|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
|July 30, 2003
CONTACT: Gerry Roehm 303-969-7322,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Invites Public Comment on
LAKEWOOD, Colo. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites public comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Management Plan for Endangered Fishes in the Yampa River Basin as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. A Notice of Availability of the draft EA was published today in the Federal Register. The Services proposed action is to enter into a cooperative agreement with the States of Colorado and Wyoming to implement provisions of the Management Plan for Endangered Fishes in the Yampa River Basin.
The management plan addresses the impacts of present and future agricultural, municipal and industrial water depletions in the Yampa River Basin, while maintaining instream flows and other habitat components necessary to recover the endangered humpback chub, bonytail, Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker. The plan also outlines options to manage nonnative fish populations in the Yampa River as needed for recovery of the endangered fishes.
Written comments on the management plan and EA must be postmarked by August 31, 2003. Comments may also be made at three public meetings: August 11 Little Snake River Valley Library, 105 2nd Street, Baggs, Wyo.; August 12 Centennial Hall, 124 10th Street, Steamboat Springs, Colo.; and August 13 Shadow Mountain Clubhouse, 1055 County Road 7, Craig, Colo. All meetings begin at 7 p.m.
Service Biologist Gerry Roehm will provide an overview of the management plan and EA. "The purpose of the meetings is to provide the community with detailed information about the plan and environmental assessment," Roehm said. "The EA is not final and the public still has an opportunity to provide comments before a final EA is completed."
A representative also will be available to address questions concerning a proposed enlargement of Elkhead Reservoir, which is part of the proposed action in the draft EA.
The draft EA is available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/fisheries/yampaea.htm. A printed copy or PC-compatible CD will be mailed upon request by contacting the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program at 303-969-7322, ext. 225 or ColoradoRiverRecovery@fws.gov. After August 1, limited copies will be available at:
Steamboat Springs, Colo. Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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