[Federal Register: May 21, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 98)]
[Page 27802-27803]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Comprehensive Management Plan for 
the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Associated 
Environmental Assessment and Comprehensive Management Plan for the 
Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice advises agencies and the public that the 
Comprehensive Management Plan for the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife 
Refuge (Refuge) and associated Environmental Assessment are available 
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for public review and comment. 
The purpose of the Comprehensive Management Plan is to guide Refuge 
management decisions and to identify strategies to meet the goals and 
objectives of the Tijuana Slough Refuge and National Wildlife Refuge 
System. The Comprehensive Management Plan addresses the following 
management issues, functions, and programs: administrative framework; 
resource protection, management, and restoration; research and 
monitoring; education and interpretation; public involvement, use, and 
access; facilities development; appropriate and compatible Refuge uses 
determination; and watershed coordination between the United States and 
Mexico for the Tijuana Slough Refuge.
    The Environmental Assessment evaluates the alternatives and 
analyzes the environmental effects of implementing the Comprehensive 
Management Plan. The two alternatives evaluated in the Environmental

[[Page 27803]]

Assessment provide different levels of wildlife management and visitor 
services opportunities. The Environmental Assessment will be used to 
determine whether the implementation of the selected alternative would 
have a significant impact upon the quality of the human environment.
    The Comprehensive Management Plan for the Tijuana Slough National 
Wildlife Refuge was integrated into and coordinated with the update of 
the 1986 Management Plan for the Tijuana River National Estuarine 
Research Reserve (NERR). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) administers the National Estuarine Research 
Reserve System. NOAA requires that each NERR have an approved written 
management plan that is periodically updated. The Comprehensive 
Management Plan is the first update of the 1986 Tijuana River NERR 
Management Plan.

DATES: Written comments should be postmarked or electronically-mailed 
no later than June 21, 1999.

ADDRESSES: There are three options for submitting comments on the 
Tijuana Slough EA and CMP, mail, fax, or electronic mail. Mail or fax 
your comments to Dean Rundle, Manager, San Diego Bay National Wildlife 
Refuge Complex, 2736 Loker Avenue West, Suite A, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 
phone (760) 930-0168, facsimile (760) 930-0256. You may submit comments 
by electronic mail (e-mail) to: r1planning--guest@fws.gov. Submit 
comments as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and 
any form of encryption, and enter ``Tijuana Slough NWR CMP/EA'' in the 
subject line.


Availability of Documents

    Individuals who want copies of the Comprehensive Management Plan 
for the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Associated 
Environmental Assessment, should immediately contact Charles Houghten, 
Acting Chief, Division of Refuge Planning, 911 NE 11th Avenue, 
Portland, Oregon 97232, telephone (503) 231-2231, facsimile (503) 231-
6161. These documents will also be available for viewing on the 
following Fish and Wildlife Service webpage www.r1.fws.gov/

Background Information

    The Tijuana Slough Refuge provides habitat for several endangered, 
threatened, and migratory species. The salt marsh, tidal channels, 
mudflats, sand beaches, and dunes provide habitat for the endangered 
light-footed clapper rail, endangered California least tern, endangered 
brown pelican, endangered salt marsh bird's beak, threatened western 
snowy plover, State-endangered Belding's savannah sparrow, and many 
species of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. The riparian woodlands 
provide habitat for the endangered least Bell's vireo, endangered 
southwestern willow flycatcher, and many species of migratory birds.
    Two alternatives are analyzed in the Environmental Assessment. 
Alternative A (preferred alternative) would implement increased levels 
of both wildlife management and visitor services at the Tijuana Slough 
Refuge. Alternative B (no action) would implement existing levels of 
wildlife management and visitor services at the Tijuana Slough Refuge. 
The Environmental Assessment also analyzes the environmental effects of 
(1) predator management for the recovery of endangered and threatened 
species, (2) construction of new office and classroom space, (3) 
acquisition of additional lands along Sea Coast Drive, (4) annual sand 
dune maintenance, (5) relocation of damaged trails in the Tijuana River 
floodplain, and (6) emergency dredging of the mouths of Oneonta Slough 
and Tijuana River.
    The environmental review of the Refuge Comprehensive Management 
Plan and associated Environmental Assessment will be conducted in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508), 
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 et seq.), other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, 
and Service policies and procedures for compliance with those 

    Dated: May 17, 1999.
Elizabeth H. Stevens,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 99-12838 Filed 5-20-99; 8:45 am]