The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service Have Extended the Public Comment Period on the Draft Plan for the Proposed Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas
For Immediate Release
June 17, 2013
Comments Regarding This Conservation Effort Will Be Accepted Until September 30, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Park Service (NPS) have re-opened the public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and land protection plan (LPP) for the proposed Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas. These conservation areas are proposed to build on existing conservation efforts along the Missouri River in northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota. This voluntary project 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. This project does not propose to modify any existing regulations or alter dam operations, but does provide a conservation tool for a landowner to consider.
"We have heard from local citizens that they would like more time to learn about the project, and we want to honor that request" said Noreen Walsh, Regional Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. "We want to emphasize that we value everyone’s input and encourage them to email us or write us with their public comments. This draft document is an opportunity for the public to provide input into the plan during its development.”
All interested persons are encouraged to visit the project website to learn more or to provide comments. Hard copies of the draft plan will be available at the Spencer, Niobrara, Yankton, and Vermillion libraries for viewing. Individuals may also contact our local project coordinator, Wayne Nelson-Stastny, to visit one-on-one about the project. Wayne will also be available to meet with individuals and groups throughout this planning process.
The FWS and NPS will gather public input as part of public comment period until September 30, 2013; thereby allowing a total of 180 days for the public to review and comment on the plan. All comments received before then will be included in the decision making process for consideration by the NPS and FWS during completion of the final environmental impact statement.