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The Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228


April 29, 1997

Sharon Rose 303-236-7917
Bob Leachman 970-243-2778

Fish and Wildlife Service Schedules Public Hearing on Reintroducing Black-Footed Ferrets In Northwestern Colorado and Northeastern Utah

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has scheduled public hearings in Colorado and Utah for a proposal to reintroduce black-footed ferrets under a nonessential experimental population designation in both states it was announced today.

The Service proposes to reintroduce black-footed ferrets in Moffat County, Colorado, and Uintah County, Utah. The proposed release site in Colorado is within the Bureau of Land Management=s Little Snake Resource Area, in the vicinity of the communities of Powder Wash and Maybell. In Utah, the proposed release site is located within the BLM=s Book Cliffs Resource Area, Coyote Basin, about 30 miles southeast of Vernal, straddling the Utah-Colorado border. Management plans to guide the reintroductions were developed by local work groups that included representatives from State and Federal agencies; local governments; oil, gas, and mining industries; outdoor recreation; ranching; and the Ute tribe.

AThe nonessential experimental population designation will allow us the opportunity to meet established black-footed ferret recovery objectives and still allow ongoing land uses,@ Ralph Morgenweck, Director of the Service=s Mountain-Prairie Region, said. The Service=s proposal, which was published in the Federal Register today, summarizes how and where the reintroduced population would occur and be managed. Comments on the proposed reintroduction or additional information from the public must be received no later than June 30, 1997. Public hearings will be held at the following locations:

Denver, CO: June 2, 6-9 pm, Bureau of Land Management, 2850 Youngfield Street,

4th floor conference room.

Craig, CO: June 3, 6-9 pm, Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave..

Rangely, CO: June 4, 6-9 pm, Chevron Operations Maintenance Building.

Rock Springs, WY: June 5, 6-9 pm, Western Wyoming College, Room 1005.

Salt Lake City, UT: June 9, 6-9 pm, Utah Div. of Wildlife Resources, auditorium,

1594 West North Temple St.

Vernal, UT: June 10, 6-9 pm, Western Park Conference Center, Room 2,

300 East 200 South St.

The black-footed ferret is an endangered species and there are no known wild populations remaining. Reintroductions of other nonessential experimental populations of black-footed ferrets have occurred in Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona. Captive breeding efforts underway have resulted in a current total of 400 black-footed ferrets in captivity in seven facilities in the United States and Canada.

The Service will publish a final determination on whether to reintroduce the black-footed ferret as a nonessential experimental population after reviewing public comments.

For activities in Colorado contact Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO 80225. For activities in Utah contact Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 145 East 1300 South, Suite 404, Salt Lake City, UT 84115.

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