[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 169 (Wednesday, August 31, 2011)]
[Pages 54247-54248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22038]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2010-N266; BAC-4311-K9-S3]

Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Salem County, NJ; 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 Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), 
Salem County, New Jersey. 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 (including 
the FONSI) and the draft CCP/EA by any of the following methods. They 
are available in hard copy, CD-ROM, or as a download from our Web site.
    Agency Web Site: Download a copy of the documents at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/planning/SupawnaMeadows/ccphome.html.
    E-mail: northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include ``Supawna Meadows NWR 
Final CCP'' in the subject line of the message.
    Mail: Brian Braudis, Refuge Manager, c/o Cape May NWR, 24 Kimbles 
Beach Road, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 609-463-0994 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at 24 Kimbles Beach Road, 
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210.
    Local Library: See ``Public Availability of Documents'' under 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Braudis, Refuge Manager, 609-
463-0994 (phone); capemaynwr@fws.gov (e-mail).



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Supawna Meadows 
NWR. We started this process through a notice in the Federal Register 
(72 FR 54280; September 24, 2007). We released the draft CCP and the EA 
to the public, announcing and requesting comments in a notice of 
availability in the Federal Register (75 FR 59287; September 27, 2010).
    Supawna Meadows NWR currently includes 3,016 acres of marsh, 
grassland, shrubland, and forest habitats. The approved acquisition 
boundary encompasses 4,527 acres along the Upper Delaware Bay in Salem 
County. Supawna Meadows NWR was established to benefit migratory birds, 
breeding birds, and wild animals, protect natural resources, and 
provide opportunities for suitable wildlife-oriented recreation.
    Refuge visitors engage in wildlife observation and photography, 
hunting, and fishing. Portions of the refuge are open to deer hunting, 
waterfowl hunting, and fishing and crabbing per State regulations. 
Finns Point Rear Range Light, listed on the National Register of 
Historic Places, draws a number of visitors as well.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for Supawna Meadows 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 Supawna Meadows 
NWR for the next 15 years. Alternative B, as we described in the draft 
CCP/EA as the Service-preferred alternative, with five modifications 
made in response to public comments, is the foundation for this final 


    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 and photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update 
the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Administration 

CCP Alternatives, Including Selected Alternative

    To address several issues and develop a plan based on the purposes 
for establishing the refuge, and the vision and goals we identified, 
three alternatives were evaluated in our draft CCP/EA (75 FR 59287). 
The alternatives share some actions in common, such as acquiring land 
within the current refuge acquisition boundary, protecting cultural 
resources, distributing refuge revenue sharing payments, and monitoring 
water quality. There are also some actions shared by alternatives A and 
B only. These include assessing public use opportunities on newly 
acquired lands, monitoring and abating wildlife diseases, and 
supporting biological and ecological research investigations. Other 
actions distinguish the alternatives. The draft CCP/EA describes the 
alternatives in detail, and relates them to the issues and concerns.
    Alternative A, ``Current Management,'' is the ``No Action'' 
alternative required by NEPA. It describes our existing management 
priorities and activities. It would maintain our present levels of 
refuge staffing and the biological and visitor programs now in place. 
We would continue to focus efforts on providing native tidal marsh 
habitat for Federal trust resources, in particular, for migrating and 
nesting wading birds, wintering habitats for marshbirds, waterfowl, 
shorebirds, and other wildlife. We would continue to actively manage 
tidal marsh and grassland habitats, and would maintain dikes and water 
levels on impoundments that have water control structures.
    Alternative B, the ``Service-preferred Alternative,'' emphasizes 
management of specific refuge habitats to support Federal trust 
resources and species of conservation concern in the area, as well as 
providing additional visitor opportunities on the refuge. The priority 
would be to protect and restore the refuge's native tidal marsh habitat 

[[Page 54248]]

benefit Pea Patch Island colonial-breeding wading birds, as well as 
secretive marshbirds, migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and other birds 
of conservation concern. A secondary consideration would be to manage a 
diversity of other refuge wetland and upland habitats to benefit 
breeding and migrating songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors, as well as 
amphibians, reptiles, and mammals of conservation concern. Our Visitor 
Services program would be enhanced to provide more opportunities for 
wildlife observation, photography, hunting, fishing, environmental 
education, and interpretation.
    Alternative C, ``Cease Management and Close Refuge to Public 
Uses,'' would close Supawna Meadows NWR to all public uses and cease 
all habitat management activities. There would be no funding allocated 
for any projects at the refuge. This alternative would only partially 
achieve the refuge purposes, vision, and goals, and respond to public 
issues. Cape May NWR staff would conduct semiannual site inspections 
requiring about 40 staff hours per year. We would continue to meet our 
trust obligations under the Federal Endangered Species Act, which 
requires us to take measures to benefit the recovery of any federally 
listed species that might be found on the refuge in the future. We 
would also continue to comply with the National Historic Preservation 
Act by maintaining Finns Point Rear Range Light.


    We solicited comments on the draft CCP and the EA for Supawna 
Meadows NWR from September 27 to October 27, 2010 (75 FR 59287). We 
evaluated all substantive comments received during the public comment 
period, and included a summary of comments and our responses as 
appendix H of the final CCP.

Selected Alternative

    We have selected alternative B for implementation, with the 
following modifications:
     We clarified the rationale for adopting the State's deer 
hunting safety zones.
     We added a paragraph stating we may evaluate black bear 
hunting on the refuge if the State opens the area to hunting and if 
there is enough interest.
     We inserted a paragraph stating that although we are not 
proposing to open the refuge to turkey hunting at this time, we are 
willing to discuss opening the refuge to a spring turkey season with 
assistance from the State.
     We added a Finding of Appropriateness for the release of 
the Rhinoncomimus latipes weevil by the New Jersey Department of 
Agriculture for the biological control of mile-a-minute weed (Polygonum 
     We updated the White-tailed Deer Hunt Compatibility 
Determination to include the State's deer hunting safety zones.
    In summary, we believe modified alternative B combines the actions 
that would most effectively achieve refuge purposes, vision, and goals, 
and respond to public issues. The basis of our decision is detailed in 
Appendix I of the final CCP.

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/northeast/planning/SupawnaMeadows/ccphome.html.
     Public Library: Pennsville Library, located at 14 North 
Broadway, Pennsville, NJ 08070, during regular library hours.

    Dated: July 27, 2011.
Wendi Weber,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Hadley, MA 01035.
[FR Doc. 2011-22038 Filed 8-30-11; 8:45 am]