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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

June 3, 1999
Royce Huber 402-376-3789
Sharon Rose 303-236-7917 ext. 415

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON FUTURE PLANS FOR
FORT NIOBRARA AND VALENTINE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES

To learn more about the Fort Niobrara and Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Complex and present your views about future plans for each of these refuges, the public is invited to an Open House to be held on Thursday, June 10, 1999, at the Cherry County Courthouse meeting room in Valentine, Nebraska, from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently prepared draft comprehensive conservation plans and environmental assessments for Fort Niobrara and Valentine National Wildlife Refuges. These plans outline how the Service intends to manage such unique habitats of sandhill prairies, mixed prairies, rocky mountain coniferous forests, eastern deciduous forests and northern boreal forests for wildlife and the enjoyment of people in the coming years. Specifically, the plans for the Valentine NWR need to address how the Service can best conserve and manage one of the largest contiguous blocks of Nebraska sandhills in the Nation to preserve indigenous wildlife and provide enjoyment for visitors.

"Public and community input in making long-term management decisions for the future of these refuges is vital to the success of these refuges and the communities of which they are a part," said Ralph Morgenweck, director of the Service’s eight-state mountain-prairie region.

Copies of these draft comprehensive conservation Plans and environmental assessments have been mailed to all agencies, organizations, and individuals who expressed interest in the management of Fort Niobrara and Valentine National Wildlife Refuges. For those who did not receive a copy and would like to review and comment, please contact:

Royce Huber, Refuge Manager

Fort Niobrara / Valentine NWR Complex
HC14, Box 67
Valentine, Nebraska 69201
402-376-3789

These plans are also available for review in the following local libraries:

Ainsworth Alder Public Library                                                   Valentine Public Library
5th and Main Street                                                                    324 N. Main Street
Ainsworth, Nebraska 69210                                                      Valentine, Nebraska 69201

These documents can be obtained electronically through the Service’s Region 6 land acquisition and refuge planning website. The address is http://www.r6.fws.gov/larp. Follow the link to "CCP Status in Region 6," click on Nebraska on the Region 6 map, and look under the "Status" column for links to both Fort Niobrara and Valentine draft plans.

Written comments will be accepted at the Open House, or should be mailed, by July 5, 1999, to:

Bernardo Garza
Land Acquisition and Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486
Denver, Colorado 80225

 


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