FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2002
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft environmental assessment and land protection plan for the establishment of Red River National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Louisiana.
“The draft assessment describes the Service’s proposal for establishing Red River Refuge on up to 50,000 acres along the Red River in Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, Red River, and Natchitoches Parishes, Louisiana,” said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director.
The establishment of Red River National Wildlife Refuge is authorized by Congress under the Red River National Wildlife Refuge Act (Public Law 106-300). This Act, signed into law on October 13, 2000, authorizes the establishment of the refuge to provide for the restoration and conservation of fish and wildlife habitats in the Red River Valley ecosystem in northwest Louisiana. According to the legislation, the refuge shall consist of up to 50,000 acres of federal lands, waters, and interests therein within the boundaries of a 220,000-acre selection area depicted on a map entitled, “Red River National Wildlife Refuge Selection Area,” dated September 5, 2000. When sufficient property is acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to constitute an area that can be efficiently managed as a national wildlife refuge, then the establishment of Red River National Wildlife Refuge would take effect.
To guide land acquisition planning efforts, the Service has completed a draft environmental assessment that identifies five focus areas, including one for a proposed headquarters and visitor center site, within the approved selection area. The draft assessment is being made available for public review and comment from January 11 to February 15, 2002.
Requests for copies of the draft and for further information on the project should be addressed to Mr. Charles Danner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 420, Atlanta, Georgia 30345 (telephone: 1-800-419-9582) or Mr. Mike Dawson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jackson Field Office, 6578 Dogwood View Parkway, Suite B, Jackson, Mississippi 39213 (telephone: 601-965-4903).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
Atlanta, GA 30345
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