Refuge Planning
Northeast Region
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Emma Kerr
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Emma Kerr

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
Comprehensive Conservation Planning

Creating a Refuge Conservation Plan for the Future, Wildlife and You

This year, we will work with local interests to develop a 15-year comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for the refuge. The plan will evaluate three alternative strategies for managing wildlife, recreational uses, and other activities on the refuge. The environmental and economic impacts of the alternatives will be carefully evaluated and will guide our decisions. We are expecting to release a draft plan by the end of 2013.

With your involvement, we will develop a CCP that will ensure that Chincoteague remains a spectacular place for wildlife and people.

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The planning team is still working hard to develop a draft comprehensive conservation plan for Chincoteague. Each alternative will include a recreational beach, beachside parking for visitors, and continuing management of the Chincoteague pony herd. Below is a brief summary of the three draft alternatives:

Alternative A is the status quo and current management alternative as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. This alternative continues current management strategies as established by the Master Plan approved in 1992.

Alternative B would continue established habitat and wildlife management strategies but focus them in light of the new goals and vision established by the CCP. This alternative balances habitat management, public use and access, and administration of the refuge.

Alternative C would direct staffing and funding towards maximizing habitat and wildlife management strategies. As a result of prioritizing habitat and wildlife management, public use activities and access may be reduced.

There will be an opportunity for public review and comment, including information sessions and at least one public hearing, for 60 days following publication of the draft plan.

If you have any questions about the planning process as we continue to develop the draft CCP, please contact Joe McCauley at 413-253 8590, or Tom Bonetti at 413-253-8307,

Previous Newsletters

For our April 2013 Newsletter, click here.

Hurricane Sandy Response Newsletter, click here.

For our August 2012 Newsletter, click here.

For our August 2011 Newsletter, click here (pdf - 1 Mb).

For our May 2011 Newsletter, click here.

For our February 2011 Newsletter, click here.

Last updated: July 23, 2013