[Federal Register: July 22, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 139)]
[Page 36249-36251]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-R-2009-N110]; [1265-0000-10137-S3]

Guam National Wildlife Refuge, Yigo, Guam

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability: draft comprehensive conservation plan 
and environmental assessment; notification of open house meetings; 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our draft comprehensive conservation plan and 
environmental assessment (Draft CCP/EA) for the Guam National Wildlife 
Refuge (Refuge) for public review and comment. It describes our 
proposal for managing the Refuge for the next 15 years. In the Draft 
CCP/EA we describe alternatives, including our preferred alternative, 
to manage the Refuge for the 15 years following approval of the final 

DATES: To ensure consideration, we need to receive your written 
comments by August 24, 2009.
    We will hold two public meetings; see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for 

ADDRESSES: Additional information concerning the Refuge can be found on 
the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/guam/. You may submit comments, 
requests for more information, or request for copies of the Draft CCP/
EA by any of the following methods.
    E-mail: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include ``Guam Refuge'' in the 
subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Project Leader, (671) 335-5098.
    U.S. Mail: Project Leader, Guam National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 
8134, MOU-3, Dededo, Guam 96912.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Project Leader, (671) 355-5096.



    The unincorporated U.S. territory of Guahan (Guam) is the largest 
and southernmost island in the Marianas Archipelago, a chain of 
volcanic islands in Micronesia. Guahan Island is situated in the 
western Pacific Ocean, approximately 3,800 miles west of Honolulu and 
1,500 miles south of Tokyo. The Refuge was established in 1993. It is 
comprised of three units: The Andersen Air Force Base Overlay Refuge 
Unit, the Navy Overlay Refuge

[[Page 36250]]

Unit (collectively, the overlay units), and the Ritidian Unit. Through 
cooperative agreements with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy, we 
manage, but do not have exclusive jurisdiction on, the lands that 
comprise the overlay units. The Ritidian Unit, known to Native 
Chamorros as Puntan Litekyan, is located on the northern tip of Guam, 
and encompasses 1,217 acres, including 385 terrestrial acres and 832 
acres of submerged offshore area. The Ritidian Unit is the only land 
over which the Service has exclusive jurisdiction in Guam.
    Guam's native wildlife--especially most tropical birds--are 
conspicuously absent, attributed in large part to the introduction of 
the brown treesnake (BTS), a non-native species that preys on Guam's 
native bird species in forested habitats. In 2004 the Service 
designated critical habitat for the Mariana fruit bat (Fanihi), Guam 
Micronesian kingfisher (Sihek), and Mariana crow ([aring]'ga). The 385 
terrestrial acres of the Ritidian Unit are the only designated critical 
habitat on Guam for these species.
    The focus of our Guam Refuge Draft CCP/EA is the Ritidian Unit. The 
U.S. Air Force and the U.S Navy are preparing Integrated Natural 
Resource Management Plans (INRMP) that will address resource management 
for the overlay units. Our CCP/EA and the INRMPs will fulfill CCP 
requirements for all units of Guam National Wildlife Refuge.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act), as amended by the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, 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 and photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update 
the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Administration 

Public Outreach

    We began the public scoping phase of the planning process for the 
Draft CCP/EA by publishing a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register 
on July 6, 2007 (72 FR 37037), announcing our intent to complete a CCP/
EA for the Refuge and inviting public comments. Our public outreach 
efforts are described in the following paragraphs.
    In July 2007, we distributed Planning Update 1 to our project 
mailing list and public outlets located near the Refuge.
    On July 14, 2007, we held a public scoping meeting at the Refuge 
office, and from July 15 through July 22, 2007, the Refuge's Visitor 
Center hosted an informal open house to meet the public and obtain 
comments on management issues. These opportunities were announced 
through local media via a press release, on the Refuge's Web site, and 
in Planning Update 1.
    In November 2007, we distributed Planning Update 2, which included 
a summary of the comments received during the scoping period, a 
planning schedule, and description of the scope of the project.

Draft Alternatives We Are Considering

    The Service identified and evaluated three alternatives for 
managing the Refuge for the next 15 years, including a No Action 
Alternative (Alternative A). Brief descriptions of the alternatives 

Alternative A (No Action)

    This alternative assumes continuation of current management 
programs and is considered the base from which to compare the action 

Alternative B (Preferred Alternative)

    This alternative describes a considerable, but short term increase 
in the wildlife and habitat management program on the Refuge's Ritidian 
Unit. The Refuge proposes to construct a multi-species barrier to 
greatly reduce populations of brown treesnakes, feral ungulates, and 
non-native pest species on the refuge. Long term maintenance of the 
program would be less than the program described for Alternative C. 
Visitor services and historical and cultural resource programs would 
increase under Alternative B from existing programs.

Alternative C

    This alternative describes a modest initial increase in the 
wildlife and habitat management program on the Ritidian Unit. In it we 
propose to develop an ungulate barrier to reduce the number of feral 
ungulates on the Refuge and to conduct a moderately intense brown 
treesnake control program. Long term maintenance of the brown treesnake 
control program would require greater effort than the multi-species 
barrier described under Alternative B. Visitor services under 
Alternative C would focus on wildlife-dependent public uses only. In 
addition, refuge staff would increase the number of off-site 
environmental education programs. The historical and cultural resources 
program would remain relatively unchanged from existing programs.

Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to the methods listed in ADDRESSES, you can obtain 
copies of the Draft CCP/EA on compact disk upon request from the Refuge 
at phone number (671) 355-5096. Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may also be 
reviewed at the Refuge. The Draft CCP/EA is also available for viewing 
and downloading on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/guam/. Printed 
copies will be available for review at the following libraries: 
Hag[aring]t[ntilde]a Library, 254 Martyr Street, Hag[aring]t[ntilde]a, 
Guam 96910-5141; and Dededo Library, 283 West Santa Barbara Avenue, 
Dededo, Guam 96912.

Public Meetings

    Two Public Meetings will be held to provide people an opportunity 
to learn more about the alternatives analyzed in the Draft CCP/EA. 
Public comments will be collected and recorded at the meetings. Meeting 
dates, times, and locations follow.
    1. August 4, 2009, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dededo Community 
Center, 319 Iglesia Circle, Dededo, Guam 96929.
    2. August 6, 2009, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hagatna Community 
Center, 236 East O'Brian Drive, Hagatna, Guam 96910.

Submitting Comments

    Public comments are requested on the Draft CCP/EA, and will be 
considered and incorporated throughout the planning process. Comments 
on the Draft CCP/EA will be analyzed by the Service and addressed in 
final planning documents. All comments received from individuals become 
part of the official public record and may be released. Requests for 
such comments will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of 
Information Act, (5 U.S.C. 552), NEPA regulations, and Service and 
Department of the Interior policies and procedures.

[[Page 36251]]

Next Steps

    We will consider the comments we receive during the current comment 
period and the comments we received during the earlier stages of the 
planning process, and address them in the final CCP and decision 

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, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Dated: June 8, 2009.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. E9-17145 Filed 7-21-09; 8:45 am]