Where Are We in the Plan?
These are the steps that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service follows in comprehensive conservation planning; the step that Glacial Ridge 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
Glacial Ridge NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan
The staff at Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, refuge) have begun work on a comprehensive conservation plan, or CCP, for the refuge. The CCP will set wildlife, habitat, and public use priorities and guide management decisions on the refuge for the next 15 years. All aspects of the refuge will be addressed by the CCP, including important fish and wildlife habitats, public use and facilities, and current management activities. By law, six wildlife-dependent recreational uses receive a priority on National Wildlife Refuges: fishing, hunting, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation.
It typically takes two to three years to complete a CCP. The steps followed in comprehensive conservation planning are shown in the box on the right. Public participation will be an essential part of this planning process.
The Notice of Intent (pdf, 199 KB) to prepare a CCP for Glacial Ridge NWR was published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2013. To view a pdf you need Acrobat Reader software, which is available as a free download from the Adobe website.
Refuge and regional office staff have begun gathering information and resources for the planning process. A preliminary, internal meeting was held at Glacial Ridge NWR to kick off the planning process during the last week of February.
The first phase of the planning process includes a public scoping period. During this period the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) solicits input from partners, stakeholders, and others interested in the refuge to identify and clarify issues and concerns that can be addressed in the plan. To support communication and increase opportunities for public input, open houses are hosted by the refuge during this time period. Staff from the refuge and regional office are present at the open houses to answer questions and discuss the refuge. The open houses give interested members of the public, tribes, agencies, neighbors, public interest groups, and local governments an opportunity to participate in this planning process from the very beginning.
Two open houses are scheduled:
The first open house will be on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at the Rydell Refuge headquarters. The headquarters is located at 17788 349th Street SE, Erskine, Minnesota.
A second open house is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at the Crookston Public Library, 110 North Ash Street, Crookston, Minnesota.
Both open houses will be held from 5-8 p.m. Interested citizens may stop by any time during the open houses, and stay as long as they wish, to speak with refuge staff or submit comments. Comment forms will be made available so that written comments can be submitted at the meeting or mailed in to the refuge later.
Comments may also be sent via the Service’s Midwest Region Planning email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The planning team will continue gathering information and resources over the coming months and will engage Service partners in a planning workshop this summer. Following the workshop, there will be an internal review of comments received during scoping by upper management in the Service. The planning team will then use all of the input gathered during scoping to develop a range of alternatives for the future management of the refuge.
An environmental assessment will be developed to evaluate how well each alternative addresses management issues, and a preferred alternative will be identified by the Service. The environmental assessment will be accompanied by a draft CCP based on the preferred alternative, and the combined document will be released and distributed for public review and comment. Thereafter, a final CCP will be created, approved, and used to guide the future management of Glacial Ridge NWR.
Glacial Ridge NWR was established in 2004 and is located in Polk County, in northwestern Minnesota, approximately 10 miles east of Crookston along U.S. Highway 2. The approved acquisition boundary of 35,750 acres includes approximately 5,000 acres of non-cultivated native prairie. Future habitat restoration potential includes approximately 18,000 acres of prairie and 12,000 acres of wetland. These habitats are important breeding areas for waterfowl, Sandhill Cranes, shorebirds, Greater Prairie Chicken, many grassland nesting songbirds, and a host of mammals.
More information about the Glacial Ridge NWR is found on the refuge website: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/glacial_ridge/
More information on the Glacial Ridge NWR comprehensive conservation planning effort is available by emailing, calling, or writing the refuge or the Midwest Region Division of Conservation Planning.
Midwest Region Planning Office
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Division of Conservation Planning
Attention: Glacial Ridge NWR CCP
5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990
Bloomington, MN 55437-1458
Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge
Glacial Ridge NWR
Attention: CCP Comment
17788 349th St. SE
Erskine, MN 56535
People with hearing impairments are invited to use the Federal Information Relay System: 1-800-877-8339