[Federal Register: October 22, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 204)]
[Page 65370-65371]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R6-R-2010-N152; 60138-1265-6CCP-S3]

National Elk Refuge, Jackson, WY; Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
and Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; 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 the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming. We 
provide this notice in compliance with our CCP policy to advise other 
Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intentions, 
and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
consider in the planning process.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
November 22, 2010. Submit comments by one of the methods under 
ADDRESSES. 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.
    E-mail: nationalelkrefuge@fws.gov. Include ``National Elk Refuge 
CCP'' in the subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Toni Griffin, Planning Team Leader, 303-236-4792.
    U.S. Mail: Toni Griffin, Planning Team Leader, Division of Refuge 
Planning, 134 Union Blvd., Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80228.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the above address, or at the National Elk Refuge 
office located at 675 E. Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Toni Griffin, 303-236-4378 (phone); or 
David C. Lucas, Chief, Division of Planning, P.O. Box 25486, Denver 
Federal Center, Denver, CO 80228.



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, WY. This notice complies with our 
CCP policy to (1) advise other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and 
the public of our intention to conduct detailed planning on this refuge 
and (2) to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
consider in the environmental document and during development of the 


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act) 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, where appropriate, 
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 National Wildlife Refuge System 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 National Wildlife Refuge System, 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 National Wildlife Refuge System.
    Our CCP process provides participation opportunities for Tribal, 
State, and local governments; agencies; organizations; and the public. 
At this time we encourage input in the form of issues, concerns, ideas, 
and suggestions for the future management of the National Elk Refuge.
    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.

National Elk Refuge

    The National Elk Refuge was established in 1912 as a ``winter game 
(elk) reserve'' (37 Stat. 293, 16 USC 673), and the following year 
Congress designated the area as ``a winter elk refuge'' (37 Stat. 847). 
In 1921 all lands included in the refuge, or that might be added in the 
future, were reserved and set apart as ``refuges and breeding grounds 
for birds'' [Executive Order (EO) 3596], which was affirmed in 1922 (EO 
3741). In 1927 the refuge was expanded to provide ``for the grazing of, 
and as a refuge for, American elk and other big game animals'' (44 
Stat. 1246, 16 USC 673a). These purposes apply to all or most of the 
lands now within the refuge. Several parcels have been added to the 
refuge specifically for the conservation of fish and wildlife (Fish and 
Wildlife Act of 1956), the development of wildlife-oriented 
recreational opportunities (Refuge Recreation Act of 1962, 16 U.S.C. 
460k-l), the protection of natural resources, and the conservation of 
threatened and endangered species (Endangered Species Act of 1973).
    The refuge is located in Teton County, Wyoming. A wide variety of 
habitats are found on the National Elk Refuge, including grassy 
meadows, marshes, timbered areas, sagebrush, and rocky outcroppings. 
Between November and May, the wildlife concentrations and diversity 
provide spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.
    The refuge's nearly 25,000 acres provide a winter home for one of 
the largest wintering concentrations of elk. In addition to the large 
elk herds, a free-roaming bison herd winters at the refuge.
    A variety of waterfowl, including trumpeter swans, can be seen on 

[[Page 65371]]

1,600 acres of open water and marshlands. At least 47 mammal species 
and nearly 175 species of birds have been observed on the refuge. Some 
notable species include moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, gray wolves, 
mountain lions, bald eagles, and peregrine falcons.

Scoping: Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    The CCP will not address bison and elk management on the refuge. 
This is because a Bison and Elk Management Plan completed in 2007 
provides goals, objectives, and strategies for managing bison and elk 
on the National Elk Refuge and in Grand Teton National Park for the 
next 15 years. The CCP will address all other aspects of refuge 
management, including migratory birds, threatened and endangered 
species, visitor use, and cultural resources. We have identified 
preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities that we may address in 
the CCP. During public scoping, we may identify additional issues.
    We request input as to which issues affecting refuge management or 
public use should be addressed during the planning process. We are 
especially interested in receiving public input in the following areas:
    (a) What suggestions do you have for managing migratory birds on 
the refuge?
    (b) What concerns do you have regarding visitor services and public 
use on the refuge?
    (c) What changes, if any, would you like to see in the management 
of this refuge?
    We provide the above questions for your optional use. We have no 
requirement that you provide information; however, any comments the 
planning team receives will be used as part of the planning process.

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 
project leader (see ADDRESSES). We will announce opportunities for 
public input in local news media throughout the CCP process. You may 
also send comments anytime during the planning process by mail, e-mail, 
or fax (see ADDRESSES). There will be additional opportunities to 
provide public input once we have prepared a draft CCP.

Public Availability of Comments

    Any comments we receive will become part of the administrative 
record and may be available to the public. Before submitting comments 
that include your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other 
personal identifying information, you should be aware that your entire 
comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made 
publicly available at any time. While you may 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 6, 2010.
Noreen E. Walsh,
Deputy Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2010-26699 Filed 10-21-10; 8:45 am]