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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

September 30, 2005

Contact:  Jacque Richy 303-236-8157 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Adopts Final Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Gas Pipeline Crossing Piceance State Wildlife Area, Rio Blanco County, Colorado

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Division of Federal Assistance has adopted a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the proposed Entrega Pipeline Project.  The Entrega Pipeline Project consists of constructing and operating a natural gas pipeline that will extend 328 miles from Meeker, Colorado, to Wamsutter, Wyoming, then east and south to Weld County, Colorado.  A portion of the pipeline will be constructed on the Piceance State Wildlife Area, managed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW).  The CDOW acquired the Piceance State Wildlife Area with funds from a Federal Assistance in Wildlife Restoration grant, administered by the Service.  Federal Assistance regulations require that any sale of property rights acquired with Federal Assistance funds, including granting temporary and permanent easements, must be reviewed and approved by the Service.  

Two right-of-way easements would be granted by CDOW to the Entrega Pipeline Company over approximately six linear miles of the Piceance State Wildlife Area.  The short term easement will allow for the construction of the pipeline; the long-term easement will allow the Entrega Pipeline Company to operate and maintain the pipeline for a maximum of 50 years.

The EIS is available for review at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office, 134 Union Boulevard in Lakewood, Colorado.  Copies of the EIS may be obtained from this location; however, there may be a charge to cover reproduction costs. 

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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