Created in 1965 some 27 miles north of Green River to mitigate fish and wildlife losses associated with construction of the Fontenelle and Flaming Gorge dams, Seedskadee NWR has been operating under a 1987 master plan that guides refuge activities ranging from refuge development to preservation of waterfowl habitat to hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
The "comprehensive management plan" now being drafted involves a complete review of the goals, objectives, and management strategies formerly undertaken on the 21,000-acre Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. The resulting document is an all-encompassing management plan that clearly outlines the desired future condition of the refuge. It provides refuge visitors with a clear understanding of the reasons for management actions on the refuge. In addition, it addresses refuge development and funding needs.
The management of each of the more than 500 wildlife refuges overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is specific to each site, but the end result is the same for all refuges -- restoration and management of refuge lands for the conservation of wildlife and their habitats. Since 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida's Pelican Island as the nation's first wildlife refuge, more than 92 million acres throughout the country have been set aside as wildlife refuges.
The current review, and in some cases, creation, of comprehensive management plans was directed by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.
At Seedskadee, public comment is being sought on how the refuge manages wildlife habitat, cultural resources, and public use. The first open house is scheduled for June 8 at the refuge headquarters from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The second will be June 10 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Sweetwater County Library in Green River.
A second round of open houses will be scheduled at a later date for public review of a draft management plan.
There also will be a "Take A Kid Fishing Day" on June 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the refuge. Throughout the day refuge staff will be available to provide fishing tips and techniques to children while they fish in the refuge's waters.
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