Arctic Refuge recently completed a Wilderness Review (Appendix H of the CCP. It's a 2.4 mb pdf file) as part of the Refuge's draft revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP). The purpose of a wilderness review is to identify and recommend to Congress lands and waters of the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) that merit inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) (50 kb pdf file). By Refuge System policy, wilderness reviews are elements of comprehensive conservation plans, and a recent director's memorandum (100 kb pdf file) directs Refuges to conduct wilderness reviews during the planning process. Wilderness reviews require compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), interagency and tribal coordination, and public involvement.
The current review was initiated in accordance with the refuge planning process outlined in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Manual (602 FW 3 and 4) and is conducted in compliance with Service Manual (610 FW 3, 4, and 5), also known as the Wilderness Stewardship Policy. The review includes all areas of the Refuge not designated as wilderness (about 60 percent of Arctic Refuge is not designated as wilderness) and incorporates recent information on the Refuge's resources, uses, and management concerns.
In addition, a wilderness review is a means Arctic Refuge can use to assess whether we are effectively managing the Refuge according to its purposes.
The wilderness review process has three phases:
The Wilderness Review is Appendix H of the full draft CCP (opens as 5.6 mb pdf file with additional pdf links). Also available is a brief summary of findings. Being an Environmental Impact Statement, the CCP presents a range of alternatives that includes each WSA. As is required by the Wilderness Stewardship Policy, alternatives range from no additional wilderness recommended to all WSAs recommended. By tying the Wilderness Review to the CCP, we also accomplish public involvement and an analysis of the potential effects of each alternative. The decision whether to recommend additional wilderness will be made in the CCP's record of decision.
Arctic Refuge Documents
Resource and Process Documents
610 FW 1 Overview of Wilderness Stewardship Policy610 FW 2 Wilderness Administration610 FW 3 Wilderness Stewardship Planning610 FW 4 Wilderness Review and Evaluation610 FW 5 Special Provisions for Alaska Wilderness
Return to CCP web page.
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