|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
May 8, 2006
Contact: Dean Rundle (303) 289-0350
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON SIGNS FOR FUTURE ROCKY FLATS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Manager Dean Rundle announced today that the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a sign plan for the future refuge. “During the public process to produce our Comprehensive Conservation Plan, the Service committed to providing the public with basic information about site history, cleanup, and safety at each public access point,” said Rundle.
Today, the Service is seeking public input on the language for its signs. A draft refuge step-down management plan, which includes proposed signage, will be available for public comment beginning on Tuesday, May 9, and the Service will accept public comments through June 9, 2006.
The draft plan will be posted for public review and comment on the refuge headquarters web site at: http://rockymountainarsenal.fws.gov. The Service will also place copies of the draft plan in public libraries in Arvada, Westminster, Broomfield and Boulder. Comments can be sent by e-mail the web site, or mailed to: Refuge Manager, Bldg. 111 - RMA, 7200 Quebec Street, Commerce City, CO 80022. All comments must be received by 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 9.
In 2001, Congress designated the future use of Rocky Flats as a National Wildlife Refuge following cleanup of the site by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). The physical work to clean up the site was completed in 2005. DOE, with oversight from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment expects to complete all final cleanup decision documents later this year. The Service anticipates accepting a transfer of land from DOE, and establishment of the refuge in early 2007.
“Our comprehensive plan calls for opening one short trail for visitors, to the historic and picturesque Lindsay Ranch site, during the first year following refuge establishment. Although we anticipate it will be several years before the refuge is fully open to the public, the Service is keeping its promise to the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council and other stakeholders to involve the public in this decision-making process now.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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