|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
February 22, 2007
Contact: Tedd Gutzke, (701) 768-2548
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE TO HOLD PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE FOR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public open house in Minot, North Dakota to solicit public input on the draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Souris River Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, and Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, located in north central North Dakota. The refuges were established in 1935 as refuges and breeding grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife.
The open house will be held at the Minot Public Library Meeting Room at 516 Second Avenue SW, Minot, North Dakota from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm on March 6, 2007.
Service staff from the refuges and the regional office will be available to receive public comments and answer questions. The Service encourages the public to take advantage of this opportunity to comment on the plan, which will guide long-term management of the refuges.
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 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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