[Federal Register: February 29, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 41)]
[Page 11137-11138]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Corvallis, OR

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) intend to 
prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the William L. 
Finley, Baskett Slough, and Ankeny National Wildlife Refuges (Refuges). 
We will also prepare an environmental assessment (EA) evaluating 
effects of various CCP alternatives. The Refuges are located in the 
Willamette Valley, within Benton, Linn, Marion, and Polk Counties, 
Oregon. We are furnishing this notice to advise other government 
agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intentions, and to obtain 
public comments, suggestions, and information on the scope of issues to 
be considered during the planning process.

DATES: We request your written comments on the scope of the CCP by 
March 31, 2008. All comments received during scoping will be considered 
during development of the Draft CCP and EA.

[[Page 11138]]

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for information 
to: Doug Spencer, Project Leader, Willamette Valley National Wildlife 
Refuge Complex, 26208 Finley Refuge Rd., Corvallis, OR 97333. Comments 
may be faxed to (541) 757-4450, or e-mailed to 
FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include Willamette Valley Refuges CCP in 
the subject line of your message. Additional information about the CCP 
planning process is available on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/

Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, phone (541) 757-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 all 
lands within the National Wildlife Refuge System to be managed in 
accordance with an approved CCP. A CCP guides refuge management 
decisions, and identifies long-range goals, objectives, and strategies 
for achieving the purposes for which the refuge was established. During 
the CCP planning process many elements will be considered, including 
wildlife and habitat protection and management, public use 
opportunities, and cultural resource protection. Public input during 
the planning process is essential. The CCP for the William L. Finley, 
Baskett Slough, and Ankeny Refuges will describe desired Refuge 
conditions and the long-term goals, objectives, and strategies for 
achieving those conditions. To evaluate potential impacts of CCP 
alternatives, we will prepare an environmental assessment in accordance 
with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended 
(42 U.S.C. 4371 et seq.)


    The Refuges were established in the 1960s under the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Act ``for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other 
management purpose, for migratory birds * * * to conserve and protect 
migratory birds * * * and to restore or develop adequate wildlife 
habitat'' with emphasis on protecting dusky Canada geese. The Refuges' 
habitats include wetlands, wet prairies, upland oak woodland, oak 
savanna/upland prairie, mixed-deciduous woodlands, riparian, and 
riverine. Agricultural lands, the majority managed as grass fields, are 
also present on the Refuges. The Refuges support a significant portion 
of the wintering dusky Canada goose population in addition to other 
subspecies of Canada geese, and contain some of the last tracts of 
native habitats in the Willamette Valley, particularly wet prairie and 
oak savanna/upland prairie. The Refuges support key populations of 
federally listed species, including Oregon chub, Fender's blue 
butterfly, Bradshaw's desert-parsley, Kincaid's lupine, Nelson's 
checker-mallow, and Willamette daisy. Many other rare, but not yet 
listed species are also found on the Refuges. Additional information on 
the Refuges is available at: http://www.fws.gov/willamettevalley.

Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    We identified the following categories of preliminary issues for 
consideration in the planning process: The Refuges' role in wintering 
Canada geese habitat; restoration and maintenance of native habitats; 
maintenance and recovery of listed and rare species; managing Roosevelt 
elk on William L. Finley Refuge; water and wetland management; 
providing sustainable wildlife-dependent recreation; maintaining 
historical structures; managing invasive species; and managing on-going 
Refuge programs and commitments in an era of tight budgets. Additional 
issues may be identified during public scoping.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments we receive become part of the public record. Requests 
for comments will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of 
Information Act, NEPA, and Service and Department of the Interior 
policies and procedures. Before including your address, phone number, 
e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your 
comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--including your 
personal identifying information--may be made publicly available at any 
time. While you can ask us to withhold it from public review, we cannot 
guarantee we will be able to do so.

    Dated: December 5, 2007.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
 [FR Doc. E8-3898 Filed 2-28-08; 8:45 am]