[Federal Register: November 19, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 223)]
[Page 70945-70946]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-R-2010-N209; 20131-1265-2CCP S3]

Caddo National Wildlife Refuge, Harrison County, TX; 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 Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Harrison 
County, TX. 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 
May 18, 2011. 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: Jeffrey_missal@fws.gov. Include ``Caddo Lake National 
Wildlife Refuge CCP NOI'' in the subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Jeffrey Missal, Natural Resource Planner, 505-248-7409.
    U.S. Mail: Jeffrey Missal, Natural Resource Planner, P.O. Box 1306, 
Albuquerque, NM 87103-1306.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the Refuge Headquarters located at 15600 Highway 134, 
Karnack, TX 75661.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Missal, Natural Resource 
Planner, Telephone: 505-248-7409; Fax: 505-248-6803; e-mail: Jeffrey_



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP for 
Caddo Lake NWR (Refuge), located in Harrison County, TX. 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) 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, 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, as amended.
    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 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 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 Caddo Lake NWR.
    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.

Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

    Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located in Harrison County, 
TX, and encompasses approximately 7,500 acres of Piney Woods, mature 
Baldcyprus Forests, and wetlands. On October 19, 2000, the Director of 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the establishment of the 
Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge on portions of the Longhorn Army 
Ammunition Plant. It was officially opened as a national wildlife 
refuge on September 26, 2009, for the purpose of migratory bird and 
other fish and wildlife management, conservation, and protection.
    In contrast to the more arid and thinly wooded areas that 
predominate much of the rest of Texas, Caddo Lake NWR is one of the 
richest examples of the lush and abundant Piney Woods Belt, where 
rainfall is plentiful and rivers and bayous twist through forests 
teeming with a great diversity of aquatic and terrestrial plant 
specimens. Portions of the Refuge and Caddo Lake constitute one of only 
25 such areas in the United States recognized by the RAMSAR Convention 
on Wetlands as a Wetland of International Significance. Residing in 
these forests and wetlands associated with the Refuge are a variety of 
birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. A number of animals and plants 
here are considered rare, threatened, or endangered under national and 
international laws; these species

[[Page 70946]]

include, but are not limited to, the peregrine falcon, the alligator 
snapping turtle, and the eastern big-eared bat.

Scoping: Preliminary Issues, Concerns, and Opportunities

    We have identified preliminary issues, concerns, and opportunities 
that we may address in the CCP. We have briefly summarized these issues 
below. During public scoping, we may identify additional issues.

Ecoregional Issues

 Potential impacts of climate change

Habitat Issues

 Bottomland Hardwood habitat maintenance and restoration
 Timber harvesting
 Using fire on the landscape for habitat restoration and 
 Property transfer from the Department of the Army and 
subsequent contaminant issues

Wildlife Issues

 Migratory waterfowl and neotropical migrants using the Refuge 
as a stopover and/or nesting site
 Refuge hunts for population management of White-tailed Deer
 Construction/maintenance of bat, wood duck, and bluebird boxes 
for nesting purposes

Public Use Opportunities and Access

 Identification, construction, and maintenance of wildlife 
observation trail(s) and auto-tour loop(s)
 Develop/Increase participation of Caddo Lake NWR friends group


 Remodel or replace current Refuge headquarters (currently an 
old U.S. Army office building)
 Identify location and construct Refuge Fire Station Facilities 
(currently co-located in the Refuge shop and bunkhouse)
 Identify location and construct Refuge Visitor Center and 
Classroom Building (currently located in an old FEMA Trailer)

Public Meetings

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting (or meetings). You can obtain the schedule from the planning 
team leader or project leader (see addresses). You may also send 
comments anytime during the planning process by U.S. 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

    Before including your address, phone 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 30, 2010.
Joy E. Nicholopoulos,
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2.
[FR Doc. 2010-29111 Filed 11-18-10; 8:45 am]