[Federal Register: November 1, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 210)]
[Page 65931-65932]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment for the Rappahannock River Valley National 
Wildlife Refuge

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

ACTION: Notice of intent.


[[Page 65932]]

SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This 
notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) intends to gather information necessary for preparing the CCP 
and EA pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration 
Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969. The Service is furnishing this notice in compliance with Service 
planning policy, to (1) advise other Federal and State agencies and the 
public of our intention to conduct detailed planning on this refuge; 
and, (2) obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental document.
    The Service will involve the public through open houses, 
informational and technical meetings, and written comments. Special 
mailings, newspaper articles, and announcements will provide 
information about opportunities for public involvement in the planning 

DATES: We are now planning public scoping meetings for December 2005 in 
Warsaw, Port Royal and Richmond, Virginia. We will announce their 
locations, dates and times at least 2 weeks in advance, in special 
mailings and newspaper notices and through personal contacts.

ADDRESSES: Rappahannock River Valley NWR, 336 Wilna Road, P.O. Box 
1030, Warsaw, Virginia 22572-1030, at 804-333-1470 (telephone); 804-
333-3396 (FAX), Web site http://www.fws.gov/northeast/va/rap.htm.

    To Obtain Further Information, Ask Questions, or Comment Contact: 
Nancy McGarigal, Refuge Planner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 
Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, Massachusetts 01035; 413-253-8562 
(telephone); 413-253-8468 (FAX); northeastplanning@fws.gov (electronic 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge 
System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), the Service is 
to manage all lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System 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 over a 15-year 
    The planning process will cover many elements, including wildlife 
and habitat management, visitor and recreational activities, cultural 
resource protection, and facilities and infrastructure. Compatibility 
determinations will be completed for all applicable refuge uses. We 
will also conduct a wilderness review and a wild and scenic rivers 
evaluation to determine whether any areas on the refuge qualify for 
those Federal designations.
    Public input into the planning process is essential. The comments 
we receive will help identify key issues and develop refuge goals and 
objectives for managing refuge resources and visitors. Additional 
opportunities for public participation will arise throughout the 
planning process, which we expect to complete in 2007. Data collection 
has already begun to compile up-to-date information on refuge resources 
and serve as a foundation for science-based resource decisions. We will 
prepare the environmental assessment in accordance with the Council on 
Environmental Quality procedures for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370d).
    The 7,379-acre Rappahannock River Valley NWR was established in 
1996 to conserve and protect fish and wildlife resources, including 
endangered and threatened species and wetlands. Its approved 
acquisition boundary includes parts of Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond, 
Essex, Caroline, Westmoreland, and King George counties in Virginia. 
The Rappahannock River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, bisects that 
boundary. Refuge habitats include freshwater tidal marsh, forested 
swamp, upland deciduous forest, mixed pine forest, and managed 
    Refuge visitors engage in wildlife observation and photography, 
environmental education, hunting, and fishing. The refuge headquarters 
is located in Warsaw, Virginia.

    Dated: October 5, 2005.
Richard O. Bennett,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, 
[FR Doc. 05-21693 Filed 10-31-05; 8:45 am]