[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 48 (Friday, March 11, 2011)]
[Pages 13427-13428]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5633]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2010-N202; 80230-1265-0000-S3]

Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Cruz County, CA; 
Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant 

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 Ellicott Slough 
National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). In the CCP, we describe how we will 
manage the Refuge for the next 15 years.

DATES: The CCP and FONSI are available now. The FONSI was signed on 
September 29, 2010. Implementation of the CCP may begin immediately.

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://www.fws.gov/sfbayrefuges/Ellicott/Ellicott_CCP.htm.
    E-mail: fw8plancomments@fws.gov. Include ``Ellicott Slough CCP'' in 
the subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Sandy Osborn, (916) 414-6497.
    Mail: Pacific Southwest Region, Refuge Planning, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 95825-1846.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call 510-792-0222 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at San Francisco Bay National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94536.
    Local Library: The final document is also available at the 
Watsonville Main Public Library, 275 Main Street, Suite 100, 
Watsonville, CA 95076.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandy Osborn, Planning Team Leader, at 
(916) 414-6503 (See ADDRESSES), or Diane Kodama, Refuge Manager, at 
(510) 792-0222.



    Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.), and the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 
3901-3932). The nearly 300-acre Ellicott Slough National Wildlife 
Refuge, located in Santa Cruz County, California, consists of three 
noncontiguous units within the Watsonville Slough System. The Refuge 
was established to protect the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed 
salamander, and currently supports 2 of the 20 known breeding 
populations of the salamander.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for Ellicott Slough 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 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 
    Our Draft CCP and Environmental Assessment (EA) were available for 
a 30-day public review and comment period, which we announced via 
several methods, including press releases, updates to constituents, and 
a Federal Register notice (75 FR 44806, July 29, 2010). The Draft CCP/
EA identified and evaluated three alternatives for

[[Page 13428]]

managing the Refuge for the next 15 years.
    Under Alternative A (No Action), management would continue 
unchanged. Alternative B (the Selected Alternative) would standardize 
the wildlife monitoring and surveying program; develop a habitat 
management plan including an adaptive vegetation management plan; 
assess contaminants and disease; pursue climate change modeling; 
identify additional habitat for boundary expansion; continue planning 
and redesign of a breeding pond; assess the need and plan for new 
breeding ponds; develop habitat, mosquito, and water management plans, 
and a visitor services plan; improve energy efficiency; develop a trail 
system; expand the in-class environmental education program to other 
schools; and expand on-site restoration education. Alternative C 
includes all actions in Alternative B, and would expand natural 
resource surveys, expand control of additional priority invasive 
vegetation, identify buffer habitat for boundary expansion and 
acquisition, remove invasive wildlife, reintroduce native plants 
historically found on the Refuge, improve trail access, and improve 
outreach to the community.
    We received 10 letters on the Draft CCP and EA during the review 
and comment period. Comments focused on mosquito control and listed 
species management. We incorporated comments we received into the CCP 
when appropriate, and we responded to the comments in an appendix to 
the CCP. In the FONSI, we selected Alternative B for implementation. 
The FONSI documents our decision and is based on the information and 
analysis contained in the EA.
    Under the selected alternative, the Refuge will achieve an optimal 
balance of biological resource objectives and visitor services 
opportunities. Habitat management and associated biological resource 
monitoring will be improved. Visitor service opportunities will focus 
on quality wildlife-dependent recreation with expanded environmental 
education opportunities. In addition, interpretation, wildlife 
observation, and photography programs will be improved and/or expanded.
    The selected alternative best meets the Refuges' purposes, vision, 
and goals; contributes to the Refuge System mission; addresses the 
significant issues and relevant mandates; and is consistent with 
principles of sound fish and wildlife management. Based on the 
associated environmental assessment, this alternative is not expected 
to result in significant environmental impacts and therefore does not 
require an environmental impact statement.

    Dated: March 7, 2011.
Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 2011-5633 Filed 3-10-11; 8:45 am]