[Federal Register: February 8, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 26)]
[Page 5990]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Bear Butte National Wildlife Refuge

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of draft comprehensive conservation 
plan; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces that a 
combined Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental 
Assessment (EA) for Bear Butte National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) is 
available. This CCP describes how the Service intends to manage the 
Refuge for the next 15 years.

DATES: Written comments must be received at the postal or electronic 
address listed below on or before April 9, 2007.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the document may be obtained by writing to Linda 
Kelly, Planning Team Leader, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division 
of Refuge Planning, Box 25486, Denver, Colorado 80225-0486; or 
electronically to linda_kelly@fws.gov; or downloaded from http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/planning.
 Please provide written comments to 

Ms. Kelly at the address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Kelly at 303-236-8132; fax: 303-
236-4792; or e-mail: linda_kelly@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Refuge was established as a Limited-
interest Refuge in the late 1930s with the acquisition of easements 
from private landowners, the State of South Dakota (State) and the War 
Department (now transferred to the Bureau of Land Management at Fort 
Meade), to maintain an area for ``migratory bird, wildlife 
conservation, and other purposes.'' The Refuge is 374.20 acres and has 
no fee title. The easement obtained from the State only applies to 
lands below the ordinary high-water mark of the lake. A cooperative 
agreement was entered into with the State on July 12, 1967, to 
administer, operate and maintain the Refuge pursuant to the rights and 
interest in real property acquired by the United States, and more 
particularly described in the easement agreements.
    Under the No Action Alternative, the Service would continue to 
manage the Refuge within the parameters of the cooperative agreement 
with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. Existing habitat within the 
easement and all public programs would continue to be administered and 
maintained by the State. Current habitat and wildlife management 
practices would be carried out by State Game, Fish, and Parks 
personnel, and levels of public use would remain the same. The 
facilities and activities (hiking, picnicking, designated camping, 
fishing and a horse camp) would remain the same.
    Alternative B (Proposed Action) would relinquish the easements to 
the current landowners. This alternative would take the Refuge out of 
the Refuge System and transfer the easements to current landowners. 
Under this alternative, the habitat, public use, cultural resources and 
operations would be managed by the landowners. The Service's easement 
requirements would no longer exist. The Service would divest its 
interest in the Refuge. This would be carried out within the 15-year 
life of the plan. Once the CCP is approved, the managing station would 
work with the Division of Realty and the Division of Planning, Land 
Protection Planning Branch, to prepare a combined program proposal to 
divest this Refuge. The proposal would be submitted to the Migratory 
Bird Conservation Commission for concurrence and then submitted for 
congressional approval.
    The Proposed Action was selected because it best meets the purposes 
and goals of the Refuge, as well as the goals of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System.

    Dated: June 8, 2006.
Elliott Sutta,
Acting Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, CO.

    Editorial Note: This document was received at the Office of the 
Federal Register on February 2, 2007.

[FR Doc. E7-1988 Filed 2-7-07; 8:45 am]