[Federal Register: January 9, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 5)]
[Page 1451-1452]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment for the Rainwater Basin Wetland Management 
District, Kearney, NE

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: This notice advises that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) intends to gather information necessary to prepare a 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and associated environmental 
documents for the Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District (WMD) in 
south-central Nebraska. The Service is furnishing this notice in 
compliance with Service CCP policy to advise other agencies and the 
public of its intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on 
the scope of issues to be considered in the planning process.

DATES: Written comments must be received by February 8, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments and requests for more information regarding the 
Rainwater Basin WMD should be sent to Bernardo Garza, Planning Team 
Leader, Division of Refuge Planning, P.O. Box 25486, Denver Federal 
Center, Denver, Colorado 80225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bernardo Garza, Planning Team Leader, 
Division of Refuge Planning, P.O. Box 25486, DFC, Denver, CO 80225, or 
Linda Kelly, Chief, Branch of Comprehensive Conservation Planning, P.O. 
Box 25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Service has initiated the CCP for the 
Rainwater Basin WMD with headquarters in Kearney, Nebraska.
    Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, including this 
WMD, has specific purposes for which it was established and for which 
legislation was enacted. Those purposes are used to develop and 
prioritize management goals and objectives within the National Wildlife 
Refuge System mission, and to guide which public uses will occur on the 
WMD. The planning process is a way for the Service and the public to 
evaluate management goals and objectives for the best possible 
conservation efforts of this important wildlife habitat, while 
providing for wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are 
compatible with each WMD's establishing purposes and the mission of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System.
    Rainwater Basin WMD was established in 1963 when the Service began 
acquiring critical migratory waterfowl habitat in south-central and 
southeastern Nebraska with Duck Stamp dollars. Today, the Rainwater 
Basin WMD manages 61 individual tracts of land within the geographic 
area called the Rainwater Basin. This WMD encompasses a complex of 
wetlands scattered throughout a 17-county area. The wetlands are 
shallow basins that provide resting and feeding areas for millions of 
birds during spring and fall migration. Historically, bison and 
wildfire kept the wetlands open, with annual plants growing during dry 
summer months and droughts. With the bison gone and wildfires 
controlled, management has to be accomplished to keep these wetlands in 
a condition favored by ducks, geese, and other water birds. Current 
public use opportunities at this WMD include hunting, wildlife 
observation and photography.
    The Service will conduct a CCP process that will provide an 
opportunity for Tribal, State, and local governments; agencies; 
organizations; and the public to participate in issue scoping and 
public comment. The Service is requesting input for issues, concerns, 
ideas, and suggestions for the future management of the Rainwater Basin 
WMD in south-central Nebraska. Anyone interested in providing input is 
invited to respond to the following three questions.
    (1) What makes the Rainwater Basin WMD special or unique for you?
    (2) What problems or issues do you want to see addressed in the 
    (3) What improvements would you recommend for the Rainwater Basin 
    The Service has provided the above questions for your optional use; 
you are not required to provide information to the Service. The 
Planning Team developed these questions to facilitate finding out more 
information about individual issues and ideas concerning the Rainwater 
Basin WMD. Comments received by the Planning Team will be used as part 
of the planning process; individual comments will not be referenced in 
our reports or directly responded to.
    An opportunity will be given to the public to provide input at open 
houses to scope issues and concerns (schedules can be obtained from the 
Planning Team Leaders at the above addresses). Comments may also be 
submitted anytime during the planning process by writing to the above 
addresses. All information provided voluntarily by mail, phone, or at 
public meetings becomes part of the official public record (i.e., 
names, addresses, letters of comment, input recorded during meetings). 
If requested under the Freedom of Information Act by a private citizen 
or organization, the Service may provide informational copies.
    The environmental review of this project will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA 
Regulations (40 CFR 1500-1508); other appropriate Federal laws and 
regulations; and Service policies and procedures for compliance with 
those regulations. All comments received from individuals on Service 
Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements become 
part of the official public record. Requests for such comments will be 
handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, NEPA (40 CFR 
1506.6(f)), and other Departmental and Service policy and procedures. 
When requested, the Service will generally provide comment letters with 
the names and addresses of the individuals who wrote the comments. 
However, the telephone number of the commenting individual will not be 
provided in response to such requests to the extent permissible by law. 
Additionally, public comment letters are not required to contain the 
commentator's name, address, or any other identifying information. Such 
comments may be submitted anonymously to the Service.

[[Page 1452]]

    Dated: November 17 2005.
Richard A Coleman,
Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, CO.
[FR Doc. E6-57 Filed 1-6-06; 8:45 am]