Today, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plans and Environmental Assessments (Draft CCP/EA) for Bandon Marsh, Nestucca Bay, and Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuges (Refuges). These plans describe a vision for the three Refuges and present goals, objectives, and strategies for management over the next 15 years.
The proposed action in each Draft CCP/ EA is to implement Alternative C, the Service’s Preferred Alternative, which emphasizes expanded habitat management, restoration, and wildlife and habitat monitoring, and increases public use opportunities. Two additional alternatives were also analyzed. The Draft CCP/EAs were developed to provide reasonable, scientifically grounded guidance for improving the Refuges’ wetlands, grasslands, riparian and upland forests, and other habitats for the long-term conservation of migratory birds, anadromous fish, and native plants and animals. Actions for protecting and sustaining the Refuges’ habitats, migratory bird populations, and rare species are identified in the Draft CCP/EAs. Priority public use programs—wildlife observation, wildlife photography, hunting, fishing, environmental education, and interpretation—are also evaluated in the Draft CCP/EAs.
The Draft CCP/EAs will be available for review and comment beginning the week of September 17 and continuing until October 22, 2012. The Service invites the public to review the Draft CCP/EAs and encourages active participation. Copies of the plans are available in the references section of the Public Libraries in Bandon, Coquille, Newport, Lincoln City, Pacific City, and Tillamook. The full document may be accessed online atwww.fws.gov/oregoncoast/ccp_nes_slz_bdm.htm. Printed or CD-ROM copies can be requested from the Refuge Office at (541) 867-4550.
Comments and questions can be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed by October 22, 2012, and should be addressed to Roy Lowe, Project Leader, Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365; fax number (541)867-4551; or e-mail Oregoncoastccp@fws.gov. For more information please call the refuge’s office at 541-867-4550, or go towww.fws.gov/oregoncoast/ccp.htm.
After we receive public comments, we will analyze and address the comments and finalize and publish the plans in late 2012. The Final CCPs will guide the Refuges’ management for 15 years, and actions will be implemented as funding becomes available.
“The planning process is a way for the Service and the public to evaluate management goals and objectives that will ensure the best approach to wildlife, plant, and habitat conservation, while providing opportunities for the public to safely enjoy fish and wildlife-oriented recreation on national wildlife refuges,” said Complex Project Leader Roy W. Lowe.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's premiere system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 96 million acres, 548 refuges and 37 wetland management districts nationwide.