December 21, 2012
Draft Waterfowl Hunt Plans for Coastal Refuges Now Available for Public Review and Comment
Roy W. Lowe, (541) 867-4550
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comments on draft implementation plans for new waterfowl hunting programs on Bandon Marsh, Nestucca Bay and Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuges. These draft waterfowl hunting plans contain details on how the hunt will be conducted on the refuges, including a description of the hunt area and refuge-specific regulations. Through finalization of these plans and establishment of refuge-specific regulations, waterfowl hunting on these refuges will be allowed starting with the Fall 2013 season.
Waterfowl hunting is considered to be a legitimate and appropriate use of a National Wildlife Refuge when it is compatible with the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System and the purposes of the Refuge. During the recent preparation of the 15-year management plans for each refuge, waterfowl hunting was given careful consideration along with the need to provide sanctuary for waterfowl and other wildlife. The Service believes that as designed, these hunting programs can be implemented without causing unreasonable conflicts with other public use and management programs.
The draft hunt plans are available on the refuge website (www.fws.gov/oregoncoast) for public review and comment from December 21, 2012 through January 21, 2012. Comments on the draft hunt plans should be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to: Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 S.E. Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365-5258; fax number (541) 867-4551; or e-mail OregonCoastCCP@fws.gov.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's premiere system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 96 million acres, 548 refuges and 37 wetland management districts nationwide.