[Federal Register: April 23, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 79)]
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From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[FWS-R1-R-2008-N0040; 1265-0000-10137-S3]

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Hawai`i

AGENCIES: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Interior; National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability for the draft monument management plan 
and environmental assessment; announcement of public meetings; request 
for comments.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that NOAA, FWS, and the State 
of Hawai`i's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and 
Office of Hawaiian Affairs have prepared a Draft Monument Management 
Plan (MMP) and associated environmental assessment (EA) for the 
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (Monument) located in the 
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), which includes all federal lands 
and waters within its boundaries. The State of Hawai`i is a Cooperating 
Agency on the development of the MMP and EA. The Monument's resources 
and management activities, ongoing and proposed, are described in the 
Draft MMP. The MMP is available for public review and comments. Ten 
public meetings are scheduled to obtain your comments on and answer 
your questions about the Draft MMP, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for 

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments by 
July 8, 2008.

ADDRESSES: The Draft MMP and EA are available on the FWS and NOAA Web 
sites http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands and http://hawaiireef.noaa.gov/
, as well as at local libraries within the State of Hawai`i. You may 
provide written comments on the Draft MMP and EA by any of the 
following methods:
    U.S. Mail: Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Attn: Susan 
White, FWS Superintendent, Box 50167, Honolulu, HI 96850-5000; or
    E-mail: PMNM_MMP_Comments@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan White, FWS Superintendent, phone 
(808) 792-9480.


Monument Background

    On June 15, 2006, President George W. Bush established the 
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument by issuing 
Presidential Proclamation 8031 (Proclamation) (71 FR 36443, June 26, 
2006) under the authority of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 
U.S.C. 431) (the Antiquities Act).
    On December 8, 2006, the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior 
and the Governor of Hawai`i signed a Memorandum of Agreement to jointly 
manage Federal and State lands and waters within the Monument as Co-
Trustees and to collectively protect, conserve, and enhance Monument 
marine and terrestrial habitats and resources.
    On February 28, 2007, President Bush amended the Proclamation to 
rename the Monument--Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument--to 
reflect Hawaiian language and culture (72 FR 10031, March 6, 2007).

Location, Size, and Federal and State Resource Management

    Proclamation 8031 reserves all lands and interests in lands owned 
or controlled by the Government of the United States in the 
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), including emergent and submerged 
lands and waters out to a distance of approximately 50 nautical miles 
from the islands.
    The Monument is approximately 100 nautical miles wide and extends 
approximately 1,200 miles around coral islands, seamounts, banks, and 
shoals. The area includes the:
     Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem 
     Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/Battle of Midway 
National Memorial,
     Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge,
     Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary at Kure Atoll, and
     State of Hawai`i's Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine 
    NOAA maintains responsibility for managing the NWHI Coral Reef 
Ecosystem Reserve, included within the Monument, and has primary 
responsibility regarding the management of the marine areas of the 
Monument, in consultation with FWS.
    Refuge areas within the Monument, including the Midway Atoll 
National Wildlife Refuge, the Battle of Midway National Memorial, and 
the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, are managed by FWS.
    The State maintains responsibility for managing state lands and 
waters within the Monument, including the NWHI State Marine Refuge and 
State Seabird Sanctuary at Kure Atoll.

Public Outreach and the MMP's Relationship to Previous Plans

    As directed by Proclamation 8031, the Co-Trustees modified NOAA's 
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Proposed National Marine Sanctuary Draft 
Management Plan (available at http://www.hawaiireef.noaa.gov), as 
appropriate, to create the Draft MMP. The MMP also builds upon the 
Interim Midway Visitor Services Plan (available at http://www.fws.gov/
midway). Nearly 52,000 comments were received during NOAA's Sanctuary 
planning process, and a total of 6,282 comments were received on FWS's 
Draft Interim Midway Visitor Services Plan. Comments and issues raised 
during these planning efforts that are subject to decision by the Co-
Trustees were considered during development of the Draft MMP. A summary 
of public involvement and the issues raised during scoping are included 
in the Draft MMP.

Management Planning Process and MMP Framework

    The Draft EA of the MMP was developed in accordance with the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

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(NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); NEPA regulations (40 CFR 
parts 1500-1508); other appropriate Federal laws and regulations; and 
agency policies and procedures for compliance with those regulations. 
The EA has also been developed in accordance with the state 
environmental review requirements under Chapter 343, Hawai`i Revised 
    FWS' refuge comprehensive conservation planning requirements, State 
of Hawai`i's DLNR planning needs along with consultation with the 
Office of Hawaiian Affairs regarding Native Hawaiian traditional and 
cultural resources, rights and practices, and other elements were also 
incorporated into the Draft MMP. The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966 (Refuge Administration Act), as amended by 
the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 
668dd-668ee), requires the FWS to develop a comprehensive conservation 
plan (CCP) for every national wildlife refuge. The purpose for 
developing a CCP is to 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 FWS 
policies. In addition to conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs 
identify wildlife-dependent recreation available to the public.

