctuary areas?
     How can the Service, Reclamation, and others improve Lake 
Lowell's water quality?

Public Comments

    Throughout the summer of 2010 we will conduct a public scoping 
comment period. During this time we will meet with stakeholders; 
Federal, State, local and tribal governments; and other interested 
parties, and hold three public open houses to answer questions and 
accept comments regarding refuge planning issues to be considered. 
Comments are due by September 10, 2010.

Open Houses

    Three open houses will be held on July 28, August 20, and August 
21, 2010, at the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 
13751 Upper Embankment Road, Nampa, ID 83686. The open houses are 
scheduled from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 28; 10 
a.m. to 6 p.m. on August 20, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 21. For 
more information visit our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/deerflat/.

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 7, 2010.
Carolyn A. Bohan,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2010-17269 Filed 7-14-10; 8:45 am]