[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 6 (Wednesday, January 9, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1643-1644]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-245]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Anacostia Park Wetlands Management Plan With Goose Management 
Strategies

AGENCY: National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
for the Anacostia Park Wetlands Management Plan With Goose Management 
Strategies.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with Sec.  102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et. seq.), the National Park 
Service (NPS) will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Anacostia Park Wetlands Management Plan with Goose Management 
Strategies (EIS).
    The current Proposed Action is a modification of the original 
proposal to prepare an Environmental Assessment. Based on comments 
received during internal scoping (February 2007), agency scoping (March 
2007) and public scoping (June-August 2007) for the Anacostia Park 
Wetlands Restoration Plan with Goose Management Strategies Plan/
Environmental Assessment (EA), the NPS recognizes that wetland 
management actions could result in some significant impacts to the 
park's resources.
    This notice serves as an announcement of an additional 30-day 
public comment period. Comments submitted to the park or through 
Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) during the public 
scoping period (June 25-August 10, 2007) and at the public meetings 
(July 17 and 18, 2007) for the EA will be considered as part of the 
planning process for the current proposed action and do not need to be 
resubmitted. The intent of this notice is to obtain suggestions and 
additional information on the scope of issues to be addressed in the 
EIS.

DATES: NPS is soliciting further public input into this planning 
process until February 8, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted through the Planning, Environment 
and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/anac 
or they may be submitted by mail to: Superintendent, National Capital 
Parks East, RE: Wetlands Restoration Plan/EIS, 1900 Anacostia Dr., SE., 
Washington, DC 20020.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail 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.
    The NPS considers public participation and input as an integral 
part in the planning and environmental impact analysis process guiding 
preparation of the EIS. As mentioned above, comments submitted during 
the public scoping process for the EA do not need to be resubmitted, 
but additional input is welcome.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Syphax, Supervisory Resources 
Management Specialist, National Capital Parks-East, RE: Wetlands 
Restoration Plan/EIS, at 1900 Anacostia Drive, SE., Washington, DC 
20020, by e-mail at Stephen--Syphax@nps.gov, or by telephone at (202) 
690-5160.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this action is to develop and 
implement a wetlands management plan that facilitates the protection of 
natural wetland functions within Anacostia Park. Action is needed at 
this time to address the protection of natural wetland functions within 
wetlands in Anacostia Park. A plan is considered necessary to identify 
wetland restoration strategies that address factors affecting current 
and future restoration activities.
    The Anacostia River was historically flanked with nearly 2,500 
acres of tidal marsh. However, in the early 20th century the Army Corps 
of Engineers was charged with a major ``reclamation'' effort designed 
to improve navigation by channeling and containing the river within a 
stone seawall. Tidal flats and wetlands were also drained and filled to 
help rid the area of mosquito-borne diseases.
    Public and government interest in restoring wetlands in the 
Anacostia River Watershed grew in the 1980s and the National Park 
Service began working with others to restore nearly 100 acres of tidal 
marsh.
    Over the past decade an increasing number of Canada geese have been 
observed in Anacostia Park. Normally a migratory species, these 
``resident'' geese are the descendents of individuals that were 
captured and prevented from migrating in order to attract more of their 
kind. As a result, their offspring never migrated either. The abundance 
of

[[Page 1644]]

food and lack of predators in urban areas have fostered a rapidly 
growing population of these non-migratory Canada geese.
    In recent years, invasive exotic plant species have also increased, 
and restored wetlands have proven to be especially vulnerable to these. 
Construction methods, soil elevations, and hydrologic regimes have also 
proven to be critical to the success or failure of these efforts.
    Through scoping efforts, several draft objectives were outlined for 
the EIS:
    General--Ensure actions are consistent with the laws, policies and 
regulations that guide the National Park Service.
    Habitat and Vegetation--Restore, protect, and maintain wetlands for 
native fish and wildlife populations; maintain native wetlands 
vegetation and manage the encroachment of invasive and exotic plant 
species; and restore, protect, and maintain wetland functions.
    Wildlife--Manage the resident Canada goose population to allow for 
the restoration and protection of park resources.
    Visitor Experience--Enhance visitor experience by restoring, 
maintaining, protecting, and interpreting wetlands; and enhance public 
understanding of the value of wetland restoration and issues associated 
with the management of resident Canada geese.
    Park Operations--Consider and plan for impacts of wetland 
restoration efforts and resident Canada goose management response 
activities on current park operations, including budget, workload, and 
visitor experience.
    Cooperation and Coordination--Cooperate and coordinate with the 
District of Columbia, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other 
governmental agencies as well as other stakeholders in implementing a 
wetlands management plan and goose management strategy.
    Preliminary scoping also identified several factors relevant to the 
success of wetland restoration efforts in Anacostia Park, including: 
resident Canada goose herbivory, erosion and sedimentation, hydrologic 
regimes, wetland vegetation planting methods, urbanization effects and 
invasive and exotic plant species.
    Some preliminary solutions have been proposed that will be 
evaluated as part of the planning process. To address resident Canada 
goose management, the following suggestions have been proposed for 
evaluation: Habitat alteration, visual deterrents or repellants, egg 
addling to control reproduction, and lethal controls such as capture 
and euthanasia or sharpshooting. To respond to erosion and 
sedimentation, proposed actions include: the use of bio logs to 
stabilize wetlands, vegetation evaluation, and soft and hard armoring. 
Suggestions for tackling issues surrounding hydrologic regimes and 
wetland vegetation are: Address surface elevation of wetland areas by 
planting vegetation appropriate to elevation, and provide conditions 
allowing wetlands to establish naturally without revegetation efforts. 
To address the effects of urbanization on the wetlands, suggestions 
include: Planting high uptake plants, using volunteers to remove trash, 
and mitigating outfall impacts. Lastly, to address the impacts of 
invasive and exotic plants potential actions include: Mapping and 
surveying invasive and exotic plant species in wetland areas, 
mechanical removal, chemical control (EPA approved herbicides), and 
biocontrols such as insects. The scope of the EIS includes the restored 
freshwater emergent tidal marshes in Anacostia Park. Potential areas 
for future restoration efforts will be identified in the EIS, but not 
analyzed in detail.

    Dated: December 21, 2007.
Joseph M. Lawler,
Regional Director, National Capital Region.
[FR Doc. E8-245 Filed 1-8-08; 8:45 am]
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