|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
February 8, 2006
Contact: Bryan Schultz 402-468-4313
Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District Donates over 700 Acres to Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge
The Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District recently donated 710 acres, valued at over $1 million, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge near Omaha, Nebraska. A large portion of this acreage includes Nathans Lake. In addition, two tracts were acquired along the auto tour route. This donation brings the total acres of the Refuge to over 4,000 acres.
“This donation is significant in both size and scope to the natural function of this part of the Missouri River floodplain. Nathans Lake is one of only two major historic wetland complexes remaining in the Boyer Chute floodplain and represents a critical component of the biological and hydrological function of the floodplain.” said Bryan Schultz, Manager of Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge. “It provides the full spectrum of year-round needs to a wide diversity of wetland-dependant plants and animals.”
“The restoration and conservation of this important habitat would not have been possible without the continued support and cooperation of the Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District,” adds Mitch King, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region. “We are very fortunate to have the District as a partner in our conservation efforts.”
Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, named a Nebraska Important Bird Area in 2005, provides floodplain habitat for more than 240 species of migratory birds. The Refuge offers a variety of opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation including: almost 8 miles of hiking trails, accessible fishing piers, controlled hunting, wildlife observation, environmental education, interpretation, and photography. The Meadowlark trail was recently designated a National Recreational Trail.
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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