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E-M:/ South Fox Island Land Exchange

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

[Federal Register: September 22, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 185)]
[Page 57367-57368]
 >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the
Proposed Exchange of Lands With Federal Interest on South Fox Island,
Leelanau County, Michigan, Between the State of Michigan and a Private

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior, lead; National Park
Service, Interior, cooperating.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment for the
proposed exchange of lands with Federal interest on South Fox Island,
Leelanau County, Michigan.

SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS) intends to gather the information necessary for the
preparation of an EA. The actions to be evaluated by this EA are: (1)

The approval by FWS of the exchange of 325.8 acres, acquired by the
State with Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration assistance, for lands
with equal monetary and wildlife restoration values; (2) the approval
by the National Park Service (NPS) for the State to exchange 115.1
acres with NPS interest for private lands with equal or better public
value; and (3) the related exchange of 212.4 acres of unencumbered
State-owned land for fee title and easements for private lands of equal
value. All acreage is approximate. This will consolidate and confine
State ownership to approximately the northern one-third of South Fox
Island, Leelanau County, Michigan, about 30 miles WNW of Charlevoix, in
Lake Michigan.

The Service Regional Director is considering, under the authority
of 50 CFR 80.14 and 43 CFR 12.71, exchange of lands acquired with
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration funds. The NPS and General
Service's Administration are considering the removal of a title
reversion clause to allow the disposal of certain lands on South Fox
Island and for the placement of a title reversion clause on replacement
lands of equal public value. Alternatives could include approval,
disapproval, or modification of the State's current proposal of the
land exchange. Modifications could include, but are not limited to:

[[Page 57368]]
in the boundaries and acreage of tracts to be exchanged; elimination of
the NPS tract from the exchange; and deed restrictions on private lands
to protect wildlife and historic resources.

This notice is being furnished as required by the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations (40 CFR1501.7 and 1508.22).
The intent of the notice is to obtain suggestions and additional
information from other agencies and the public on the scope of issues
to be addressed in the EA. Comments and participation in this scoping
process are solicited.

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before October 23,
2000. A scoping meeting is scheduled for October 12, 2000 at Charlevoix
City Hall, 215 State Street, Charlevoix, Michigan, with duplicate
sessions from 2 to 5 pm and from 7 to 10 pm. This meeting will also be
announced in the local news media.

Public Involvement: The public will be invited to participate in
the scoping process, a public meeting, and review of the draft EA when
it is produced. One scoping meeting is scheduled on October 12, 2000,
at the Charlevoix, Michigan City Hall and will be announced in the
local news media. Release of the draft EA for public comment will also
be announced in the local news media, as these dates are established.

Written scoping comments should be received within 30 days from the
date of publication of this Notice of Intent.

All comments received from individuals become part of the official
public record. Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act and the Council on Environmental
Quality's NEPA regulations [40 CFR 1506.6(f)]. Our practice is to make
comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available
for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents
may request that we withhold their home address from the record, which
we will honor to the extent allowable by law. If a respondent wishes us
to withhold his/her name and/or address, this must be stated
prominently at the beginning of the comment.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to: Regional Director, Region
3, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling,
Minnesota 55111. Electronic mail comments may also be submitted within
the comment period to: fw3foxisland@fws.gov.

Wildlife Service, East Lansing Field Office, 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite
101, East Lansing, MI 48823, telephone: (517) 351-8470, facsimile:
(517) 351-1443; Mr. Jon Parker, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Division of Federal Aid, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, 1
Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, MN 55111; telephone: 612-713-5142,
facsimile: (612) 713-5290; or Mr. John Kelly, National Park Service, 15
State Street, Boston, MA 02109, telephone (617) 223-5190.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 115.1--acre State owned tract with NPS
and GSA interest contains the South Fox Island Lighthouse facilities
that are either listed or are likely eligible to be listed on the
National Register of Historic Places; other historical or archeological
resources may be present. The National Historic Preservation Act and
other laws require these properties and resources be identified and
considered in project planning. The public is requested to inform the
FWS of concerns about archeological sites, buildings and structures,
historic events, sacred and traditional areas, and other historic
preservation concerns.

The NPS tract also includes proposed Critical Habitat for the
Federally Endangered Piping plover. The tract also contains Federally
Threatened Pitcher's thistle, which is also present at other locations
on the island.

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians has
unresolved claims to title and other property rights on the island.
There is an Indian cemetery on the private lands.

There have been ongoing conflicts over trespass on both public and
private land parcels on the island. Public access is an ongoing issue.
The Service estimates that the draft EA will be made available to
the public by early November, 2000.

Barbara Milne,
Acting Regional Director, Region 3, Fort Snelling, MN.
[FR Doc. 00-24249 Filed 9-21-00; 8:45 am]

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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