[Federal Register: July 25, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 142)]
[Page 42116-42117]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

 Izembek, Togiak, Tetlin, and Kanuti National Wildlife Refuges, 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Revised notice of intent to revise comprehensive conservation 
plans and to prepare environmental assessments; request for comments.


SUMMARY: With this notice, we, the Fish and Wildlife Service, revise 
our previously published notices of intent to revise comprehensive 
conservation plans (CCPs) for Togiak, Izembek, Kanuti, and Tetlin 
National Wildlife Refuges, all in Alaska. Our previous notices stated 
our intent to document decisions in these CCP revisions with 
environmental impact statements. However, we now believe that an 
environmental assessment is the appropriate level of National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance. We seek public comments.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests to Ken Rice, 
Planning Team Leader, by mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 

[[Page 42117]]

Tudor Rd., MS-231, Anchorage, Alaska 99503, or by e-mail to ken--w--

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Ken Rice, Planning Team Leader, (907) 
786-3502; or e-mail: ken_w_rice@fws.gov. Additional information 
concerning the comprehensive conservation planning process can be found 
at http://www.r7.fws.gov/nwr/planning/plans.htm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice revises the NOIs previously 
published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for the 
Togiak National Wildlife Refuge (May 13, 1999, 64 FR 25899), Izembek 
National Wildlife Refuge (November 26, 2003, 68 FR 66474), Kanuti 
National Wildlife Refuge (November 26, 2003, 68 FR 66475), and Tetlin 
National Wildlife Refuge (December 7, 2004, 69 FR 70704), all in 
Alaska. We furnish this notice in compliance with the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (Administration Act) (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-667ee), and with Service planning policy. Previous notices 
stated our intent to document decisions in these plan revisions with 
EISs. Based on input from the public, from other agencies, and from 
within the Service, and the level of complexity and controversy 
anticipated, we believe that an EA is the appropriate level of NEPA 
compliance. Should an EA show that potential impacts of actions in 
these plans are significant, we will produce an EIS.
    By Federal law, all lands within the National Wildlife Refuge 
System are to be managed in accordance with an approved CCP. Section 
304(g) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (PL 96-
487, 94 Stat. 2371) directs how CCPs in Alaska are prepared. The Plans 
guide management decisions and identify refuge goals, long-range 
objectives, and strategies for achieving refuge purposes. CCPs were 
developed for each of these Refuges in the 1980's. EISs were prepared 
in conjunction with those plans. The original notices of intent for the 
Izembek, Togiak, Tetlin, Kenai, and Kanuti National Wildlife Refuges 
identified our intent to revise the CCPs developed in the 1980s, and to 
prepare EISs in conjunction with the revised plans.
    The Council on Environmental Quality regulations implementing NEPA 
direct Federal agencies to prepare EAs under procedures adopted by 
individual agencies (40 CFR 1501.3). The Fish and Wildlife Service 
planning policy (602 FW 1-3) requires that CCPs be prepared with an EIS 
or EA. At the time we prepared the NOIs for the revisions of these 
plans, we anticipated that new decisions may have significant impacts 
on the human environment and therefore an EIS was the appropriate NEPA 
document. We have conducted scoping activities, both internally and 
with the public, on all of these CCP revisions. Scoping information, 
together with preliminary alternative development, has not revealed any 
potentially significant impacts. Revisions to these plans center on the 
development of vision statements and management goals and objectives, 
as well as updating policy information and compatibility 
determinations. Therefore we will prepare EAs for these CCP revisions 
in accordance with procedures for implementing the NEPA. If at any 
stage in developing the revised CCPs and associated EAs, we find that 
new information comes to light that would indicate the need to prepare 
an EIS we will publish a new NOI and allow the public additional 
opportunity to provide comment.

     Dated: June 30, 2006.
 Gary Edwards,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, 
 [FR Doc. E6-11801 Filed 7-24-06; 8:45 am]