[Federal Register: July 29, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 145)]
[Page 44806-44807]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2008-N106; 80230-1265-0000-S3]

Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Cruz County, CA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the 
availability of a Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and 
Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Ellicott Slough National Wildlife 
Refuge for public review and comment. The CCP/EA, prepared under the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 
describes how the Service will manage the Refuge for the next 15 years. 
Draft compatibility determinations for several existing and proposed 
public uses are also available for review and public comment.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by August 30, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
of the following methods.
    E-mail: fw8plancomments@fws.gov. Include ``Ellicott Slough CCP'' in 
the subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Sandy Osborn, (916) 414-6497.
    U.S. Mail: Pacific Southwest Region, Refuge Planning, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 95825-1846.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandy Osborn, Planning Team Leader, at 
(916) 414-6503, or Diane Kodama, Refuge Manager, at (510) 792-0222 or 
fw8plancomments@fws.gov. Further information may also be found at 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), which amended the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, requires us 
to develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in 
developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan 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 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, environmental education and interpretation.
    We initiated the CCP/EA for the Ellicott Slough National Wildlife 
Refuge in July 2008. At that time and throughout the process, we 
requested, considered, and incorporated public scoping comments in 
numerous ways. Our public outreach has included a Federal Register 
notice of intent published on July 14, 2008 (73 FR 40360), a planning 
update, and a CCP webpage (http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/ellicot/
index.cfm). We received two scoping comments during the 30-day public 
comment period.


    Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and 
the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 3901-3932). The 
nearly 300-acre Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge, located in 
Santa Cruz County, California, consists of three noncontiguous units 
within and adjacent to Ellicott Slough and associated watersheds. The 
Refuge was established to protect the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed 
salamander by supporting 2 of the 20 known breeding populations of the 
salamander. Due to the sensitivity of the habitat, the Refuge is 
currently closed to the public. Through this CCP process, we will 
determine whether any wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities 
should be made available to the public.


    The Draft CCP/EA identifies and evaluates three alternatives for 
managing Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 
years. The alternative that appears to best meet the Refuge purposes is 
identified as the preferred alternative. The preferred alternative is 
identified based on the analysis presented in the Draft CCP/EA, which 
may be modified following the completion of the public comment period 
based on comments received from other agencies, Tribal governments, 
nongovernmental organizations, or individuals.
    Under Alternative A, the no action alternative, we would continue 
to manage the Refuge as we have in the recent past. No major changes in 
habitat management would occur. The Refuge would remain closed to the 
    With Alternative B (preferred alternative), the Service would 
standardize the monitoring and surveying program for species, construct 
and improve breeding and ephemeral pond habitat, identify buffer and 
corridor habitat for boundary expansion and acquisition, develop weed 
management and prevention/early detection plans, assess contaminants 
and disease, conduct climate change modeling, identify additional 

[[Page 44807]]

and aestivation habitat for boundary expansion and acquisition, develop 
a trail system, expand on-site restoration education with local 
schools, and develop in-class environmental education in collaboration 
with partners.
    Alternative C includes all actions in Alternative B, plus expanding 
natural resource surveys, expanding control of additional priority 
invasive vegetation, propagating and/or reintroducing listed plants, 
and improving outreach to neighbors and the community.

Public Meetings

    The locations, dates, and times of public meetings will be listed 
in a planning update distributed to the project mailing list and posted 
on the refuge planning Web site at http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/

Review and Comment

    Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may be obtained by writing to Sandy 
Osborn (see ADDRESSES). Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may be viewed at the 
same address or at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94536; and the Watsonville Main 
Public Library, 275 Main Street, Suite 100, Watsonville, CA 95076. The 
Draft CCP/EA will also be available for viewing and downloading online 
at: http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/ellicot/index.cfm.
    Comments on the Draft CCP/EA should be addressed to Sandy Osborn 
    At the end of the review and comment period for this Draft CCP/EA, 
comments will be analyzed by the Service and addressed in the Final 
CCP/EA. 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: July 22, 2010.
Ken McDermond,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 2010-18459 Filed 7-28-10; 8:45 am]