Public Meeting Scheduled for Proposed Urban Refuge In Jackson
September 16, 2013
From cypress sloughs to scenic sandbars, the proposed national wildlife refuge includes a wide range of picturesque ecosystems.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on a proposal to establish a national wildlife refuge along the Pearl River in the Jackson, Mississippi, metropolitan area. The public is invited to attend an open house to learn more about the refuge proposal and to provide their comments.
This open house is scheduled for Thursday, October 3, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Flowood Public library, 103 Winners Circle, in Flowood Mississippi, 39232.
Written comments also can be e-mailed to ProposedMSRefugeLPP@fws.gov, mailed to Mike Rich, Refuge Manager Theodore Roosevelt Refuge Complex, 12595 MS Hwy. 149, Yazoo City, MS, 39194, or faxed to: (601) 836-3009.
The proposed refuge contains up to 5,000 acres and lies within a highly urbanized portion of greater Jackson. It is bounded by the Ross Barnett Reservoir to the north and Lakeland Drive to the south. The project area includes 2,712 acres of adjoining property currently owned by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. If the proposed refuge is approved, this property will be transferred to the Service with the next two years. Following the transfer, the Service would then continue working with partners and willing landowners to include the remaining acreage within the proposed refuge boundary.
The benefits of the proposed refuge include: wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking, biking, and wildlife photography and observation; protection of migratory birds and the Pearl River bottomland hardwood riparian ecosystem as well as the cultural and historical resources within the property; and opportunities for environmental education and interpretive programs highlighting the area’s important natural resources.
Public input on the proposal will guide the Service through the planning process. A Service planning team will collect and consider the public’s comments and develop a range of proposed alternatives for the refuge. In early 2014, the public will have a chance to comment on the alternatives in a draft plan. The planning team will again review the public’s input and develop a final plan which will then be submitted to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for final consideration.
Additional public scoping meetings may be scheduled. Public notices will be made through local news outlets and will also be posted to the Service’s website.
For more information on the proposed refuge, or to join the mailing list visit: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/ProposedMSRefuge
The proposed national wildlife refuge would be incorporated into the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This grouping of refuges currently encompasses seven refuges and is responsible for managing and maintaining over 100,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta region.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.