[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 19 (Friday, January 28, 2011)]
[Pages 5193-5194]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-1868]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2010-N161; 40136-1265-0000-S3]

Felsenthal/Overflow National Wildlife Refuges, Ashley, Desha, 
Union, and Bradley Counties, AR; 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 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 for Felsenthal/Overflow National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs). In 
the final CCP, we describe how we will manage these refuges for the 
next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the CCP by writing to: Mr. Bernie 
Petersen, Project Leader, South Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex, 5531 Highway 82 West, Crossett, AR 71635. The CCP may also be 
accessed and downloaded from the Service's Web site: http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/ under ``Final Documents.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Dawson, Refuge Planner, 
Jackson, MS; telephone: 601/965-4903, ext. 20; fax: 601/965-4010; e-
mail: mike_dawson@fws.gov.



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Felsenthal/
Overflow NWRs. We started this process through a notice in the Federal 
Register on April 2, 2008 (73 FR 17992).
    Felsenthal NWR was established in 1975 as mitigation for the 
creation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Ouachita

[[Page 5194]]

and Black Rivers' Navigation Project and Felsenthal Lock and Dam. The 
refuge is located in southeast Arkansas, approximately 8 miles west of 
the town of Crossett. This 65,000-acre refuge is named for the small 
Felsenthal community located at its southwest corner, and contains an 
abundance of water resources dominated by the Ouachita and Saline 
Rivers and the Felsenthal Pool.
    Overflow NWR was established in 1980 and encompasses 13,973 fee-
title acres in Ashley County in southeast Arkansas, about 5 miles west 
of the town of Wilmot. The refuge was established to protect one of the 
remaining bottomland hardwood forests considered vital for maintaining 
mallard, wood duck, and other waterfowl populations in the Mississippi 
Flyway. In addition, the Oakwood Unit, an area of 2,263 acres in Desha 
County that was transferred from the Farm Service Agency in 1990, is 
administered by Overflow NWR.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the final CCP and 
FONSI for Felsenthal/Overflow NWRs in accordance with the 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 Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment (Draft CCP/EA). The CCP will guide us in 
managing and administering Felsenthal/Overflow NWRs for the next 15 
years. Alternative B is the foundation for the CCP.
    The compatibility determinations for (1) Hunting; (2) fishing; (3) 
wildlife observation and photography; (4) environmental education and 
interpretation; (5) power boating; (6) all-terrain vehicle use; (7) bee 
keeping; (8) berry picking; (9) camping; (10) commercial fishing; (11) 
dog field trials; (12) firewood cutting; (13) forest management; (14) 
furbearer trapping; (15) horseback riding; and (16) bicycling, boating 
(non-motorized), swimming, beach use, and hiking/backpacking are 
available in the final CCP.


    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (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, wildlife photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update 
the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Administration 


    We made copies of the Draft CCP/EA available for a 30-day public 
review period as announced in the Federal Register on June 7, 2010 (75 
FR 32205). We received five comments on the Draft CCP/EA.

Selected Alternative

    The Draft CCP/EA identified and evaluated three alternatives for 
managing the refuges. After considering the comments we received and 
based on the professional judgment of the planning team, we selected 
Alternative B for implementation. We believe this alternative is the 
most effective management action for meeting the vision, goals, and 
purposes of the refuges by optimizing habitat management and visitor 
services. This alternative will also allow the refuges to provide law 
enforcement protection that adequately meets the needs of both refuges.
    This alternative will focus on augmenting wildlife and habitat 
management to identify, conserve, and restore populations of native 
fish and wildlife species, with an emphasis on migratory birds and 
threatened and endangered species. This will partially be accomplished 
by increased monitoring of waterfowl, other migratory birds, and 
endemic species in order to assess and adapt management strategies and 
actions. The restoration of the Felsenthal Pool will be a vital part of 
this management action and will be crucial to ensuring healthy and 
viable ecological communities. This restoration will require increased 
water management, invasive aquatic vegetation control, and 
reestablishment of water quality standards and possibly populations of 
game fish species. Nuisance wildlife populations and invasive plant 
species will be more aggressively managed by implementing a control 

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 

    Dated: September 3, 2010.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.

    Editorial Note: This document was received in the Office of the 
Federal Register Tuesday, January 25, 2011.
[FR Doc. 2011-1868 Filed 1-27-11; 8:45 am]