[Federal Register: February 14, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 30)]
[Page 7794]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan for Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge, Marion, MT

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Lost Trail National Wildlife 
Refuge is available. This CCP, prepared pursuant to the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 and the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, describes how the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service intends to manage this refuge for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the Final CCP or Summary may be obtained by 
writing to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lost Trail National Wildlife 
Refuge, 6295 Pleasant Valley Road, Marion, Montana 59925; or downloaded 
from http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/planning.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ray Washtak, Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge, 6295 
Pleasant Valley Road, Marion, Montana 59925; telephone 406-858-2216; 
fax 406-858-2218; or e-mail: ray_washtak@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), 
comprised of nearly 9,300 acres, is long and narrow and is nearly 
bisected throughout its length by the Pleasant Valley Road in Flathead 
County, in extreme northwestern Montana. This breathtakingly beautiful 
refuge was established in 1999 and is nestled in Montana's Pleasant 
Valley, within the Fisher River watershed. Lost Trail NWR can be 
described as a long valley crossed by Pleasant Valley Creek and 
encompassing the 182-acre Dahl Lake. Lost Trail NWR is comprised of 
wetlands, lush riparian corridors, uplands dominated by prairie and 
tame grasses, and temperate forests dominated by lodgepole pine and 
Douglas fir. Besides numerous migratory waterfowl and neotropical bird 
species, this refuge is home to federally listed species such as the 
bald eagle, black tern and Spalding's catchfly. Canada lynx and 
trumpeter swan occasionally use refuge habitats, and the grizzly bear, 
gray wolf, and bull trout occur in Pleasant Valley. Lost Trail NWR was 
established by Congress with the following purposes: (1) ``* * * for 
use by migratory birds, with emphasis on waterfowl and other water 
birds * * *'' (Migratory Bird Conservation Act); (2) ``* * * for the 
conservation of fish and wildlife resources * * *'' (Fish and Wildlife 
Act); (3) `` * * * for fish and wildlife-oriented recreation * * *'' 
(The Refuge Recreation Act); and (4) for the conservation of endangered 
and threatened species (Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended).
    This Final CCP identifies goals, objectives, and strategies for the 
management of Lost Trail NWR that emphasize restoration and maintenance 
of Dahl Lake and other native habitats, in vigorous condition, to 
promote biological diversity. The CCP places high importance on the 
control of invasive plant species with partners and integrated pest 
management. It seeks to provide habitats in order to contribute to 
conservation, enhancement and recovery of federally listed species and 
possible modification of public uses to protect visitors and minimize 
harmful interaction between users and listed species.
    The availability of the Draft CCP and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for a 30-day public review and comment period was announced in the 
Federal Register on July 20, 2005 (FO FR 41786). The Draft CCP/EA 
evaluated four alternatives for managing Lost Trail NWR. Alternative D, 
the No Action Alternative, proposed continuation of current management 
of the refuge. Alternative B emphasized manipulation of habitat to 
promote wildlife populations to provide the public with abundant 
quality wildlife recreation, as well as research, documentation, and 
interpretation of cultural resources. It also called for a contact 
station staffed 7 days a week. Alternative C called for restoration of 
habitats to historic conditions and allowance of natural processes to 
manage habitats. It called for increased protection of listed species, 
and de-emphasizing public use opportunities at the refuge (such as no 
fishing and hunting, except by special permit).
    Based on this assessment and comments received, Alternative A, 
which is the proposed action, was selected because it best meets the 
purposes and goals of the refuge, as well as the goals of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System. The management direction of this refuge is 
expected to also benefit federally listed species, large ungulates, 
shore birds, migrating and nesting waterfowl, and neotropical migrants, 
as well as improve water quality from riparian habitat restoration. It 
identifies increased environmental education and partnerships that are 
likely to result in improved wildlife-dependent recreational 
opportunities. Finally, the CCP places high importance on the 
protection of cultural and historical resources.

    Dated: October 17, 2005.
Sharon R. Rose,
Acting Deputy Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, CO.
[FR Doc. 06-1296 Filed 2-13-06; 8:45 am]