[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 195 (Tuesday, October 9, 2012)]
[Pages 61426-61427]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-24597]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-R-2012-N171; 1265-0000-10137-S3]

Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, American Samoa; Draft 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; announcement of meetings; request for 


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and 
Environmental Assessment (Draft CCP/EA) for the Rose Atoll National 
Wildlife Refuge (NWR/refuge) for public review and comment. In the 
Draft CCP/EA, we present two alternatives for managing this refuge for 
the next 15 years, as well as related compatibility determinations for 
the preferred alternative.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
November 9, 2012. We will hold public meetings; see Public Meetings 
under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for dates, times, and locations.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments or view or obtain copies of the 
Draft CCP/EA by any of the following methods. You may request a hard 
copy or CD-ROM.
    Agency Web site: www.fws.gov/pacific/planning or http://www.fws.gov/roseatoll/planning.html.
    Email: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include ``Rose Atoll National 
Wildlife Refuge Draft CCP/EA'' in the subject line of the message.
    Mail: Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/Marine National Monument, 
c/o National Park Service, Pago Pago, AS 96799.
    Fax: Attn: Refuge/Monument Manager, 684-699-3986.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/
Marine National Monument, c/o National Park Service, Pago Pago, AS 
    For more information on locations for viewing or obtaining 
documents, see Public Availability of Documents under SUPPLEMENTARY 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Pendleton, Refuge/Monument 
Manager, (684) 633-7082, ext. 15.



    With this notice, we announce the availability of our Draft CCP/EA 
for Rose Atoll NWR. We started this process through a notice of intent 
(NOI) in the Federal Register (74 FR 57701; November 9, 2009).
    Rose Atoll NWR is located in American Samoa and was established in 
1973 to conserve and protect fish and wildlife resources.


The CCP Process

    The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as 
amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(together referred to as the Refuge Administration Act), 16 U.S.C. 
668dd-668ee, 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 National Wildlife Refuge System mission, consistent with 
sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal 
mandates, and our policies. We will review and update the CCP at least 
every 15 years in accordance with the Administration Act.

Public Outreach

    We began the public scoping phase of the CCP planning process by 
publishing the NOI, which was followed by a series of public open 
houses in November 2009. Simultaneously, we released Planning Update 1, 
which identified initial issues for scoping. Planning Update 2 was 
released in May 2011 and identified the issues raised during public 
scoping that would be considered in the CCP process. We also met 
individually with partner agencies, elected officials, and others in 
the community. We considered all of the public comments received to 
date during development of the Draft CCP/EA.

Draft CCP Alternatives We Are Considering

    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, existing refuge management activities would 
continue, including protection, maintenance, and restoration of 
habitats that support priority species, such as seabirds, shorebirds, 
turtles, native plants, reef fish, invertebrates, and coralline algae. 
Management activities include monitoring, pest species management, and 
restoration projects, such as the removal of debris from a 1993 
shipwreck. The refuge is closed to the general public, and entry is 
limited to those who have been issued a special use permit (SUP).

Alternative B (Preferred Alternative)

    Under Alternative B, enhanced habitat restoration, monitoring, and 
outreach are proposed. Increasing the frequency of management trips to 
the refuge and fortifying close partnerships with the American Samoa 
Government, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National 
Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and other partners are key to 
this alternative. A remote sensing system would be set up to monitor 
nesting seabirds, turtles, and other wildlife. Restoration of the 
littoral forest on Rose Island by extirpating introduced ants and the 
scale insect (Pulvenaria urbicola), and propagating native forest trees 
would be explored. More frequent visits would allow for improved law 
enforcement oversight and compliance, and remote sensing would also 
provide better management and documentation of any unauthorized entry 
into the refuge. The refuge would remain closed to the general public, 
with entry only allowed via SUP.
    Refuge staff would provide outreach and interpretation 
opportunities and develop an environmental education program focusing 
on ``bringing the refuge to the people.'' Appropriate cultural 
practices would also be facilitated through expanding refuge management 
activities related to cultural resources (e.g., working with the 
American Samoa Historical Preservation Office and other partners to 
conduct archaeological surveys at Rose Atoll NWR, integrating cultural 
resources into interpretation, and increasing dialogue with the Office 
of Samoan Affairs and local villagers).

Public Availability of Documents

    In addition to any methods in ADDRESSES, you can view or obtain 
documents at the Feleti Barstow Public Library, Ofu Community Center, 
and other places of public access (e.g., stores on Ta'[umacr]) in 
American Samoa.

[[Page 61427]]

Public Meetings

    We will hold the following public meetings: October 16, 2012, at 
Sadie's by the Sea at 2 p.m.; October 23, 2012, at the Ofu Community 
Center at 9 a.m.; October 23, 2012, at the Ta'[umacr] High School gym 
at 2 p.m. For more information on the meeting(s), contact the person 

Next Steps

    After this comment period ends, the planning team will evaluate 
your comments and consider their incorporation into the final CCP.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information (PII) in your comment, you 
should be aware that your entire comment--including your PII--may be 
made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your 
comment to withhold your PII from public review, we cannot guarantee 
that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: August 9, 2012.
Richard Hannan,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Region, Portland, Oregon, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-24597 Filed 10-5-12; 8:45 am]