[Federal Register: February 9, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 27)]
[Page 6390-6391]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

AGENCY:  Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 6391]]

ACTION:  Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Associated Environmental Impact Statement.


SUMMARY:  This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service) is preparing a Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan (CCP) and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Nisqually 
National Wildlife Refuge, Thurston and Pierce Counties, Washington. The 
Service is furnishing this notice in compliance with Service CCP policy 
and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing 
regulations to advise other agencies and the public of our intentions.

DATES:  Submit comments on or before March 10, 2000.

ADDRESSES:  Address comments and requests for more information to: 
Refuge Manager, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, 100 Brown Farm 
Road, Olympia, Washington, 98516.
    Submit electronic mail comments to: FW1Public__Comments__ 
Nisqually@fws.gov. See Submitting Comments under SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION for file formats and other information about electronic 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Refuge Manager Jean Takekawa at (360) 
753-9467 (see ADDRESSES section for mailing address).



    During the Environmental Assessment development process, a further 
determination was made that an EIS should be prepared to address NEPA 
requirements for the development of the CCP. A previous notice to 
prepare a CCP was published in the Federal Register (62 FR 52764-52765, 
Oct. 9, 1997).
    It is Service policy to have all lands within the National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR) 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. Public input 
into this planning process is encouraged. 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 
    The Nisqually NWR was established in 1974, ``* * * for use as an 
inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purposes, for 
migratory birds'' (16 U.S.C. 715d). A CCP is needed to update the 1978 
Nisqually NWR Conceptual Plan and facilitate potential changes in 
habitat management and public uses, with full public participation. The 
major issues to be addressed in the CCP include habitat protection and 
enhancement, boundary expansion and completion of the Refuge, riparian 
and tidal restoration, control of invasive and exotic vegetation, 
future flooding, compatibility of secondary uses, public access and 
accessibility, fishing, and waterfowl hunting.
    Starting in 1996, issues, goals, and other comments on the CCP were 
submitted by persons and organizations involved in the scoping process 
including: the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Ft. Lewis; 
the Nisqually Indian Tribe; Thurston and Pierce Counties; members of 
national, state, and local conservation organizations; neighboring 
landowners; and other interested citizens. Comments and concerns 
received are being used to draft alternatives.
    Five planning updates have been mailed out to approximately 600 
addresses. The first two updates soliciting comments were mailed in 
August and November 1996. The third update, which announced the public 
open houses, was mailed in November 1997. Comments received were used 
to develop goals, key issues, and habitat management strategies that 
were presented at public open houses in the fall of 1997. In addition, 
more than 600 issues workbooks were mailed or distributed at the open 
houses. The workbook, offered people a chance to provide input on the 
CCP, draft Refuge goals, and four main issues, including: (1) Changing 
the mix of habitat types at the Refuge; (2) trail access and 
configuration; (3) waterfowl hunting; and (4) Refuge expansion and land 
protection. Planning update number four, mailed in April 1998, 
summarized the comments received from the workbook. Update number five 
was mailed in December 1998, and summarized the results of three 
workshops which focused on: public use; grasslands; and estuarine and 
freshwater wetlands restoration and management. Copies of these 
planning updates may be requested from the Refuge.

Submitting Comments

    With the publication of this notice, the public is encouraged to 
send written comments. Comments already received are on record and need 
not be resubmitted. All comments received from individuals on a draft 
EIS become part of the official public record. Requests for such 
comments will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information 
Act, Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations 40 CFR 
1506.6(f), and other Service and Department policy and procedures. When 
requested, the Service generally will provide comment letters with the 
names and addresses of the individuals who wrote the comments. However, 
the telephone number of the commenting individual will not be provided 
in response to such requests to the extent permissible by law. 
Additionally, public comment letters are not required to contain the 
author's name, address, or other identifying information. Such comments 
may be submitted anonymously to the Service.
    You may submit comments by sending electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
FW1Public__Comments__ Nisqually@fws.gov. Submit comments as an ASCII 
file, avoiding the use of special characters and any form of 
encryption. On the e-mail message title line, please note that your 
message is in response to the Nisqually NWR Draft CCP and Draft EIS.
    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), NEPA Regulations (40 
CFR 1500-1508), other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, 
Executive Order 12996, and Service policies and procedures for 
compliance with those regulations. We estimate that the Draft CCP and 
Draft EIS will be available by Summer 2000.

    Dated: January 28, 2000.
Thomas Dwyer,
Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 00-2871 Filed 2-8-00; 8:45 am]