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Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuges' conservation objective is to sustain representative habitats of this region —bottomland hardwood forests, bayous, and wetlands — to provide high quality and diverse habitat to support neotropical songbirds, the Louisiana black bear, waterfowl, and other native fish and wildlife species.

Refuge conservation plans are called “Comprehensive Conservation Plans” (CCPs). The Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge CCP outlines a management direction through 2026.

  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

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    Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge's Comprehensive Conservation Plan provides a vision for desired conditions of the Refuge. The plan is designed to result in a diversity of habitats for a variety of fish and wildlife species, enhance resident wildlife populations, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, environmental education, and interpretation activities.

    To develop this plan, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) conducted a biological review of the Refuge and solicited public opinion on the issues the CCP should address. Six priority wildlife-dependent recreational uses (hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation) received priority consideration during the preparation of the CCP, and the Service invited the public to comment on the type, extent, and compatibility of uses.

    The CCP helps ensure that wildlife comes first while maintaining the ecological integrity of the Refuge and providing sustainable wildlife-dependent recreational activities.

    Click here for the Atchafalaya NWR CCP Covers Front and Back

    Click here for the Atchafalaya NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan

  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act

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    The NWRS Improvement Act defines a unifying mission for all refuges, including a process for determining compatible uses on refuges, and requiring that each refuge be managed according to a CCP. The NWRS Improvement  Act expressly states that wildlife conservation is the priority of System lands and that the Secretary shall ensure that the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge lands are maintained. Each refuge must be managed to fulfill the specific purposes for which the refuge was established and the System mission. The first priority of each refuge is to conserve, manage, and if needed, restore fish and wildlife populations and habitats according to its purpose.

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