Branch of Conservation Planning
Midwest Region

Where in the Plan Are We?

These are the steps that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service follows in comprehensive conservation planning; the step that Rice Lake NWR has reached is highlighted:

  1. Preplanning: Plan the Plan
  2. Initiate Public Involvement and Scoping
  3. Review Vision Statement and Goals and Determine Significant Issues
  4. Develop and Analyze Alternatives, Including the Proposed Action
  5. Prepare a Draft CCP and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Document
  6. Prepare and Adopt Final CCP
  7. Implement Plan, Monitor and Evaluate
  8. Review and Revise the Plan

Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation PlanImage shows cover of the Rice Lake NWR and Mille Lacs NWR CCP

Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan Released
Highlights From the Plan
The Refuge
For More Information

Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan Released

The Refuge completed its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) in December 2007. Copies of both the plan and a plan summary were available in January 2008. Both are available in portable document format (pdf) on the Rice Lake NWR planning page.

The CCP establishes management policies for both Mille Lacs NWR and Rice Lake NWR, which manages Mille Lacs NWR, and ensures that they fulfill their established purpose and mission.

Highlights From the Plan

The CCP establishes goals and objectives for Refuge management, and it specifies strategies for achieving those objectives. We believe that the CCP outlines an ambitous but achievable future for Rice Lake NWR and Mille Lacs NWR.

However, it is important to note that plans are just that, plans. The CCP was developed to guide management and will be used in strategic planning and prioritizing programs. The CCP does not constitute a commitment for staffing increases or operational and maintenance increases that may be detailed in the plan.

Highlights of the CCP include:

The Refuge

Mille Lacs NWR is comprised of two small islands in Mille Lacs Lake: Spirit Island and Hennepin Island. The islands are located about 30 air miles southwest of Rice Lake NWR. Spirit Island is 0.24-acre in size and Hennepin Island is 0.33-acre, making Mille Lacs NWR the smallest refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Mille Lacs NWR holds one of only four Common Tern breeding colonies in Minnesota. The Common Tern is listed as a threatened species in the state and is considered a species of management concern with national significance. Refuge management focuses on Common Tern production. There is no public access to either Spirit Island or Hennepin Island.

For More Information

For more information on Mille Lacs NWR or to request a copy of the CCP, please send us an e-mail, call or write to the Refuge Manager at Rice Lake NWR:

TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge
36289 State Highway 65
McGregor, MN 55760

Last updated: June 3, 2016
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