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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Seeks Comments on Draft Sport Hunting Plan and Environmental Assessment and on the Compatibility Determination for Hunting at Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2007


Contacts:

Glen Miller, Wildlife Refuge Manager, (870) 343-2595
Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291


A draft Sport Hunting Plan and Environmental Assessment for Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is available for a 30-day public review beginning February 22, 2007. The comment period will end March 23, 2007. A Compatibility Determination for Hunting is also available for a 21-day public review beginning February 22, 2007. That comment period will end March 16, 2007.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is in the process of proposing to expand hunting on Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) including the Round Pond and Pigmon Units in St. Francis County. Prior to opening new hunts and new lands for hunting on the Refuge, Federal law requires that the Service first determine that these uses are compatible with Refuge purposes. A compatible use is any use of a National Wildlife Refuge that, based on sound professional judgment, will not materially interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of the National Wildlife Refuge System mission or the purposes for establishing the Refuge. The Service develops a compatibility determination to facilitate evaluation of proposed refuge uses, including anticipated impacts and stipulations necessary to ensure compatibility. A draft compatibility determination has been crafted for the proposed uses and is currently available for public review.

The Sport Hunting Plan describes three alternatives for hunting on the refuge: (1) the no action alternative would continue the hunting program that is currently in place (2) the proposed action would open additional land and hunting opportunities to include big game and waterfowl and (3) the maximum hunting alternative describes hunting of all species within the State of Arkansas regulations.

Copies of the Hunt Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Compatibility Determinations can be requested from the refuge and copies are available for review at the following libraries:

Woolfolk Library, 100 North Currie Street, Marion
West Memphis Public Library, Oliver at Avalon, West Memphis
Crawfordsville Public Library, 104 South Main, Crawfordsville

Written comments, requests for the document, or questions can be directed to Glen Miller, Wildlife Refuge Manager, at P.O. Box 279, Turrell, AR 72384; (870) 343-2595. Email comments can be provided to the following address: glen_miller@fws.gov.

The Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge is currently 5,484 acres and is located in Crittenden County, Arkansas ¼ mile south of Turrell. The Round Pond (480 acres) and Pigmon (29.3 acres) Units are located in St. Francis County. Hunting opportunities are available, along with fishing, wildlife observation, photography, and environmental education.

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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