[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 33 (Friday, February 17, 2012)]
[Pages 9692-9693]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3648]



Fish and Wildlife Service


Ke[amacr]lia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and Kakahai`a National 
Wildlife Refuge, Maui County, HI; Final Comprehensive Conservation 
Plans and Findings of No Significant Impact for the Environmental 

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 plans (CCPs) and 
findings of no significant impacts for the environmental assessments 
for the Ke[amacr]lia Pond National Wildlife Refuge (refuge or NWR) and 
Kakahai`a National Wildlife Refuge. In the final CCPs, we describe how 
we plan to manage these refuges for the next 15 years.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCPs and findings 
of no significant impacts (FONSIs) and environmental assessments (EAs) 
by any of the following methods. You may request a hard copy or CD-ROM.
    Agency Web Site: Download the documents at www.fws.gov/pacific/planning.
    Email: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov. Include ``Ke[amacr]lia Pond NWR 
final CCP'' or ``Kakahai`a NWR final CCP'' in the subject line of the 
    Mail: Glynnis Nakai, Project Leader, Maui National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex, P.O. Box 1042, K[imacr]hei, Hawai`i 96753.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Call (808) 875-1582 to make an 
appointment during regular business hours at Maui NWR Complex, Milepost 
6, Mokulele Highway (Hwy. 311), K[imacr]hei, Hawai`i 96753.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Glynnis Nakai, Project Leader, Maui 
NWR Complex, phone number (808) 875-1582.



    With this notice, we announce the completion of the CCP processes 
for Ke[amacr]lia Pond NWR and Kakahai`a NWR. The Service started this 
process through a notice of intent in the Federal Register on October 
20, 2009 (74 FR 53755). We released the draft CCPs/EAs to the public, 
announcing and requesting comments in a notice of availability in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 52008; August 19, 2011).
    We announce our CCP decisions and the availability of the FONSIs 
for the EAs in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Refuge 
Administration Act) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 
CFR 1506.6(b)) requirements. We prepared a thorough analysis of 
impacts, which we included in the EAs that accompanied the draft CCPs.
    The CCPs will guide us in managing and administering the refuges 
for the next 15 years. Alternative C, as described in the draft CCPs 
for each refuge, is the basis for the CCPs.


    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 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.
    The Ke[amacr]lia Pond and Kakahai`a NWRs are part of the Maui NWR 
Complex. Ke[amacr]lia Pond Refuge, located along the southern shore of 
the island of Maui, was established in 1992 for the purpose of 
providing habitat for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds, specifically the 
endangered Hawaiian stilt (ae`o) and endangered Hawaiian coot (`alae 
ke`oke`o). The refuge is administered under a perpetual conservation 
easement provided by Alexander and Baldwin, Inc., and encompasses open 
water, marsh, mudflat, upland shrub, and coastal beach strand habitats. 
The refuge has one of the largest concentrations of wetland birds in 
Hawai`i, and is an important breeding, foraging, and resting area for 
the ae`o and `alae ke`oke`o. In addition, Ke[amacr]lia Pond NWR 
provides a strategic landfall for migratory birds coming from Alaska, 
Siberia, and Asia, including Northern

[[Page 9693]]

pintail (koloa m[amacr]pu), Northern shoveler (koloa moh[amacr]), 
lesser scaup, Pacific golden-plover (k[omacr]lea) and ruddy turnstone 
(`akekeke). A majority of the refuge is closed to general public 
access; however, trails, overlooks, and educational programs provide 
the public with opportunities to view some of Hawai`i's endangered and 
migratory wildlife.
    Kakahai`a NWR, located on the southeastern coast of the island of 
Moloka`i, was established in 1976 to protect and provide habitat for 
endangered species. Habitats found on this refuge include freshwater 
marsh, grassland, dry forest, and coastal strand. The refuge has the 
potential to provide breeding, foraging, and resting areas for 
endangered waterbirds, a variety of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, 
and other wetland birds. Some of the more common migrants are koloa 
m[amacr]pu and k[omacr]lea. Kakahai`a NWR is closed to the general 
public; however, nongovernmental organizations occasionally conduct 
wetland education programs.
    During the CCP planning process, many elements were considered, 
including wildlife management and habitat protection, compatible 
wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities, on- and off-site 
environmental educational opportunities, and coordination with State 
and Federal agencies and other interested groups.
    The draft CCPs and EAs identified and evaluated three alternatives 
for managing each refuge. These were available for a 30-day public 
review and comment period, which included two open house public 
meetings. The Service incorporated or responded to the comments on the 
Ke[amacr]lia Pond NWR draft CCP and Kakahai`a NWR draft CCP in the 
final CCPs.

Selected Alternative for Each Refuge

    All actions in the selected alternative for each refuge are subject 
to funding and any other compliance requirements. After considering the 
comments we received, we have selected each refuge's Alternative C for 
implementation. Implementing Alternative C for the CCPs will encompass 
the following key actions:

Ke[amacr]lia Pond NWR

    The Service will remove the most aggressive invasive plants and 
control pickleweed on the flats. Planned projects include constructing 
a water control structure, developing new wells to deliver water to 
target areas, and recontouring topography to maintain water on the 
flats. We expect an increased capability to dewater and flood the Main 
Pond will enhance our dust, midge, and tilapia control efforts. New 
vegetated blinds will provide better wildlife viewing opportunities, 
and public interpretation and environmental education programs will be 
expanded. Internships will be provided for up to five students. 
Wildlife monitoring on the proposed Molokini Unit will include up to 
six visits during the period running March through November, and we 
will initiate a native plant restoration plan.

Kakahai`a NWR

    If funded, we will restore the 15-acre Old Pond and 5.5 acres of 
New Pond by removing California bulrush and other aggressive nonnative 
species, dredging accumulated sediment, recontouring topography, 
removing radial levees, reconstructing perimeter levees, replacing the 
water control structure, and replacing the pump between the two ponds. 
A well, pump, water distribution line, and control outlet for New Pond 
will be constructed, and levees will be rebuilt. All monitoring 
activities will resume as part of the wetland restoration. A predator-
proof fence will be installed to protect wetland habitat and species. 
The coastal strand will be restored and protected from further erosion 
to provide a protective barrier to the refuge wetlands and highway. A 
cultural resources survey will be completed for the entire refuge. 
Opportunities for visitors to engage in compatible wildlife-dependent 
recreation may expand with new staffing. At a minimum, a kiosk will be 
constructed along the refuge entrance road and volunteer groups will be 
developed to assist refuge staff with restoration and maintenance 

    Dated: November 9, 2011.
Robyn Thorson,
Regional Director, Pacific Region, Portland, Oregon.
[FR Doc. 2012-3648 Filed 2-16-12; 8:45 am]