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E-M:/ FWS Comprehensive Conservation Plans



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Heads up, Jackson, Alpena and Vanburen Counties,  Detroit
River-Wyandotte, Beaver Island areas......


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[Federal Register: December 24, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 247)]
[Notices]               
[Page 71298-71299]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr24de98-88]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish And Wildlife Service

 
Comprehensive Conservation Plans; Michigan and Minnesota

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare Comprehensive Conservation Plans 
and Associated Environmental Documents.

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SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service

[[Page 71299]]

(Service) intends to gather information necessary to prepare 
Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCPs) and environmental assessments 
for units within Michigan and Minnesota. The CCPs will be prepared for 
the Wyandotte and Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) and 
the East Lansing Wetland Management District as part of the planning 
process for Shiawassee NWR. The CCP will be prepared for the Minnesota 
Valley Wetland Management District as part of the planning process for 
Minnesota Valley NWR. The Service is furnishing this notice in 
compliance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 
1997 and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and implementing 
regulations:
    (1) to advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and
    (2) to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to 
include in the environmental document.

DATES: Inquire at the address below for due dates for comments 
regarding specific projects.

ADDRESSES: Address comments and requests for more information or to be 
put on a mailing list to: Chief, Branch of Ascertainment and Planning, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, 
1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, Minnesota 55111, 612-713-5429, E-mail: 
R3PLANNING@mail.fws.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Service will solicit information from 
the public via open houses and written comments. Special mailings, 
newspaper articles, and radio announcements in the areas near each unit 
will inform people of the time and place of open houses to be held in 
1999 related to the CCP and NEPA documentation.
    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
requires that all lands within the National Wildlife Refuge System be 
managed in accordance with an approved CCP. The CCP guides management 
decisions and identifies goals, objectives, and strategies for 
achieving unit purposes. Public input into this planning process is 
encouraged. The CCPs will provide other agencies and the public with a 
clear understanding of the desired conditions for each of its units and 
how the Service will implement management strategies.
    Shiawassee NWR administers the Wyandotte and Michigan Islands NWRs. 
Minnesota Valley NWR administers the Minnesota Valley Wetland 
Management District. The intent to prepare a CCP for the Shiawassee and 
Minnesota Valley NWRs was published October 1, 1997 (62 FR 51482).
    Wyandotte NWR consists of two islands and adjacent shallow waters 
in the Detroit River offshore from Wyandotte, Michigan. The refuge is 
situated in what was once one of the most significant migratory staging 
areas for diving ducks in the United States. Extensive beds of aquatic 
vegetation have disappeared and only a remnant of the once vast rafts 
of migratory waterfowl are now seen in Wyandotte. Public access is not 
permitted on either island.
    Michigan Islands NWR consists of five islands. Thunder Bay and 
Scarecrow Islands are located in Lake Huron near Alpena, Michigan. The 
islands total 128 acres and are home to the Federally-threatened Dwarf 
lake iris (Iris lacustris). American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla) 
and American black ducks (Anas rubripes) nest on the islands. Gull, 
Pismire, and Shoe Islands are part of the Beaver Island Group in 
northern Lake Michigan. The three islands total 235 acres. Pismire and 
Shoe Islands are officially designated as the Michigan Islands 
Wilderness Area. Herring (Larus argentatus) and ring bill gulls (L. 
Delawarensis), double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), great 
blue herons (Ardea herodias), and Caspian terns (Sterna caspia) nest on 
the islands.
    The East Lansing Wetland Management District consists of two 
Waterfowl Production Areas, a 160 acre area in Jackson County and a 77 
acre area in VanBuren County. The areas are managed primarily to 
maintain wetland and upland habitat for migrating and nesting 
waterfowl, migratory birds, and resident game species.
    Minnesota Valley Wetland Management District is a 13 county 
district located in east central Minnesota. The district includes 
portions of the Minnesota, Cannon, and Mississippi River watersheds. 
Pre-settlement habitat included prairie pothole, native prairie, oak 
savannah, and big woods habitats. Prevalent land use in the district is 
agriculture and urban development around the Twin Cities metropolitan 
area. The major breeding species of waterfowl in the district are 
mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), blue-winged teal (A. discors), and wood 
ducks (Aix sponsa). The district consists of 2,248 acres of waterfowl 
production areas and approximately 700 easement acres.
    The Service units need CCPs because no formal, up-to-date, long-
term management direction exists. Until the CCPs are completed, 
management will be guided by official unit purposes; the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997; other Federal 
legislation regarding management of national wildlife refuges and 
wilderness; and other legal, regulatory and policy guidance.
    Upon implementation, the CCPs will apply to Federal lands, 
easements, and lands leased by the Service within the boundaries of the 
units. The plans will be consistent with the Service's Ecosystem 
Approach to Fish and Wildlife Conservation and include approaches to 
habitat management, wildlife population management, public use 
management, cultural resource identification and protection, and 
management of any special uses. The compatibility of uses will be 
determined as part of the CCP process.
    The environmental review of these projects will be conducted in 
accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), NEPA Regulations (40 
CFR parts 1500-1508), the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement 
Act of 1997, other appropriate Federal laws and regulations, Executive 
Order 12996, and Service policies and procedures for compliance with 
those regulations.
    We estimate that the first draft CCPs and associated environmental 
documents will be available by August 1999.

    Dated: December 8, 1998.
Marvin E. Moriarty,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 98-34178 Filed 12-23-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-M




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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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