is a Comprehensive Conservation Plan?
A comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) describes
the desired future
conditions of a refuge or planning unit; provides long-range guidance
and management direction to achieve the purposes of the refuge; helps
fulfill the mission of the Refuge System; maintains and, where
appropriate, restores the ecological integrity of each refuge and the
Refuge System; helps achieve the goals of the National Wilderness
Preservation System; and meets other mandates. The
National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (Pub.
L. 105–57) mandates that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service write CCPs
for all national wildlife refuges and reevaluate them every
15 years or as needed. The National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) mandates that we develop either an
environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement in the
CCP. This planning process provides a unique opportunity for the
involve individuals and local communities in the long-term management
How Does the
There are five basic steps in the CCP process:
1: Scoping Phase. Refuges hold open houses and distribute
surveys to the public to help identify all possible concerns and issues
regarding the refuge. At this time, refuge employees collect data on
such things as fish and wildlife resources, wildlife oriented recreation, or visitor services, needs and costs.
2: Formulate Plan. Refuge staff outline key issues and
concerns, as well as long-term goals for the refuge. Next, they analyze
alternative ways to protect fish and wildlife, resolve concerns and
3: Write Draft Plan. The draft plan identifies management
alternatives and examines the effects each would have on wildlife and
habitat, visitation and public use, and refuge acquisition and
expansion. Once the draft plan is written it is distributed within the
Fish and Wildlife Service for internal review. Then, the draft
is distributed to the public for review.
4: Revise Plan. After hearing from the public, refuge
employees analyze the comments, revise the plan and issue the final CCP.
5: Implement, Monitor, and Evaluate Plan.