|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
July 5, 2005
Contact: Gene Williams, (605) 885-6320
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE TO HOST PUBLIC OPEN HOUSES FOR DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION PLAN FOR SAND LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding open houses for the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Service staff from the refuge and the Regional Office will share information, answer questions and take public comments about the draft CCP at the following open house meetings, which are scheduled for three consecutive days:
July 12, at the Hecla Community Center, Main Street, Hecla, SD, from 7-9pm
July 13, Columbia Community Center, Main Street, Columbia, SD, from 7-9pm
July 14, Community Room, Brown County Courthouse, 25 Market Street, Aberdeen, SD, from 7-9pm.
The Service welcomes anyone interested in the management of the refuge to participate in these meetings, and to take advantage of this opportunity to provide input into the development of the CCP for Sand Lake, which will govern operation of the refuge for the next 15 years.
The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 requires that all refuges be managed in accordance with an approved CCP which, once 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 requirements.
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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