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Public Comment Sought on Draft Environmental Assessment and Public Hunt Plan for Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2007


Contacts:

Craig Sasser, Refuge Manager, (843) 527- 8069
Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291


The Service is seeking public comments on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Hunt Plan that updates rules related to public hunting on Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina. A Compatibility Determination for allowing hunting on the Refuge is also available for public comment. The refuge, located in portions of Horry and Georgetown County, South Carolina, was established in 1997 and public hunting was integral to establishment.

Changes to an existing hunt plan for a National Wildlife Refuge must provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on draft changes to the EA and hunt plan. The EA and hunt plan is being updated to provide a more comprehensive analysis of potential cumulative effects. The alternatives remain the same and new hunting opportunities are not being proposed.

The Service’s preferred alternative allows limited public hunting of migratory game birds and resident game species on Waccamaw NWR with minimal, to no disturbance to the federally listed species present. The Refuge hunting season framework will be consistent with all State statutes as determined by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources within the applicable Game Zones and further regulated by Refuge regulations according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy. Refuge management goals and objectives may require occasional modifications to the hunting program as harvest data, public use pressure, and Refuge programs are developed. Use of quota hunt for special management purposes may be necessary to meet Refuge specific objectives.

The EA, Hunt Plan, and Compatibility Determination are available at the Waccamaw Refuge headquarters located at 1601 N. Fraser Street, Georgetown, South Carolina 19440, or by calling the refuge at 843-527-8069. Written comments on the EA, Hunt Plan, or Compatibility Determination can be mailed to Craig Sasser, PO Box 1439, Georgetown, SC 2994 or faxed to 843-527-8494, or sent via e-mail to: marshall_sasser@fws.gov. Written comments must be received by the Service by the close of business on April 5, 2007.


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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