[Federal Register: August 23, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 164)]
[Page 54667-54668]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Rocky Flats National Wildlife 
Refuge, Golden, CO

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: This notice advises that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) intends to gather information necessary to prepare a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) and its implementing regulations.
    A CCP will be prepared for the future Rocky Flats National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR) located in Jefferson County, Colorado. The purpose of the 
CCP is to describe the future conditions of the Rocky Flats NWR and 
provide long-term guidance and management direction to achieve the 
refuge's purpose and restore its ecological integrity.
    In the EIS, the Service will describe and evaluate a range of 
reasonable alternatives and the anticipated impacts of each. This 
information will be used in the draft CCP for the Rocky Flats NWR. The 
Service is furnishing this Notice in compliance with Service CCP policy 
to advise other agencies and the public of its intentions and to obtain 
suggestions and information on the scope of issues to be considered in 
the planning process.

DATES: Public scoping meetings will be held in surrounding communities 
in September 2002. Written scoping comments must be received by October 
31, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Comments and inquiries should be directed to Rocky Flats NWR 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Attn: Laurie Shannon, Planning Team 
Leader, Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, Building 111, Commerce City, 
Colorado 80022. Comments also may be mailed electronically to 
rockyflats@fws.gov. The Draft and Final CCP, Draft and Final EIS, 
Record of Decision, and final rule will be available for viewing and 
downloading at http://rockyflats.fws.gov/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Shannon, Planning Team Leader 
(see address above) at (303) 289-0980, or Fax (303) 289-0579.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Service has initiated Comprehensive 
Conservation Planning for the future Rocky Flats NWR in Jefferson 
County, Colorado. Each national wildlife refuge

[[Page 54668]]

has specific purposes for which it was established and for which 
legislation was enacted. Those purposes are used to develop and 
prioritize management goals and objectives within the National Wildlife 
Refuge System mission and to guide those public uses proposed for the 
Refuge. The planning process is a way for the Service and the public to 
evaluate management goals and objectives for the best possible 
conservation of this important wildlife habitat, while providing for 
wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are compatible with 
each Refuge's establishing purposes and the mission of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System. The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act of 
2001 mandates that the refuge will be managed for the purposes of: (1) 
Restoring and preserving native ecosystems; (2) providing habitat for, 
and population management of, native plants and migratory and resident 
wildlife; (3) conserving threatened and endangered and candidate 
species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973; and 4) providing 
opportunities for compatible scientific research.
    The Federal Government acquired 2,519 acres of the 6,300-acre Rocky 
Flats site in 1951 for use as a nuclear weapons production facility. 
The remaining acreage was acquired in 1974-1976. In 1992, the mission 
of the Rocky Flats site changed to site cleanup and closure in a manner 
that is safe, environmentally and socially responsible, physically 
secure, and cost-effective. The majority of the site has generally 
remained undisturbed since its acquisition, and provides habitat for 
many wildlife species, including a resident, federal-listed threatened 
species. Within the site is a rare xeric tallgrass prairie plant 
community. Establishing the site as a unit of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System will promote the preservation and enhancement of its 
natural resources for present and future generations.
    By Federal law, all lands within the National Wildlife Refuge 
System are to be managed in accordance with an approved CCP. A CCP 
describes the desired future conditions of the refuge and provides 
long-range guidance and management direction to accomplish the purposes 
of the refuge, contribute to the mission of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System, and meet other relevant mandates. The planning process 
will consider many elements including habitat and wildlife management, 
wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities, environmental education, 
and other wildlife-dependent uses. Public input into this process is 
essential. The Service is requesting input for issues, concerns, ideas, 
and suggestions for the future management of Rocky Flats NWR. Anyone 
interested in providing input is invited to respond to the following 
three questions:
    (1) What makes the Rocky Flats NWR special or unique to you?
    (2) What problems or issues do you want to see addressed in the 
    (3) What are your recommendations for future management of Rocky 
Flats NWR?
    The above questions were designed to stimulate thinking about Rocky 
Flats and its future management. The Service invites any relevant 
comments or ideas and does not require that participants provide any 
specific information. Comments received by the planning team will be 
used as part of the planning process.
    An opportunity will be given to the public to provide input at 
public meeting to scope issues and concerns. These public scoping 
meetings will be held in nearby communities in September 2002. The 
meetings will take place in facilities meeting accessibility 
requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Citizens 
with disabilities that may require accommodation to participate in or 
to understand the meeting, should contact Laurie Shannon, Refuge 
Planner, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at (303) 289-0980 at least one 
week in advance so arrangements for accommodations can be made. 
Comments also may be submitted anytime during the planning process by 
writing to the above addresses.
    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), and other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, and 
Service policies and procedures for compliance with those regulations. 
All comments received from individuals on Service EISs become part of 
the official public record. Requests for such comments will be handled 
in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, NEPA (40 CFR 
1506.6(f)), and other Departmental and Service 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 
commenter's name, address, or any other identifying information.

    Dated: July 31, 2002.
John A. Blankenship,
Acting Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado.
[FR Doc. 02-21505 Filed 8-22-02; 8:45 am]