Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex Seeks Public Input to Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan / Environmental Impact Statement

July 11, 2008


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced availability of a Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan / Environmental Impact Statement (CCP/EIS) for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex. When finalized, the CCP/EIS will provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan to guide future refuge management. Public input on the plan is encouraged and comments will be accepted until September 9, 2008.

"The draft CCP/EIS describes and evaluates various alternatives for managing the four Refuges of the Desert Complex over the next 15 years. The alternatives include various proposals for wildlife and habitat management, habitat restoration and compatible recreation," said Cynthia Martinez, Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex Project Leader. "We encourage public to be involved in this planning process by reviewing the document and provide comments."

The refuge complex will host a series of public meetings August 4-7 where the public can learn about management alternatives being considered for the refuges. Meeting dates and locations are:

August 4

6-8 p.m. at Desert Complex Office, 4701 Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas

August 5

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Amargosa Valley Multipurpose Building, 821 E. Farm Rd, Amargosa Valley, Nev., and 6 to 8 p.m. at Bob Ruud Community Center, B Room, 150 N. Highway 160, Pahrump, Nev.

August 6

1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Clark County Government Building, Training Room 1, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, and 6 to 8 p.m. Overton Community Center, 320 N. Moapa Valley Blvd., Overton, Nev.

August 7

6-8 p.m. at Alamo Annex Building, 100 South 1st West, Alamo, Nev.

The Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes four distinct refuges in southern Nevada:

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, located 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, was established in 1984 under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. It comprises 23,447 acres of spring fed wetlands and desert uplands that provide habitat for at least 24 plants and animal species that occur nowhere else in the world.

Desert National Wildlife Refuge, just north of Las Vegas, was established in 1936 by Executive Order No. 7373 for the protection, preservation and management of desert bighorn sheep, as well as other forms of native flora and fauna. The 1.6 million acre refuge is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the lower 48 states.

Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge, located on 117 acres in northeastern Clark County, was established in 1979 under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended to secure habitat for the endangered Moapa dace.

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, located in central Lincoln County, was established in 1963 under the authority of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act to protect habitat for migrating birds in the Pahranagat Valley. The 5,382 acre refuge consists of marshes, meadows, lakes, and upland desert habitat. It provides nesting, resting, and feeding areas for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and song birds including the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher.

Under the draft CCP/EIS, the Service would restore a substantial amount of desert spring, riparian, and upland habitat for threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, and other wildlife. The Service would also expand efforts to control invasive plants and animals and expand surveys and monitoring of key wildlife species. The draft CCP/EIS also proposes expanding the acquisition boundary of Moapa Valley Refuge by 1,503 acres to protect 90 percent of the remaining habitat for the endangered Moapa dace. In addition, the Service proposes significant improvements to refuge visitor services, including new trails, interpretive exhibits, environmental education programs, and visitor contact stations. Existing hunting and fishing programs would be maintained with minor modifications.

Copies of the draft CCP/EIS are available on the Internet at: or by contacting Mark Pelz at (916) 414-6500. Comments on the draft CCP/EIS should be sent to Mark Pelz, Chief, Refuge Planning, USFWS, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1832, Sacramento, CA 95825 or emailed to"> by September 9, 2008. Questions concerning the refuges or the CCP/EIS should be directed to Cynthia Martinez, Project Leader, Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, NV 89130; (702) 515-5450.

Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.

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