|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
November 17, 2004
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE TO HOLD A PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE
FOR COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION PLAN FOR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public open house in Sturgis, South Dakota to solicit public input for the development of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Bear Butte National Wildlife Refuge in Bennett County in southwestern South Dakota. Bear Butte was established as an easement refuge in the late 1930’s for “migratory bird, wildlife conservation, and other purposes.” The refuge is managed by the state of South Dakota under a cooperative agreement between the state and the Service and is located within the boundaries of Bear Butte State Park.
The open house will be held from at the Sturgis Community Center located at 1401 Lazelle Street, Sturgis South Dakota from 4:30 to 6:30 pm on Dec. 1, 2004.
Service staff from the refuge and the Regional Office will provide information about the refuge and the CCP, and will also be available to receive public comments and answer questions. The Service encourages the public to take advantage of this opportunity to provide input into the plan, which will guide long-term management of the refuge.
The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 requires that all refuges be managed in accordance with an approved CCP which, when implemented, will achieve refuge purposes; help fulfill the Refuge System mission; maintain and, where appropriate, restore the ecological integrity of each refuge and the Refuge System; help achieve the goals of the Wilderness Preservation System; and meet other mandates. The CCP will guide management decisions and set forth goals, objectives, and strategies to accomplish these tasks. The Service hopes to complete the CCP for Bear Butte over the next 18 months.
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 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 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 and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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