[Federal Register: September 16, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 180)]
[Page 53439]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-R-2008-N0186; 60138-1261-0000-S3]

Wetland Management Districts, South 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), intend to 
gather information necessary to prepare a Comprehensive Conservation 
Plan (CCP) and associated environmental documents for three Wetland 
Management Districts (WMDs) located in the State of South Dakota. The 
three WMDs are Huron, Madison and Sand Lake. 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 

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by October 16, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Please send your comments or requests for more information 
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, 303-236-4377, or John 
Esperance, Chief, Branch of Refuge Planning at 303-236-4369.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: With this Notice, the Service initiates a 
CCP for three WMDs in eastern South Dakota. These three WMDs were 
established for the protection of critical migratory waterfowl habitat 
within the State of South Dakota. Through these WMDs, the Service 
manages a complex of wetlands in 27 counties within South 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. 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 unit of the National Wildlife Refuge 
System. The purpose in developing a CCP is to provide project leaders 
with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge and wetland management 
district 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, CCPs 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 three WMDs, with specific purposes. The Service 
uses 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 WMDs. 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. 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. The Service requests 
input on issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future 
management of these WMDs in South Dakota. Anyone interested in 
providing input is invited 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 three (3) WMDs?
    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 gather information about 
individual issues and ideas concerning these WMDs. 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 responded 
to directly. An opportunity will be given to the public to provide 
input at an open house to scope issues and concerns (schedules can be 
obtained from the planning team leader at the above address). Comments 
may also be submitted any time during the planning process by writing 
to the above address. 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 requested under the Freedom of Information Act by a 
private citizen or organization, the Service may provide informational 
    The Service will conduct the environmental review of this project 
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 parts 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 policies and 
procedures. When requested, the Service generally will 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.

    Dated: July 18, 2008.
Sharon R. Rose,
Acting Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E8-21548 Filed 9-15-08; 8:45 am]