Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

July 9, 2007

Contacts:  Otto Jose  303-236-8156
                 David McGillivary  303-236-4411

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves Proposal for “Six-Mile Unit of the Southwest Manti Wildlife Management

Area Land Disposal” in Sanpete County, Utah

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has determined a “Finding of No Significant Impact” for the final Environmental Assessment of the Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources (Division) proposed project entitled “Six-Mile Unit of the Southwest Manti Wildlife Management Area Land Disposal.”  The proposal is a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration project administered jointly by the Division and the Service

In 1985, the Division purchased 88 acres of the Six-Mile Unit of the Southwest Manti Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for the purpose of providing habitat for big game during the winter months.  The WMA contains over 7,000 acres of winter range habitat for mule deer.  The acquisition was partially funded by the Wildlife Restoration Act program under grant W-11-L, “12 Mile Canyon Deer Winter Range.”  

In 2006, the Sanpete County Commission (County) approached the Division about purchasing a 12-acre parcel within the WMA for the purpose of constructing a County Office Complex and Jail.  The County explored several construction site options but found none to meet their needs as well as the Division parcel.  The Division has determined the 12-acre parcel no longer serves the purpose for which it was acquired because of steadily increasing human disturbances which are diminishing the wildlife values on the property.  The Division determined that it would be willing to sell the parcel to Sanpete County.   

The proposed land disposal would involve Sanpete County purchasing the 12 acres in fee simple interest for $36,500.  The purchase price is based on the fair market values established by federal appraisal guidelines.  The income generated from the sale of the property would be credited back to the Division’s wildlife grant account to be reinvested in other projects under the Wildlife Restoration Act grant program in the State of Utah.

Detailed information on each alternative considered for this proposed project is contained in the final environmental assessment and the “Sanpete County Sheriffs Complex Construction Project, Class I Environmental Assessment with Environmental Report,” USDA, Rural Development, 2006.

Public comments were solicited on the draft Environmental Assessment -- no comments were received. 

Copies of the final Environmental Assessment, which include details of the Division’s proposed action, alternative actions and decisions to be made by the Service, are available online by clicking on the title of the document at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance.  Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Service’s Division of Federal Assistance at 303-236-5420.   

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.

 

- FWS - 

                                                                               

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