[Federal Register: February 24, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 37)]
[Page 9290-9291]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Plan for Crab Orchard 
National Wildlife Refuge in Williamson, Jackson and Union Counties, IL

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) intends to gather information necessary to prepare a 
comprehensive conservation plan and an environmental assessment for the 
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Williamson, Jackson and Union 
counties, Illinois. The Service is furnishing this notice in compliance 
with Service comprehensive conservation plan policy and the National 
Environmental Policy Act, and implementing regulations to achieve the 
    (1) Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and
    (2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues, 
opportunities, and concerns for inclusion in the environmental 

DATES: The Service will hold public scoping meetings in Spring 2000, 
and additional public meetings will be held to review the draft 
comprehensive conservation plan. It is anticipated that the draft plan 
will be available for public review by November 2000. An announcement 
of availability of the draft plan will appear in the Federal Register 
and on the Crab Orchard Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan web page 

ADDRESSES: Address comments and requests for more information to: 
Refuge Manager, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, 8588 Route 148, 
Marion, Illinois 62959; or E-mail: conwr-ccp@fws.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It is the policy of the Service to have all 

[[Page 9291]]

within the National Wildlife Refuge System managed in accordance with 
an approved comprehensive conservation plan. The plan guides management 
decisions and identifies refuge goals, objectives and strategies for 
achieving refuge purposes. Public input into this planning process is 
encouraged. The plan will provide other agencies and the public with a 
clear understanding of the desired conditions of the refuge and how the 
Service will implement management strategies. Some of the issues to be 
addressed in the plan include the including:
    (a) Habitat management;
    (b) Public use management;
    (c) Wildlife population management;
    (d) Wilderness management;
    (e) Industrial facilities management; and
    (f) Cultural resource identification and protection.
    The environmental assessment will include several alternatives that 
address the issues and management strategies with these topics.
    Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge was established on August 5, 
1947, by Public Law 80-361. This Act of Congress transferred certain 
Federal lands acquired in connection with the Crab Orchard Creek 
project and the Illinois Ordnance Plant to the Secretary of the 
Interior. This legislation mandated these lands be administered by the 
Secretary through the Service ``for the conservation of wildlife, and 
for the development of the agricultural, recreational, industrial, and 
related purposes specified in this Act.''
    The 43,890-acre refuge contains three large manmade lakes totaling 
8,700 acres; 21,000 acres of forestland, 5,000 acres of cropland, and 
2,000 acres of grassland. The refuge supports an extensive variety of 
plant and animal species, hosts 1.2 million recreational visitors per 
year, provides facilities for industrial tenants who generate $100 
million in annual revenue, and sponsors cooperative farmers and 
permittee graziers. The 4,050-Crab Orchard Wilderness, the first 
wilderness area designed in the State of Illinois, is within the 

    Dated: February 15, 2000.
William F. Hartwig,
Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 00-4330 Filed 2-23-00; 8:45 am]