[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 164 (Thursday, August 23, 2012)]
[Pages 51044-51045]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20724]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-R-2011-N171; 40136-1265-0000-S3]

Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, PR; 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 Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the

[[Page 51045]]

availability of our final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the environmental 
assessment for Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in 
Boquer[oacute]n, Puerto Rico. In the final CCP, we describe how we will 
manage this refuge for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the CCP by writing to: Mr. Oscar 
D[iacute]az, P.O. Box 510, Boquer[oacute]n, PR 00622. Alternatively, 
you may download the document from our Internet Site: http://southeast.fws.gov/planning/ under ``Final Documents.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Oscar D[iacute]az, at 787/851-7258 



    With this notice, we finalize the CCP process for the refuge. We 
started this process through a Federal Register notice on March 12, 
2007 (72 FR 11047).
    We announce our decision and the availability of the final CCP and 
FONSI for Cabo Rojo NWR in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We completed a 
thorough analysis of impacts on the human environment, which we 
included in the draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental 
assessment (Draft CCP/EA).
    Compatibility determinations for access to sea fishing and 
fishermen facility; research, investigations, surveys, and monitoring; 
camping (associated with environmental education and interpretation, 
and conservation projects); commercial harvesting of sea salt; wildlife 
observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, and 
interpretation; bicycling, hiking, walking, and jogging; and haying are 
available in 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, wildlife photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation. We will review and update 
the CCP at least every 15 years in accordance with the Administration 


    We made copies of the Draft CCP/EA available for a 30-day public 
review and comment period via a Federal Register notice on May 2, 2011 
(76 FR 24511). Several comments were received.

Selected Alternative

    We developed three alternatives for managing the refuge. After 
considering the comments we received and based on the professional 
judgment of the planning team, we selected Alternative C for 
implementation. We will place emphasis on improving habitat for 
wildlife. We will actively manage endangered plant populations, 
including Aristida chaseae. Activities to be expanded or introduced 
under this alternative will include: (1) Managing endangered plant 
populations and reducing the occurrence of exotic species; (2) 
exploring opportunities to control and manage water levels in the 
saltwater lagoons; (3) establishing and managing a new and larger 
nursery to increase reforestation of native tree species in upland 
areas; (4) restoring additional freshwater and saltwater ponds to 
increase avian habitat; (5) expanding the use of volunteers to increase 
habitat restoration activity; and (6) proactively expanding research 
collaboration with universities.
    We will also provide greater support to our visitor services 
program, with emphasis on the following: (1) Developing a curriculum-
based environmental education program; (2) expanding the role of our 
friends group, to include staff and interpretation services at the new 
visitor services center; (3) opening the new headquarters building in 
2012; (4) reviewing and updating our brochures and Web site, including 
offering a Spanish version of the Web site; (5) updating our current 
kiosks and building new kiosks along the trail system; (6) expanding 
the volunteer program to also provide assistance with public use 
activities; (7) seeking and developing new partnerships, particularly 
with regard to trail maintenance; and (8) adding additional signage to 
clarify refuge uses.
    Additional staff will be required to implement this alternative, 
including: biologist, biological technician, two engineering equipment 
operators, park ranger (environmental education), volunteer 
coordinator, GIS specialist, forestry technician, and law enforcement 
officer (to be shared with Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge).


    This notice is published under the authority of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 105-57.

    Dated: August 23, 2011.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director.

    Editorial Note: This document was received at the Office of the 
Federal Register on August 20, 2012.

[FR Doc. 2012-20724 Filed 8-22-12; 8:45 am]