U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Hold Public Meetings for Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
For Immediate Release
May 1, 2015
DENVER--The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will hold a series of public meetings focused on explaining and obtaining comments on a revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
To support and fulfill the mission of the Refuge System, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 requires that, all national wildlife refuges be managed under a comprehensive conservation plan. To meet this requirement, the Service has started work to revise the 1996 comprehensive management plan for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
The purpose of the CCP is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan for achieving individual refuge purposes and contributing toward the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. In addition to outlining broad management direction on conserving wildlife and their habitats, CCPs identify wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the public, including opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation.
Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System was established for a specific purpose. The Service uses these purposes as the foundation for developing and prioritizing the management goals, objectives, and public use guidelines for each refuge within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The planning process is a way for us and the public to evaluate management goals and objectives that will ensure the best possible approach to wildlife, plant, and habitat conservation, while providing wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities that are compatible with each refuge’s establishing purposes, as well as with the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is the nation’s premier urban national wildlife refuge. Located just outside of Denver, Colorado, the refuge is approximately 16,000 acres in size consisting of a number of important fish and wildlife habitats including native short- and mixed-grass prairies, riparian corridors, numerous wetlands, and multiple lakes.
In 2012, the U.S. Army and Shell Oil Company finished its cleanup of the site which included restoration of thousands of acres of native grasslands. We are beginning a “new chapter” at the Arsenal where this site will be managed by the Service and devoted solely to wildlife conservation. Now, wild bison, deer, bald eagles, Swainson’s hawks, burrowing owls, and numerous other wildlife species can be seen throughout the refuge.
Without traveling far, the refuge offers provides a unique opportunity for people to connect with their natural environment. There are a variety of wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available to the over 300,000 annual visitors. They can hike trails, observe wildlife from either the Auto Tour Route or the Wildlife Drive, participate in environmental education programs, and experience one of the best catch and release fisheries in Colorado.
For more information on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/rocky_mountain_arsenal/
Public meetings are scheduled between June 1st and June 11th in the communities around the refuge. During the public comment period, we request specific comments on the content of our draft CCP and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to ensure all issues have been fully evaluated.
Meetings are considered “informal.” The public is encouraged to arrive at 5:30 pm for a brief presentation beginning at 6:00 pm. Public comments will be solicited following the presentation. Before and after the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Service personnel, learn more about the draft CCP and DEIS, and provide input. The meeting dates, times, and locations are as follows:
June 1, 2015
June 4, 2015
June 9, 2015
June 11, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels:Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube.
– FWS –