[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 69 (Wednesday, April 10, 2013)]
[Pages 21397-21398]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08338]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-R-2012-N251; FXRS12650800000-112-FF08R0000]

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Alameda, 
Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties, CA

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 Plan (CCP) and 
finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the Don Edwards San 
Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). In the CCP, we 
describe how we will manage the Refuge for the next 15 years.

DATES: The CCP and FONSI are available now. The FONSI was signed on 
October 10, 2012. Implementation of the CCP may begin immediately.

ADDRESSES: You may view or obtain copies of the final CCP and FONSI by 
any of the following methods. You may request a hard copy or CD-ROM.
    Agency Web site: Download a copy of the document(s) at http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/DonEdwards/DonEdwards.cfm.
    Email: sfbaynwrc@fws.gov. Include ``DESFB CCP'' in the subject line 
of the message.
    Fax: Attn: Winnie Chan, (510) 792-5828.
    Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Francisco Bay NWR 
Complex, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94555.
    In-Person Viewing or Pickup: Copies of the Final CCP and FONSI may 
also be viewed at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge 
Complex, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94555 (510) 792-0222.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Winnie Chan, Planning Team Leader, at 
(510) 792-0222 (See ADDRESSES), or Eric Mruz, Refuge Manager, at (510) 



    Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge was 
established in 1972 pursuant to the Act Authorizing the Transfer of 
Certain Real Property for Wildlife, or other purposes (16 U.S.C. 667b), 
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the Fish 
and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742f(b)(1)). The roughly 30,000-
acre Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located in 
the Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties of California, 
consists of several noncontiguous parcels divided into four management 
units that surround the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay. The 
Refuge was established to preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, 
protect migratory birds, and protect threatened and endangered species. 
The Refuge also provides opportunities for wildlife-dependent 
recreation and environmental education.
    We announce our decision and the availability of the FONSI for the 
final CCP for Don Edwards San Francisco Bay in accordance with 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 environmental assessment (EA) that accompanied 
the draft CCP.
    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 and photography, and 
environmental education and

[[Page 21398]]

interpretation. We intend to review and update the CCP at least every 
15 years in accordance with the Administration Act.
    Our Draft CCP and EA were available for a 45-day public review and 
comment period, which we announced via several methods, including press 
releases, updates to constituents, and a Federal Register notice (77 FR 
28895, May 16, 2012). The Draft CCP/EA identified and evaluated three 
alternatives for managing the Refuge for the next 15 years.
    Under Alternative A (no action alternative), the current management 
actions, including habitat management, wildlife management, wildlife-
oriented recreation opportunities, and environmental education, would 
be continued. Current staffing and funding would remain the same. 
Existing restoration and management plans (e.g., Bair Island 
Restoration and Management Plan and South Bay Salt Pond Restoration 
Project) would continue to be implemented. We would also actively work 
with partners and willing sellers to acquire the remaining lands within 
the approved acquisition boundary.
    Alternative B (preferred alternative) includes those actions in 
Alternative A. In addition, we would moderately expand biological, 
habitat management, visitor service, and environmental education 
activities. Refuge staff would expand the volunteer program to recruit 
new volunteers and provide additional learning opportunities to 
existing volunteers. Additional staff and funding would be needed to 
implement this alternative.
    Under Alternative C, in addition to tasks included in Alternative A 
and B, we would increase the frequency of baseline monitoring, 
investigate reintroduction of listed species (e.g., the salt marsh 
harvest mouse and the California clapper rail), survey for listed plant 
species, and encourage additional research to benefit listed species. 
Additional staff and funding would be needed to implement this 
    We received eighteen letters on the Draft CCP and EA during the 
review and comment period. Comments focused upon the meaning of an 
``approved acquisition boundary'' and the scope of our authority within 
the approved boundary, applicability of state health and safety codes 
in relation to mosquito management on the Refuge, and wildlife-public 
use conflicts. We incorporated comments we received into the CCP when 
appropriate, and we responded to the comments in an appendix to the 
CCP. In the FONSI, we selected Alternative B for implementation. The 
FONSI documents our decision and is based on the information and 
analysis contained in the EA.
    Under the selected alternative, the Service will expand both 
natural resource management and visitor services opportunities on the 
Refuge. Additional biological activities would include baseline surveys 
on native flora and fauna, as well as a revised predator management 
program to include avian predators. Habitat would be improved along the 
marsh-upland ecotone to benefit tidal marsh species as well as for the 
western snowy plover and California least tern. Other habitat 
management activities would include development of a comprehensive weed 
management plan, addressing climate change impacts on Refuge resources, 
and efforts to acquire additional lands to meet Refuge purposes. A 
mosquito management plan would be implemented to improve coordination 
with local mosquito abatement districts to manage the threat of 
mosquito-borne disease on the Refuge. The mosquito management plan 
would be developed in accordance with Service policies.
    Visitor services will be expanded considerably through 
interpretation and environmental education opportunities. A wildlife 
photography permit system would be implemented to expand additional 
wildlife photography opportunities. Dog walking would be limited 
primarily to upland trails in order to further protect tidal marsh 
areas. A new LEED-certified visitor center complex would be constructed 
and additional interpretation activities would be provided. The 
environmental education program would be updated and expanded in 
several ways, such as through a LEED-certified remodel of the 
Environmental Education Center, Spanish translation of materials and 
curriculum, and adding programs at different sites. The volunteer 
program would be expanded through improving training for volunteers and 
developing permanent stewardship projects.
    The selected alternative best meets the Refuges' purposes, vision, 
and goals; contributes to the Refuge System mission; addresses the 
significant issues and relevant mandates; and is consistent with 
principles of sound fish and wildlife management. Based on the 
associated environmental assessment, this alternative is not expected 
to result in significant environmental impacts and therefore does not 
require an environmental impact statement.

Paul B. McKim,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, 
[FR Doc. 2013-08338 Filed 4-9-13; 8:45 am]