Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will amend their 15 year Comprehensive Conservation Plan to decide appropriate public use on newly acquired 1490 acres
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2013
The refuge is located 40 miles East of Lima, MT in Beaverhead County. The refuge can also be accessed during summer and fall from Henry’s Lake, Idaho by 25 miles of gravel road.
Decisions will be made related to public use opportunities opened on 1490 acres in Alaska Basin, the eastern most part of the Centennial Valley, in Southwest Montana. Decisions will also be made relative to new visitor services required to support any new public uses. An Environmental Assessment (EA) will be developed to amend the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) which was completed in 2009. This newly acquired land has Red Rock Creek and Hell Roaring Creek flowing through. The upland is sagebrush steppe. The Refuge is inviting the public to comment with their ideas on what uses would be appropriate on this new National Wildlife Refuge land, and suggest regulations that are appropriate and enforceable for this area.
All streams on Red Rock Lakes NWR are currently open to fishing but streams on this new land are not open until authorized by a public process and EA. A decision will be made on whether this parcel is closed or open to hunting. Hunting is not allowed refuge wide as some areas are closed to protect certain species and some areas are closed because they are difficult to patrol with limited staff. Other wildlife dependent recreation will be considered, including wildlife photography, wildlife viewing, environmental education and environmental interpretation. Camping and vehicles will not be allowed on this 1490 ac.
The public is asked to send their ideas and questions to the Refuge Manager at the addresses above.
Red Rock Lakes NWR was established April 22, 1935 “As a refuge and breeding ground for wild birds and animals” (Executive Order 7023) The Refuge will be 79 years old in 2014.
The refuge is 51,000+ acres. The two large shallow lakes and an abundance of other wetlands are the largest wetland complex in the Greater Yellowstone Area. There are numerous creeks and streams, including Red Rock and Odell Creeks. The refuge is bordered by the Centennial Mountains and continental divide to the south and the Gravelly Mountains to the north. The refuge has an abundance of ducks, geese, swans, moose, elk, deer and antelope. Grizzly and black bear, wolves and native fish are also present. During summer there are 200+ bird species.