[Federal Register: September 24, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 184)]
[Page 54280-54281]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Salem County, NJ

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; announcement of public scoping and 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (we, us, Service) is 
gathering the information needed to prepare a comprehensive 
conservation plan (CCP) and associated environmental assessment (EA) 
for Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). We publish this 
notice in compliance with our policy of advising other agencies and the 
public of our intentions to conduct detailed planning on refuges and 
obtain suggestions and information about the scope of issues to 
consider in the planning process.

DATES: We held public scoping meetings in September 2007 after 
announcing the location, date, and times at least 2 weeks in advance in 
special mailings, notices in local newspapers, in radio public service 
announcements, on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/northeast/planning), 

and through personal contacts. To ensure our consideration of your 
written comments, you must submit them within 30 days of the 
publication of this notice.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information on the 
planning process to Beth Goldstein, Refuge Planner, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA, 01035; 413-
253-8564 (telephone); 413-253-8468 (fax); northeastplanning@fws.gov 
(electronic mail). If submitting comments by electronic mail, please 
put ``Supawna Meadows NWR'' in the subject line.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: To obtain more information on the refuge, 
contact Howard Schlegel, Refuge Manager, Cape May NWR, at 609-463-0994 
(telephone); fw5rw_spmnwr@fws.gov (electronic mail); http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=52571
 (Supawna Meadows NWR 

Web site).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice initiates the comprehensive 
conservation planning process for Supawna Meadows NWR, which is 
administered by Cape May NWR staff with headquarters in Cape May Court 
House, New Jersey.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), requires us to develop a CCP for each national 
wildlife refuge. The purpose of a CCP is to provide refuge managers 
with a 15-year plan for achieving refuge purposes and contributing to 
the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), consistent 
with the sound principles of fish and wildlife management and 
conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. In addition to 
providing broad management direction on conserving wildlife and 
habitat, the plans identify wildlife-dependent recreational 
opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for 
hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update 
the CCP at least every 15 years.
    We establish each refuge for specific purposes, and use those 
purposes to develop and prioritize its management goals, objectives, 
and public uses. The planning process is one way for us and for the 
public to evaluate those goals and objectives for the best possible 
conservation of important wildlife habitat, while providing 
opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation compatible with those 
purposes and the mission of the NWRS.
    We request your input on all issues, concerns, ideas, improvements 
and suggestions for the future management of Supawna Meadows NWR. You 
may submit comments at any time during the planning process by writing 
to the refuge planner (see ADDRESSES above).
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), the Council 
on Environmental Quality Regulations on NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), 
other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, and our policies and 
procedures for complying with them. All of the comments we receive on 
either our EAs or our environmental impact statements become part of 
the official public record. We will handle requests for those comments 
in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, NEPA (40 CFR 
1506.6(f)), and other policies and procedures of the Department of the 
Interior or the Service. When we receive such a request, we will 

[[Page 54281]]

comment letters with the names and addresses of the individuals who 
wrote them. However, to the extent permissible by law, we will not 
provide the telephone numbers of those individuals.

Supawna Meadows NWR

    Supawna Meadows NWR currently includes more than 3,000 acres of 
marsh, grassland, shrubland, and forest habitats. The approved refuge 
acquisition boundary encompasses 4,500 acres along the Upper Delaware 
Bay and Salem River in Pennsville Township, New Jersey. The refuge 
boundaries are defined by the Delaware Bay, Salem River, and Fort Mott 
    Supawna Meadows NWR was originally established as the Goose Pond 
addition to the Killcohook NWR (currently termed Killcohook Dredge 
Spoil Disposal Area), which was established by Executive Order 6582 on 
February 3, 1934. The refuge was renamed Supawna Meadows NWR and 
officially separated from Killcohook on April 10, 1974, by the Service. 
On October 30, 1998, the Service's jurisdiction over Killcohook was 
    Supawna Meadows NWR was established as a ``* * *refuge and breeding 
ground for wild birds and animals;'' ``* * *for particular value in 
carrying out the national migratory bird management program;'' ``* * 
*for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management 
purpose, for migratory birds;'' and as a refuge ``* * *suitable for (1) 
incidental fish and wildlife-oriented recreational development, (2) the 
protection of natural resources, (3) the conservation of endangered 
species or threatened species* * *''
    The refuge is located in the Atlantic Flyway, where birds migrating 
from interior Canada and the coastal Provinces merge to form the main 
stem of the flyway. The area not only serves as an important migration 
area, but also provides wintering habitat for large numbers of 
waterfowl. Recent midwinter waterfowl inventory flights for the Salem 
River watershed averaged more than 2,000 dabbling ducks and more than 
17,000 Canada geese.
    Supawna Meadows NWR provides critical foraging habitat for more 
than 6,000 pairs of 9 species of wading birds that nest on Pea Patch 
Island, one of the largest rookeries on the east coast. Pea Patch 
Island and the surrounding area, including the refuge, have been 
designated a Special Management Area by the States of New Jersey and 
Delaware, in accordance with the Coastal Zone Management Act.
    Supawna Meadows NWR receives significant use by shorebirds during 
both spring and fall migrations. The refuge and adjacent marshes are 
currently being investigated for potential inclusion in the Western 
Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. It also provides habitat for the 
bald eagle, as well as State-listed endangered and threatened species 
and species of conservation concern.
    A maternity colony of more than 1,500 bats, primarily the little 
brown bat, roosts in a dilapidated barn on the refuge. The federally 
endangered Indiana bat is known to form small colonies within large 
little brown bat colonies. Indiana bats have been documented within the 
Highlands region of New Jersey, but little survey work has taken place 
within the southern portion of the State, and it is not yet known if 
the species is present within the Coastal Plain.
    Reptile and amphibian species of conservation concern at Supawna 
Meadows NWR include northern diamondback terrapin, eastern box turtle, 
spotted turtle, and Fowler's toad.
    The predominant public uses of the refuge are hunting, fishing, 
wildlife observation and photography. There are two walking trails and 
one boating trail to facilitate those uses. Portions of the refuge are 
open to deer hunting and waterfowl hunting per State regulations. There 
is an historic lighthouse on the refuge, the Finns Point Rear Range 
Light, which draws a number of visitors.

    Dated: September 18, 2007.
Thomas J. Healy,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, 
[FR Doc. E7-18740 Filed 9-21-07; 8:45 am]