[Federal Register: July 6, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 128)]
[Page 40645-40646]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Assessment for Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge 
located in Monroe, Sumter, and Conecuh Counties, Alabama


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region, intends to 
gather information necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation 
plan and environmental assessment 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 following:
    (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 the public and State and local government 
agencies of the opportunities for input throughout the planning 
process. An open house style meeting will be held during the scoping 
phase of the comprehensive conservation plan development process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or 
before August 20, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for more 
information to Mike Dawson, Refuge Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 6578 Dogwood View Parkway, Suite B, Jackson, Mississippi 

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. This plan guides management 
decisions and identifies the 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 into this planning process is essential.
    Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964 on lands 
acquired by the Corps of Engineers in conjunction with the Coffeeville 
Lock and Dam project. The refuge is located 10 miles northwest of 
Coffeeville, Alabama, across the Tombigbee River, and north of Highway 
84 in southwest Alabama, approximately 80 miles north of Mobile. The 
4,218-acre refuge encompasses approximately 1,802 acres of lakes, 
sloughs, and creeks; 2,265 acres of bottomland hardwoods; and 151 acres

[[Page 40646]]

of croplands and moist-soil units. Access to this bottomland hardwood 
refuge is sometimes only possible by boat in the spring. Road access is 
limited due to frequent flooding and storms.
    The primary purpose of the refuge is to provide wood duck brood 
habitat and serve as a protected wintering area for waterfowl. Up to 
200 broods of wood ducks are produced annually in the refuge's 
artificial nest boxes, and wintering waterfowl numbers can exceed 
10,000. Following a successful bald eagle hacking program in the early 
1990s, the refuge has played host to a nesting pair of eagles each 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Refuge Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Jackson, Mississippi Field Office, telephone: (601) 965-4903; 
fax: (601) 965-4010; e-mail mike_dawson@fws.gov; or mail (write to 
Refuge Planner at address in ADDRESSES section).

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1977, Public Law 

    Dated: May 18, 2004.
J. Mitch King,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 04-15222 Filed 7-2-04; 8:45 am]