[Federal Register: May 7, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 88)]
[Page 25286-25287]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2010-N018; BAC-4311-K9 S3]

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca, Wayne, and Cayuga 
Counties, NY

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

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


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to 
prepare a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and environmental 
assessment (EA) for Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Seneca, 
Wayne, and Cayuga Counties, New York. We provide this notice in 
compliance with our CCP policy to advise other Federal and State 
agencies, Tribal Governments, and the public of our intentions, and to 
obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to consider 
in the planning process. We are also announcing public meetings and 
requesting public comments.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
June 30, 2010. We will announce opportunities for public input in local 
news media throughout the CCP process.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
of the following methods:
    Electronic mail: northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include ``Montezuma NWR 
CCP'' in the subject line of the message.
    Facsimile: Attention: Nancy McGarigal, 413-253-8468.
    U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center 
Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at Montezuma NWR, 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, 
NY 13148-9423.

[[Page 25287]]

Montezuma NWR, 3395 U.S. 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY 13148-9423; phone: 
(315) 568-5987; electronic mail: tom_jasikoff@fws.gov.



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
Montezuma NWR in Seneca, Wayne, and Cayuga Counties, New York. This 
notice complies with our CCP policy to (1) advise other Federal and 
State agencies, Tribal Governments, and the public of our intention to 
conduct detailed planning on this refuge, and (2) obtain suggestions 
and information on the scope of issues to consider in the environmental 
document and during development of the CCP.


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 (NWRS), 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 Act.
    Each unit of the NWRS was established for specific purposes. We use 
these purposes as the foundation for developing and prioritizing the 
management goals and objectives for each refuge within the NWRS 
mission, and to determine how the public can use each refuge. The 
planning process is a way for us and the public to evaluate management 
goals and objectives that will ensure the best possible approach to 
wildlife, plant, and habitat conservation, while providing for 
wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are compatible with 
each refuge's establishing purposes and the mission of the NWRS.
    Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for Tribal, 
State, and local governments, conservation organizations, and the 
public. At this time, we encourage input in the form of issues, 
concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of Montezuma 
    We will conduct the environmental review of this project and 
develop an EA in accordance with the requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.); NEPA regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); other appropriate 
Federal laws and regulations; and our policies and procedures for 
compliance with those laws and regulations.

Montezuma NWR

    Montezuma NWR was established as a refuge in 1938 primarily in 
recognition of its importance as a stopover area for migratory birds 
and other wildlife. The refuge provides resting, feeding, and nesting 
habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds and is located in the 
middle of one of the most active migratory bird pathways in the 
Atlantic Flyway. Over 1,000,000 migrating geese and ducks, and one of 
the largest concentrations of migrating shorebirds in New York, are 
observed each year. Located at the north end of Cayuga Lake in the 
Finger Lakes Region of New York, Montezuma NWR consists of 9,073 acres.
    Refuge habitats are very diverse. They consist of approximately 
4,700 acres of freshwater wetlands in 16 impoundments; 1,646 acres in 
floodplain forest; 360 acres in cropland; 700 acres in early or mid-
successional forest; 584 acres in grassland, 157 acres in canals, 
river, or dikes, and the remainder in roads, trails and other 
    Montezuma NWR hosts over 150,000 visitors annually. Popular 
activities include driving on the 3-mile auto tour, observing and 
photographing nature on the 5.5 miles of walking trails, and hunting, 
fishing, or participating in the many educational and interpretive 
programs. The refuge visitor center, open from April 1 to November 30 
each year, is a popular destination for visitors to the area.

Scoping: Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    The planning team is in the process of identifying preliminary 
issues, concerns, and opportunities to address in the CCP. We list 
below the categories for issues we have identified. During public 
scoping, we expect additional issues may be raised.
    (1) Ecoregional or ecosystemwide issues, such as climate change, 
regional land conservation, and the protection of water quality 
throughout the West Oswego River watershed;
    (2) Biological program issues, such as habitat and species 
management needs, protection, restoration, monitoring, inventories, and 
    (3) Public-use program issues, such as the breadth and quality of 
programs, public access, user conflicts, and use impacts on natural 
    (4) Infrastructure and staffing issues, such as appropriateness of 
facilities, safety, accessibility, and additional staffing needs;
    (5) Community relations and outreach issues and opportunities, such 
as tourism and local economic impacts; and
    (6) Coordination and communication issues and opportunities with 
Federal, State, and Tribal Governments, and with non-governmental 
conservation partners.

Public Meetings

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting. You can obtain the schedule from the planning team leader or 
refuge manager (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may also send 
comments anytime during the planning process by mail, electronic mail, 
or facsimile (see ADDRESSES). There will be additional opportunities to 
provide public input once we have prepared a draft CCP.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, electronic 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: March 26, 2010.
James G. Geiger,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2010-10822 Filed 5-6-10; 8:45 am]