[Federal Register: February 28, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 39)]
[Page 9019-9020]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

National Wildlife Refuges, North Dakota

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, we) intend to 
gather information necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation 
plan (CCP) and associated environmental documents for twelve (12) 
National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) located in the State of North Dakota. 
The twelve (12) NWRs are Stump Lake, Lake Alice, Kellys Slough, 
Audubon, Chase Lake, Lake Nettie, McLean, Lake Zahl, Shell Lake, White 
Lake, Lake Ilo, and Stewart Lake. We furnish this notice in compliance 
with our CCP policy to advise other agencies and the public of our 
intentions, and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of 
issues to be considered in the planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by March 30, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information to John 
Esperance, Planning Team Leader, Division of Refuge Planning, P.O. Box 
25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Esperance, 303-236-4369, or 
Michael Spratt, 303-236-4366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: With this notice, the Service initiates a 
CCP for twelve (12) NWRs in various locations throughout the State of 
North Dakota.


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 the Service to develop a CCP for each 
NWR. The purpose in developing a CCP is to

[[Page 9020]]

provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge 
purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife 
management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. In 
addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife 
and their habitats, plans identify wildlife-dependent recreational 
opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for 
hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation.
    The Service established each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge 
System, including these twelve (12) NWRs, with specific purposes. We 
use these purposes to develop and prioritize management goals and 
objectives within the National Wildlife Refuge System mission, and to 
guide which public uses will occur on these NWRs. 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 NWR and the 
mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
    The Service will conduct a comprehensive conservation planning 
process that will provide opportunity for Tribal, State, and local 
governments; agencies; organizations; and the public to participate in 
issue scoping and public comment. We request input for issues, 
concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of these 
NWRs in North Dakota. We invite anyone interested to respond to the 
following two questions.
    (1) What problems or issues do you want to see addressed in the 
    (2) What improvements would you recommend for these twelve (12) 
    We have provided the above questions for your optional use; you are 
not required to provide information to us. The planning team developed 
these questions to gather information about individual issues and ideas 
concerning these NWRs. Our planning team will use the comments it 
receives as part of the planning process; however, we will not 
reference individual comments in our reports or directly respond to 
    We will also give the public an opportunity to provide input at an 
open house to scope issues and concerns. You can obtain the schedule 
from the Planning Team Leaders (see ADDRESSES). You may also submit 
comments 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 our official public record (i.e., 
names, addresses, letters of comment, input recorded during meetings). 
If a private citizen or organization requests this information under 
the Freedom of Information Act, we may provide informational copies.
    The Service will conduct the environmental review of this project 
in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA 
Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); other appropriate Federal laws 
and regulations; and our policies and procedures for compliance with 
those regulations. All comments we receive from individuals on our 
environmental assessments and environmental impact statements become 
part of the official public record. We will handle requests for such 
comments in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, NEPA (40 
CFR 1506.6(f)), and other Departmental and Service policies and 
procedures. When we receive a request, we generally will provide 
comment letters with the names and addresses of the individuals who 
wrote the comments. However, to the extent permissible by law, we will 
not provide the telephone number of the commenting individual in 
response to such requests.

North Dakota NWRs

    These twelve (12) NWRs were established for the protection of 
critical migratory waterfowl habitat within the State of North Dakota. 
Through these NWRs, the Service manages a complex of wetlands in 34 
counties within North Dakota. The wetlands range from seasonal shallow 
basins to deeper, more permanent ponds that provide resting and feeding 
areas for millions of birds during Spring and Fall migration.

    Dated: January 30, 2007.
James J. Slack,
Deputy Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado.
 [FR Doc. E7-3463 Filed 2-27-07; 8:45 am]