Refuge conservation plans are called Comprehensive Conservation Plans, or CCPs. The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the refuge for the next 15 years.
The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the refuge and its effects on the human environment, are described in the CCP as well.
To support and fulfill the mission of the Refuge System, the
National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act (1997) required that the
Service will develop a CCP for each national
wildlife refuge in the Refuge System. To meet this requirement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
is nearing completion of a CCP for the National Elk
Refuge. A draft CCP and accompanying Environmental Assessment (as required by the
National Environmental Policy Act) describes management alternatives
under consideration and their effects on the environment. The Notice of Availability (NOA) for the documents was announced on September 9, 2014. The refuge's CCP was available for public comment from September 9 through October 24, 2014.
After an extensive review of comments and internal reviews, the CCP was approved on September 18, 2015 and is in the final stages of preparation. More information on the plan will be provided in a notice of availability to be published in the Federal Register when the Final CCP is available (expected late November 2015).
This 15-year plan will provide long-range guidance and
management direction for all of the refuge's programs. The plan will outline a
vision statement and supporting goals, objectives, and strategies. It will be a
"living" document that is updated every 15 years.
The Bison and Elk Management Plan, completed in 2007, provides
goals, objectives, and strategies for managing bison and elk on the National Elk
Refuge and in Grand Teton National Park for the next 15 years. Therefore, the
CCP will not address bison and elk management on the
refuge, but will address all other aspects of refuge management including
migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, visitor use, and cultural
A comprehensive web site on the National Elk Refuge's
Comprehensive Conservation Plan can be found at www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/planning/ccp/wy/ner/ner.html
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