Press Release
Bill Williams River Environmental Analysis Available for Public Comment
Withdrawal of 2,598 acres of Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge for Refuge Purposes

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) that proposes to continue a ban on mining exploration on the riverbed of the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Mining activity on this 2,598-acre area has been prohibited since the early 1980s. This proposal could continue the ban for the next 100 years.

In their EA, Service biologists propose keeping the riverbed acreage for wildlife habitat, facilitating continued management at Bill Williams River NWR. The EA will evaluate the effects associated with the proposed action and complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in accordance with Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 CFR 1500-1509) and Department of the Interior (43 CFR 46; 516 DM 8) and the Service (550 FW 3) regulations and policies. NEPA requires an examination of the effects of proposed actions on the quality of the human environment.

The Environmental Assessment is available for review online and at the Bill Williams River NWR office. The period to provide comment on the Environmental Assessment will be from February 22, 2023, until March 8, 2023. Comments may be sent to the refuge at 60911 Hwy 95, Parker, AZ 85344 or may be emailed to

Please contact the refuge office at (928) 667-4144 if you have questions.