[Federal Register: November 30, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 229)]
[Page 74075-74077]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-R-2010-N203; 20131-1265-2CCP-S3]

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Johnston County, OK; Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact 
for Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the environmental 
assessment (EA) for the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). In 
this final CCP, we describe how we will manage this Refuge for the next 
15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI/EA 
by any of the following methods. You may request a hard copy or CD-ROM.
    Agency Web Site: Download a copy of the document(s) at http://
    E-mail: Joseph_Lujan@fws.gov. Include ``Tishomingo Final CCP'' in 
the subject line of the message.
    Mail: Joseph R. Lujan, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 505-248-7458 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at 500 Gold Avenue SW., 
Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Tishomingo NWR, 12000 South Refuge Road, Tishomingo, OK 73625; by 
phone, 580-371-2402; or by e-mail, kris_patton@fws.gov.



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for the Tishomingo 
NWR. We started this process through a notice in the Federal Register 
November 17, 1999 (64 FR 62683).
    Tishomingo NWR is located in Johnston County, Oklahoma, and 
encompasses 16,464 acres located in south-central Oklahoma. Management 
efforts focus on protecting, enhancing, and restoring Refuge habitats 
and water management for the benefit of fish and wildlife resources. 
Cumberland Pool, a part of Lake Texoma, takes up a quarter of the 
Refuge and serves as the focal point for many visitors because of its 
birds and fish. The Refuge also has a strong historical context. The 
Refuge was once the homeland of the Chickasaw Nation, and later became 
the Washita and Chapman Farms, integrating an entire community.
    On January 24, 1946, the Refuge was authorized and established to 
preserve nesting grounds for migrating waterfowl, by order of President 
Harry S. Truman under Public Land Order 312. U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers' and the Service's cooperative agreement, along with a 
cooperative agreement between the Service, Oklahoma Department of 
Wildlife Conservation, and the Corps, are the foundation of refuge 
management authority for the Service.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for the Tishomingo NWR in accordance with National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We 
completed a thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, 
which we included in the EA that accompanied the draft CCP.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering the Tishomingo 
National Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 years. Alternative B, with 

[[Page 74076]]

as described in Appendix I (Response to Public Comments), is selected 
as the management direction for the Final Plan.


    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Refuge Administration Act), as amended by the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to 
develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose for 
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, and environmental education and interpretation. We will 
review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with 
the Refuge Administration Act.

CCP Alternatives, Including Selected Alternative

    Our draft CCP and our EA (75 FR 3753) addressed several issues. To 
address these, we developed and evaluated the following alternatives.

                                             A: No-action          B: Proposed action     C: Expanded public-use
                                             alternative              alternative              alternative
Issue 1: Habitat Management            Biological program and   Integrated biological    Same as Proposed Action
 Activities.                            habitat management       and habitat management   (Alternative B).
                                        would continue under     efforts with landscape
                                        existing plans; any      level and ecosystem
                                        expansions would occur   level plans; implement
                                        opportunistically.       adaptive management
                                                                 practices that would
                                                                 contribute to ongoing
                                                                 monitoring and
                                                                 modification of Refuge
Issue 2: Improvements to public use    Limited to current       Improvement of priority  Expand and emphasize
 opportunities.                         public use under         public uses,             all priority public
                                        existing plans; Any      particularly hunting,    uses, particularly
                                        expansions would occur   fishing and wildlife     hunting within the
                                        opportunistically.       observation, to meet     Wildlife Management
                                                                 demand when compatible   Unit portion of the
                                                                 with wildlife needs      Refuge.
                                                                 and Refuge purposes;
                                                                 expansion of research
                                                                 efforts and dynamic
Issue 3: Staffing, Facilities, and     Existing staffing        Addition of a Visitors   Same as Proposed Action
 Infrastructure.                        (seven permanent         Service Manager to       (Alternative B) plus
                                        positions) and           existing base;           additional 10 miles of
                                        facilities; any          addition of over 5       hiking trails, an 8-
                                        additional staff and     miles of hiking trails   mile canoe
                                        facility expansions      with pull outs and       interpretive trail and
                                        would occur              parking areas;           a 12-mile auto tour
                                        opportunistically.       development of           route.
                                                                 primitive camping


    We solicited comments on the draft CCP and the EA for the 
Tishomingo NWR from January 22, 2010, to March 23, 2010 (75 FR 3753). 
The Draft Plan/EA was made available for public review on January 22, 
2010, at the Refuge; at the local library in Tishomingo, OK; and at the 
Regional Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A total of 12 meetings were 
held with other local, State, and Federal governments as well as the 
local Chickasaw nation and nongovernment agencies, including one 
university. An open house public meeting was also held on February 24, 
2010, in the Redbud Environmental Education Center on the Tishomingo 
NWR, where a total of 15 individuals signed the attendance rosters. A 
total of 82 comments were submitted in writing to the Refuge/Regional 
Office. Additionally, one State agency, one university, and two 
nongovernmental organizations responded prior to the end of the 60-day 
public comment period.
    Based on the comments received, the Draft Plan/EA was changed to 
include rationale on how management direction for Lake Texoma is 
consistent with the purpose of establishment of the Refuge and remains 
focused on waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wildlife. Additional 
rationale was also incorporated to maintain the current amount of 
farming but increase moist soil units in an attempt to improve 
waterfowl habitat.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received, we have selected 
Alternative B for implementation. This alternative describes how 
habitat objectives will be accomplished through a combination of 
adaptive management activities to encourage ecological integrity, 
promote restoration of grasslands, and control invasive plant species 
to promote habitat for migratory birds, waterfowl and other resident 
wildlife. This alternative was selected because it best meets Refuge 
purposes and goals. This action will not adversely impact endangered or 
threatened species or their habitat. Opportunities for wildlife-
dependent recreation activities, such as hunting, fishing, wildlife 
observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, and 
interpretation, will be enhanced. Future management actions will have a 
neutral or positive impact on the local economy, and the 
recommendations in the Plan will ensure that Refuge management is 
consistent with the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to the methods in ADDRESSES, you can view or obtain 
documents at the following locations:
     Our Web site: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/
     At the following locations:

[[Page 74077]]

             Library                    Address            Phone No.
Johnston County Library--         116 West Main           (580) 371-3006
 Chickasaw Library System.         Street,
                                   Tishomingo, OK

    Dated: October 29, 2010.
Joy E. Nicholopoulos,
Regional Director, Region 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-30001 Filed 11-29-10; 8:45 am]