Refuge Accepting Public Comments

"Compatibility Determination" for forest management on the refuge is now open for public comment.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the compatibility determination for forest management on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is available for public comment.  The Service developed this compatibility determination to facilitate evaluation of the proposed refuge use, including anticipated impacts of the activity and stipulations to ensure compatibility.

Forest management, including the commercial harvest of trees, is the most feasible and practical way of maintaining or enhancing habitat for the wide array of forest dependent species on the refuge. Forest management on the refuge is used to encourage tree species that produce food for wildlife, such as oaks, thinning of pine stands that are susceptible to southern pine beetle and other insect infestations, and to maintain or increase the structural diversity of refuge forests. There have been no significant changes to the forest management program on the refuge since the last compatibility determination was completed in 2006. 

The compatibility determination is available for viewing at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, and by clicking on the link below. Comments should be submitted in writing to the attention of Mr. Matt Whitbeck, Wildlife Biologist, at Chesapeake Marshlands NWRC, 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613; or matt_whitbeck@fws.gov.   Comments will be accepted until June 8, 2018.

Click here to view the draft compatibility determination.