[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 94 (Thursday, May 15, 2014)]
[Pages 27906-27907]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10799]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2013-N267; BAC-4311-K9-S3]

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Wallops Island National 
Wildlife Refuge, Accomack County, Virginia; Draft Comprehensive 
Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement

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 impact statement (EIS) for Chincoteague National Wildlife 
Refuge (NWR) and Wallops Island NWR for public review and comment. In 
this single draft CCP/EIS, we describe how we propose to manage both 
the staffed 14,032-acre Chincoteague NWR and the unstaffed 373-acre 
Wallops Island NWR over the next 15 years.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive your written comments 
by July 14, 2014. We will hold a public meeting and an open house-style 
meeting 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: northeastplanning@fws.gov. Include ``Chincoteague 
Draft CCP/EIS'' in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: Attention: Thomas Bonetti, Refuge Planner, 413-253-
     U.S. Mail: Attention: Thomas Bonetti, Refuge Planner, 
USFWS, Northeast Regional Office, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 
     In-Person Drop Off: You may drop off comments during 
regular business hours at the refuge headquarters, 8231 Beach Road, 
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336.
    You will find the draft CCP/EIS, as well as information about the 
planning process and a summary of the CCP, on the planning Web site: 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Bonetti, Planning Team Leader, 



    With this notice, we continue the CCP process for Chincoteague NWR 
and Wallops Island NWR, which we began by publishing a notice of intent 
in the Federal Register (75 FR 57056) on September 17, 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/EIS, which includes detailed information about the 
planning process, refuge, issues, and management alternatives 
considered and proposed, may be found at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/planning/Chincoteague/ccphome.html. There are three alternative refuge 
management options considered in the EIS. The Service's preferred 
alternative is reflected in the draft CCP/EIS.
    The alternatives analyzed in detail include:
     Alternative A: Current Management (No Action): Alternative 
A is the status quo and current management alternative as required by 
the National Environmental Policy Act. This alternative, referred to as 
our ``No Action'' alternative, continues current management strategies 
as established by the Chincoteague NWR Master Plan approved in 1992, 
and serves as a baseline for comparing alternatives B and C.
     Alternative B would continue established habitat and 
wildlife management strategies but focus them in light of the new goals 
and vision established by the CCP. This alternative balances habitat 
management, public use and access, and administration of the refuge. 
Alternative B is our preferred alternative.
     Alternative C would direct staffing and funding towards 
maximizing habitat and wildlife management strategies. As a result of 
prioritizing habitat and wildlife management, public use activities and 
access may be reduced.

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.

[[Page 27907]]

    Dated: April 4, 2014.
Deborah Rocque,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2014-10799 Filed 5-14-14; 8:45 am]