[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 12 (Thursday, January 17, 2013)]
[Pages 3909-3910]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00899]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R3-R-2012-N283; FXRS1265030000-134-FF03R06000]

Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, IN; Glacial Ridge National 
Wildlife Refuge, MN; Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife 
Refuge, MN; Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge, WI

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce our 
intent to prepare comprehensive conservation plans (CCP) and associated 
environmental documents for the Big Oaks, Glacial Ridge, Northern 
Tallgrass Prairie, and Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuges 
(Refuge, NWR). In these CCPs we will describe how we propose to manage 
the refuges for the next 15 years. We also invite public comment on the 
scope of issues that should be considered during the planning process.
    We will hold open house-style meetings to receive comments and 
provide information on the planning process. In addition, we will use 
special mailings, newspaper articles, Internet postings, and other 
media announcements to inform people of opportunities for input.

ADDRESSES: Comments or requests for more information can be sent to the 
appropriate refuge at the following addresses:
     Attention: Refuge Manager, Big Oaks NWR, 1661 West JPG 
Niblo Road, Madison, IN 47250.
     Attention: Refuge Manager, Glacial Ridge NWR, 17788 349th 
St. SE., Erskine, MN 56535.
     Attention: Refuge Manager, Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, 
44843 687th Avenue, Odessa, MN 56276.
     Refuge Manager, Whittlesey Creek NWR, Northern Great Lakes 
Visitor Center, 29270 County Highway G, Ashland, WI 54806.
    You may also submit comments electronically and find information 
about the CCP planning process on the planning Web site, at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/planning, or you may email comments to 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Robb, Big Oaks NWR, 812-273-0783; 
David Bennett, Glacial Ridge NWR, 218-687-2229; Alice Hanley, Northern 
Tallgrass Prairie NWR, 320-273-2191;

[[Page 3910]]

or Tom Kerr, Whittlesey Creek NWR, 715-246-7784.



    With this notice, we initiate the CCP process for Big Oaks NWR, 
with headquarters in Madison, IN; Glacial Ridge NWR, with headquarters 
in Erskine, MN; Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, with headquarters in 
Odessa, MN; and Whittlesey Creek NWR, with headquarters in Ashland, WI.


    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

    We will conduct a comprehensive conservation planning process that 
provides opportunity for Tribal, State, and local governments; 
agencies; organizations; and the public to participate in issues 
scoping and public comment on the future management of Big Oaks NWR, 
Glacial Ridge NWR, Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, and Whittlesey Creek 
    The environmental review of these projects will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) (43 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), other appropriate laws and 
regulations, and our policies and procedures for compliance with those 

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.

Charles M. Wooley,
Acting Regional Director, Midwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2013-00899 Filed 1-16-13; 8:45 am]