Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Public Scoping Meetings Scheduled for Hopper Mountain, Bitter Creek and Blue Ridge National Wildlife Refuges in Southern California

Apr 13, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2010
Contact: Michael Woodbridge
805-256-5423

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Public Scoping Meetings For Hopper Mountain, Bitter Creek, and Blue Ridge National Wildlife Refuges, in Southern California
Public Meetings Kickoff Comprehensive Conservation Planning Process 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex will host a series of public information meetings in three communities to gather ideas and suggestions from the public concerning future management of Hopper Mountain, Bitter Creek, and Blue Ridge national wildlife refuges (NWR) in southern California.  Public input from the meetings will help the Service prepare a draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) which, when completed, will articulate conservation issues and management direction for the three refuges for the next 15 years.  The public will have additional opportunities to comment later in the planning process when the draft CCP is written and released for public review. 

Hopper Mountain NWR will be the focus of the meeting held on Tuesday, April 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the City of Fillmore, Council Chambers, 250 Central Avenue, Fillmore, CA, 93015.  Hopper Mountain NWR was established in 1974 and encompasses 2,471 contiguous acres. The Refuge is in Ventura County, approximately 6 miles northeast of the community of Fillmore. 

Bitter Creek NWR will be the focus of the meeting held on Wednesday, April 28, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Historic Fort Taft, main auditorium, 915 North 10th Street, Taft, CA, 93268. Bitter Creek NWR was established in 1985 and encompasses nearly 14,097 acres of refuge lands. The Refuge is located approximately 80 miles north of Los Angeles and approximately 10 miles southwest of the community of Maricopa in the foothills, primarily in Kern County.  

Blue Ridge NWR will be the focus of the meeting held on Thursday, May 6, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the U.S. Forest Service’s Sequoia National Forest offices, 1839 South Newcomb Street, Porterville, CA, 93257.  Blue Ridge NWR was established in 1982 and encompasses 897 acres.  The Refuge is located in central Tulare County in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, 11 miles north of Springville and 17.5 miles northeast of Porterville.  

Written comments are welcomed at the meetings and may also be submitted by mail, e-mail or fax to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region, Refuge Planning, Attn: Sandy Osborn, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1832, Sacramento, CA, 95825; fax 916-414-6497 or e-mail fw8plancomments@fws.gov.  

More information about the CCP and public meetings is available by contacting Michael Woodbridge, Hopper Mountain NWR Complex, at (805) 644-5185 or visiting the Refuge Complex website at:  www.fws.gov/hoppermountain.  

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continued benefit of the American people.  We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.  For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

-FWS-

NOTE TO EDITORS: Digital photographs are available upon request.