[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 2 (Monday, January 5, 2009)]
[Pages 313-315]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-31303]



Fish and Wildlife Service


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[FWS-R1-R-2008-N0233; 1265-0000-10137-S3]

Papahaanaumokuaakea Marine National Monument, Hawai`i

AGENCIES: Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Interior; National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability of the monument management plan, 
environmental assessment, and findings of no significant impact.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that NOAA, FWS, the State of 
Hawai`i's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and the 
Office of Hawai`ian Affairs have completed a Monument Management Plan 
(MMP) for the Papahaanaumokuaakea Marine National Monument (Monument) 
located in the Northwestern Hawai`ian Islands (NWHI). The Monument's 
resources, and current and future management activities, are described 
in the MMP and associated environmental assessment (EA). The NOAA and 
FWS developed separate findings of no significant impact (FONSIs) to 
address each agency's MMP/EA findings. Both FONSIs are available with 
the MMP/EA.

DATES: The MMP/EA and FONSIs are now available. Implementation of the 
MMP is effective and may begin immediately.

ADDRESSES: Printed copies of the MMP/EA and FONSIs are available for 
viewing at NOAA's Papahaanaumokuaakea Marine National Monument office 
at 6600 Kalaniana`ole Highway, Suite 300, Honolulu, HI 96825, and may 
be obtained by visiting or writing to the office or by telephone at 
(808) 397-2660. These documents are also available on compact disk from 
the Monument, and for viewing and downloading on the Internet at http://papahanaumokuakea.gov, and http://www.fws.gov/pacific/planning/. 
Additional documents developed as part of the MMP/EA planning process 
that specifically support FWS programs and environmental compliance 
requirements are also available on http://www.fws.gov/pacific/planning/

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan White, FWS Superintendent, phone 
(808) 792-9480.


Monument Background

    On June 15, 2006, President George W. Bush established the NWHI 
Marine National Monument by issuing Presidential Proclamation 8031 
(Proclamation) (71 FR 36443, June 26, 2006) under the authority of the 
Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431) (the 
    On December 8, 2006, the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior 
and the Governor of Hawai`i signed a Memorandum of Agreement to jointly 
manage Federal and State lands and waters within the Monument as Co-
Trustees and to collectively protect, conserve, and enhance the 
Monument's marine and terrestrial habitats and resources.
    On February 28, 2007, President Bush amended the Proclamation to 
rename the Monument the Papahaanaumokuaakea Marine National Monument to 
reflect the region's significance in Native Hawai`ian culture (72 FR 
10031, March 6, 2007).

Location, Size, and Federal and State Resource Management

    Proclamation 8031 reserves all lands and interests in lands owned 
or controlled by the Government of the United States in the NWHI, 
including emergent and submerged lands and waters out to a distance of 
approximately 50 nautical miles from the islands.
    The Monument is approximately 100 nautical miles wide and 1,200 
miles in length, and extends around coral islands, seamounts, banks, 
and shoals. The Monument encompasses the following areas.
     Northwestern Hawai`ian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem 
     Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/Battle of Midway 
National Memorial.
     Hawai`ian Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
     Hawai`i State Seabird Sanctuary at Kure Atoll.
     State of Hawai`i's Northwestern Hawai`ian Islands Marine 
    The NOAA maintains responsibility for managing the NWHI Coral Reef 
Ecosystem Reserve, included within the Monument, and has primary

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responsibility regarding the management of the marine areas of the 
Monument, in consultation with FWS.
    Refuge lands within the Monument, including the Midway Atoll 
National Wildlife Refuge, the Battle of Midway National Memorial, and 
the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, are managed by FWS.
    The State maintains responsibility for managing state lands and 
waters within the Monument including NWHI State Marine Refuge and State 
Seabird Sanctuary at Kure Atoll.

Public Comments

    The Draft MMP/EA was distributed for public review and comments for 
90 days, from April 23, 2008, to July 23, 2008. Public meetings were 
held during the review period to provide the public opportunities to 
ask staff questions and provide comments and recommendations. A total 
of ten meetings were held on six different islands and in Washington, 
DC. as follows: Three meetings on O`ahu, two meetings on the Island of 
Hawai`i, and one meeting each on Maui, Lana`i, Moloka`i, and Kaua`i, 
and one meeting in Washington, DC. A total of 231 people attended the 
public meetings; 78 individuals provided public testimony and one 
recorded comments on a tape recorder. Comments given at these public 
meetings were recorded in transcripts taken by court reporters. In 
addition, written comments were accepted via e-mail, individual 
letters, and form letters throughout the review period. Comments 
received via individual e-mail totaled 76, individual letters totaled 
30, and e-mail form letters totaled 6,246, for a total of 6,352 comment 
communications. Changes made to the MMP and associated documents based 
on public comments are summarized in Volume V, Response to Comments.