Draft MMP/EA Alternatives

    Two alternatives are analyzed in the Draft MMP and EA; a No Action 
Alternative and a Proposed Action Alternative (the preferred 
alternative). Under the No Action Alternative, the Co-Trustees would 
continue to implement activities to address priority management needs 
based on agency-specific plans. Under the Proposed Action Alternative, 
the Co-Trustees would implement new and expanded activities, in 
addition to ongoing activities, to manage high priority needs.
    The Monument's priority management needs are to: understand and 
interpret Monument resources, conserve wildlife and habitats, reduce 
threats to Monument resources, manage human activities, facilitate 
coordination, and achieve effective operations. Action plans consisting 
of multiple strategies and activities address the priority management 
needs. The 22 action plans and corresponding desired outcomes follow.
    Marine Conservation Science: Increase understanding of the 
distributions, abundances and functional linkages of marine organisms 
and their habitats to improve ecosystem-based management decisions in 
the Monument.
    Native Hawaiian Culture and History: Increase understanding and 
appreciation of Native Hawaiian histories and cultural practices 
related to the Monument and effectively manage cultural resources for 
their cultural, educational, and scientific values.
    Historic Resources: Identify, document, preserve, protect, 
stabilize, and where appropriate, reuse, recover, and interpret 
historic resources associated with Midway Atoll and other areas within 
the Monument.
    Maritime Heritage Action Plan: Identify, interpret, and protect 
maritime heritage resources in the Monument.
    Threatened and Endangered Species: Protect marine mammals and aid 
in the recovery of threatened and endangered plants and animals within 
the Monument.
    Migratory Birds: Conserve migratory bird populations and habitats 
within the Monument.
    Habitat Management and Conservation: Protect and maintain all the 
native ecosystems and biological diversity of the Monument.
    Marine Debris: Reduce the adverse effects of marine debris to 
Monument resources and reduce the amount of debris entering the North 
Pacific Ocean.
    Alien Species: Detect, control, eradicate where possible, and 
prevent the introduction of alien species into the Monument.
    Maritime Transportation and Aviation: Investigate, identify, and 
reduce potential threats to the Monument from maritime and aviation 
    Emergency Response: Minimize damage to Monument resources through 
coordinated emergency response and assessment.
    Permitting: Implement an effective and integrated permit program 
for the Monument that manages, minimizes, and prevents negative human 
impacts by allowing access only for those activities consistent with 
Presidential Proclamation 8031 and the implementing regulations of the 
    Enforcement: Achieve compliance with all regulations within the 
    Midway Atoll Visitor Services: Offer opportunities for visitors to 
discover, enjoy, appreciate, protect, and honor the unique natural, 
cultural, and historic resources of the Monument.
    Agency Coordination: Successfully collaborate with government 
partners to achieve publicly supported, coordinated management in the 
    Constituency Building and Outreach: Cultivate an informed, involved 
constituency that supports and enhances conservation of the natural, 
cultural, and historic resources of the Monument.
    Native Hawaiian Community Involvement: Engage the Native Hawaiian 
community in active and meaningful involvement in the Monument 
    Ocean Ecosystems Literacy: Cultivate an ocean ecosystems 
stewardship ethic, contribute to the Nation's science and cultural 
literacy, and create a new generation of conservation leaders through 
formal environmental education.
    Central Operations: Conduct effective and well-planned operations 
with appropriate human resources and adequate physical infrastructure 
in the main Hawaiian Islands to support management of the Monument.
    Information Management: Consolidate and make accessible relevant 
information to meet educational, management, and research needs for the 
    Coordinated Field Operations: Coordinate field activities and 
provide adequate infrastructure to ensure safe and efficient operations 
while avoiding impacts to the ecosystems in the Monument.
    Evaluation: Determine the degree to which management actions are 
achieving the goals of the Monument.

Public Availability of Comments

    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 in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, it cannot be guaranteed that we will be 
able to do so.

Public Meetings

    We will hold a statewide series of meetings where you will have 
opportunities to ask questions about the MMP and provide formal 
comments. Except for the Washington, D.C., meeting, each meeting will 
include two sessions--Session 1 will be an informal ``talk story'' 
session, and Session 2 will be a more formal meeting where you may 
present comments. Session times will be the same on each date, Session

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1 will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Session 2 will be held 
from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Meeting details are available on the following 
Web sites: http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands and http://
hawaiireef.noaa.gov/. The Washington, DC, meeting will begin at 1 p.m. 
and end at 4 p.m. The meeting dates and locations follow:

     Number                    Date                      Location
1...............  June 9, 2008.................  Wai`anae Parks and
                                                  Recreation Complex, 85-
                                                  601 Farrington
                                                  Highway, Wai`anae,
2...............  June 11, 2008................  Auditorium, Main
                                                  Interior Building,
                                                  1849 C Street, NW.,
                                                  Washington, DC.
3...............  June 12, 2008................  Maui Arts and Cultural
                                                  Center, One Cameron
                                                  Way, Kahului, Maui.
4...............  June 13, 2008................  Lana`i High and
                                                  Elementary School, 555
                                                  Frasier Avenue, Lana`i
                                                  City, Lana`i.
5...............  June 16, 2008................  Kulana `Oiwi Halau, 610
                                                  Maunaloa Hwy.,
                                                  Kaunakakai, Moloka`i.
6...............  June 17, 2008................  He`eia State Park, 46-
                                                  465 Kamehameha
                                                  Highway, Kane`ohe,
7...............  June 18, 2008................  King Kamehameha Hotel,
                                                  75-5660 Palani Road,
                                                  Kailua-Kona, Kona,
8...............  June 19, 2008................  Mokupapapa Discovery
                                                  Center, 308 Kamehameha
                                                  Ave., Suite 109, Hilo,
9...............  June 23, 2008................  Hilton Kaua`i Beach
                                                  Resort, 4331 Kauai
                                                  Beach Drive, Lihu`e,
10..............  June 24, 2008................  Japanese Cultural
                                                  Center, 2454 South
                                                  Beretania Street,
                                                  Honolulu, O`ahu.

Next Step

    After the comment period ends for the Draft MMP and EA, we will 
analyze the comments and address them in the final MMP.

    Dated: April 8, 2008.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, 
Portland, Oregon.
Daniel J. Basta,
Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland.
 [FR Doc. E8-8362 Filed 4-22-08; 8:45 am]