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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. Comprehensive Conservation Plans assist the Service in ensuring that the refuges within the National Wildlife Refuge System are managed to achieve refuge purposes, the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and other mandates.

  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    CCP Front Cover 1

    Refuge conservation plans are called “comprehensive conservation plans” (CCPs). CCPs are prepared to provide guidance on how best to achieve refuge purposes. They describe a refuge’s desired future conditions and provide direction on how the refuge should be managed to achieve those conditions. CCPs are intended to ensure consistent management overtime, while also addressing the potential for adapting management actions when monitoring indicates that current actions are not accomplishing the anticipated results. CCPs also describe the primary purposes of the Refuge; the reasons for its establishment; the importance of the resources being conserved on the refuge; and the opportunities available for the public to enjoy and learn more about these resources.

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  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act

    NWRS Map

     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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Last Updated: Jul 09, 2013
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