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Conservation

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The purposes of Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge are to serve as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds, provide incidental fish and wildlife-oriented recreation, protect natural resources, and conserve endangered or threatened species. To fulfill those purposes, the staff protects refuge resources with law enforcement efforts and adequate preparation for wildfires by maintaining firebreaks, fire-fighting equipment, and a well-trained staff of firefighters. The active conservation revolves around prescribed burning in marshes and pine forests to mimic natural fire cycles, but conduct the burns under controlled conditions. The fires not only maintain habitat in optimum condition for all species of wildlife, but protect local towns and highways from fire and smoke. The staff manages moist soil vegetation management units by managing water levels, monitoring the vegetation, and disturbing the vegetation in an appropriate manner to ensure that it meets the needs of waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. The cropland is maintained by cooperative farmers who leave part of their crop in the field for wildlife.

  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

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    Refuge conservation plans are called “comprehensive conservation plans” (CCPs). The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years. The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving Refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the Refuge and its effects on the human environment, are described in the CCP as well.

    Download Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan.

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  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act

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    National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997: 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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Page Photo Credits — Walking Trail Pond by Jacob Mills, Sunrise through trees by Jacob Mills, Cottonmouth by Jacob Mills
Last Updated: Dec 17, 2014
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