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Refuge conservation plans are called “comprehensive conservation plans."



The purpose of a comprehensive conservation plan is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years. The Ouray Refuge Plan was completed in 2000. 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 Plan. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the Refuge and its effects on the human environment, are described in the Plan as well.  


The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 requires that each refuge be managed according to a comprehensive conservation plan. The 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.