Mosquito Surveillance and Control Seatuck and Wertheim National Wildlife Refuges
December 5, 2012
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is re-evaluating a proposal to allow mosquito surveillance and control on the Wertheim and Seatuck units of the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Suffolk County, New York. In 2006, the Refuge completed a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and, at that time, mosquito surveillance and control were evaluated and found to be a compatible use. A compatible use is a proposed or existing wildlife-dependent recreational use or any other use of a national wildlife refuge that, based on sound professional judgment, will not materially interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of the National Wildlife Refuge System mission or the purpose of the National Wildlife Refuge. A compatibility determination document is developed to facilitate evaluation of such uses.
The compatibility determination conducted in 2006 was valid for 5 years, but is now expired and needs to be re-evaluated. Work would include weekly mosquito surveillance between May and September and larvicide treatment when it is determined that the abundance and distribution of larvae present on the refuge marshes exceeds the threshold identified in the compatibility determination document. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risk of a serious health threat to both humans and wildlife.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. The purpose for which Wertheim and Seatuck National Wildlife Refuges were established was for the conservation of migratory birds and other wildlife.
The Service would like to get your feedback on these proposed refuge uses. We are especially interested in any additional information that you may have or any studies regarding the effects of such uses. A compatibility determination has been drafted, and is available for public review and comment. All comments received within 14 days following the date of this notice will be considered in finalizing that determination. We hope to make a final decision on these proposed uses within 30 days following closure of the public comment period.
To request a copy of the compatibility determination, to learn the final decision regarding these proposed uses, or for more information, contact Michelle Potter - Refuge Manager, Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, by mail at 340 Smith Rd., Shirley, NY 11967; by telephone at 631-286-0485; or by e-mail at email@example.com; you may also visit our website to view the compatibility determination document at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/longislandrefuges.
2012 Draft Compatibility Determination for Mosquito Surveillance and Control on Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Lands (PDF 62k)
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Survey Results
An overwhelming percentage of surveyed visitors to national wildlife refuges in 2010 and 2011 were favorably impressed with the recreational opportunities, education and services on these public lands, according to a national survey released on May 15. Some 90 percent of respondents gave consistent high marks to all facets of their refuge experience.
The peer-reviewed survey, commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and designed, conducted, and analyzed by researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey, evaluated responses from more than 10,000 adult visitors surveyed at 53 of the country’s 556 national wildlife refuges between July 2010 and November 2011.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the Service, is the nation’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. Refuges protect thousands of species; more than 400 also are open to the public and are popular recreation sites, noted for their hunting and fishing, paddling and hiking, environmental education programs and wildlife observation. More than 45 million people visited national wildlife refuges in 2011.
“When you visit a refuge and see for yourself the amazing web of life this natural landscape protects, it’s hard not to come away impressed,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “You begin to understand what a treasure we Americans have at our doorstep. For most people, that appreciation deepens when they learn what staff are doing to conserve their wildlife heritage. We’re thrilled that visitors also recognize and appreciate the efforts of Refuge System staff to make their visits rich and enjoyable.”
Most Popular: Wildlife observation, Hiking, Bird watching, Nonmotorized boating, and Photography
Of survey participants,
- 76% reported satisfaction with information and education on the refuge, etc.
“My wife and I are lifelong NYC residents. Our second home was in part selected on the proximity to Wertheim NWR. We walk there most weekends, have sighted many kinds of wildlife, and love the peace and quiet away from cars, RVs, and runners. The river, ponds, and woods refresh and inspire us year round. Users are friendly and respectful to each other and the refuge, almost without exceptions. We are grateful for the worth of all who labor to make it what it is.” Survey comment from visitor to Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge.
At Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, the most popular activities are hiking, boating, wildlife observation, bird watching.
Aside from private vehicles, the most common types of transportation visitors favored were walking/hiking (28%) and boating (19%).