[Federal Register: October 28, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 208)]
[Page 58085-58086]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Issue the Final Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan, Associated Environmental Assessment, and Finding of No 
Significant Impact for the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge in the 
Southwest Region

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) has prepared a Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
(CCP), associated Environmental Assessment (EA), and Finding of No 
Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge 
(National Wildlife Refuge), Okmulgee, Oklahoma pursuant to the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and its implementing regulations. The 
Regional Director, Southwest Regional Office, upon issuing a FONSI for 
the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge EA considered ranges of 
alternatives for that document.
    Approval of the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge CCP formalizes 
ten goals which will result in: (1) Protection and enhancement of 
wetlands; (2) Protection, restoration, and maintenance of the 
bottomland hardwood forest

[[Page 58086]]

community; (3) Protection and enhancement of habitat for migratory 
birds; (4) Protection and enhancement of Refuge habitat to sustain 
healthy populations of native fish and wildlife in addition to 
migratory birds; (5) Restoration of native threatened and endangered 
species on Refuge lands; (6) Development of a database of pertinent 
scientific information regarding Refuge habitats and wildlife; (7) 
Provision of quality consumptive and non-consumptive wildlife-dependent 
public use; (8) Development of education and outreach programs that 
enable the public to 1--understand, enjoy and value the fish and 
wildlife resources found on and off the Refuge, 2--understand events 
and issues related to these resources, and 3--act to promote fish and 
wildlife conservation; (9) Compliance with historic and archaeological 
resource protection laws and regulations; and (10) Institution of an 
efficient administration that supports accomplishment of Refuge 
objectives. Some of the specific actions proposed to achieve these 
goals include but are not necessarily limited to the following 
    <bullet> Acquire lands within the proposed refuge boundary as they 
become available from willing sellers;
    <bullet> Restore bottomland hardwood forest in floodplain areas 
previously converted to pecan orchard, cropland or pasture;
    <bullet> Control excessive or prolonged flooding in bottomland 
forests through the installation of water control structures in 
existing beaver dams and/or control of problem beaver populations;
    <bullet> Develop green tree reservoirs, moist soil units and other 
managed wetlands where conditions support their creation to enhance 
habitat for waterfowl;
    <bullet> Develop a recreational trail and visitor contact center;
    <bullet> Map and monitor wildlife habitats;
    <bullet> Establish three waterfowl sanctuaries closed to all public 
entry (2,500 acres total);
    <bullet> Convert all exotic grass pastureland to bottomland 
hardwood, wetland or tallgrass prairie conditions that originally 
existed on the sites.
    Based on a review and evaluation of the information contained in 
the CCP and EA for Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge, the Regional 
Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has 
determined that the approval of the individual or cumulative approaches 
reflected in the Proposed Alternative and CCP Goals, Objectives and 
Strategies, is not deemed to constitute a major Federal action which 
would significantly affect the quality of the human environment within 
the meaning of Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA). Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement is not 
required. However, it is the intent of the Service to revisit questions 
of potential significant environmental consequences in accordance with 
NEPA upon consideration of the implementation of site specific 
proposals called for and discussed in the final plan document.

ADDRESSES: Copies may be obtained by writing to: Mr. John Slown, AICP, 
Biologist/Conservation Planner, Division of Refuges, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, P. O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 87103-1306.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It is Service policy to have all lands 
within the National Wildlife Refuge System managed in accordance with 
an approved CCP. The CCP guides management decisions and identifies 
refuge goals, long-range objectives, and strategies for achieving 
refuge purposes. The planning process has considered many elements, 
including habitat and wildlife management, habitat protection and 
acquisition, public and recreational uses, and cultural resources. 
Public input into this planning process has assisted in the development 
of these documents. The CCP will provide other agencies and the public 
with a clear understanding of the desired conditions for the Refuge and 
how the Service will implement management strategies.
    The Service considered comments and advice generated in response to 
a draft document issued April 1999. The Service is furnishing this 
notice in compliance with Service CCP policy to advise other agencies 
and the public of the availability of the final documents.

    Dated: October 7, 1999.
Stephen W. Perry,
Acting Regional Director, Albuquerque, NM.
[FR Doc. 99-28124 Filed 10-27-99; 8:45 am]