[Federal Register: April 7, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 66)]
[Page 17763-17765]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-R-2009-N260; 70133-1265-0000-S3]

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Fairbanks, AK

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

ACTION: Notice of intent to revise the comprehensive conservation plan 
and prepare an environmental impact statement; request for comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), will be 
developing a revised comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
environmental impact statement (EIS) for Arctic National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR, Refuge). The Revised CCP will establish goals and 
objectives, review Refuge rivers for potential recommendation for 
Congress for inclusion within the National Wild and Scenic Rivers 
System, and review Refuge lands for potential

[[Page 17764]]

recommendation for Congress for inclusion within the National 
Wilderness Preservation System. We will use the internet, special 
mailings, public service announcements, newspaper advertisements, and 
other media to keep people updated throughout the planning process and 
to provide opportunities for input. We will hold public meetings in 
communities within and near the Refuge during preparation of the 
Revised CCP. We will also hold meetings in Anchorage, AK, Fairbanks, 
AK, and Washington, DC.

DATES: Meetings: A public scoping meeting will be held in Washington, 
DC on May 4, 2010, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Department of the Interior 
Auditorium, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC. In addition, we will 
hold public scoping meetings in Anchorage and Fairbanks, AK and in 
refuge area communities in Alaska. We will announce these meeting 
dates, times, and locations locally, at least 10 days prior to each 
    Comments: To ensure consideration, please send your written 
comments on the scope of the CCP revision by June 7, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Information about the Refuge and the Revised CCP is 
available on the internet at: http://arctic.fws.gov. Send your comments 
or requests for more information by any of the following methods.
    E-mail: ArcticRefugeCCP@fws.gov. Include ``Arctic NWR CCP'' in the 
subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Sharon Seim, Planning Team Leader, (907) 456-0428.
    U.S. Mail: Sharon Seim, Planning Team Leader, Arctic National 
Wildlife Refuge, 101 12th Ave., Rm. 236, Fairbanks, AK 99701.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Seim, Planning Team Leader, 
phone (907) 456-0501.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Alaska National Interest Lands 
Conservation Act of 1980 (94 Stat. 2371; ANILCA) requires us to develop 
a CCP for each refuge in Alaska. The purpose of developing a CCP is to 
provide refuge managers with a management strategy for achieving refuge 
purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of fish, wildlife, and 
habitat management and conservation; legal mandates; and Service 
policies. CCPs define long-term goals and objectives toward which 
refuge management activities are directed, and identify which uses may 
be compatible with the purposes of a refuge. CCPs are reviewed and 
updated in accordance with direction in Section 304(g) of ANILCA and 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). 
With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a revised CCP 
for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. We furnish this notice 
in accordance with ANILCA, the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), the regulations 
implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), and Service policies. The purpose 
of this notice is to (1) Advise other Federal and State agencies, 
Tribes, and the public of our intention to conduct detailed planning on 
this refuge and (2) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of 
issues to be considered in the EIS and during the development of the 


    The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a vast area unique in North 
America--unique because it encompasses a full range of arctic and 
subarctic ecosystems that are whole and undisturbed, functioning as 
they have for centuries, largely free of human control and 
manipulation. The move to protect this corner of Alaska began in the 
early 1950s. Conservationists George Collins, Lowell Sumner, and Olaus 
and Mardy Murie, considered the primary founders of the Refuge, 
launched a campaign to permanently safeguard the area. Their effort 
succeeded and the Arctic Refuge was established.
    The area originally named ``Arctic National Wildlife Range'' was 
created in 1960 by Public Land Order 2214, ``[f]or the purpose of 
preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values. * * *'' 
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is unique among Alaska conservation 
units because it was the first for which ecological thinking and 
concern for maintaining natural processes were significant factors in 
its establishment. It is also the only Alaska refuge for which the 
preservation of values was a founding purpose.
    In 1980, ANILCA enlarged the area, designated much of the original 
Range as Wilderness, renamed the whole area the Arctic National 
Wildlife Refuge, and added four complementary purposes. The ANILCA 
purposes are: (i) To conserve fish and wildlife populations and 
habitats in their natural diversity, including, but not limited to, the 
Porcupine caribou herd (including participation in coordinated 
ecological studies and management of this herd and the Western Arctic 
caribou herd), polar bears, grizzly bears, muskox, Dall sheep, wolves, 
wolverines, snow geese, peregrine falcons and other migratory birds, 
Arctic char, and grayling; (ii) To fulfill the international fish and 
wildlife treaty obligations of the United States; (iii) To provide the 
opportunity for continued subsistence uses by local residents; and (iv) 
To ensure water quality and necessary water quantity within the Refuge.

Refuge Overview

    The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge includes nearly 19.3 million 
acres, three wild rivers, and one of the largest areas of designated 
Wilderness in the United States. The majestic Brooks Range, with peaks 
and glaciers to 9,000 feet, dominates the Refuge. These rugged 
mountains extend east to west in a band 75 miles wide, rising abruptly 
from a tundra-covered plain. This treeless expanse is cut by numerous 
braided rivers and streams. South of the continental divide, rivers 
wind serpentine courses through broad, spruce-covered valleys dotted 
with lakes and sloughs. Nearly 180 species of birds, 45 species of 
mammals, and 36 species of fish have been counted on the Arctic Refuge. 
Vast mountains, diverse wildlife, and a wealth of habitats give this 
unspoiled national treasure high cultural heritage, scenic, scientific, 
and experiential values.

Public Involvement

    We plan to provide public involvement opportunities in communities 
within and near the Refuge, as well as in Anchorage and Fairbanks, AK, 
and Washington, DC. The Washington, DC scoping meeting is scheduled for 
Tuesday, May 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Department of the Interior 
Auditorium, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC. With appropriate 
advance notice, the other scoping meetings will be held between April 
17 and May 28, 2010, as weather and other conditions permit. Public 
notices of scoping meetings will be posted locally and placed on our 
Web site at http://arctic.fws.gov. We will be accepting comments via e-
mail, U.S. mail, and telephone, and through personal contacts 
throughout the planning process.
    The public's ideas and comments are an important part of the CCP 
process, and we invite public participation. The Service is looking for 
meaningful comments that will help determine the desired future 
conditions of the Refuge and address the full range of Refuge purposes. 
Some concerns and interests related to the Refuge will not be addressed 
in the Revised CCP. For example, the U.S. Congress has reserved for 
itself in section 1002(i) of the ANILCA, 16 U.S.C. 3142(i), the 

[[Page 17765]]

as to whether or not the Refuge Coastal Plain (also called the 1002 
Area) should be made available for oil and gas development. Therefore, 
the Service does not have the authority to decide this issue, and we 
will not consider or respond to comments that support or oppose such 
development during this CCP process.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments we receive, including those from individuals, become 
part of the public record, and are available to the public upon 
request. Therefore, before including your name, address, phone number, 
e-mail address, or other personal identifying information with your 
comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--including this 
information--may be made available to the public upon request. 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: March 31, 2010.
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.
[FR Doc. 2010-7850 Filed 4-6-10; 8:45 am]