[Federal Register: May 31, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 103)]
[Page 30967-30968]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Assessment for Washington Islands National Wildlife 
Refuges (Flattery Rocks, Quillayute Needles, and Copalis NWRs)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Assessment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces that a 
Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment 
(Draft CCP/EA) for Flattery Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, Quillayute 
Needles National Wildlife Refuge, and Copalis National Wildlife Refuge 
is available for review and comment. These three National Wildlife 
Refuges located on the outer coast of the Olympic Peninsula in 
Washington State, are hereafter collectively called the Washington 
Islands Refuges or Refuges. This Draft CCP/EA, prepared pursuant to the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as amended, and the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, describes the Service's 
proposal for management of the Washington Islands Refuges over the next 
15 years. Also available for review with the Draft CCP/EA is a 
compatibility determination for research.

DATES: Written comments must be received at the address below by June 
30, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the Draft CCP/EA should be addressed to: Kevin 
Ryan, Refuge Manager, Washington

[[Page 30968]]

Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 33 S. Barr Road, Port 
Angeles, Washington, 98362, phone (360) 457-8451. Comments may also be 
submitted via electronic mail to FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Please 
use WA Islands Refuges CCP, in the subject line.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Ryan, Refuge Manager, at the 
address and phone number above, or Michael Marxen, Pacific Northwest 
Planning Team, 16507 Roy Rogers Road, Sherwood, Oregon, 97140, phone 
(503) 590-6596.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may be obtained 
by writing to Michael Marxen, Pacific Northwest Planning Team, 16507 
Roy Rogers Road, Sherwood, Oregon, 97140. Copies of the Draft CCP/EA 
may be viewed at this address or at Washington Maritime National 
Wildlife Refuge Complex, 33 S. Barr Road, Port Angeles, Washington, 
98362. The Draft CCP/EA will also be available for viewing and 
downloading online at http://pacific.fws.gov/planning. Printed 

documents will also be available for review at the following libraries: 
Aberdeen Library, Hoquiam Timberland Library, Jefferson County Library, 
Montesano Timberland Library, North Olympic Library (at locations in 
Clallam Bay, Port Angeles, Forks, and Sequim), Ocean Shores Library, 
Westport Timberland Library, and Seattle Public Library.


    The Washington Islands Refuges extend over 100 miles along the 
Pacific Coast and include more than 600 rocks, reefs, and islands. The 
Refuges are located in Clallam, Jefferson, and Grays Harbor Counties, 
Washington. The administrative center for the Washington Islands 
Refuges is the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Complex in 
Port Angeles, Washington. The Washington Islands Refuges are part of 
the National Wildlife Refuge System. This system of 544 refuges is 
managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The three Washington Islands 
Refuges are included in one planning process because they are part of 
the same ecosystem, and share many of the same issues and management 
    The Washington Islands Refuges were established in 1907 by 
President Theodore Roosevelt ``* * * as a preserve and breeding ground 
for native birds and animals.'' Approximately 80% of the seabirds in 
Washington State nest within the Refuges. Because of the physical 
characteristics of these islands, landings and access are extremely 
hazardous. Since establishment, the Refuges have been closed to public 
entry to protect wildlife values and human safety. On October 23, 1970, 
the Washington Islands Wilderness was established by Pub. L. 92-504. 
This placed all of the Refuge islands, except for Destruction Island, 
under wilderness designation.

Proposed Action

    The Service proposes to adopt and implement a Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan (CCP) to guide management of the three Washington 
Islands Refuges for approximately 15 years. The CCP identifies Refuge 
goals, long-range objectives, and strategies for achieving Refuge 
purposes. In the Draft CCP/EA, two alternatives for managing the 
Washington Islands Refuges are identified and evaluated. Alternative A, 
the ``no action'' or ``status quo'' alternative is the current 
management of the Refuges. Alternative B, the Aproposed action'' 
describes management actions proposed to address current threats and 
opportunities. The alternatives are briefly described below.
    Under Alternative A, the Service would continue to manage the 
Refuges under the management goals that were identified in the Refuges' 
1989 Management Plan. Management actions to maintain habitat and 
provide protection for priority species including Federal and State 
listed species, and provide research opportunities and offsite 
wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities, would continue. New 
mandates related to refuge management enacted since 1989 would also be 
    Under Alternative B, the following goals have been developed to 
guide management of the refuges:
     Protect migratory birds and other native wildlife and 
their associated habitats, with special emphasis on seabirds.
     Protect and support the recovery of federally threatened 
and endangered species and Washington state special status species and 
their habitats.
     Protect and manage the Washington Islands Wilderness Area 
to maintain its wilderness character and values.
     Through effective coordination and cooperation with 
others, promote conservation of Refuge resources, with special emphasis 
on governmental agencies and tribes with adjoining ownership or 
     Continue to enhance long-term monitoring and sustain 
applied scientific research.
     Increase public interpretation and awareness programs to 
enhance appreciation, understanding, and enjoyment of Refuge resources.

Public Comments

    With the publication of this notice, the public is encouraged to 
send written comments regarding the Draft CCP/EA for the Washington 
Islands Refuges. Public comments are requested, considered, and 
incorporated throughout the planning process in numerous ways. Public 
outreach has included meetings with State and Federal agencies and 
Tribes, planning update mailings, and Federal Register notices. After 
the review and comment period ends for this Draft CCP/EA, comments will 
be analyzed by the Service and addressed in revised planning documents.
    All comments received from individuals, including names and 
addresses, become part of the official public record and may be 
released. Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance with 
the Freedom of Information Act, the Council on Environmental Quality's 
NEPA regulations [40 CFR 1506.6(f)] and other Service and Departmental 
policies and procedures.

    Dated: May 5, 2005.
Don Weathers,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 05-10298 Filed 5-27-05; 8:45 am]