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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Seeks Comments on Draft Hunting Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Compatibility Determination for Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2007


Contacts:

Paul Yakupzack, (985) 853-1078
Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291


A Sport Hunting Plan, draft Environmental Assessment, and Compatibility Determination for Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in St. Mary Parish is available for public review on March 2, 2007. The comment period will extend until April 2, 2007.

The plan describes four alternatives for hunting on the refuge: (1) the no action alternative would not allow hunting, (2) the proposed action regulations would open the refuge to hunting, but would administratively limit it to those areas specified in the refuge-specific regulations as described in the 2007 Sport Hunting Plan, (3) the close specific areas to harvest alternative would provide variable hunting opportunities during the hunting seasons, and (4) the open entire refuge to harvest alternative would provide hunting opportunities throughout the hunting seasons.. Although hunting has been ongoing on Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge, in response to a 2003 lawsuit filed by the Fund for Animals, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) developed environmental assessments that describe hunting programs at twenty-three national wildlife refuges located in the Southeast Region to address cumulative impacts of hunting. Under the proposed action, hunting of deer, hogs, and migratory birds such as waterfowl, coots, gallinule, and rails would occur. Hunting would be carried out in accordance with Federal and State of Louisiana regulations, and refuge-specific regulations.

Copies of the plan can be reviewed on the refuge web site at: http://www.fws.gov/bayouteche/ and at the following library:

St. Mary Parish Library:
206 Iberia St.,
Franklin, LA

Written comments or questions can be directed to Paul Yakupzack, Refuge Manager, at 3599 Bayou Black Drive, Houma, LA 70360; (985) 853-1078. Email comments can be provided to the following address: barret_fortier@fws.gov.

The Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge is currently over 9,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest and cypress/tupelo swamp and is located in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. The refuge lies to the north of Centreville, LA and south of Franklin, LA.

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/.



NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286


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