Dave Menke (530) 667-2231
Tulelake, Calif., -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) is available for review and comment.
The Klamath Marsh NWR protects habitat for waterfowl and other unique wetland and aquatic dependent species, including the greater sandhill cranes, yellow rails, Oregon spotted frogs, red-naped sapsuckers, pygmy nuthatches, bald eagles, beaver, and red band trout.
Public meetings on the draft plan are scheduled for August 18 from 6:30 -8:30 pm at the Klamath Falls Shilo Inn (ballroom), 2500 Almond St., Klamath Falls, OR 97601; and, on August 19 from 6:30 -8:30 pm at the Chiloquin Community Center, 216 1st. Ave., Chiloquin, OR 97624.
Written comments on the draft plan must be received at the address below on or before Friday, September 18, 2009.Comments should be sent to Mark Pelz, Chief, Refuge Planning, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA, 95825, phone (916) 414-6500.
The purpose in developing a CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan for achieving refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and our policies.
CCPs also identify wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation.
The Klamath Marsh NWR was established in 1958 and is located in south central Oregon on the east slope of the Cascade Mountain Range along the Williamson River. The Service owns approximately 40,960 acres within the 49,583-acre acquisition boundary. The Refuge protects one of the largest remaining natural freshwater marshes on the west coast.
Other important habitats on the refuge include sedge meadow, grassland, riverine, riparian scrub, and ponderosa pine forest. The refuge protects habitat for a variety of unique species including greater sandhill cranes, yellow rails, Oregon spotted frogs, red-naped sapsuckers, pygmy nuthatches, bald eagles, beaver, and red band trout. The entire Refuge is located within the former reservation of the Klamath Tribes.
The Draft CCP/EA identifies three alternatives for how the Refuge will be managed over the next 15 years. The Service’s preferred alternative would restore the portion of the Williamson River and Big Spring Creek on the Refuge. In addition, the Service would substantially improve management of emergent marsh, meadows, ponderosa pine forest and aspen to increase habitat value for migratory birds and other wildlife.
The preferred alternative also seeks to improve and expand visitor services by developing new trails, interpretive exhibits, an environmental education program, and a visitor contact station; maintain existing hunting and fishing programs with minor modifications; increase cultural resources protection; and recommend no units for wilderness designation. The Service would also revise and update the MOU with the Klamath Tribes regarding subsistence hunting and gathering.
There is also a no action alternative, in which the Service would continue to manage the Refuge as we have in the recent past. A third alternative is also included, which would enhance wildlife protections, restore some habitat and eliminate public hunting and minimize other public recreational opportunities.
The draft plan and accompanying documents can also be viewed and downloaded on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/KlamathMarshCCP/kmarshccp.html
You can also obtain this information in the Federal Register Notice at www.regulations.gov.
Printed documents may be viewed Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 4009 Hill Road, Tulelake, CA, and at several local libraries. For more information, please contact Dave Menke at (530) 667-2231.
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 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas.