[Federal Register: January 11, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 6)]
[Page 1404-1405]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-R-2009-N250; 70133-1265-0000-S3]

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Soldotna, AK

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: record of decision.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the record of decision (ROD) for the final 
environmental impact statement (EIS) for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge 
(NWR, Refuge). The Refuge is located within the Kenai Peninsula 
Borough, Alaska. We completed a thorough analysis of the environmental, 
social, and economic considerations and presented it in our final EIS, 
which we released to the public on September 18, 2009.

DATES: The Regional Director of the Alaska Region, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, signed the ROD on January 4, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the ROD/final EIS on paper 
or CD-ROM by any of the following methods:
    Agency Web Site: Download a copy of the document(s) at http://
    E-mail: fw7_kenai_planning@fws.gov. Include ``Kenai ROD'' in the 
subject line of the message.
    Mail: Refuge Manager, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 
2139, Soldotna, AK 99669-2139.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call Peter Wikoff, Planning Team 
Leader at (907) 786-3357 to make an appointment during regular business 
hours at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Rd., MS-231, 
Anchorage, AK 99503; fax: (907) 786-3965.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Refuge Manager at the address or 
phone number above.



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Kenai NWR. We 
released the

[[Page 1405]]

draft CCP/draft EIS to the public, announcing and requesting comments 
in a notice of availability in the Federal Register on May 8, 2008 (73 
FR 26140). We announced the availability of the final CCP/EIS in the 
Federal Register on August 27, 2009 (74 FR 43718).
    In accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 
1506.6(b)) requirements, this notice announces the availability of the 
ROD for the final EIS and CCP for Kenai NWR. We completed a thorough 
analysis of the environmental, social, and economic considerations, 
which we included in the final CCP/EIS. The ROD documents our selection 
of Alternative E, the Preferred Alternative, in the CCP, with 
modifications. The CCP will guide us in managing and administering 
Kenai Refuge for the next 15 years. Alternative E, as we described in 
the final EIS/ROD, is the foundation for the CCP, with modifications.
    The Kenai Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan provides 
management guidance that conserves Refuge resources and facilitates 
compatible fish and wildlife-dependent public use activities during the 
next 15 years. The following is a summary of the ROD for the Refuge's 
Final CCP/EIS.
    We have selected Alternative E, the Preferred Alterative, with 
modifications, as the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Kenai Refuge. 
Alternative E addresses key issues and concerns identified during the 
planning process and will best achieve the purposes of the Refuge as 
well as the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. This 
decision adopts the management goals and objectives (Chapter 2) and the 
stipulations and mitigation measures identified in Alternative E. 
Implementation of Alternative E, as modified, will occur over the next 
15 years, depending on future staffing levels and funding.

Modifications to Alternative E

    With consideration to comments from the State of Alaska, the 
management direction provided by Alternative E will be modified as 
     We will alter the opening date of seasonally closed lakes 
from September 30 to September 10, to coincide with that of the Alaska 
Board of Game's Kenai Controlled Use Area in Game Management Unit 15A, 
when Refuge regulations are updated. These lakes will then remain open 
for public use until May 1 (approximately when the ice melts) each 
     Under current regulations, the operation of aircraft 
between May 1 and September 30 on any lake where nesting trumpeter 
swans and/or their broods are present is prohibited. Over the next 
several years, we will examine swan brood survey data and other 
information to determine if swan abundance has increased to the point 
this restriction has created a de facto closure of so many lakes as to 
significantly impact access to the refuge back-country. We will 
evaluate our current closure regulations in light of these findings.

Factors We Considered in Decisionmaking

    We based our decision on a thorough analysis of the environmental, 
social, and economic considerations we presented in the Final CCP/EIS. 
We reviewed and considered the impacts identified in Chapter 4 of the 
Draft and Final CCP/EIS; relevant issues, concerns, and opportunities; 
input we received throughout the planning process, including the 
results of various studies and surveys, advice from technical experts, 
and public comments on the Draft and Final CCP/EIS; and other factors, 
including refuge purposes and relevant laws, regulations, and policies. 
The Final EIS/CCP addresses a variety of needs, including protection of 
fish and wildlife populations and their habitats and providing 
opportunities for fish and wildlife-dependent recreation, subsistence, 
and other public uses. The combination of these components in 
Alternative E contributes significantly to achieving refuge purposes 
and goals. Alternative E also strengthens the monitoring of fish, 
wildlife, habitat, and public uses on the Refuge to provide means to 
better respond to changing conditions in the surrounding landscape.
    The adoption of Alternative E, as modified, is effective 

    Dated: January 4, 2010.
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.
[FR Doc. 2010-220 Filed 1-8-10; 8:45 am]