[Federal Register: September 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 170)]
[Page 52418]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Vieques National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Impact Statement for Vieques National Wildlife 
Refuge, located in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Southeast Region, intends to gather information necessary to 
prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and environmental impact 
statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and its 
implementing regulations. The Service is furnishing this notice in 
compliance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act 
of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.), to achieve the 
    (1) Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and
    (2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental document.
    Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media announcements 
will be used to inform Commonwealth and Municipal governments and the 
public of the opportunities for input throughout the planning process.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for more 
information to the following: Ms. Susan Silander, Project Leader, 
Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 510, 
Boqueron, Puerto Rico 00622, Telephone: 787/851-7258; Fax: 787/851-
7440; E-mail: CaribbeanIsland@fws.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By Federal law, all lands within the 
National Wildlife Refuge System are to be managed in accordance with an 
approved comprehensive conservation plan. The plan guides management 
decisions and identifies refuge goals, long-range objectives, and 
strategies for achieving refuge purposes. The planning process will 
consider many elements including wildlife and habitat management, 
public recreational activities, and cultural resource protection. 
Public input in the planning process is essential as the Service 
establishes management priorities and explores opportunities for non-
invasive and low-impact activities such as ecotourism. Restoration of 
degraded habitats through reforestation, reestablishment of hydrology, 
and removal of exotic species will be a priority.
    Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, comprising just over 18,000 
acres, is the largest national wildlife refuge in Puerto Rico. The 
refuge includes beaches used by threatened and endangered sea turtles 
for nesting, subtropical dry forests, mangrove lagoons, salt flats, and 
bioluminescent bays.

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 

    Dated: July 28, 2003.
J. Mitch King,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 03-22380 Filed 9-2-03; 8:45 am]