[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 228 (Monday, November 29, 1999)]
[Pages 66642-66643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-30856]



National Park Service

Anacapa Island Restoration Project, Channel Islands National 
Park,Ventura County, California; Notice of Intent To Prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement


SUMMARY: Pursuant to Sec. 102 (2)(C) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-190) and Council on Environmental 
Quality regulations (40 CFR 1508.22), the National Park Service intends 
to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement that addresses eradicating 
the non-native Black Rat (Rattus rattus) from Anacapa Island. In 
addition, park managers desire to implement preventative actions to 
keep rats and other non-native rodents from establishing on other 
islands in the park. These proposed activities would take place within 
Channel Islands National Park, Ventura County, California.
    Background: Anacapa Island, located 17 miles southwest of the 
Ventura Coast, is comprised of three islets totaling about 700 acres. 
Known for both its beauty and its biological diversity, Anacapa Island 
serves as both a destination for visitors as well as habitat for marine 
and terrestrial species. Anacapa Island as a whole is the largest 
California Brown Pelican colony in the Southern California Bight. To 
protect the California Brown Pelican (listed as Endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act) and its habitat, the west islet has been set 
aside as a Research Natural Area. The non-native Black Rat impacts the 
seabird population through predation, and threatens the ecological 
integrity of intertidal and terrestrial ecosystems. The Black Rat also 
damages park infrastructure, threatens health and safety, and decreases 
visitor enjoyment. After careful examination of known impacts of rats 
on islands generally (and known and potential effects on Anacapa Island 
in particular), park resource managers and other resource experts 
conclude that island-wide Black Rat eradication is a prudent management 
action. This proposed action is consistent with exotic species 
management direction provided in the Channel Islands National Park 
General Management Plan (1985) and subsequent Resource Management Plan 
(1994). Additionally, no other islands in the park are known to have 
rats. There is a threat of introduction of rats, or other non-native 
rodents, from shipwrecks or transport of people and materials. Park 
managers need to have the capability to respond rapidly to eradicate 
new introductions of non-native rodents.
    Scoping: The NPS is requesting comments regarding this proposed 
initiative from interested individuals, organizations, and agencies. 
Respondents should address potential environmental issues, applicable 
research or mitigations, and reasonable alternatives which they feel 
should be considered in the EIS. Written comments must be postmarked by 
January 1, 2000, and should be sent to the Superintendent, Channel 
Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura, CA 93001. A public 
scoping meeting is scheduled to be held in Ventura at 7:00pm, December 
8, 1999. Additional information, including specific times and locations 
for public meetings, will be given via local and regional press 
releases, public notices, the park's website, and direct mailings.

Supplementary Information: Updated information regarding the 
conservation planning and environmental impact analysis process for 
this initiative and proposed actions identified to date will be 
distributed and periodically updated via direct mailings, regional and 
local news media, and the park's website (http://www.nps.gov/chis/
naturalresources/airp.html). To request being added to the mailing 
list, interested parties may contact Steve Ortega, Restoration 
Biologist, at (805) 658-5784 (or HYPERLINK 
mailto:CHIS__AnacapaR[email protected] [email protected]).

Review and Decision Process

    The Draft EIS is expected to be available for public review and 
comment during winter-spring, 1999-2000. Availability of the Draft EIS 
for review and written comment will be formally announced by Notice in 
the Federal Register, through local and regional news media, the 
internet, and direct mailing. At this time it is anticipated that the 
Final EIS will be completed by July, 2000. Subsequently, notification 
of an approved Record of Decision would be published in the Federal 
Register not sooner than thirty (30) days after the Final EIS is 
distributed. This is expected to occur by September, 2000. The official 
responsible for the decision is the Regional Director, Pacific West 
Region, National Park Service; the official responsible for 
implementation is the Superintendent, Channel Islands National Park.

[[Page 66643]]

    Dated: November 17, 1999.
James R. Shevock,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific West Region.
[FR Doc. 99-30856 Filed 11-26-99; 8:45 am]