[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 244 (Tuesday, December 20, 2011)]
[Pages 78939-78940]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-32390]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-R-2011-N229; 1265-0000-10137-S3]

James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, Honolulu County, HI; 
Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Finding of No Significant 
Impact for Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and a 
finding of no significant impact for the environmental assessment for 
the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge (refuge). In this final 
CCP, we describe how we will manage this refuge for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and the 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) and environmental assessment 
(EA) by any of the following methods. You may request a hard copy or 
    Agency Web site: Download the documents at www.fws.gov/pacific/planning.
    Email: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include ``James Campbell Refuge 
CCP'' in the subject line of the message.
    Mail: David Ellis, Project Leader, O`ahu National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex, 66-590 Kamehameha Highway, Room 2C, Hale`iwa, HI 96712.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: O`ahu National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex, 66-590 Kamehameha Highway, Room 2C, Hale`iwa, HI 96712.

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



    With this notice, we announce the completion of the CCP process for 
the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge. The Service started this 
process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register on December 
1, 2008 (73 FR 72826). We released the draft CCP/EA to the public, 
announcing and requesting comments in a notice of availability in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 38414; June 30, 2011).
    We announce our CCP decision and the availability of a FONSI in 
accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act 
of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) and National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We prepared a thorough analysis 
of impacts, which we included in an EA that accompanied the draft CCP.
    The CCP will guide us in managing and administering the refuge for 
the next 15 years. Alternative C, as described in the draft CCP, is the 
basis for the CCP.


    The Refuge Administration Act, as amended by the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires us to develop a CCP for 
each refuge. The purpose for developing a CCP is to provide refuge 
managers with a 15-year plan for achieving refuge

[[Page 78940]]

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.

CCP Alternatives, Including Selected Alternative

    During our CCP planning process we identified several issues. To 
address these issues, we developed and evaluated the following 
alternatives in our draft CCP/EA.

Alternative A, No Action

    Under Alternative A, we would have continued current management 
with no changes. This includes focusing threatened and endangered 
species management on protection and successful nesting. Public use 
programs would remain virtually unchanged. Refuge management units 
would remain closed to general public entry except for seasonal docent-
guided tours and Special Use Permits issued on a case-by-case basis for 
environmental education, research, and other compatible uses. Newly 
acquired refuge lands would receive custodial oversight only, no 
habitat restoration would occur, and no additional visitor services 
would be provided. Both current commercial aquaculture leases would 
remain in effect until 2023.

Alternative B, Partial Restoration and Management of Refuge Expansion 

    Under Alternative B, current habitat management programs focusing 
on wetland management for endangered waterbirds would have continued. 
On newly acquired refuge lands, only the highest priority wetlands and 
coastal dunes would be restored and fenced to exclude large predators. 
A Visitor Services Plan (VSP) would be developed to identify the types 
of compatible wildlife-oriented activities we would provide to the 
public as well as the sites and locations for the infrastructure needed 
to fully support public programs. We would also identify new special 
regulations in the VSP which may be needed to protect sensitive 
wildlife resources, the fragile coastline, and the visiting public. 
During the interim period until the VSP would be prepared, the current 
public use program would have slight increases in opportunities for 
wildlife observation and photography. The refuge would participate and 
partner with other agencies and the community of Kahuku on projects to 
mitigate flood damage to the local area, if practical and feasible. 
Both current commercial aquaculture leases would remain in effect until 

Alternative C, Full Restoration and Management of Refuge Expansion 

    In addition to management actions identified in Alternative B, all 
wetlands, coastal dunes/strand, and scrub/shrub habitats would be 
restored and managed under Alternative C. Trial use of predator-proof 
fencing would be initiated on selected dune or wetland sites to protect 
seabirds or waterbirds. Abandoned aquaculture facilities would be 
cleaned up, and the habitat would be restored to natural conditions or 
other approved uses.


    We solicited comments on the draft CCP/EA from June 30, 2011, to 
August 1, 2011 (76 FR 38414; June 30, 2011). We received comment 
letters, forms, and emails on the draft CCP/EA. To address public 
comments, responsive changes and clarifications were made to the final 
CCP where appropriate.

Selected Alternative

    After considering the comments we received, we have selected 
Alternative C for implementation. By implementing Alternative C, we 
will intensively manage endangered waterbird species and their habitat 
at the Ki`i and Punaman[otilde] Units of the refuge with a focus on 
protection and successful nesting as part of the statewide effort to 
implement the Hawaiian Waterbird Recovery Plan. The unique and 
sensitive coastal sand dunes and coastal strand will be managed to 
protect and enhance the area for native vegetation, seabirds, other 
migratory birds, endangered Hawaiian monk seals, and green turtles. A 
VSP will be developed to identify, evaluate, and select sites for the 
infrastructure needed to fully implement a safe and compatible program 
for the public (to include roads, parking areas, trails, overlooks, 
etc.). The VSP will identify any new special regulations needed to 
protect sensitive wildlife resources, the fragile coastline, and the 
visiting public. If funded, the design and construction of a Visitor 
Center/Environmental Education facility and refuge office will serve 
the public, students, and refuge staff.
    The refuge will continue to participate and cooperate in community 
and interagency efforts to address flood damage reduction for the local 
area. We will continue to evaluate our infrastructure on the refuge, 
particularly on newly acquired lands, to determine if further changes 
can be made to help mitigate flood damages. Both current commercial 
aquaculture leases will remain in effect until 2023 at which time, by 
prior agreement, they will expire.
    All wetlands, coastal dunes/strand and scrub/shrub habitats will be 
restored and managed. Fencing will be installed at appropriate 
locations throughout the refuge to reduce the devastating impacts of 
exotic predators on native wildlife. Additionally, the trial use of 
predator-proof fencing will be initiated on selected coastal dunes and/
or wetland sites to protect nesting seabirds and waterbirds. Abandoned 
aquaculture facilities will be cleaned up. As necessary, we will work 
with the State to protect wildlife and standardize public use 
regulations on the shoreline adjacent to the refuge coastline.

    Dated: November 16, 2011.
Michael Carrier,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Region, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2011-32390 Filed 12-16-11; 8:45 am]