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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Seeks Comments on Draft Waterfowl Hunting Plan and Environmental Assessment for Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2007


Contacts:

Ben Nottingham, Deputy Refuge Manager, (239) 353-8442 x 225
Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291


A draft Waterfowl Hunting Plan and Environmental Assessment for Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Collier County, FL is available for a 30-day public review beginning March 5, 2007. The comment period will end April 3, 2007.

The plan describes two alternatives for hunting on the refuge: (1) the proposed action alternative would open a waterfowl hunting program and (2) the no action would close the refuge to waterfowl hunting.

Currently, waterfowl hunting is allowed on the Refuge. Waterfowl (ducks and coots) hunting would be carried out in accordance with Federal and State of Florida regulations and refuge-specific regulations.

Copies of the plan and the draft Environmental Assessment can be requested from the refuge and copies are available for review at the following location:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Comfort Inn),
3860 Tollgate Blvd, Suite 300,
Naples, FL 34114

Written comments, requests for the plan, or questions can be directed to Ben Nottingham, Deputy Refuge Manager, 3860 Tollgate Blvd, Suite 300, Naples, FL 34114. Email comments can be provided to the following address: Ben_Nottingham@fws.gov.

The Ten Thousand Islands NWR encompasses 35,000 acres of mangrove forest, freshwater and brackish marsh, coastal barrier islands, and small upland hammocks. The Refuge was established n 1996 under the provisions of the Florida Land Exchange Act of 1988. The refuge is located east of Marco Island in Collier County, south of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail), and west of Port of the Islands. Hunting opportunities would include waterfowl (ducks and coots) hunting during state seasons, on Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and federal holidays in a designated area, south of U.S. 41, west of Port of the Islands, and east of Collier-Seminole State Park.

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 which encompasses more than 542 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.

 


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast or http://www.fws.gov/.



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