See the CCP
Documents are provided in portable document format, or pdf. To see them, you need Acrobat Reader software, which is available as a free download from Adobe.
The CCP is provided here in three ways with varying file sizes: the full document, a text-only CCP, and individual chapters. The Summary CCP is also available.
Full CCP (5.9 MB)
Full CCP, text-only (1.7 MB)
Summary CCP (238 KB)
See the CCP by chapter:
Table of Contents(109 KB)
Chapter 1: Introduction and Background (918 KB)
Chapter 2: The Planning Process (885 KB)
Chapter 3: The Refuge Environment and Management (2.9 MB); text-only (542 KB)
Chapter 4: Management Direction (1 MB)
Chapter 5: Plan Implementation (267 KB)
Appendix A: Finding of No Significant Impact (87 KB)
Appendix B: Glossary (48 KB)
Appendix C: Species Lists (481 KB)
Appendix D: Resource Conservation Priorities, Ohio River Valley Ecosystem (140 KB)
Appendix E: Compliance Requirements (61 KB)
Appendix F: Mailing List (50 KB)
Appendix G: Compatibility Determinations (27 KB)
Appendix H: List of Preparers (44 KB)
Appendix I: Literature Cited (83 KB)
Appendix J: Priority Refuge Operational and Maintenance Needs (35 KB)
Appendix K: Response to Comments on the Draft CCP (104 KB)
Where in the Plan Are We?
These are the steps that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service follows in comprehensive conservation planning; the step that Patoka River NWR has reached is highlighted:
- Preplanning: Plan the Plan
- Initiate Public Involvement and Scoping
- Review Vision Statement and Goals and Determine Significant Issues
- Develop and Analyze Alternatives, Including the Proposed Action
- Prepare a Draft CCP and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Document
- Prepare and Adopt Final CCP
- Implement Plan, Monitor and Evaluate
- Review and Revise the Plan
Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area Comprehensive Conservation Plan
The Comprehensive Conservaton Plan received final approval on September 2, 2008, completing a planning process that began in 2004.
The CCP establishes management policies for the Refuge and management area and ensures that they fulfill their established purpose and mission.
Goal 1: Habitat
Manage a diversity of habitats to benefit threatened and endangered species, waterfowl, other migratory birds, and indigenous species in the Patoka River and associated watersheds.
Goal 2: Wildlife
Perpetuate listed species, waterfowl, other migratory birds, and native fish and wildlife, within the Patoka River and associated watersheds while restoring and preserving the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of the Refuge.
Goal 3: People
Visitors, nearby residents and other stakeholders have the opportunity to enjoy wildlife-dependent recreation, understand and appreciate the natural resources, ecological processes and cultural resources of the Refuge, thereby supporting the Service's mission.
In a nutshell, the Refuge intends to expand bottomland hardwood forest, improve water quality for the Patoka River and its tributaries, expand the fish population, and make the Refuge easier for visitors to navigate and understand over the next 15 years. Specific objectives include the following:
- Refuge staff will maintain existing bottomland forest, of which 3,056 acres are presently acquired, over the next 15 years. As land with suitable soils is acquired, and if it is outside of areas managed as non-forested habitat, it will be reforested to bottomland hardwoods. In the long-term (100-200 years), the Refuge will increase the habitat complexity of bottomland hardwood forests on between 12,000 to 13,000 acres.
- Emergent wetlands at Snakey Point and Buckâ€™s Marsh will be maintained over the next 15 years as a mixture of vegetation that includes cattail, bulrush, sedges, spatterdock, water lily and smartweeds.
- The number of lakes and ponds on the Refuge will be maintained at or above the number present in 2006, and we will work to increase the aquatic diversity of these waters.
- A meandering Patoka River is part of the vision for the Refuge, but it is one that will require additional study. Within 5 years of plan approval, staff will pursue studies to collect information necessary to evaluate stream channel restoration options for the Patoka River and its tributaries. This could include restoring sections of channelized stream to meandering stream.
- Over the life of the plan, the Refuge will work with partners to improve water quality within the Patoka River and its tributaries and move toward compliance with Indiana Department of Environmental Management standards. The long-term goal is to see the streams removed from the list of impaired waters.
- Depending on future acquisition, up to 1,000 acres of bottomland farmland will be maintained over the life of the CCP as stopover habitat for migratory waterbirds. Within 15 years of plan approval, the existing 265 acres of moist soil units will be maintained and up to another 700 acres of bottomland farmland will be converted to moist soil management.
- Reclaimed minelands will be maintained as grasslands and some upland openings will be converted to upland forest.
- Refuge staff will develop measurable annual targets to help eradicate or slow the spread of invasive plant species.
- Wise management depends on learning more about Refuge wildlife. Within 5 years of plan approval, staff will implement programs to monitor listed species, selected migratory and resident bird species, and selected native resident wildlife species.
- Refuge staff will also focus on creating or maintaining diverse, self-sustaining fisheries in Refuge lakes, ponds, and streams, primarily through water quality improvements in the watershed.
- The Refuge will install new directional signing as well as placing new entrance signs and kiosks at existing boat ramps, Snakey Point, and along Highway 57.
- The Refuge will remain open for fishing in accordance with State seasons and regulations, and the Refuge Hunting and Fishing Plan. Within 5 years of plan approval the Refuge will enhance access by adding docks and ramps at various locations dependent on land acquisition.
- Opportunities for wildlife observation and photography at Cane Ridge and Snakey Point will be enhanced as opportunities occur.
- Guided tours and programs will be provided on request as staffing permits. Within 5 years of plan approval, interpretation elements will be added and the number of interpretive trails, walks and programs will be increased.
- Environmental education will be maintained at its current level of fewer than five group visits per year, however within 3 years of plan approval the Refuge will develop the capacity to provide environmental education materials and programs to teachers and other upon request.
- Friends groups are a tremendous help at national wildlife refuges across the nation, and Refuge staff will support efforts to establish a formal Friends group within 5 years of plan approval.
Established in 1994, the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area is located in Pike and Gibson Counties in southwestern Indiana. The Refuge includes wetlands and floodplain forest along the Patoka River corridor and has an authorized boundary of 6,970 acres. The Management Area has an authorized boundary of 15,847 acres. The separate designations avoid legal conflicts with the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.
The area provides some of the most significant remnant bottomland hardwood wetlands in all of Indiana. In all there are more than 380 species of wildlife on the Refuge, including the federally-listed endangered Indiana bat, and more than 50 species listed as conservation priorities in the Indiana Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy.
For more information on the Refuge, please e-mail us, write to us, or call the Refuge at 812/749-3199. People with hearing disabilities are invited to call the TTY line at: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay).
The Refuge's address is:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Patoka River NWR and Management Area
510 1/2 West Morton Street
P.O. Box 217
Oakland City, IN 47660