[Federal Register: August 24, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 163)]
[Page 52028-52029]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Record of Decision for the Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the San Francisco Estuary 
Invasive Spartina Project: Spartina Control Program

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces availability 
of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/R) for the San 
Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project: Spartina Control Program. 
The ROD is available to the public after publication of this Notice of 
Availability in the Federal Register. The Service and the California 
State Coastal Conservancy jointly prepared the EIS/R to address 
environmental impacts and benefits of alternatives for the Spartina 
Control Program and provide for early-stage public involvement, as 
required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Spartina Control 
Program's goal is to control or eradicate four species of non-native, 
invasive perennial cordgrass (genus Spartina) in the San Francisco Bay 
Estuary (Estuary), including the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife 
    Requests for the ROD should be directed to Mr. Wayne White, Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and 
Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mark Littlefield, Sacramento Fish 
and Wildlife Office, (916) 414-6600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The programmatic EIS/R analyzed potential 
effects of implementing Spartina control or eradication methods at a 
generalized, region-wide program level rather than a detailed, 
individual project level. The purpose of the Spartina Control Program 
is to arrest and reverse the spread of invasive, non-native cordgrasses 
(S. alterniflora, S. anglica, S. densiflora, and S. patens) in the 
Estuary to preserve and restore the ecological integrity of its 
intertidal habitats and estuarine ecosystem.
    The Estuary supports a diverse array of native plants and animals, 
including several Federal and State listed species. Many nonnative 
species of plants and animals have been introduced into the Estuary, 
and some now threaten to cause fundamental changes in the structure, 
function, and ecological value of the Estuary's tidal lands. In recent 
decades, populations of nonnative cordgrasses were introduced to the 
Estuary and rapidly began to spread. Although valuable in their native 
settings, these introduced cordgrasses are highly invasive in new 
environments and frequently become the dominant plant species. In 
particular, the non-native Atlantic smooth cordgrass (S. alterniflora) 
and its hybrids, formed when this species crosses with native Pacific 
cordgrass (S. foliosa), are now threatening the ecological balance of 
the Estuary. In the Estuary, Atlantic smooth cordgrass is likely to 
choke tidal creeks, dominate newly restored tidal marshes, impair 
thousands of acres of existing shorebird habitat, and eventually cause 
extinction of the native Pacific cordgrass.
    Once established in the Estuary, nonnative invasive cordgrass could 
rapidly spread to other estuaries along the California coast through 
seed dispersal on the tides. Nonnative invasive cordgrasses are 
spreading rapidly in the Estuary and currently dominate 500 acres of 
mudflats and tidal marshes on State, Federal, municipal, and private 
lands. The Spartina Control Program implemented through the selected 
alternative will provide for a coordinated, region-wide eradication 
program, consisting of a number of on-the-ground treatment techniques 
to address this invasion. The Spartina Control Program focuses on the 
nearly 40,000 acres of tidal marsh and 29,000 acres of tidal flats that 
compose the shoreline areas of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San 
Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and Sacramento 
    The ROD provides: (1) The Service's decision; (2) the proposed 
action; (3) alternatives considered in the EIS/R, including the 
Environmentally Preferable Alternative (Selected Alternative); (4) the 
basis for the Service's decision; (5) associated impacts, mitigation 
and findings, providing all practicable means to avoid and minimize 
environmental harm; (6) public involvement, including an explanation of 
changes made between the draft and final EIS/R; (7) implementation 
guidelines; and (8) conclusion.

(Authority: National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.); Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of

[[Page 52029]]

the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1500-1508)).

D. Kenneth McDermond,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office.
[FR Doc. 04-19312 Filed 8-23-04; 8:45 am]