[Federal Register: September 27, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 186)]
[Page 59287-59288]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 59287]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R2010-N147; BAC-4311-K9-S3]

Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Salem County, NJ

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments: draft 
comprehensive conservation plan/environmental assessment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and the 
environmental assessment (EA) for Supawna Meadows National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR), located in Salem County, New Jersey. The refuge is 
administered by staff located at Cape May NWR in Cape May County, New 
Jersey. The draft CCP/EA describes three alternatives, including our 
Service-preferred alternative, for managing this refuge for the next 15 
years. Also available for public review and comment are the draft 
compatibility determinations for uses to be allowed upon initial 
completion of the plan if Alternative B is selected. These are included 
as appendix B in the draft CCP/EA.

DATES: To ensure our consideration of your written comments, please 
send them no later than October 27, 2010. We will also hold public 
meetings in Pennsville, New Jersey. We will announce and post details 
of the public meetings in local news media, via our project mailing 
list, and on our Regional planning Web site, http://www.fws.gov/

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for copies of the draft CCP/
EA by one of the following methods.
    U.S. Mail: Lia McLaughlin, Natural Resource Planner, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.
    Facsimile: Attention: Lia McLaughlin, 413-253-8468.
    Electronic mail: northeastplanning@fws.gov. Please put the words 
``Supawna Meadows NWR CCP'' in the subject line of your electronic 
    Agency Web site: View or download the draft document on the Web at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Howard Schlegel, Refuge Manager, Cape 
May NWR, 24 Kimbles Beach Road, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210; phone: 
609-463-0994; facsimile: 609-463-1667; or electronic mail: 



    This notice continues the CCP process for Supawna Meadows NWR. This 
draft CCP/EA for Supawna NWR combines two documents required by Federal 
laws: A CCP, required by the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administrative Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668 dd-ee) (Administration Act), 
as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 
1997; and an EA, required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347). We published our 
original notice of intent to prepare a CCP in the Federal Register on 
September 24, 2007 (72 FR 54280).
    Supawna Meadows NWR currently includes 3,016 acres of marsh, 
grassland, shrubland, and forest habitats. The approved acquisition 
boundary encompasses 4,527 acres along the Upper Delaware Bay in Salem 
County. The refuge was originally established as the Goose Pond 
addition to the Killcohook NWR (currently termed Killcohook Dredge 
Spoil Disposal Area), which was established by Executive Order 6582 on 
February 3, 1934, and was renamed as Supawna Meadows NWR in 1974. 
Supawna Meadows NWR was established to benefit migratory birds, 
breeding birds, wild animals, protect natural resources, and provide 
opportunities for suitable wildlife-oriented recreation.
    Refuge visitors engage in wildlife observation and photography, 
hunting, and fishing. Portions of the refuge are open to deer hunting, 
waterfowl hunting, and fishing and crabbing per State regulations. 
Finns Point Rear Range Light, listed on the National Register of 
Historic Places, draws a number of visitors as well.


The CCP Process

    CCPs provide refuge managers with 15-year plans for achieving 
refuge purposes and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System 
(NWRS), in conformance with sound principles of fish and wildlife 
management, legal mandates, and our policies. In addition to outlining 
broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, 
CCPs identify opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation available 
to the public, which includes opportunities for hunting, fishing, 
observing and photographing wildlife, and participating in 
environmental education and interpretation programs. We will review and 
update each CCP at least every 15 years, in accordance with the 
Administration Act.

Public Outreach

    In August 2007, we published and distributed our first newsletter. 
In September 2007, we held two public scoping meetings in Pennsville, 
New Jersey. The purpose of those meetings was to solicit comments from 
the community and other interested parties on the scope of the CCP and 
the issues and impacts that should be evaluated in the CCP/EA. 
Throughout the process, we have conducted additional outreach via 
participation in community meetings, events, and other public forums, 
and requested public input on managing the refuge and its programs.
    Some key issues expressed by the public and partners meetings 
     Identifying which key species should be focused on for 
     Managing invasive, exotic, and overabundant species;
     Managing impoundments and forested wetlands;
     Managing nonpriority public uses on the refuge, such as 
dog walking;
     Conducting community outreach efforts for support of the 
Service mission and refuge-established purposes;
     Expanding the refuge through land acquisition;
     Staffing and funding necessary to complete priority 
     Protecting cultural and historic resources; and,
     Conducting scientific research.

