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Comprehensive Conservation Planning

YCC students repairing bog bridge - USFWS.

The purpose of a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) is to guide refuge management over the next 15 years. The plan includes goals, objectives, and strategies for refuge programs, and details the combination of actions we will implement to protect species, manage habitats, and support compatible, public recreational and other uses.

Latest News in Developing CCP

Public Comment Period on Draft CCP/EIS Completed

On August 18, 2015, we released a draft CCP/EIS for the Silvio O. Conte NFWR for a 90-day public comment period. We hosted 14 informational sessions across the watershed and held 4 formal public hearings, one in each state, during the comment period. We received over 270 emails and letters, and 73 people provided oral comments at the hearings.

The draft CCP/EIS will remain available on this website. Click here to download the reader’s guide, to help navigate the document, and to access the full text Silvio O. Conte NFWR draft CCP/EIS and it appendixes. The draft CCP/EIS is also available at the following town and city clerk’s offices*: 

Connecticut Massachusetts New Hampshire Vermont
Haddam Hadley Alstead Bridgewater
Lyme Middlefield Columbia Stockbridge
Glastonbury Chesterfield Jefferson West Fairlee
Middletown Northampton Lyme Windham
South Windsor Sandisfield Richmond  
Suffield      
*Please contact the town or city clerk before visiting to verify office hours & availability.

 

Public Hearing Transcripts
St Johnsbury, VT - November 2, 2015
Keene, NH - November 5, 2015
Hadley, MA - November 9, 2015
Burlington, CT - November 12, 2015

 

Next Steps

We will spend this winter compiling and summarizing comments and developing our responses. The comment summary and our responses will be included as an appendix in our final CCP/EIS. We estimate a spring 2016 release of the final plan for a 30-day review period. A final decision is expected in summer 2016.

 

Clarifying Proposed Hunting Opportunities in the Draft CCP/EIS for Vermont

Based on some recent news coverage, we’d like to clarify our proposal in the draft CCP related to hunting on refuge lands in Vermont. 

Hunting is a priority use and a proud tradition on national wildlife refuges nationwide. 

In the draft CCP, we propose more access to safe hunting opportunities on the Conte refuge in the future. We are not proposing anything that would restrict gun ownership or discourage hunting on refuge lands. If a refuge boundary expansion is eventually approved, and when the Service has funding to buy land within that boundary from willing sellers, we would allow hunting in new refuge areas where it would provide a safe and quality experience that is in line with State of Vermont regulations. 

We currently offer hunting opportunities on existing refuge lands at the Nulhegan Basin Division and Putney Mountain Unit. While we do limit shooting along roads that are open to vehicles in the interest of public safety, there are many miles of road closed to vehicles where these restrictions do not apply.

In the draft CCP, we would continue to provide safe, quality hunting experiences, and also opportunities for people to hike, watch birds, snowmobile, cross-country ski, fish, and bike on refuge lands.

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016
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