The first conservation plans for all Alaska refuges were completed
between 1985 and 1988; we are in the process of revising them (click
to see revision schedule (pdf)).
The revised plans will provide a refuge vision for the next 15 years,
with goals and objectives for wildlife-dependent public uses, subsistence
opportunities, fish and wildlife, habitat, research, and monitoring.
In general, a comprehensive conservation plan does the following:
- Ensures that the purposes of the refuge and the mission of the National
Wildlife Refuge System are being fulfilled
- Ensures that national policy direction is incorporated into the
management of the refuge
- Ensures that opportunities are available for interested parties
to participate in the development of management direction
- Provides a systematic process for making and documenting refuge
decisions and establish broad management strategies for refuge management
programs and activities
- Provides a basis for evaluating accomplishments
Public involvement is critical to the development of meaningful conservation
plans. For each revised plan, we develop an environmental impact statement
(EIS) consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Scoping helps us identify the issues and the range of actions, alternatives,
and impacts we need to address as we develop the revised plans. Draft
plans are available for public comment for 45 to 90 days. We then prepare
a final conservation plan and environmental impact statement. The comprehensive conservation planning process (pdf) outlines the steps we
follow in developing the comprehensive conservation plans.
A refuge implements its comprehensive conservation plan by means of
several step-down plans, each of which has its own focus and revision
schedule. Step-down management plans are plans that deal with specific
management subjects. They describe management strategies and implementation
schedules and provide details necessary to fulfill management goals
and objectives identified in the comprehensive conservation plan. Contact
any refuge for a list of its current refuge-specific step-down plans.