[Federal Register: September 25, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 185)]
[Page 55801-55802]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental 
Assessment for Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

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

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces that a 
Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment 
(Draft CCP/EA) for Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) is 
available for review and comment. Also available for review with the 
Draft CCP/EA are draft compatibility determinations for fishing; 
wildlife observation and photography; environmental education and 
interpretation; high-speed boating; recreational boating associated 
with hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography; research; 
plant gathering; and mosquito monitoring and control.

DATES: Written comments must be received at the address below by 
October 28, 2006. In addition, two public meetings will be held on 
October 4 and October 5, 2006 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in California.

ADDRESSES: For more information on obtaining documents and submitting 
comments, see ``Review and Comment'' under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. 
For public meeting location see ``Public Meetings.''

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Harvey, Project Leader at the Stone 
Lakes NWR address under ``Review and Comment'' or David Bergendorf, 
Refuge Planner, at the CA/NV Refuge Planning Office address under 
``Review and Comment'' or at (916) 414-6503 (telephone).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Draft CCP/EA, prepared pursuant to the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended 
by the National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C 668dd 
et seq.) as amended and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) as amended, describes the Service's proposal for 
managing the Refuge for the next 15 years.

Review and Comment

    Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may be obtained by writing to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Attn: David Bergendorf, CA/NV Refuge 
Planning Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 95825-1846. 
Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may be viewed at this address or at Stone 
Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, 1624 Hood-Franklin Road, Elk Grove, CA 
95758. The Draft CCP/EA will also be available for viewing and 
downloading online at http://www.fws.gov/stonelakes/publicreview.htm. 

Printed documents will also be available for review at the following 
libraries: Sacramento Central Library, 828 I Street, Sacramento, CA 
95814; Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95864; 
Belle Cooledge Library, 5600 South Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 
95822; Elk Grove Library, 8962 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624; 
Clarksburg Yolo County Library, 52915 Netherlands Road, Clarksburg, CA 
95612; Colonial Heights Library, 4799 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 
95820; Courtland Library Neighborhood Library, 170 Primasing Avenue, 
Courtland, CA 95615; and the Galt Branch Library (Marian O. Lawrence 
Library), 1000 Caroline Avenue, Galt, CA 95632.
    Comments on the Draft CCP/EA should be addressed to: David

[[Page 55802]]

Bergendorf, Refuge Planner, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 
95825-1846. Comments may also be faxed to (916) 414-6497 or submitted 
via electronic mail to david_bergendorf@fws.gov. If submitting 
comments by fax, please address to Attn: David Bergendorf, re: Stone 
Lakes NWR CCP. If submitting electronic mail, please type ``Stone Lakes 
NWR CCP'' in the subject line.

Public Meetings

    Our two public meetings will take place at the Elk Grove Community 
Services District, Administration Building, boardroom located at 8820 
Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624.


    The Refuge was established in 1994 under the authority of the 
Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 
1956, the Migratory Bird Conservation Act and the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973. The Refuge boundary encompasses 17,600 acres; this 
includes a core Refuge area of about 9,000 acres and a 9,000-acre 
cooperative Wildlife Management Area that encompasses land managed by 
other agencies in concert with Refuge purposes. The Service actively 
manages about 6,000 acres. The Refuge is located in the Beach-Stone 
Lakes Basin within the Sacramento Valley in southwestern Sacramento 
County; it lies about 10 miles south of the city of Sacramento, 
straddling Interstate 5 from the town of Freeport south to Lost Slough.

Purpose and Need for Action

    The Service prepared the Stone Lakes NWR Draft CCP to guide 
management of wildlife, other natural resources, and public use on the 
Refuge for the next 15 years. The CCP is flexible; it will be revised 
periodically to ensure that its goals, objectives, implementation 
strategies and timetables remain valid and appropriate. Major revisions 
require and provide a process for public involvement and National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, if needed.


    The draft EA/CCP presents an evaluation of the environmental 
effects of three alternatives for managing the Stone Lakes National 
Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 years. The Service proposes to 
implement Alternative B, as described in the EA. Alternative B best 
achieves the Refuges' purposes, vision, and goals; contributes to the 
Refuge System mission; addresses the significant issues and relevant 
mandates; and is consistent with principles of sound fish and wildlife 
management. This alternative is described in more detail in the CCP.
    There are many features of proposed Refuge management that are 
common to all three alternatives. Features common to all alternatives 
include ongoing coordination with the Sacramento/Yolo Mosquito and 
Vector Control District on mosquito control, ongoing weed management 
including coordination with the Stone Lakes Water Hyacinth Control 
Group, implementation of a hunt program, vernal pool management, 
boating access with a no-wake zone on all Refuge waters, and riparian 
habitat maintenance and restoration. There are also many features of 
each alternative that are distinct.
    Alternative A, the no action alternative, assumes no change from 
current management programs and is considered the baseline to compare 
other alternatives against. Under Alternative A, the primary management 
focus of the Refuge would continue to be providing habitat for 
migrating, wintering and nesting migratory and resident birds with an 
emphasis on waterbirds and endangered species by restoring and 
maintaining wetland, riparian woodland and grassland habitats, and 
valuable agricultural lands. The Refuge would continue to offer limited 
wildlife-dependent recreation, including volunteer participation in 
restoration, limited wildlife observation and photography, limited 
environmental education and interpretative programs, and hunting, with 
emphasis on youth and disabled hunters.
    Under Alternative B, the Refuge would continue its current focus of 
providing wintering habitat for migratory birds and management to 
benefit endangered species. Management programs for migratory birds and 
other Central Valley wildlife would be expanded and improved and public 
use opportunities would also be expanded. The number of units open to 
the public would increase from one to five. In addition, environmental 
education, interpretation, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, 
hunting, and fishing programs would be expanded.
    Under Alternative C, the Refuge would continue to focus on 
providing wintering habitat for migratory birds and managing for 
endangered species while placing a greater emphasis on historic 
conditions in management and habitat restoration activities. 
Opportunities for the six priority public uses: Hunting, fishing, 
wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and 
interpretation, would be expanded beyond both Alternatives A and B.

Public Comments

    After the review and comment period ends for this Draft CCP/EA, 
comments will be analyzed by the Service and addressed in the Final 
CCP. 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, and other Service and Departmental policies and 

    Dated: July 31, 2006.
Margaret T. Kolar,
Acting Manager, California/Nevada Operations, Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. 06-8159 Filed 9-22-06; 8:45 am]