Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

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

BENTON LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE COMPLEX

900 Bootlegger Trail, Great Falls, MT 59404

 

 July 27, 2010

Kathy Burchett, (406) 7227-400 ext.222

Jim Lange, (406) 727-7400, ext. 228

Toni Griffin (303) 236-4378

 

 

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT

ON PROPOSED EXPANSION OF CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROGRAM

ON THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today issued the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and accompanying Land Protection Plan (LPP) for the proposed expansion of the Rocky Mountain Front Conservation Area. The Service is proposing to expand the existing easement program by adjusting the existing project boundary to create additional opportunities to work with private landowners and other conservation partners. Conservation easements are an effective, proven tool for connecting and protecting important habitat for fish and wildlife species while also sustaining the Front’s working landscapes and traditional economies.

 

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, the Service has prepared an environmental assessment to analyze the potential impacts of the proposed expansion. The outcome of the assessment will determine whether the Service should proceed with the proposed expansion of the Rocky Mountain Front conservation easement program.

 

The program, created in 2005, involves the purchase of perpetual conservation easements on private land in the western portion of Lewis and Clark, Teton, and Pondera Counties. No fee title acquisition of private land is authorized or would occur under the existing or proposed expansion of the program. Conservation easements on the Front will be managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

 

You may view the draft EA and LPP online at the Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex website (http://bentonlake.fws.gov), or at the regional planning website (http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/planning/Habitat%20Protection%20Plans/Montana/Montana.htm). A hard copy of the draft EA and LPP may be obtained from the office at the Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Telephone: 406/727 7400, Email: bentonlake@fws.gov.

 

The Service invites the public to share comments about the draft plan. We accept letters, faxes, and emails. To be considered in the development of the final EA and LPP, all written comments must be emailed or postmarked by August 25, 2010.

 

Email: bentonlake@fws.gov

 

 

Postal Mail:

Toni Griffin, Planning Team Leader

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

134 Union Blvd., Suite 300

Lakewood, CO 80228

 

Fax: 303/236 4792; Attn: Toni Griffin, Planning Team Leader

 

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.