CCP Actions We Are Considering, Including the Service-Preferred 

    We developed three management alternatives based on the purposes 
for establishing the refuge, its vision and goals, and the issues and 
concerns of the public, State agencies, and the Service that arose 
during the planning process. The alternatives share some actions in 
common, such as acquiring land within the current refuge acquisition 
boundary, protecting cultural resources, distributing refuge revenue 
sharing payments, and monitoring water quality. There are also some 
actions shared by Alternatives A and B only. These include assessing 
public use opportunities on the acquired lands, monitoring and abating 
wildlife diseases, and supporting biological and ecological research 
    Other actions distinguish the alternatives. The draft CCP/EA 
describes the alternatives in detail, and relates

[[Page 59288]]

them to the issues and concerns. Highlights follow.

Alternative A (Current Management)

    This alternative is the ``No Action'' alternative required by NEPA. 
Alternative A (current management) satisfies the NEPA requirement of a 
``No Action'' alternative, which we define as ``continuing current 
management.'' It describes our existing management priorities and 
activities, and serves as a baseline for comparing and contrasting 
Alternatives B and C. It would maintain our present levels of approved 
refuge staffing and the biological and visitor programs now in place. 
We would continue to focus efforts on providing native tidal marsh 
habitat for Federal trust resources, in particular, for migrating and 
nesting wading birds, wintering habitats for marshbirds, waterfowl, 
shorebirds, and other wildlife. We would continue to actively manage 
tidal marsh and grassland habitats and would maintain dikes and water 
levels on impoundments that have water control structures.

Alternative B (Focus on Species of Conservation Concern)

    This alternative is the Service-preferred alternative. It combines 
the actions we believe would most effectively achieve refuge purposes, 
vision, and goals, and respond to public issues. This alternative 
emphasizes management of specific refuge habitats to support Federal 
trust resources and species of conservation concern in the area. In 
particular, the priority would be to protect and restore the refuge's 
native tidal marsh habitat to benefit Pea Patch Island colonial-
breeding wading birds, as well as secretive marshbirds, migratory 
waterfowl, shorebirds, and other birds of conservation concern. A 
secondary consideration would be to manage a diversity of other refuge 
wetland and upland habitats to benefit breeding and migrating 
songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors, as well as amphibians, reptiles, and 
mammals of conservation concern. Our Visitor Services program would be 
enhanced to provide more opportunities for a wide variety of compatible 
wildlife-dependent activities. In 2005, the Northeast Regional Visitor 
Services Review Team identified visitor programs of emphasis for each 
refuge. The programs identified for this refuge are interpretation and 
wildlife observation and photography. The determination of programs for 
Supawna Meadows NWR was based on careful consideration of our natural 
resources, existing staff, operational funds, existing and potential 
facilities, and which programs we would be most effective in providing 
``quality'' opportunities for visitors.

Alternative C (Cease Management and Close Refuge to Public Uses)

    Under this alternative, we would close Supawna Meadows NWR to all 
public uses and cease all habitat management activities. There would be 
no funding allocated for any projects at the refuge. This alternative 
would only partially achieve the refuge purposes, vision, and goals, 
and respond to public issues, however, budgetary constraints make it a 
reasonable alternative to consider. Under this alternative, the public 
would be notified of the closure, and appropriate signage would be 
placed on all buildings and along the refuge boundary. Cape May NWR 
staff would conduct semiannual site inspections requiring about 40 
staff hours per year. We would continue to meet our trust obligations 
under the Endangered Species Act, which requires us to take measures to 
benefit the recovery of any federally listed species that might be 
found on the refuge in the future. We would also continue to comply 
with the National Historic Preservation Act by maintaining Finns Point 
Rear Range Light.

Public Meetings

    We will give the public opportunities to provide input at public 
meetings in Pennsville, New Jersey, near the refuge. You can obtain the 
schedule from the refuge manager or natural resource planner, or visit 
the planning Web site (see addresses or FOr Further Information 
CONTACT, above). You may also submit comments at any time during the 
public comment period, by any means shown in the ADDRESSES section.

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: August 20, 2010.
Anthony D. L[eacute]ger,
Acting Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, MA 
[FR Doc. 2010-23871 Filed 9-24-10; 8:45 am]