Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

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

February 20, 2008

Contacts: David McGillivary  303-236-4411

                Otto Jose 303-236-8156

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Makes a Finding of No Significant Impact for Mapleton Bench Land Disposal near Mapleton, Utah County, Utah

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has determined a “Finding of No Significant Impact” for the final Environmental Assessment (EA) of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources proposed project entitled, “Mapleton Bench Land Disposal Involving Lands Owned by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Mapleton, Utah County, Utah.”  The proposal is a Wildlife Restoration Act project administered jointly by the Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

 

In 1942, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (Division) 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 Division proposes to dispose of the parcel.  The developer will donate 7.5 acres of land with suitable habitat for the Federally endangered June sucker to the Division. 

 

Public comments were solicited on the draft EA through a public news release for 15 days and were available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance.  Two comments were received and are addressed in the final EA.  The EA detailed the project and analyzed potential impacts and effects on affected resources. 

 

A copy of the “Finding of No Significant Impact” and the final EA are available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance.  Those without internet access may request copies by calling U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Assistance at 303-236-5420.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

-FWS-