Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

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

 

January 22, 2008 

Contacts:  Otto Jose 303-236-8156

                David McGillivary 303-236-4411

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks Public Comment for Mapleton Bench Land Disposal

near Mapleton, Utah

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) prepared to address the State of Utah’s proposed project entitled “Mapleton Bench Land Disposal Involving Lands Owned by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Mapleton, Utah County, Utah”  Public comments are welcome for a 15-day period.

 

In 1942, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) purchased a 124.17-acre parcel to provide winter range for big game species and hunting opportunities.  The site is known as the Mapleton Bench Unit of the Hobble Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The property was acquired with federal funds through the Wildlife Restoration Act.

 

The purpose of this proposed action is to dispose of 3.8 acres of the Mapleton Bench Unit of the WMA located near southeastern Mapleton in Utah County.  This parcel no longer provides habitat for big game nor does it provide hunting opportunities for Utah hunters.  The 3.8 acres of the WMA is located directly adjacent to a housing development.  In early April 2007, a developer illegally trespassed on the parcel and began unauthorized earthwork on the site.  The earthwork removed all vegetation on the site and completely recontoured the site to create a detention basin for flooding events.  As a result of the actions by the developer and the ongoing housing growth surrounding the WMA, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) proposes to dispose of the parcel.

 

Detailed information on each alternative considered for this proposed project is contained in the DEA and is available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance.  Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services’ Division of Federal Assistance at 303-236-5420 or writing to:  Chief, Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO 80225.

 

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-