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Conservation Planning Continues for Grays Harbor NWR and the Black River Unit

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex is continuing to develop Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCP) for Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and the Black River Unit of Nisqually NWR with the help of the public, partners, and interested stakeholders. The CCPs will guide management of these Refuges over the next 15 years. 

The Comprehensive Conservation Plans for Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and the Black River Unit of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge provide a timely opportunity to evaluate habitat management and public programs. Refuge purposes will guide the process: to protect wildlife and habitat first and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation consistent with wildlife needs.

Two planning update newsletters were issued and two public open houses held last year, to provide an introduction to the planning process and gather scoping comments. Comments received are being used to develop draft preliminary alternatives. A new Planning Update will be issued this fall describing preliminary alternatives. Later this year, a Draft CCP/EA will be released for public comment. Your ideas and input on this Draft plan are needed to provide a more complete and thoughtful process.

Grays Harbor NWR is located in the northeast end of the Grays Harbor estuary on the southwestern Washington coast near Hoquiam. Part of the Chehalis River watershed, it consists of approximately 1,500 acres of estuary and forested habitats. The Grays Harbor estuary is one of four major staging areas for migrating shorebirds in North America and hosts one of the largest concentrations of shorebirds on the Pacific coast, south of Alaska.

The Black River Unit is located five miles southwest of Olympia, Washington, and is managed as part of Nisqually NWR. The Refuge includes more than 1,400 acres in the northern half of the Black River, the most intact low lying river system remaining in western Washington. An important northern tributary of the Chehalis River, it consists of a diverse mosaic of freshwater and forested habitats and provides spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and coastal cutthroat trout. At least 150 species of migratory birds use the wetland and riparian habitats. The Refuge provides crucial breeding habitat for the Oregon spotted frog, a federal candidate species and State listed as endangered.

For those interested in learning more, please visit the Refuge website or contact the Refuge by writing (Refuge Manager, Nisqually NWR Complex, 100 Brown Farm Rd, Olympia, WA, 98516) or calling at 360-753-9467 to be added to the mailing list to receive future Planning Updates. For more information, including Planning Updates, see the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov/pacific/planning/main/docs/WA/docsgraysblack.htm 
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2013
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