Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region




United States Department of the Interior


FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE                                                 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

             Mountain-Prairie Region                                                        Missouri National Recreational River

               P.O. Box 25486, DFC                                                                           508 E. 2nd Street

             Denver, Colorado 80225                                                             Yankton, South Dakota 57078


For Immediate Release   

Date: February 6, 2012

Nick Kaczor (303) 236-4387

Steve Mietz (605) 665-0209



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service to Host Public Meetings Regarding Conservation Efforts with Willing Landowners along the Missouri River in Northeast Nebraska and Southeast South Dakota


Public Scoping Comments Regarding This Conservation Effort Will Be Accepted Until

March 12, 2012

Sunrise on the Missouri River: Credit: National Park Service
Sundown on the Missour River River
Photo Credit: National Park Service
To increase conservation efforts and recreational opportunities along the Missouri River, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Park Service (NPS) are proposing to work in partnership with willing landowners and local communities. 

Efforts will be focused upon the Missouri River between Ft. Randall Dam to the Running Water Bridge and upstream the Niobrara River to the Spencer Dam.  This area is referred to as the Niobrara Confluence.  The other area, called the Ponca Bluffs, is centered on the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam to Sioux City, Iowa. 

The FWS and NPS will work with local communities and willing landowners to conserve stretches of the Missouri River that have significant natural resource, recreational, or cultural value. The opportunity to preserve, and even improve, important natural river processes and habitats for fish and wildlife would benefit the visitors, neighbors, and local communities of the Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs areas, now and into the future.  Through a combination of actions along a spectrum from restoration efforts, conservation easements, or land acquisition, the unique nature of the Missouri River would be maintained and in some cases, restored to its former glory.  These efforts would not result in increased regulations or alter dam operations; but provide for increased wildlife habitats, protection of culturally and historically important sites, and improved recreational access.
Individual or group representatives may visit the project website ( to learn more or to provide comments.  The FWS and NPS will gather public input as part of public scoping during the month of February. Public scoping comments will be accepted until March 12, 2012.  Received public comments will be considered by the NPS and FWS during development of a Land Protection Plan.  There will be another opportunity to comment on the draft Land Protection Plan in the fall of 2012. 
Public meetings regarding the proposal will begin with an open house at 5:30 p.m. local time where individuals can meet one-on-one with the FWS and NPS staff; followed by a short presentation at 6:30 p.m. with time for additional discussion afterwards.  The meetings will be at the following dates and locations:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
The Outdoor Campus
4500 S. Oxbow Ave.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Thursday, February 23, 2012
5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
W.H. Over Museum
1110 Ratingen Street
Vermillion, South Dakota

Friday, February 24, 2012
5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Spruce and Park Avenues
Niobrara, Nebraska

Information will broadcast via local radio stations in the event of a cancellation or postponement.  For more information or to provide comments, contact:

Nick Kaczor, Planning Team Leader
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, Colorado 80225
303- 236-4387

Steve Mietz, Superintendent
National Park Service
Missouri National Recreational River
508 East 2nd Street
Yankton, South Dakota 57078