[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 29, 2012)]
[Pages 52346-52347]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21301]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-R-2012-N121; FXRS1265030000S3-123-FF03R06000]

Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Becker County, MN

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and 
environmental assessment (EA) for the Hamden Slough National Wildlife 
Refuge (Refuge, NWR) for public review and comment. In this draft CCP/
EA we describe how we propose to manage the refuge for the next 15 

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by September 28, 2012. We will hold open house-style meetings during 
the comment period to receive comments and provide information on the 
draft plan. In addition, we will use special mailings, newspaper 
articles, Internet postings, and other media announcements to inform 
people of opportunities for input.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for more information by any 
one of the following methods:
     Email: r3planning@fws.gov. Include ``Hamden Slough Draft 
CCP/EA'' in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: Attention: Refuge Manager, Hamden Slough NWR, 218-
     U.S. Mail: Attention: Ryan Frohling, Refuge Manager, 
Hamden Slough NWR (managed by Detroit Lakes Wetland Management 
District), 26624 N. Tower Road, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.
     In-Person Drop Off: You may drop off comments during 
regular business hours at the above addresses.
    You will find the draft CCP/EA, as well as information about the 
planning process and a summary of the CCP, on the planning Web site: 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Frohling, 218-847-4431.



    With this notice, we continue the CCP process for Hamden Slough 
National Wildlife Refuge, which we began by publishing a notice of 
intent in the Federal Register (75 FR 7289) on February 18, 2010. For 
more about the initial process and the history of this refuge, see that 


    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act), requires us to develop a 
CCP for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a CCP 
is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving 
refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), consistent with sound principles of fish 
and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service 
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.
    Each unit of the NWRS 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 NWRS 
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 NWRS.

Additional Information

    The draft CCP/EA may be found at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/hamdenslough/index.html. That document incorporates an EA, 
prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) (43 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The draft CCP/EA includes detailed 
information about the planning process, refuge, issues, and management 
alternatives considered and proposed. The EA includes discussions of 
three alternative refuge management options. The Service's preferred 
alternative is reflected in the draft CCP.
    The alternatives analyzed in detail include:
     Alternative A: Current Management (No Action)--This 
alternative reflects the current management direction of Hamden Slough 
NWR. It provides the baseline against which to compare other 
alternatives. For NEPA purposes, this is referred to as the ``No 
Action'' alternative.
     Alternative B: Wetland Focus--This alternative would focus 
on increasing the quantity and quality of habitat for waterfowl. 
Acquisition and full restoration of Pierce Lake would be emphasized 
over the next 15 years. The hydrologic regime would better emulate 
natural seasonal and long-term variability. More diverse, sustainable 
vegetation patterns would be restored on Refuge wetlands.
     Alternative C: Wetland and Prairie Focus (Preferred 
Alternative)--This alternative would focus on increasing the quantity 
and quality of habitat for wetland and grassland birds. Acquisition and 
full restoration of

[[Page 52347]]

Pierce Lake would be emphasized over the next 15 years. The hydrologic 
regime would better emulate natural seasonal and long-term variability. 
More diverse, sustainable vegetation patterns would be restored on 
Refuge wetlands and prairies. A detailed description of objectives and 
actions included in this preferred alternative is found in chapter 4 of 
the Draft CCP.

Public Involvement

    We will give the public an opportunity to provide input at a public 
meeting. You can obtain the schedule from the address or Web site 
listed in this notice (see ADDRESSES). You may also submit comments 
anytime during the comment period.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email 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.

Chris Jensen,
Assistant Regional Director, Midwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2012-21301 Filed 8-28-12; 8:45 am]