MMP Action Plans

    Two alternatives were analyzed in the Draft MMP/EA; a No Action 
Alternative and a Proposed Action Alternative (the preferred 
alternative). Under the No Action Alternative, the Co-Trustees would 
continue to implement activities to address priority management needs 
based on agency-specific plans. Under the Proposed Action Alternative, 
the Co-Trustees would implement new and expanded activities, in 
addition to ongoing activities, to manage high priority needs. The 
Proposed Action was selected for implementation.
    The MMP describes a comprehensive and coordinated management regime 
to achieve the Monument's vision, mission, and guiding principles and 
to address priority management needs over the next 15 years. The MMP 
will be reviewed and updated every five years. The core of the MMP is 
contained in 22 action plans consisting of multiple strategies and 
activities to address specific priority management needs and to achieve 
the following desired outcomes:

Understanding and Interpreting the NWHI

     Marine Conservation Science. Protect the ecological 
integrity of natural resources by increasing the understanding of the 
distributions, abundances and functional linkages of marine organisms 
and their habitats to improve ecosystem-based management decisions in 
the Monument.
     Native Hawaiian Culture and History. Increase 
understanding and appreciation of Native Hawaiian histories and 
cultural practices related to the Monument and effectively manage 
resources for their cultural, educational, and scientific values.
     Historic Resources. Identify, document, preserve, protect, 
stabilize, and where appropriate, reuse, recover, and interpret 
historic resources associated with Midway Atoll and other areas within 
the Monument.
     Maritime Heritage. Identify, interpret, and protect 
maritime heritage resources in the Monument.

Conserving Wildlife and Habitats

     Threatened and Endangered Species. Safeguard and recover 
threatened and endangered plants and animals and other protected 
species within the Monument.
     Migratory Birds. Conserve migratory bird populations and 
habitats within the Monument.
     Habitat Management and Conservation. Protect and maintain 
all the native ecosystems and biological diversity of the Monument.

Reducing Threats to Monument Resources

     Marine Debris. Reduce the adverse effects of marine debris 
to Monument resources and reduce the amount of debris entering the 
North Pacific Ocean.
     Alien Species. Detect, control, eradicate where possible, 
and prevent the introduction of alien species into the Monument.
     Maritime Transportation and Aviation. Investigate, 
identify, and reduce potential threats to the Monument from maritime 
and aviation traffic.
     Emergency Response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment 
(NRDA). Minimize damage to Monument resources through coordinated 
emergency response and NRDA.

Managing Human Uses

     Permitting. Implement an effective and integrated permit 
program for the Monument that manages, minimizes, and prevents negative 
human impacts by limiting access only for those activities consistent 
with Proclamation 8031 and the applicable laws, regulations, and 
executive orders.
     Enforcement. Achieve compliance with all regulations 
within the Monument.
     Midway Atoll Visitor Services. Offer visitors 
opportunities to discover, honor, enjoy, appreciate, and protect 
Monument natural, cultural, and historic resources.

Coordinating Conservation and Management Activities

     Agency Coordination. Successfully collaborate with 
government partners to achieve publicly supported, coordinated 
management in the Monument.
     Constituency Building and Outreach. Cultivate an informed, 
involved constituency that supports and enhances conservation of the 
natural, cultural, and historic resources of the Monument.
     Native Hawaiian Community Involvement. Engage the Native 
Hawaiian community in active and meaningful involvement in Monument 
     Ocean Ecosystems Literacy. Cultivate an ocean ecosystems 
stewardship ethic, contribute to the Nation's science and cultural 
literacy, and create a new generation of conservation leaders through 
formal environmental education.

Achieving Effective Monument Operations

     Central Operations. Conduct effective and well-planned 
operations with appropriate human resources and adequate physical 
infrastructure in the main Hawaiian Islands to support management of 
the Monument.
     Information Management. Consolidate and make accessible 
relevant information to meet educational, management, and research 
needs for the Monument.
     Coordinated Field Operations. Coordinate field activities 
and provide adequate infrastructure to ensure safe and efficient 
operations while avoiding impacts to the ecosystems in the Monument.
     Evaluation. Determine the degree to which management 
actions are achieving the vision, mission, and goals of the Monument.

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    Dated: December 11, 2008.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, 
Portland, Oregon.
Daniel J. Basta,
Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland.
[FR Doc. E8-31303 Filed 1-2-09; 8:45 am]