[Federal Register: August 25, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 166)]
[Page 51842-51843]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of a Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment for the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in 
Nebraska and Iowa

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that a Draft Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for the DeSoto National 
Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska and Iowa will be available for public 
review on August 21, 2000. Comments and suggestions are requested.

DATES: Written comments are requested by September 25, 2000. A public 
open house meeting will be held on September 7, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to: Mr. Jim Salyer, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 24385 State Highway 51, Puxico, Missouri 63960; 
Telephone: 800/686-8339 (toll-free) or 573/222-6001; Fax: 573/222-6150; 
E-Mail: r3planning@fws.gov. Individuals with speech or hearing 
impairments may call the Missouri Relay Service at 800/735-2966 (TTY).
    The public open house will be held at the DeSoto Refuge Visitor 
Center, 1434 316th Lane, Missouri Valley, Iowa, 51555 from 1:00 p.m. 
until 8:00 p.m. During the open house, information may be obtained by 
calling 712/642-4121.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jimi Salyer or Ms. Judy McClendon, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 24385 State Highway 51, Puxico, 
Missouri 63960; Telephone: 800/686-8339 (toll-free) or 573/222-6001; 
Fax: 573/222-6150; E-Mail: r3planning@fws.gov. Individuals with speech 
or hearing or impairments may call the Missouri Relay Service at 800/
735-2966 (TTY).
    Individuals who would like copies of the Draft Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for review should 
immediately use the contact information above. Copies of the document 
have been sent to all agencies and individuals who participated in the 
scoping process and to all others who have already requested copies.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Mr. Leon Kolankiewicz, Environmental 
Planner, The Mangi Environmental Group Inc. (Mangi), is the primary 
author of this document. The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), 
Department of the Interior, has contracted with Mangi to prepare a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) in Nebraska and Iowa 
which will guide management of the Refuge for the next 15 years.
    The plan describes how the Refuge will provide for migratory and 
endangered species within its boundaries; work with partners to improve 
habitats beyond its boundaries; expand opportunities for wildlife 
viewing and fishing; further develop environmental education and 
interpretation of natural and cultural history; and provide outreach 
programs to describe appreciation of fish, wildlife, and the 
environmental influence of Western settlement.
    The Environmental Assessment contains discussion of four 
alternatives under consideration that were analyzed and evaluated 
during planning:
    (A.) No Action. No major changes in existing management goals and 
objectives would occur.
    (B.) Maximize Restoration and Conservation of Historical Natural 
Resource Conditions. Management strategies would be to restore and 
conserve fish and wildlife populations, species and habitat diversity, 
composition and abundance to levels and conditions existing in the pre-
development era (to about the mid-1800's).
    (C.) Maximize Compatible Public Use Potentials. The six priority 
wildlife-dependent uses originating with the Refuge Improvement Act 
(interpretation, education, observation, photography, hunting, fishing) 
would be promoted and enhanced.
    (D.) Optimize Natural Resource Conditions and Public use Potential 
(Preferred). This alternative seeks the best or optimal balance between 
the sometimes competing ideals of wildlife conservation, habitat 
restoration and public use.

[[Page 51843]]

    Other government agencies and members of the general public 
contributed to the planning and evaluation of the proposal and to the 
preparation of this CCP and EA. Planning involved participation of 
Refuge staff, Service planners, a consultant to the Service, Refuge 
neighbors, organizations, local and state governmental agencies, and 
interested citizens. Planning team and public scoping meetings were 
held in July, August, September, October, and November 1999, and in 
January and February 2000. A focus group of 19 participants and 12 
participants of an open house session provided comments.
    All agencies and individuals are urged to provide comments and 
suggestions for improving this CCP and EA by September 25, 2000. All 
comments received by this date will be considered in preparation of the 
Final CCP and EA.

    Dated: August 21, 2000.
William F. Hartwig,
Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 00-21714 Filed 8-24-00; 8:45 am]