See the CCP
The CCP is provided here in portable document format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view the files; Acrobat Reader is available as a free download from Adobe.
Table of Contents (152 KB)
Chapter 1 - Introduction and Background (3.4 MB)
Chapter 2 - The Planning Process (191 KB)
Chapter 3 - Refuge Environment and Management (2.8 MB)
Chapter 4 - Management Direction (1.3 MB)
Chapter 5 - Plan Implementation (136 KB)
Appendix A - Finding of No Significant Impact (266 KB)
Appendix B - Glossary (184 KB)
Appendix C - Species Lists (380 KB)
Appendix D - Focal Species (191 KB)
Appendix E - Literature Cited (160 KB)
Appendix F - Priority Projects (115 KB)
Appendix G - Compliance Requirements (209 KB)
Appendix H - Mailing List (123 KB)
Appendix I - Compatibility Determinations (393 KB)
Appendix J - Appropriate Use Determinations (174 KB)
Appendix K - List of Preparers (113 KB)
Appendix L - Response to Comments Received on the Draft CCP and EA (113 KB)
Big Stone NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan
The Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, Refuge) was approved on September 26, 2012. The CCP will guide management of Big Stone NWR over the next 15 years and will ensure that the Refuge fulfills its established purposes and contributes to the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. A separate Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft CCP (3.1 MB) documents the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for developing the CCP.
The CCP is available in portable document format on this website. We expect to have paper copies available early in 2013.
The CCP is a detailed document that describes the rationale behind management direction throughout the life of the plan. There are three goals for Big Stone NWR, one each for habitat, wildlife, and people. Goals are followed by objectives, which are specific statements that describe management intent. Each objective includes a list of potential strategies—the specific actions, tools, and techniques required to fulfill the objective.
Here is an overview of of what we want to accomplish. See chapter 4 of the CCP for a full description of all three goals, 18 objectives, and 21 potential strategies.
- Improve riverine habitat for plants, wildlife, and fish by restoring natural alignment, channel capacity, and meander relationships on approximately five miles of the upper portion of the Minnesota River within the Refuge.
- Improve water quality within the Minnesota River and tributaries on or immediately upstream of the Refuge to move towards compliance with Environmental Protection Agency and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency standards.
- Maintain the existing amount (about 1,700 acres) of remnant prairie with a structurally diverse native plant community having less than 5 percent areal coverage of woody vegetation, and maintain the existing amount of restored grassland (about 500 acres), and increase it by 1,100 acres.
- Annually provide waterfowl production habitat to support up to 120 Mallard breeding pairs on Refuge wetlands.
- Increase the Bobolink breeding population of 194 pairs (current estimate) within the Refuge grassland habitats by 20 percent throughout the life of the plan.
- Increase public understanding of currently available access for wildlife observation and photography.
- Review existing hunting opportunities and, where appropriate, increase and/or improve access and hunting opportunities with emphasis on youth and hunters with disabilities.
- Provide visitors with clear information so they can easily determine where they can go, what they can do, and how to safely and ethically engage in recreational and educational activities on the Refuge.
Located southeast of Ortonville, Minnesota, near the border with South Dakota, Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge is located in the heart of what used to be tallgrass prairie. Today, less than 1 percent of tallgrass prairie remains.
Big Stone NWR's 11,586 acres habitats vary from the Minnesota River and reservoir areas to dry, granite outcrops. The Refuge still has 1,700 acres of native prairie. During spring and fall migration, 17 species of ducks and 23 species of shorebirds can be found on the Refuge.
The Refuge is open to hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, canoeing and boating, and bicycling on trails.
For more information on Big Stone NWR, please contact the Refuge at:
320/273-2191; 1-800-877-8339 (TTY, Federal Relay Service)
Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge
44843 County Road 19
Odessa, MN 56276
These are the steps that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service follows in comprehensive conservation planning; the step that Big Stone 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