[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 219 (Tuesday, November 13, 2012)]
[Pages 67660-67661]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27526]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2012-N211; FXRS12650400000S3-123-FF04R02000]

Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to prepare 
a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and associated National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for Cahaba River National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Bibb County, Alabama. We provide this notice 
in compliance with our CCP policy to advise other Federal and State 
agencies, Native-American tribes, and the public of our intentions, and 
to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
consider in the planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by December 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, questions, and requests for 
information to: Ms. Sarah Clardy, Refuge Manager, Cahaba River NWR, 
P.O. Box 5087, Anniston, AL 36205; or cahabariverccp@fws.gov (email).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Oliver van den Ende, Natural 
Resource Planner, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, 2700 Refuge 
Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603; 256-353-7243, Ext. 28 
(telephone); 256-340-9728 (fax); oliver_vandenende@fws.gov (email).



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
Cahaba River NWR in Alabama. This notice complies with our CCP policy 
to: (1) Advise other Federal and State agencies, Native-American 
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 consider in the

[[Page 67661]]

environmental document and during development of the CCP.


The CCP Process

    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 (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 Act.
    Each unit of the Refuge System 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 Refuge System 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 for the best possible conservation 
approach to this important wildlife habitat, while providing for 
wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are compatible with 
the refuge's establishing purposes and the mission of the Refuge 
    Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for Tribal, 
State, and local governments; agencies; organizations; and the public. 
We encourage input in the form of issues, concerns, ideas, and 
suggestions for the future management of Cahaba River NWR.
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA 
regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508); other appropriate Federal laws and 
regulations; and our policies and procedures for compliance with those 
laws and regulations.
    Cahaba River NWR was established in 2002 under the authority of the 
Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act, Public Law 
106-331, dated October 19, 2000. This legislation directed the 
Secretary of the Interior to acquire up to 3,500 acres of lands and 
waters to establish the refuge. In 2004, the Regional Director of the 
Service (Southeast Region) authorized the expansion of the acquisition 
boundary of the refuge to include an additional 340 acres of property 
at the confluence of the Cahaba and Little Cahaba Rivers. In 2006, Pub. 
Law 109-363 was signed by the President, authorizing further expansion 
of the acquisition boundary by 3,600 acres. In 2008, the Regional 
Director authorized a 360-acre expansion of the acquisition boundary. 
The refuge currently contains 3,608 acres in Bibb County.
    The refuge was established to: (1) Conserve, enhance, and restore 
the native aquatic and terrestrial community characteristics of the 
Cahaba River (including associated fish, wildlife, and plant species); 
(2) conserve, enhance, and restore habitat to maintain and assist in 
the recovery of plants and animals that are listed under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.); (3) provide opportunities 
for compatible wildlife-dependent recreation; and (4) facilitate 
partnerships among the Service, local communities, conservation 
organizations, and other non-Federal entities to encourage 
participation in the conservation of the refuge's resources.

Public Availability and 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.


    This notice is published under the authority of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd et 

    Dated: September 27, 2012.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2012-27526 Filed 11-9-12; 8:45 am]