Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

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

For Release on July 7, 2011

Contacts: 

Mike Dixon (303) 236-8132
Bruce Hastings (303) 289-0533

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Host Public Meeting Regarding the Potential Expansion of Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge

Public Scoping Comments will be accepted until July 29, 2011

Pursuant to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act of 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to make available a parcel of land up to 300’ wide from the existing Indiana Street right-of-way on the eastern border of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge for the sole purpose of transportation improvements.

The Service has received proposals that include proposed exchanges of the transportation corridor for property known as Section 16 on the southwest corner of the existing Refuge.  The Service has also received a request to transfer the 300’ wide parcel in fee for transportation purposes. 

The Service also proposes to expand the western edge of the approved acquisition boundary of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.   Expanding the refuge boundary would allow the future acquisition of environmentally important land, including critical habitat for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse.  The land within the proposed boundary also includes xeric tallgrass prairie, a globally rare vegetation type, and would provide an important corridor between the Refuge and existing regional open space to the west.

The Service wants to hear from the community and will hold a meeting about the proposed boundary expansion and a potential land exchange at the Westminster City Park Recreation Center on Wednesday July 20, 2011.  The meeting will be in an open house format, so you will be able to meet with Service personnel, learn about the proposal, and provide input.  The meeting will be a forum for sharing ideas and concerns regarding the potential expansion of the Refuge.  The Service also encourages the public to comment through letters, emails, or phone calls to the contacts listed below.  Comments and information received will help determine the appropriate level of environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to expand the refuge boundary.

NEPA requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the effects of their proposed actions on the quality of the human environment.

Whether you are an individual or a group representative, please do not hesitate to call, write, or request information on upcoming meetings with Service staff to discuss the proposal and your perspective.  The service will accept public scoping comments until July 29, 2011.  There will be an opportunity to comment on the resulting NEPA document in late summer/early fall of 2011.

The open house will begin at 5:00pm and continue until 8:00pm on July 20 at the following location:
Westminster City Park Recreation Center
10455 Sheridan Blvd.
Westminster, CO  80031

For more information or to provide comments, contact:
Mike Dixon
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, CO 80225
RockFlatsEA@fws.gov
303-236-8132

Bruce Hastings, Deputy Refuge Manager
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
6550 Gateway Road
Building 129
Commerce City, CO  80022
RockyFlatsEA@fws.gov
303-289-0533

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. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq

-FWS-