[Federal Register: December 4, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 234)]
[Page 73951-73952]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2008-N0250; 40136-1265-0000-S3]

Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, Currituck County, NC

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: Final comprehensive conservation plan 
and finding of no significant impact.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for Currituck National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

ADDRESSES: A copy of the CCP may be obtained by writing to: Mike Hoff, 
Refuge Manager, Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 39, 
Knotts Island, NC 27950. The CCP may also be accessed and downloaded 
from the Service's Web site: http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Hoff; Telephone: 252/429-3100; 
Fax: 252/429-3185.



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for Currituck NWR. We 
started this process through a notice in the Federal Register on 
November 3, 2000 (65 FR 66256).
    Currituck NWR, in northeastern North Carolina, consists of 4,570 
acres of fee simple land and 3,931 acres of conservation easements. Of 
the fee simple land, 2,202 acres are brackish marsh, 778 acres are 
brackish shrub, 637 acres are maritime forest, 202 acres are dune, and 
143 acres are managed wetlands (impoundments). Currituck NWR was 
established in 1984 to conserve and protect the coastal barrier island 
ecosystem. These refuge lands are managed to provide wintering habitat 
for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, marsh birds, and neotropical 
migratory songbirds, as well as to protect threatened and endangered 
species, such as piping plovers, sea turtles, and the sea beach 
    We announce our decision and the availability of the final CCP and 
FONSI for Currituck NWR in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) [40 CFR 1506.6(b)] requirements. We completed a 
thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, which we 
included in the

[[Page 73952]]

Draft CCP/EA. The CCP will guide us in managing and administering 
Currituck NWR for the next 15 years. Alternative 2 is the foundation 
for the CCP.
    The compatibility determinations for recreational hunting, fishing, 
wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education and 
interpretation, and trapping of selected furbearers for nuisance animal 
management are also available in the CCP.


    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Improvement Act), which amended the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, requires us to 
develop a CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose for 
developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan 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 our 
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. We will 
review and update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with 
the Improvement Act.


    Approximately 100 copies of the Draft CCP/EA were made available 
for a 30-day public review period as announced in the Federal Register 
on February 9, 2006 (71 FR 6786). Eleven comments on the Draft CCP/EA 
were received. The Draft CCP/EA identified and evaluated three 
alternatives for managing the refuge over a 15-year period.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received and based on the 
professional judgment of the planning team, we selected Alternative 2 
for implementation. The preferred alternative will result in moderate 
program increases. All habitats on the refuge, including water levels 
of the impoundments and the vegetation, will be managed very 
intensively for migrating waterfowl. The staff will monitor vegetation 
in the marshes before and after prescribed burns and inventory 
vegetation in the maritime swamp forest. The refuge will continue to 
allow the priority public uses (e.g., hunting, fishing, wildlife 
observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and 
interpretation) and will have the capacity to increase the number of 
opportunities for public use.

    Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 

    Dated: September 29, 2008.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-28705 Filed 12-3-08; 8:45 am]