[Federal Register: November 22, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 225)]
[Page 67626-67627]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Comprehensive Plan and 
Finding of No Significant Impact for D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge 
in Union and Ouachita Parishes, LA

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact 
for D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge in Union and Ouachita Parishes 
are available for distribution. The plan was prepared pursuant to the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and in 
accordance with the National

[[Page 67627]]

Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and describes how the refuge will be 
managed for the next 15 years. The compatibility determinations for big 
game hunting, small game hunting, migratory bird hunting, fishing, 
wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and 
interpretation, trapping of selected furbearers, and horseback riding 
are also available within the plan.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the plan may be obtained by writing to the 
D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge, 11372 Highway 143, Farmerville, 
Louisiana 71241. The plan may also be accessed and downloaded from the 
Service's Web site http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge, 
established in 1975, is located within the Lower Mississippi River 
floodplain in north Louisiana, approximately six miles of West Monroe, 
Louisiana. The refuge's 17,421 acres include deep overflow swamp, 
bottomland hardwood forest, and upland mixed-pine/hardwoods. D'Arbonne 
Refuge provides habitat for thousands of wintering waterfowl, wading 
and waterbirds, and year-round habitat for nesting wood ducks, 
squirrels, deer, river otters, and raccoons. Hunting and fishing 
opportunities are permitted on most areas of the refuge, which is open 
year-round for wildlife observation and wildlife photography.
    The availability of the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment for a 30-day public review and comment period 
was announced in the Federal Register on April 11, 2006 (71 FR 18348). 
The plan and environmental assessment identified and evaluated three 
alternatives for managing the refuge over the next 15 years. 
Alternative A, the proposed alternative, emphasized natural ecological 
processes, enhancement of the biological program, restoration of 
biological integrity with management for endangered species, and more 
use of adaptive management primarily to benefit migratory birds and 
forests. Alternative B would focus resources toward obtaining 
biological information while providing an artificial habitat for the 
endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. There would be a reduction in 
visitor services. Alternative C, the ``status quo'' alternative, would 
continue management and public use.
    Based on the environmental assessment and the comments received, 
the Service adopted Alternative A as its preferred alternative. This 
alternative was considered to be the most effective for meeting the 
purposes of the refuge--that of conserving bottomland hardwood forest 
for migratory birds and for providing wildlife-dependent public use. 
Alternative A best achieves national, ecosystem, and refuge-specific 
goals and objectives and positively addresses significant issues and 
concerns expressed by the public.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelby Ouchley, Refuge Manager, 
D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge, telephone: 318/726-4222; fax: 318/
726-4667; e-mail: Kelby_Ouchley@fws.gov; or by writing to the Refuge 
Manager at the addresses in the addresses section.

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 

    Dated: June 29, 2006.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 06-9344 Filed 11-21-06; 8:45 am]