|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
November 15, 2006
Contact Mike Bryant, 605 487-7603x105 firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE TO HOST PUBLIC MEETINGS ABOUT FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM LANDS IN SOUTH DAKOTA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will be host three public open house meetings to encourage public comment on future management of Service lands in southeast South Dakota. Comments generated from these meetings will be used to develop a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge, Karl Mundt National Wildlife Refuge, and Lake Andes Wetland Management District, which includes 83 Waterfowl Production Areas and more than 1000 conservation easements on private land that protect wetlands and grasslands.
The meetings are scheduled as follows:
Each meeting will be held from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. A short presentation will be given at 7:00 P.M. The public is invited to share their ideas and concerns at all three of these meetings.
Part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, these lands are scattered over 14 counties in southeastern South Dakota: Brule, Aurora, Charles Mix, Gregory, Douglas, Bon Homme, Hutchinson, Hanson, Davison, Turner, Lincoln, Clay, Yankton, and Union. These lands provide important habitat for millions of birds, and numerous opportunities for wildlife-dependant public uses, including: hunting, wildlife observation and photography, fishing, environmental education, interpretation, and trapping.
The 1997 National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act requires the Service to develop a CCP for every refuge in the system. Once completed, the CCP will guide administration and management of these lands in South Dakota for 15 years.
Additional information can be found at the Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge Complex website: http://lakeandes.fws.gov.
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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