[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 192 (Tuesday, October 4, 2011)]
[Pages 61378-61379]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-25317]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-R-2011-N099; 1265-0000-10137-S3]

Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Clallam County, WA; 
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 Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge or NWR) 
in Clallam County, Washington. 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 3, 2011. We will announce opportunities for public input in 
local news media throughout the CCP process.

ADDRESSES: Additional information concerning the refuge is available on 
our Web site: http://www.fws.gov/washingtonmaritime/dungeness/. Send 
your comments or requests for more information by any of the following 
    E-mail: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include ``Dungeness NWR CCP'' 
in the subject line of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Kevin Ryan, Project Leader, (360) 457-9778.
    U.S. Mail: Kevin Ryan, Project Leader, Dungeness National Wildlife 
Refuge, 715 Holgerson Road, Sequim, WA 98382.
    In-Person Drop-off: You may drop off comments during regular 
business hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Ryan, Project Leader, phone 
(360) 457-8451, or e-mail kevin_ryan@fws.gov.



    With this notice, we initiate our process for developing a CCP/EA 
for Dungeness NWR. 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) (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 compatible 
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.
    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 (NWRS), 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 the 
public; Tribal, State, and local governments; agencies; and 
organizations. At this time we encourage input in the form of issues, 
concerns, ideas, and suggestions for the future management of Dungeness 
    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.

Dungeness Refuge

    The refuge was established in 1915 as a ``refuge, preserve, and 
breeding ground for native birds'' (Executive Order 2123). The refuge's 
approved boundary encompasses 773 acres of sand spit, tidelands, and 
upland forest habitat along Washington's Strait of Juan de Fuca; of 
this, the Service manages 325 acres through perpetual easements and 
owns and manages approximately 448 acres.
    Habitat types found on the refuge include beach, bluffs, coastal 
strand, eelgrass beds, mudflats, coastal lagoon, salt marsh, natural 
and constructed freshwater wetlands, and mixed conifer forests. At 5.5-
miles (8.9 kilometers), Dungeness Spit is the longest natural sand spit 
in the United States. Graveyard Spit, which is attached to Dungeness 
Spit, is designated as a Research Natural Area due to the quality of 
its native plant community, which provides an excellent representation 
of coastal strand. The refuge's eelgrass beds are important over-
wintering and staging areas for Brant. Numerous other birds use the 
refuge during migration and winter, including dabbling and diving 
ducks, shorebirds, and bald eagles. Dungeness Refuge also provides 
breeding habitat for black oystercatchers, pigeon guillemots, and 
forest birds. Harbor seals use the refuge to pup, haulout, and molt.

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.
     Should we actively manage the Dawley Unit's forest to 
enhance old growth forest characteristics and/or marbled murrelet 
habitat, and if so, how?
     Should we enhance the refuge's eelgrass beds, and/or 

[[Page 61379]]

anticipated impacts to the eelgrass beds from climate change?
     How can we reduce marine debris and derelict fishing gear 
on and adjacent to the refuge?
     How can we reduce the risks of and impacts from oil spills 
and other contaminants on the refuge?
     Which invasive species should be our highest priorities 
for monitoring and control measures? How can we prevent the 
introduction and dispersal of invasive plants and animals?
     How should we address the anticipated impacts of climate 
change and sea level rise on the refuge's wildlife and habitat in the 
CCP and environmental document?
     What research or monitoring studies are needed to improve 
wildlife and habitat management?
     How can we reduce human-caused wildlife disturbance 
impacts on and adjacent to the refuge, and improve compliance with 
refuge regulations?
     How can we improve the refuge's environmental and cultural 
education and interpretation programs, partnerships, and other priority 
public uses that are compatible with the refuge's conservation 
purposes? How can we enhance opportunities for people with disabilities 
to experience refuge resources?

Public Meetings

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting. You can obtain the schedule from our Web site or the project 
leader (see ADDRESSES). We will also announce the public meeting 
through other media outlets. In addition, you may send comments anytime 
during the planning process by mail, e-mail, or fax (see ADDRESSES).

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: August 16, 2011.
Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, Region 1, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2011-25317 Filed 10-3-11; 8:45 am]