[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 165 (Friday, August 24, 2012)]
[Pages 51552-51553]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20847]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-R-2012-N122; FXRS1265030000S3-123-FF03R06000]

The Great Lakes Islands National Wildlife Refuges in Michigan and 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
environmental assessment (EA) for the Great Lakes Islands National 
Wildlife Refuges (NWR) for public review and comment. The group of five 
national wildlife refuges includes Gravel Island and Green Bay National 
Wildlife Refuges, Door County, Wisconsin; Harbor Island National 
Wildlife Refuge, Chippewa County, Michigan; Huron National Wildlife 
Refuge, Marquette County, Michigan; and Michigan Islands National 
Wildlife Refuge, Charlevoix, Arenac, and Alpena Counties, Michigan.

[[Page 51553]]

In this draft CCP/EA we describe how we propose to manage these refuges 
for the next 15 years.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by September 24, 2012. We will hold open house-style meetings during 
the comment period to receive comments and provide information on the 
draft plan. In addition, we will use special mailings, newspaper 
articles, internet postings, and other media announcements to inform 
people of opportunities for input.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
one of the following methods:

 Email: r3planning@fws.gov. Include ``Great Lakes Islands Draft 
CCP/EA'' in the subject line of the message.
    [cir] Attention: Refuge Manager, Gravel/Green Bay NWRs, 920-387-
    [cir] Attention: Refuge Manager, Huron/Harbor Island/MI Islands (N) 
NWRs, 906-586-3800.
    [cir] Attention: Refuge Manager, Michigan Islands (S) NWR, 989-777-
 U.S. Mail:
    [cir] Attention: Steve Lenz, Refuge Manager, Gravel Island/Green 
Bay National Wildlife Refuges (managed by Horicon NWR), W4279 
Headquarters Road, Mayville, WI 53050; 920-387-2658.
    [cir] Attention: Mark Vaniman, Refuge Manager, Harbor Island/Huron/
Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuges (northern section managed by 
Seney NWR), 1674 Refuge Entrance Rd., Seney, MI 49883; 906-586-9851.
    [cir] Attention: Steve Kahl, Refuge Manager, Michigan Islands 
National Wildlife Refuge (southern section managed by Shiawassee NWR), 
6975 Mower Road, Saginaw, MI 48601; 989-777-5930.
 In-Person Drop Off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the above addresses.

    You will find the draft CCP/EA, as well as information about the 
planning process and a summary of the CCP, on the planning Web site: 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Lenz, Gravel Island or Green Bay 
National Wildlife Refuges, 920-387-2658; Mark Vaniman, Harbor Island, 
Huron, or the northern section of Michigan Islands National Wildlife 
Refuges, 906-586-9851; Steve Kahl, southern section of Michigan Islands 
National Wildlife Refuge, 989-777-5930.



    With this notice, we continue the process for developing a 
comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for the Great Lakes Islands 
National Wildlife Refuges. We began this process by publishing a notice 
of intent in the Federal Register (73 FR 76677) on December 17, 2008. 
For more about the initial process and the history of this refuge, see 
that notice.


    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act), requires us to develop a 
CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a CCP 
is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving 
refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), consistent with sound principles of fish 
and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service 
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 Act.
    Each unit of the NWRS was established for specific purposes. We use 
these purposes as the foundation for developing and prioritizing the 
management goals and objectives for each refuge within the NWRS 
mission, and to determine how the public can use each refuge. The 
planning process is a way for us and the public to evaluate management 
goals and objectives that will ensure the best possible approach to 
wildlife, plant, and habitat conservation, while providing for 
wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are compatible with 
each refuge's establishing purposes and the mission of the NWRS.

Additional Information

    The draft CCP/EA may be found at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/GreatLakesIslands/index.html. That document incorporates an 
EA, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) (43 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The draft CCP/EA includes detailed 
information about the planning process, refuge, issues, and management 
alternatives considered and proposed. The EA includes discussions of 
three alternative refuge management options. The Service's preferred 
alternative is reflected in the draft CCP.
    The alternatives analyzed in detail include:
     Alternative A: Current Direction To Maintain Natural 
Integrity--The current management direction of the Great Lakes Islands 
NWRs would be maintained under this alternative. For NEPA purposes, 
this is referred to as the ``No Action'' alternative.
     Alternative B: Minimal Management To Preserve Wilderness 
Qualities--Management actions would be focused to retain the wilderness 
character of each island to the extent practical. Public access and 
visitor services would be kept to a minimal level in order to reduce 
visual and habitat impacts.
     Alternative C (Preferred Alternative): Enhanced Management 
To Promote Natural Integrity and Public Stewardship--This option would 
provide for the growth of the island refuges and more opportunities for 
compatible recreational use.

Public Involvement

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting. You can obtain the schedule from the address or web site 
listed in this notice (see ADDRESSES). You may also submit comments 
anytime during the comment period.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. 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.

Richard D. Schultz,
Acting Regional Director, Midwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2012-20847 Filed 8-23-12; 8:45 am]