Comprehensive Conservation Planning

A comprehensive conservation plan identifies issues, goals, objectives, and strategies for management of the refuge over the next 15 years. The plan describes a vision for the the refuge and gives the manager a blueprint for management. The plan provides you with a clear picture of what we intend to do for wildlife protection, habitat management, and visitor services. Fish and wildlife conservation has first priority, followed by the encouragement of public use as long as it is compatible with refuge or district purposes and the Refuge System mission.

The Service has resumed its comprehensive conservation plan development and accompanying environmental analysis. The draft CCP/EA will include detailed information about the planning process and will outline a range of management alternatives based on public input received over the years. Once finalized, the CCP will determine the resource management goals and visitor recreational activities for the Refuge over the next 15 years.

Want to get involved?
Public involvement is an integral part of plan development. The planning process includes a two-way sharing of information and ideas between us and you—the public, refuge neighbors, cooperating agencies, conservation partners, and others. Your input improves our effectiveness and the quality of our decisions.

Conversations and other communications with you give us the benefit of your collective expertise and information from many individuals. Your involvement helps us identify needs, issues, and different solutions for management of habitat, wildlife, and visitor services.

If you would like to be kept informed of our progress in the planning process, please add your name and address to the Crystal River NWR CCP mailing list.

Initial Scoping
Over 160 people attended a public scoping meeting in Crystal River in February 2008 and 170 in meetings held during March and July of 2013. As a result of those efforts, more than 700 comments were received regarding future management of the Refuge. Since that time, several changes have occurred (e.g., management of the Three Sisters Springs property was acquired in 2010, the Kings Bay Manatee Refuge was designated in 2012, and the manatee was downlisted in 2017) that need to be included in development of a long-term management plan for the Crystal River NWR. 

Recent Public Scoping Meeting
Another public scoping meeting was held on October 26, 2017, to seek additional public input on future management options for the refuge under current conditions.

The presentation and other documents are included as PDF links below:


To ensure consideration of your comments in the development of the draft CCP, please submit your comments by December 1, 2017.  

You may also submit comments regarding future management of Crystal River NWR in writing and/or request copies of the Draft CCP and associated environmental analysis when they are available by:

• Email: or

• Mail:
    Crystal River NWR CCP
    PO Box 924
    Freeport, FL 32439

Mailing List
In order to place your name and address on our mailing list we must have your written permission. Federal government mailing lists must be released to the public upon request. Click here to download our printable form.

The Refuge System is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Service is the primary Federal entity responsible for conserving and enhancing the Nation’s fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. Although the Service shares this responsibility with other Federal, State, tribal, local, and private entities, the Service has specific trust resource responsibilities for migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, certain anadromous fish, certain marine mammals, coral reef ecosystems, wetlands, and other special aquatic habitats. The Service also has similar trust responsibilities for the lands and waters it administers to support the conservation and enhancement of all fish and wildlife and their associated habitats.