Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

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

December 29, 2010 

Contacts:
Lloyd Jones (701) 442-5474, ext. 111
Nick Kaczor (303) 236-4387         

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Extend Public Comment Period for the Proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area in the Dakotas and Montana

 Public Scoping Comments Regarding This Landscape Conservation Effort Will Be Accepted Until January 14, 2011

Due to the holiday season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is extending the comment period for the Proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area until January 14, 2011.  The proposal’s objective is to accelerate the conservation of wetland and grassland habitats within the Prairie Pothole Region in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana through the use of conservation easements. The easements will be used to create the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area.  Although the Service has previously, and is currently purchasing easements in the Prairie Pothole Region, this proposal identifies a new avenue of funding to use in cooperation with will willing landowners.  The funds for this project would come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund which is primarily derived from the proceeds of outer continental shelf oil and gas leases excess motorboat fuel tax, and the sale of surplus federal property.

Comments and information received will help determine the appropriate level of environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act to develop the Land Protection Plan for the proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area.
The Service encourages individuals or group representatives to call, write, or request information on the proposal with Service staff.  The Service will accept public scoping comments until January 14, 2011.  However, there will be another opportunity to comment on the Land Protection Plan in the spring of 2011.

You can also visit the project website for more information – http://www.fws.gov/audubon/DakotaGrassland.html

For more information or to provide comments, contact:

Lloyd Jones, Wildlife Refuge Manager
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
3275 11th Street NW
Coleharbor, ND 58531
DGCA_comments@fws.gov
701- 442-5474 x111

Nick Kaczor, Planning Team Leader
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, Colorado 80225
DGCA_comments@fws.gov
303- 236-4387


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.


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