Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
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Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP)


CCPs in General

Generally, a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP):

  • Is a 15-year refuge management plan;
  • Serves the purposes of the refuge;
  • Describes the desired future conditions of a refuge;
  • Provides consistency and continuity; and
  • Provides long-range guidance and management direction for a refuge manager and refuge staff.

The multi-year CCP Process includes the following steps:

  • Conduct preplanning (e.g., research and analysis of needs);
  • Conduct public scoping (i.e., obtain public input on priority issues);
  • Prepare a Draft CCP and associated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document;
  • Conduct an internal review of the report;
  • Hold a public review and comment period on the Draft CCP and associated NEPA document;
  • Create a Final CCP;
  • Fulfill all applicable NEPA requirements;
  • Implement and monitor the CCP over 15 years; and
  • Review and revise the CCP within 15 years.

Purposes of the Plan

  • Provide a clear statement regarding the management of the refuge for the next 15 years;
  • Provide refuge neighbors, visitors, the public, and government officials with an understanding of refuge management actions on and around the refuge;
  • Ensure that the refuge's management actions are consistent with the mandates of the National Wildlife Refuge System; and
  • Provide a basis for the development of budget requests on the refuge's operational, maintenance, and capitol improvement needs.


Crystal River NWR's CCP

Who will be developing the CCP?
The planning process will be coordinated by the Service with staff at Crystal River NWR. The Service will coordinate with Tribal governments, other federal agencies, State agencies, and local governments. Area residents, local business owners, interested individuals and organizations, and the general public will have opportunities to express thoughts, suggestions, and concerns during designated public comment periods. All issues raised will be reviewed by the Service.

Crystal River NWR is one of five refuges managed under the Crystal River NWR Complex, which also includes Pinellas, Passage Key, Egmont Key, and Chassahowitzka NWRs. These refuges are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System). As part of its mission, the Service manages 560 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System covering 150 million acres (60.7 million ha) (as of September 30, 2012). The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s largest collection of lands and waters set aside specifically for fish and wildlife. The 1997 Refuge System Improvement Act states that the Refuge System’s mission is to: …“administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans”.

Purposes of the Refuge
The primary purpose of Crystal River NWR is to protect threatened and endangered species, with a management focus on the West Indian manatee, under the Endangered Species Act:

“... to conserve (A) fish or wildlife which are listed as endangered species or threatened species .... or (B) plants ...” 16 USC §1534 (Endangered Species Act of 1973).

Secondary purposes have also been applied to Crystal River NWR, as listed.

“... suitable for...(1) incidental fish and wildlife-oriented recreational development, (2) the protection of natural resources, (3) the conservation of endangered species or threatened species ...” 16 USC §460k-1 “... the Secretary ... may accept and use ... real ... property. Such acceptance may be accomplished under the terms and conditions of restrictive covenants imposed by donors ...” 16 USC §460k-2 (Refuge Recreation Act, 16 USC §§460k-460k-4, as amended)

“... the conservation of the wetlands of the Nation in order to maintain the public benefits they provide and to help fulfill international obligations contained in various migratory bird treaties and conventions…” 16 USC §3901 (B) 100 Stat.3583 (Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986)

Estimated Timeline for Completion of the Crystal River NWR CCP

  • 2015 - Conduct Public Review and Comment on EA and Draft CCP
  • Late 2015 - Complete Final CCP


Public Involvement

The planning process for Crystal River NWR’s CCP has been on hold. The Service will be conducting additional scoping and a public scoping meeting will be scheduled in early 2013.

Want to get involved?
Public involvement is an integral part of the planning process and will be incorporated throughout the process. Public involvement includes public scoping, which is conducted early in the planning process to gather your ideas to help us develop management alternatives and the proposed management plan. Public involvement also includes public review and comment, which is conducted once we have developed a draft CCP and the associated NEPA document to allow us to gather your ideas on the proposed management activities. In order for us to include your ideas, issues, concerns, and comments in the development of plans for future management of these refuges, we need you to send us your comments during the posted scoping and comment periods. If you would like to be kept informed of progress of the planning process, please have your name and address added to the Crystal River NWR CCP mailing list.

Public Scoping
Over 160 people attended a public scoping meeting in Crystal River on February 6, 2008. During scoping, more than 700 comments were received regarding future management of the Refuge. Since that time, several changes have occurred (e.g., the Refuge Complex changed names and has a new Project Leader/Refuge Manager, the Three Sisters Springs property was acquired, and the Kings Bay Manatee Refuge was designated) and the Service is continuing to reflect these changes and develop a future management plan for Crystal River NWR.

Upcoming Public Scoping Meeting
Public scoping is scheduled for March 2013. A public scoping meeting will be held on 3.19.2013 at the Plantation Inn. To ensure consideration of your comments in the development of the future management plan for Crystal River NWR, please ensure that we receive your comments by April 2, 2013.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this meeting for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, closed captioning, or other accommodation needs to Cheri Ehrhardt at 321.861.2368 or with your request by close of business on Monday, March 11, 2013.

To Submit Comments or Request a Copy of the Documents
To submit comments regarding future management of Crystal River NWR and/or to request to receive copies of the Draft CCP and associated NEPA document when they are available:

  • Email us:
  • Fax us: 321-861-1276
  • Mail us:
    Crystal River NWR CCP
    PO Box 2683
    Titusville, FL 32781-2683

Mailing List
In order to place your name and address on our mailing list we must have your written permission. Federal government mailing lists must be released to the public upon request. Click here to download our printable form.


Additional Information

For More Information about the CCP Process
Cheri M. Ehrhardt, AICP, Natural Resource Planner, 321/861-2368 or
Michael Lusk, Refuge Manager, 352/563-2088 (ext. 202)

Last updated: October 3, 2014