Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

United States Department of the Interior

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Mountain-Prairie Region
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, Colorado 80225
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Missouri National Recreational River
508 E. 2nd Street
Yankton, South Dakota 57078

For Immediate Release
Date: April 3, 2013

Leith Edgar (303) 236-4588
Nick Kaczor (303) 236-4387
Steve Mietz (605) 665-0209

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service Make Progress on
Proposed Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas

Comments Regarding This Conservation Effort Will Be Accepted
During the 60-day Public Comment Period

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and National Park Service (NPS) worked collaboratively to develop a draft environmental impact statement and land protection plan for two large conservation areas along the Missouri River in Northeast Nebraska and South Dakota. The agencies are seeking public comment on the draft plan for the Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas.

“In creating these areas, the Service and NPS would work with willing private landowners, local communities, and other conservation entities to conserve important wildlife habitats, increase high quality recreational opportunities, preserve sensitive cultural sites, and maintain sustainable farming and ranching operations in the region while not increasing regulations or altering dam operations,” said Noreen Walsh, Regional Director for the Mountain-Prairie Region.

Efforts will focus on the Missouri River between Ft. Randall Dam to the Running Water Bridge and upstream the Niobrara River to the Spencer Dam. This area is referred to as the Niobrara Confluence. The other area, called the Ponca Bluffs, is centered on the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam to Sioux City, Iowa.

Individual or group representatives may visit the project website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/niob-ponca) to learn more or to provide comments. The Service and NPS will gather public input as part of public comment period until June 14, 2013. All comments received before June 14th will be considered by the agencies during completion of the final environmental impact statement.

Public meetings regarding the draft plan will begin with an informational presentation followed
by an open house where individuals can meet one-on-one with the Service and NPS staff for
additional discussion. The meetings will be at the following dates and locations:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 (Meeting rescheduled due to inclement weather)
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Vermillion Public Library
18 Church Street
Vermillion, South Dakota

Thursday, April 18, 2013 (Meeting rescheduled due to inclement weather)
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Lutheran Fellowship Hall
2532 Apple Street (Just south of Moody Motors)
Niobrara, Nebraska


Information will broadcast via local radio stations in the event of a cancellation or
postponement. For more information or to provide comments, contact:


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


Steve Mietz, Superintendent
National Park Service
Missouri National Recreational River
508 East 2nd Street
Yankton, South Dakota 57078
605-665-0209