[Federal Register: March 9, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 46)]
[Page 12213]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Sand 
Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Columbia, SD

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Summary for Sand Lake 
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 

ADDRESSES: A copy of the CCP or Summary may be obtained by writing to 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 
39650 Sand Lake Drive, Columbia, SD 57433; or downloaded from http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/planning

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gene Williams, Project Leader, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 39650 
Sand Lake Drive, Columbia, South Dakota, 57433; telephone 605-885-6320; 
fax 605-885-6333; or e-mail: gene_williams@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was 
established in the mid-1930s as a refuge and breeding ground for 
migratory birds and other wildlife. The 21,498-acre refuge lies in the 
James River basin within Brown County, South Dakota. This northeastern 
area of South Dakota is the heart of the prairie-pothole region of the 
northern Great Plains and plays a major role for migratory birds.
    Sand Lake NWR was established by Executive Order 7169 (September 4, 
1935) ``* * * as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and 
other wildlife * * *'' Four other sets of authorities and purposes 
follow: The Migratory Bird Conservation Act, ``* * * for uses as an 
inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory 
birds * * *''; the Fish and Wildlife Act, ``* * * for the development, 
advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and 
wildlife resources * * *''; the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act, for ``* * * conservation, management, and 
protection of fish and wildlife resources * * *''; and the Refuge 
Recreation Act, ``* * * for (1) incidental fish and wildlife-oriented 
recreational development, (2) the protection of natural resources, and 
(3) the conservation of endangered species or threatened species * * 
    The availability of the Draft CCP and Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for 30-day public review and comment was announced in the Federal 
Register on June 20, 2005, (FO FR 35449). The Draft CCP/EA identified 
and evaluated three alternatives for managing Sand Lake NWR for the 
next 15 years. Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative, would have 
continued current management of the refuge. Alternative 3 (Preferred 
Alternative) takes an integrated approach with management practices 
that would serve to improve bird populations. This alternative balances 
the best management practices for producing migratory birds and finds a 
balance with reducing cropland, while ensuring depredation is 
minimized. Alternative 2 would maximize the biological potential of the 
refuge for species of grassland-nesting birds. Based on this assessment 
and comments received, the Preferred Alternative 3 was selected for 
implementation. The preferred alternative 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 preferred alternative will also 
maximize the biological potential for migratory birds, and the 
vegetative diversity of grasslands would be greatly enhanced by 
reseeding for native plants or rejuvenated dense nesting cover. 
Environmental education and partnerships will result in improved 
wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities that will be expanded and 
improved on- and off-refuge. Cultural and historical resources will be 

    Dated: October 17, 2005.
Sharon R. Rose,
Acting Deputy Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, CO.

    Note: This document was received at the Office of the Federal 
Register on March 6, 2006.

 [FR Doc. E6-3344 Filed 3-8-06; 8:45 am]