[Federal Register: September 22, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 185)]
[Page 57367-57368]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the 
Proposed Exchange of Lands With Federal Interest on South Fox Island, 
Leelanau County, Michigan, Between the State of Michigan and a Private 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior, lead; National Park 
Service, Interior, cooperating.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment for the 
proposed exchange of lands with Federal interest on South Fox Island, 
Leelanau County, Michigan.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS) intends to gather the information necessary for the 
preparation of an EA. The actions to be evaluated by this EA are: (1) 
The approval by FWS of the exchange of 325.8 acres, acquired by the 
State with Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration assistance, for lands 
with equal monetary and wildlife restoration values; (2) the approval 
by the National Park Service (NPS) for the State to exchange 115.1 
acres with NPS interest for private lands with equal or better public 
value; and (3) the related exchange of 212.4 acres of unencumbered 
State-owned land for fee title and easements for private lands of equal 
value. All acreage is approximate. This will consolidate and confine 
State ownership to approximately the northern one-third of South Fox 
Island, Leelanau County, Michigan, about 30 miles WNW of Charlevoix, in 
Lake Michigan.
    The Service Regional Director is considering, under the authority 
of 50 CFR 80.14 and 43 CFR 12.71, exchange of lands acquired with 
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration funds. The NPS and General 
Service's Administration are considering the removal of a title 
reversion clause to allow the disposal of certain lands on South Fox 
Island and for the placement of a title reversion clause on replacement 
lands of equal public value. Alternatives could include approval, 
disapproval, or modification of the State's current proposal of the 
land exchange. Modifications could include, but are not limited to: 

[[Page 57368]]

in the boundaries and acreage of tracts to be exchanged; elimination of 
the NPS tract from the exchange; and deed restrictions on private lands 
to protect wildlife and historic resources.
    This notice is being furnished as required by the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations (40 CFR1501.7 and 1508.22). 
The intent of the notice is to obtain suggestions and additional 
information from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues 
to be addressed in the EA. Comments and participation in this scoping 
process are solicited.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before October 23, 
2000. A scoping meeting is scheduled for October 12, 2000 at Charlevoix 
City Hall, 215 State Street, Charlevoix, Michigan, with duplicate 
sessions from 2 to 5 pm and from 7 to 10 pm. This meeting will also be 
announced in the local news media.
    Public Involvement: The public will be invited to participate in 
the scoping process, a public meeting, and review of the draft EA when 
it is produced. One scoping meeting is scheduled on October 12, 2000, 
at the Charlevoix, Michigan City Hall and will be announced in the 
local news media. Release of the draft EA for public comment will also 
be announced in the local news media, as these dates are established. 
Written scoping comments should be received within 30 days from the 
date of publication of this Notice of Intent.
    All comments received from individuals become part of the official 
public record. Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance 
with the Freedom of Information Act and the Council on Environmental 
Quality's NEPA regulations [40 CFR 1506.6(f)]. Our practice is to make 
comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available 
for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents 
may request that we withhold their home address from the record, which 
we will honor to the extent allowable by law. If a respondent wishes us 
to withhold his/her name and/or address, this must be stated 
prominently at the beginning of the comment.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to: Regional Director, Region 
3, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, 
Minnesota 55111. Electronic mail comments may also be submitted within 
the comment period to: fw3foxisland@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Craig Czarnecki, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, East Lansing Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite 
101, East Lansing, MI 48823, telephone: (517) 351-8470, facsimile: 
(517) 351-1443; Mr. Jon Parker, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Division of Federal Aid, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, 1 
Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, MN 55111; telephone: 612-713-5142, 
facsimile: (612) 713-5290; or Mr. John Kelly, National Park Service, 15 
State Street, Boston, MA 02109, telephone (617) 223-5190.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 115.1--acre State owned tract with NPS 
and GSA interest contains the South Fox Island Lighthouse facilities 
that are either listed or are likely eligible to be listed on the 
National Register of Historic Places; other historical or archeological 
resources may be present. The National Historic Preservation Act and 
other laws require these properties and resources be identified and 
considered in project planning. The public is requested to inform the 
FWS of concerns about archeological sites, buildings and structures, 
historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic 
preservation concerns.
    The NPS tract also includes proposed Critical Habitat for the 
Federally Endangered Piping plover. The tract also contains Federally 
Threatened Pitcher's thistle, which is also present at other locations 
on the island.
    The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians has 
unresolved claims to title and other property rights on the island. 
There is an Indian cemetery on the private lands.
    There have been ongoing conflicts over trespass on both public and 
private land parcels on the island. Public access is an ongoing issue.
    The Service estimates that the draft EA will be made available to 
the public by early November, 2000.

Barbara Milne,
Acting Regional Director, Region 3, Fort Snelling, MN.
[FR Doc. 00-24249 Filed 9-21-00; 8:45 am]