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 28, 2010

Contact: Kathy Burchett (406) 727-7400 ext. 222

              Greg Neudecker (406) 793-7400

              Toni Griffin (303) 236-4378

 

 

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT

ON PROPOSED CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROGRAM

IN THE SWAN VALLEY

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today issued the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and accompanying Land Protection Plan (LPP) for the proposed establishment of the Swan Valley Conservation Area. The Service is proposing to establish a conservation easement program 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 Valley’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 easement program. The outcome of the assessment will determine whether the Service should proceed with the proposed establishment of the Swan Valley conservation easement program.

 

The program involves the purchase of perpetual conservation easements on private land in portions of Missoula and Lake Counties. Conservation easements in the Swan Valley 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.