[Federal Register: January 26, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 16)]
[Page 3590]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan/Environmental Assessment for Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, 
located in Martin County, Florida.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Draft 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan/Environmental Assessment for Hobe Sound 
National Wildlife Refuge is available for review and comment. This 
document has been prepared pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge 
System Improvement Act of 1997, and the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969. It describes the Service's proposal for managing the 
refuge over the next 15 years.

DATES: A public meeting will be held to present the plan and obtain 
comments. The date, time, and location of this meeting will be 
announced via the local media and by special mailings. For information 
concerning the meeting, contact the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge 
at 772/546-6141.
    Comments regarding the draft plan must be received within 45 days 
following the date of this notice. Comments should be sent to David 
Erickson, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 420, 
Atlanta, GA 30345, or you may send your comments by electronic mail to 
david_erickson@fws.gov, with a subject line, ``Comments: HSNWR.'' 
Please include your name and return address in the message.

ADDRESSES: You may request a copy of the draft plan by writing Mr. 
Erickson at the above address or by calling 404/679-7176. The draft 
plan/environmental assessment may also be accessed and downloaded from 
the Service's Internet Web site: http://southeast.fws.gov/planning. If 

you wish to be placed on the mailing list to receive future information 
about the plan, we must have your written permission, since under the 
Freedom of Information Act of 1974, Federal government mailing lists 
must be released to the public upon request.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Margo Stahl, Refuge Manager, Hobe 
Sound National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 645, Hobe Sound, FL 33475-
0645; Telephone: 772/546-6141.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 1,160-acre Hobe Sound National Wildlife 
Refuge is important for the conservation of threatened and endangered 
species, namely nesting loggerhead, green, and leatherback sea turtles 
on the Jupiter Island portion of the refuge, as well as more than 40 
other rare species including the gopher tortoise, scrub jay, and 
eastern indigo snake; and wildlife and plants associated with the sand 
pine scrub community on the mainland portion of the refuge. The West 
Indian manatee and other aquatic species are associated with the Indian 
River Lagoon, a national estuary that bisects the refuge.
    The environmental assessment evaluated four alternatives for 
addressing key management issues at the refuge: Alternative 1, Maintain 
Current Management; Alternative 2, Ecosystem Emphasis; Alternative 3, 
Biological Emphasis; and Alternative 4, Public Use Emphasis. 
Alternative 2, Ecosystem Emphasis, is the proposed action for managing 
the refuge.
    Among the many benefits to threatened and/or endangered species 
described in the proposed action are the restoration of sand pine 
scrub; the restoration of Atlantic coastal dune and mangrove and 
hammock systems; the reduction of sea turtle predation to significantly 
improve hatchling survival; and the inventorying and monitoring of 
federal trust and state-listed species. Key to plan implementation is 
the development of partnerships with agencies and organizations; the 
addition of staff and new administrative facilities; the expansion of 
educational programs at the Hobe Sound Nature Center; and the 
development of wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities--all in 
keeping with a wildlife conservation mandate.

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

    Dated: October 28, 2003.
J. Mitch King,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 04-1558 Filed 1-23-04; 8:45 am]