[Federal Register: September 24, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 184)]
[Page 48777-48778]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-R-2008-N0094; 70133-1265-0000-S3]

Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Dillingham, AK

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of the Revised Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact for the 
Environmental Assessment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the 
availability of our Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and 
Finding of No Significant

[[Page 48778]]

Impact (FONSI) for the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Togiak 
National Wildlife Refuge (Togiak Refuge). In this revised CCP, we 
describe how we will manage this refuge for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the revised CCP and FONSI 
by any of the following methods. You may request a paper copy, a 
summary, or a CD-ROM containing both.
    Agency Web Site: Download a copy of the documents at http://
    E-mail: fw7_togiak_planning@fws.gov.
    Mail: Maggi Arend, Planning Team Leader, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1011 East Tudor Road, MS 231, Anchorage, AK 99503-6199.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call (907) 786-3393 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at the USFWS Regional Office, 
1011 E. Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503 or call (907) 883-5312 to make 
an appointment during regular business hours at Togiak Refuge, 6 Main 
Street, Dillingham, AK 99576.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maggi Arend, Planning Team Leader, 
(907) 786-3393 or fw7_togiak_planning@fws.gov.



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for the Togiak 
Refuge. We started this process with a Notice of Intent in the Federal 
Register (64 FR 25899, May. 13, 1999) and a revised Notice of Intent in 
the Federal Register (71 FR 42116, July 25, 2006). We announced the 
availability of the draft CCP and EA, and requested comments in a 
notice of availability in the Federal Register (72 FR 54921, Sept. 27, 
    Togiak Refuge is located 400 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska. The 
Refuge is bordered to the south by Bristol Bay, to the west by 
Kuskokwim Bay, to the north by Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge and 
to the east by Wood-Tikchik State Park. Of the 4.7 million acres within 
the boundary, 4.2 million acres is under management by the Service, 
including the 2.3 million-acre Togiak Wilderness. Three major 
watersheds, the Kanketok, Goodnews, and Togiak rivers, provide abundant 
fish habitat within the Refuge, where more than 1 million salmon come 
to spawn each year. The Refuge also includes coastal areas varying from 
sandy beaches to steep rocky cliffs, including rare protected haul outs 
for Pacific Walrus.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
revised CCP for the Togiak Refuge in accordance with National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We 
completed a thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment in 
the EA that accompanied the draft revised CCP.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering the Togiak 
Refuge for the next 15 years. The revised CCP is Alternative 1, the 
preferred alternative in the draft CCP, developed in response to public 
scoping comments.


    The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (94 
Stat. 2371; ANILCA) and the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement 
Act of 1997 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) require us to develop a CCP for 
each Alaska 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. We will review and 
update the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with national 
policy and ANILCA.
    ANILCA requires us to designate areas according to their respective 
resources and values and to specify programs and uses within the areas 
designated. To meet this requirement, the Alaska Region established 
management categories for refuges including Wilderness, Minimal, 
Moderate, Intensive, and Wild River management. In the past, additional 
categories, including Cooperative Management were also included but are 
no longer used. For each management category we identified appropriate 
activities, public uses, commercial uses, and facilities. This revision 
reclassifies Cooperative Management lands as Minimal Management. Only 
Minimal and Wilderness management categories are applied to Togiak 

Draft CCP Alternatives

    The Draft Plan identified one significant planning issue, the 
effect of management on activities and uses within the Togiak Refuge. 
Two alternatives were considered in the environmental assessment. 
Alternative 1, the Proposed Action, includes implementation of updated 
management guidelines, converting lands in Cooperative Management into 
Minimal Management, and adds Refuge goals and objectives. Alternative 
2, Current Management, would continue to implement current management 
as outlined in the 1987 Comprehensive Plan, including the use of the 
Cooperative Management category. The Refuge would not have a clearly 
stated vision statement, goals and objectives to guide management.

Comments on the Draft CCP

    Comments on the draft CCP/EA for Togiak Refuge were solicited by 
the Service from October 3, 2007, through January 18, 2008. During the 
public review and comment period the Service held public meetings in 
Anchorage, Dillingham, Quinhagak, Goodnews Bay, and Togiak, Alaska. The 
planning team reviewed, analyzed, and summarized all comments received 
at the public meetings and in writing.

Selected Alternative--Alternative 1

    Two alternatives were considered in the environmental assessment. 
Alternative 1, the Proposed Action, encompasses policy development, 
changes, and clarifications made in the years since the implementation 
of the original Comprehensive Plan in 1987. It also converts lands in 
Cooperative Management into Minimal Management, and adds a Refuge 
vision statement, goals and objectives.

    Dated: September 18, 2009.
Gary Edwards,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, 
[FR Doc. E9-23029 Filed 9-23-09; 8:45 am]