[Federal Register: May 23, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 100)]
[Page 33347-33348]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Associated National Environmental Policy Act Document for Salinas 
River National Wildlife Refuge, Monterey County, California.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is preparing a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) document for Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge. This 
notice advises the public that the Service intends to gather 
information necessary to prepare a CCP and environmental documents 
pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 
1966, as amended, and NEPA. The public is invited to participate in the 
planning process. The Service is furnishing this notice in compliance 
with the Service CCP policy to advise other agencies and the public of 
our intentions, and obtain suggestions and information on the scope of 
issues to include in the environmental document.

DATES: To ensure that the Service has adequate time to evaluate and 
incorporate suggestions and other input into the planning process, 
comments should be received by June 22, 2000. A public meeting to 
solicit comments on the contents of the CCP and the vision of the 
refuge for the next 15 years will be held on June 1, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments or requests to be added to the mailing 
list to the following address: Christopher Barr, Refuge Manager--
Salinas River NWR, San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 
P.O. Box 524, Newark, California 94560. The scoping meeting will be 
held at California State University-Monterey, 100 Campus Center, 
Building 29, Rooms 114-116, Seaside, California from 6 to 8 p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher Barr, Refuge Manager, 
(510) 792-4074 or 0222.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966, as amended in 1997, mandates that all lands 
within the National Wildlife Refuge System are to be managed in 
accordance with an

[[Page 33348]]

approved CCP. The CCP will guide management decisions for the next 15 
years and identify refuge goals, long-range objectives, and management 
strategies for achieving these objectives. The planning process will 
consider many elements, including habitat and wildlife management, 
habitat protection, recreational use, and environmental effects. Public 
input into this planning process is very important. The CCP will 
provide other agencies and the public with a clear understanding of the 
desired conditions for the refuges and how the Service will implement 
management strategies.
    The Service is soliciting information from the public via written 
comments. The Service will send out planning updates to people who are 
interested in the CCP process. These mailings will provide information 
on how to participate in the CCP process. Comments received will be 
used to develop goals, key issues evaluated in the NEPA document, and 
habitat management strategies. Additional opportunities for public 
participation will occur throughout the process. The CCP is expected to 
be completed in December 2000.


    The refuge is located 11 miles northeast of the City of Monterey at 
the confluence of the Salinas River and Monterey Bay. The 366 acre 
refuge was established in 1973 because of its ``particular value in 
carrying out the national migratory bird management program''. It was 
acquired by the Service through a transfer of surplus military land 
from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard. From 1974 through 1991 the 
area was operated as a Wildlife Management Area under a cooperative 
agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game. By the mid-
1980s, the growing importance of the refuge to sensitive species 
prompted the need for more active management and protection of its 
natural resources. In 1991, the Service began managing the area as a 
refuge under the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act and 
the Refuge Recreation Act of 1962. Management on the refuge emphasizes 
threatened and endangered species and sensitive migratory birds.
    The primary purpose of the refuge is to provide habitat for 
endangered, threatened, and candidate species by providing secure 
habitat (e.g., nesting, feeding and roosting areas) for them. 
Endangered species on the refuge include Smith's blue butterfly 
(Euphilotes enoptes smithi), California brown pelican (Pelecanus 
occidentalis), and sand gilia (Gilia tenuiflora ssp. arenaria); 
threatened species include western snowy plover (Charadrius 
alexandrinus nivosus), and southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). 
The endangered Menzies wallflower (Erysimum menziesii) and threatened 
Monterey spineflower (Chorizanthe pungens var. pungens) may occur on 
the refuge.
    It is expected that a draft CCP and NEPA document will be available 
for public review and comment in fall 2000.

    Dated: May 17, 2000.
Wayne S. White,
California/Nevada Operations Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 00-13024 Filed 5-22-00; 8:45 am]