[Federal Register: September 15, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 178)]
[Page 56130-56131]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-R-2010-N160; 1265-0000-10137-S3]

Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, Honolulu County, HI; 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; 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 Pearl Harbor National 
Wildlife Refuge (refuge) for public review and comment. The Draft CCP/
EA describes our proposal for managing the refuge for the next 15 

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by September 28, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Address comments, questions, and requests for further 
information to David Ellis, Project Leader, O`ahu National Wildlife 
Refuge Complex, 66-590 Kamehameha Highway, Room 2C, Hale`iwa, HI 96712. 
Alternatively, you may fax comments to the refuge at (808) 637-3578, or 
e-mail them to FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov (include ``Pearl Harbor 
Refuge CCP'' in the subject line of the message). Additional 
information concerning the refuge is available on the Internet at 
http://www.fws.gov/pearlharbor/. You may request the CCP/EA for review 
by any of the above contact methods, or you may view or download it at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Ellis, Project Leader, (808) 



    With this notice, we continue the CCP process for the Pearl Harbor 
National Wildlife Refuge. We started this process by publishing a 
notice of intent in the Federal Register on December 1, 2008 (73 FR 
    Pearl Harbor Refuge is located on the southern coast of the island 
of O`ahu and is comprised of three units: Honouliuli, Waiawa, and 
Kalaeloa. The Honouliuli Unit and Waiawa Unit are wetland units located 
on the shores of Pearl Harbor. The 37-acre Honouliuli Unit and the 25-
acre Waiawa Unit were established in 1972 to protect and enhance 
habitat for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds. Habitats found on these 
units include open water, freshwater marsh, mudflat, grassland, and 
shrubland. The units provide important breeding, feeding, and resting 
areas for endangered waterbirds, a variety of migratory waterfowl, 
shorebirds, and other wetland birds. Common migrants include Northern 
pintail and Pacific golden plover. Neither unit is open to the general 
public; however, a grade school wetland education program is 
administered under a special use permit at the Honouliuli Unit.
    The 38-acre Kalaeloa Unit is a coastal upland unit on O`ahu's 
southwestern point, and was once part of the Naval Air Station Barbers 
Point (NAS). When the NAS closed in 2001, the unit was established to 
protect and enhance habitat for the endangered `Ewa hinahina plant. The 
unit contains the largest remnant stand of `Ewa hinahina and a 
reintroduced population of `akoko, another endangered plant. We 
supplement these plant populations with nursery plantings and exotic 
plant control. The unit is located within the arid `Ewa Plains, and 
encompasses exposed coral shelf, rocky shoreline, and sparse 
vegetation. The unit includes a unique microhabitat called anchialine 
pools. These salt water pools are in the raised limestone coral reef, 
and are connected to the ocean via tiny subterranean cracks and 
crevices within the coralline substrate. The anchialine pools support 
unique insects, plants, and animals, including two imperiled

[[Page 56131]]

species of native shrimp. The refuge's volunteer program administers 
college-level educational programs and habitat restoration activities 
on the unit. The unit is closed to the general public.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 
U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Refuge 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 Refuge Administration Act.

Public Outreach

    We began the public scoping phase of the CCP planning process by 
publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on December 
1, 2008 (73 FR 72826), announcing our intention to complete a CCP/EA 
for the James Campbell and Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuges. 
Simultaneously, we released Planning Update 1. We invited the public to 
two open house meetings and requested public comments in the NOI and in 
Planning Update 1. We held the public open house meetings, in Pearl 
City, Hawai`i, on December 9, 2008, and in Kahuku, Hawai`i, on January 
8, 2009. In Planning Update 2, distributed in June 2009, we provided a 
summary of the comments we received and described refuge resources. We 
considered all of the public comments we received to date during 
development of the Draft CCP/EA. We will announce the public comment 
period for the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge Draft CCP/EA in 
fall 2010.

Draft CCP Alternatives We Are Considering

    We drafted two alternatives for managing the Pearl Harbor Refuge. 
Under both alternatives entry into the fenced portions of the refuge 
units will continue by special use permit. The Betty Bliss Memorial 
Overlook will be constructed outside the Honouliuli Unit's fence, to 
provide year-round interpretation, wildlife viewing, and photography 
opportunities. The coastal foot trail outside the Kalaeloa Unit's fence 
will remain open to the public for shoreline fishing. Both alternatives 
would protect threatened and endangered species and cultural resources. 
Brief descriptions of the alternatives follow.

Alternative A

    Under Alternative A, we would continue the current level of 
management. On the wetlands of the Honouliuli and Waiawa Units, we 
would continue to control predators and manage and protect habitat for 
endangered Hawaiian waterbirds, as part of the Statewide effort to 
implement the Hawaiian Waterbird Recovery Plan. Under Alternative A, 
control of invasive plant species would be modest, and intensive 
predator control would continue. On the Kalaeloa Unit, we would 
continue to restore and manage endangered plants and control invasive 
plants at the current level. Protection would continue for 14 existing 
anchialine pools on the Kalaeloa Unit, but no additional pools would be 
restored. We would continue to cooperate with the Bishop Museum's 
effort to catalog avian and other fossil remains from the pools.

Alternative B

    Under Alternative B, our preferred alternative, we would focus 
management efforts at the Kalaeloa Unit on increasing the restoration 
of native and rare coralline plain habitat. We would increase the 
existing 25-acre restoration area to 37 acres. Controlling and reducing 
invasive plants, and establishing native plants, including the `akoko 
and `Ewa hinahina, would be emphasized. We would develop a foot trail 
system, protect 14 existing anchialine pools, identify up to 30 
additional pool sites for potential restoration, and continue with 
experimental translocation of endangered damselflies (pinapinao) to 
suitable habitat in the anchialine pools. We would also expand 
volunteer, research, and environmental education opportunities, 
including working with the Bishop Museum and the Smithsonian Institute 
to pursue an in-depth paleontological study of the entire unit.
    On the Honouliuli and Waiawa Units, our focus would be on an 
increased level of wetland management to improve the units' overall 
capacity to support endangered waterbirds. Under this Alternative B, 
water level and vegetation management, invasive species control, 
including predator control, would be improved or increased as part of 
the Statewide effort to implement the Hawaiian Waterbird Recovery Plan. 
On the Honouliuli Unit, we would remove mangrove on 5 acres to improve 
and maintain intertidal mudflat habitat, and determine the feasibility 
of installing a predator-proof fence. On the Waiawa Unit, we would work 
with partners and neighbors to determine the feasibility of developing 
an additional refuge overlook.

Public Availability of Documents

    We encourage you to stay involved in the CCP planning process by 
reviewing and commenting on the proposals we have developed in the 
Draft CCP/EA. Copies of the Draft CCP/EA are available by request from 
David Ellis or via the Internet (see ADDRESSES).

Next Steps

    After this comment period ends, we will analyze the comments and 
address them in the final CCP/EA.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, telephone 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: September 10, 2010.
David Patte,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2010-23102 Filed 9-14-10; 8:45 am]