Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District
P.O. Box 8
Funk, NE 68940



For Immediate Release                                                           Date:  June 29, 2011
Ronnie Sanchez (308) 263-3000
Nick Kaczor (303) 236-4387 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Extend Comment Period for the Draft Environmental Assessment and Land Protection Plan Regarding the Proposed Expansion of the Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District

Public Scoping Comments on the Environmental Assessment and Draft Land Protection Plan Will Now Be Accepted Until July 15, 2011

In an effort to provide ample time to interested parties, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the comment period for the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and accompanying Land Protection Plan (LPP) for the proposed expansion of the Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District to July 15, 2011.  The EA and LPP analyze the potential impacts of increasing the acquisition goal of the district, and outlines actions to achieve refuge management goals. The outcome of the assessment will be to determine whether the Service should proceed with the expansion.

The proposal is to expand protection of the Rainwater Basin to further the protection of critical wetland and grassland habitats for migrating birds. The Service is proposing to increase the acquisition goal from 24,000 acres to 38,177 acres. This would be accomplished by acquiring interest in approximately 9,177 acres by fee-title and 5,000 acres by establishing perpetual conservation easements. These lands would be acquired from willing sellers only. 

The Service would like to continue to receive public comment on the draft EA and LPP as part of the 45 day review period. The EA and LPP documents are available for review and comment on the regional planning website (http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/planning/lpp/ne/rwb/rwb.html).  Written comments concerning the EA/LPP are welcome and should be submitted to the email or mailing addresses indicated below by July 15, 2011.

For more information or to provide comments, contact:

Ronnie Sanchez, Wetland Management District Manager
Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 8
Funk, NE 68940
RWB_comments@fws.gov
308 / 263-3000 x103


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

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