[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 44 (Monday, March 7, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11833-11834]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-04987]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-R-2015-N238; FXRS85510553RGO-XXX-FF05R04000]


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lands in the Northeast Region; 
Draft Long Range Transportation Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of a draft long-range transportation plan (LRTP) for 
public review and comment. The draft LRTP outlines a strategy for 
improving and maintaining transportation assets that provide access to 
Service-managed lands in the Northeast Region (Maine, New Hampshire, 
Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, 
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West 
Virginia) over the next 20 years.

DATES: To ensure our consideration of your written comments, please 
send them no later than April 6, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments or requests for copies of the draft LRTP 
for Service lands in the Northeast Region by one of the following 
methods.
     Agency Web site: View or download the draft document on 
the Web at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/refuges/roads/pdf/northeast-region-long-range-transportation-plan.pdf.
     U.S. Mail: Carl Melberg, Acting Regional Transportation 
Program Coordinator, Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.
     Email: [email protected]. Please put the words ``Draft 
Long Range Transportation Plan'' in the subject line of your electronic 
mail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Melberg, Acting Regional 
Transportation Program Coordinator, phone: 413-253-8586; facsimile: 
413-253-8468; or electronic mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    With this notice, we make the draft LRTP for the Northeast Region 
of the Service available for public review and comment. When finalized, 
the LRTP will apply to Service-managed lands in Maine, New Hampshire, 
Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, 
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West 
Virginia.

Background

    The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) requires 
all Federal land management agencies to conduct long-range 
transportation planning in a manner that is consistent with 
metropolitan planning organization and state Department of 
Transportation planning. This LRTP was initiated within the Service to 
achieve the following:
     Establish a defensible structure for sound transportation 
planning and decision-making.
     Establish a vision, mission, goals, and objectives for 
transportation planning in the Service's Northeast Region.
     Implement coordinated and cooperative transportation 
partnerships in an effort to improve the Service's transportation 
infrastructure.
     Integrate transportation planning and funding for wildlife 
refuges and fish hatcheries into existing and future Service management 
plans and strategies (e.g., comprehensive conservation plans and 
comprehensive hatchery management plans).
     Increase awareness of Alternative Transportation Systems 
and associated benefits.
     Develop best management practices for transportation 
improvements on Service lands.
     Serve as a pilot project for the implementation of a 
Region-level transportation planning process within the Service.

LRTP Mission, Goals, and Objectives

    Through a collaborative effort, the Service's National Wildlife 
Refuge System (Refuge System) and Fish and Aquatic Conservation 
program, in cooperation with the Division of Refuge Field Support 
within the Service's Northeast Region, have contributed to defining the 
mission, goals, and objectives presented in this document. The 
resulting mission, goals, and objectives are intended to provide a 
systematic approach to guide the process for evaluating and selecting 
transportation improvement for the Service lands in the Northeast 
Region. These guiding principles have shaped the development, 
conclusions, and recommendations of this LRTP.

Mission

    To support the Service's mission by connecting people to fish, 
wildlife, and their habitats through strategic implementation of 
transportation programs.

Goals and Objectives

    This LRTP has six categories of goals: Coordinated Opportunities; 
Asset Management; Safety; Environmental; Access, Mobility, and 
Connectivity; and Visitor Experience. Under each goal, we present 
distinct objectives that move us to the goal.
    1. Coordinated Opportunities: The program will seek joint 
transportation opportunities that support the Service mission, maximize 
the utility of Service resources, and provide mutual benefits to the 
Service and external partners.
    Objectives:
     Identify and increase key internal and external 
partnerships at the national, regional, and unit levels.

[[Page 11834]]

     Maximize leveraged opportunities by identifying and 
pursuing funding for projects of mutual interest and benefit.
     Develop best practices for external engagement that 
illustrates success in forming and nurturing coalitions and 
partnerships that support the Service's mission.
     Coordinate within Service programs, including the Refuge 
System, Ecological Services, Fish and Aquatic Conservation, hatcheries, 
and Migratory Birds during the development of regional long-range and 
project-level plans.
    2. Asset Management: The program will operate and maintain a 
functional, financially sustainable, and resilient transportation 
network to satisfy current and future land management needs in the face 
of a changing climate.
    Objectives:
     Use asset management principles to maintain important 
infrastructure at an appropriate condition level.
     Prioritize work programs through the project selection 
process detailed in this plan or an adaptation thereof.
     Evaluate life-cycle costs when considering new assets to 
determine long-term financial sustainability.
     Consider the impacts of increased climate variability in 
the planning and management of transportation assets.
    3. Safety: The program's network will provide a superior level of 
safety for all users and all modes of transportation to and within 
Service lands.
    Objectives:
     Identify safety issue ``hot spots'' within the Service's 
transportation system with the Safety Analysis Toolkit.
     Implement appropriate safety countermeasures to resolve 
safety issues and reduce the frequency and severity of crashes (also 
with the Safety Analysis Toolkit).
     Address wildlife-vehicle collisions with design solutions 
(Environmental Enhancements).
     Use cooperation and communication among the 4E's of 
safety, including engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency 
medical services.
    4. Environmental: Transportation infrastructure will be landscape 
appropriate and play a key role in the improvement of environmental 
conditions in and around Service lands.
    Objectives:
     Follow the Roadway Design Guidelines for best practices in 
design, planning, management, maintenance, and construction of 
transportation assets.
     Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants by 
increasing transportation options and use of alternative fuels.
     Protect wildlife corridors, reduce habitat fragmentation, 
and enhance terrestrial and aquatic organism passage on and adjacent to 
Service lands to conserve fish, wildlife, and plant populations.
    5. Access, Mobility, and Connectivity: The program will ensure that 
units open to public visitation have adequate transportation options 
for all users, including underserved, underrepresented, and mobility-
limited populations.
    Objectives:
     Offer a wide range of transportation modes and linkages 
for on and offsite access.
     Provide a clear way finding information both on and off 
Service lands.
     Through the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, integrate 
Service transportation facilities with local community transportation 
systems in a way that encourages local visitation and provides economic 
benefits to partner and gateway communities.
     Through coordinated planning, provide context-appropriate 
transportation facilities that address the specific needs of local 
visitor groups and respect the natural setting of the refuge or 
hatchery.
     Address congestion issues to and within Service units.
    6. Visitor Experience: The program will enhance the visitation 
experience through improvement and investment in the transportation 
network.
    Objectives:
     Integrate interpretation, education, and resource 
stewardship principles into the transportation experience.
     Evaluate the feasibility of alternative transportation 
systems at all stations and implement where appropriate.
     Encourage connections with existing and planned public and 
private transportation services.
     Design infrastructure in such a way that highlights the 
landscape and not the transportation facility.

Next Steps

    After this comment period ends, we will analyze the comments and 
address them in the form of a final LRTP.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, telephone number, email 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.

    Dated: February 4, 2016.
Deborah Rocque,
Acting Regional Director, Northeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2016-04987 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P