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Notice

Notice of Intent To Prepare a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for Santee National Wildlife Refuge in Clarendon County, South Carolina

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of intent.

SUMMARY:

The Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region, intends to gather information necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and its implementing regulations.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, requires the Service to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for each national wildlife refuge. The purpose in developing a comprehensive conservation plan 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, 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, plans identify wildlife-dependent opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and interpretation.

The purpose of this notice is to achieve the following:

(1) Advise other agencies and the public of our intentions, and

(2) Obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to include in the environmental document.

DATES:

Please provide written comments on the scope of issues to include in the environmental document by March 5, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Comments, questions, and requests for more information regarding the Santee National Wildlife Refuge planning process should be sent to: Van Fischer, Natural Resource Planner, South Carolina Lowcountry Refuge Complex, 5801 Highway 17 North, Awendaw, South Carolina 29429; Telephone: 843/928-3264; Fax: 843/928-3803; Electronic mail: van_fischer@fws.gov. Start Printed Page 144

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Special mailings, newspaper articles, and other media announcements will be used to inform the public and state and local government agencies of the opportunities for input throughout the planning process. Open-house style public meetings will be held during the scoping phase of the comprehensive conservation plan development process. During this process, many elements will be considered, including wildlife and habitat management, public recreational activities, and cultural resource protection. Public input into the planning process is essential. All comments received become part of the official public record. Requests for such comments will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and other Service and Departmental policies and procedures.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established on May 5, 1941, to alleviate the loss of natural waterfowl and wildlife habitat caused by the construction of hydro-electric projects on the Santee and Cooper Rivers. Stretching for 18 miles along the northern shore of Lake Marion, the refuge protects 15,095 acres within the upper coastal plain region of Clarendon County, South Carolina. Additional information concerning this refuge may be found at the Service's Internet site: http://www.fws.gov/​refuges.

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Authority: This notice is published under the authority of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, Public Law 105-57.

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Dated: December 2, 2006.

Cynthia K. Dohner,

Acting Regional Director.

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[FR Doc. E6-22468 Filed 12-29-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-55-P