FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2000
Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (404) 679-7291
The future management of the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge will be the topic of public discussion at a meeting in the Tennessee Technology Center in Ripley, Tennessee, scheduled to be held November 2, 2000, at 7 p.m. The Tennessee Technology Center is located at 127 Industrial Drive at U.S. Highway 51.
"We are anxious to hear the public's ideas and opinions about a proposed comprehensive conservation plan for the refuge," said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service?s Southeast Regional Director. "Our proposed plan is designed to guide the management of the refuge over the next 15 years."
Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge is located within the Mississippi River floodplain in West Tennessee. The refuge's 22,376 acres include open water, croplands, grassland-scrub/shrub, upland forest, and approximately 19,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest. Chickasaw is home to hundreds of wildlife species, including bald and golden eagles, interior least terns and Mississippi kites, neotropical songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as numerous species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, birds, and insects.
The refuge is open year-round from sunrise to sunset for wildlife-related activities such as fishing, wildlife observation, biking, nature photography, and hiking. Public use facilities include trails and boat ramps. Hunting and fishing opportunities are permitted on most areas of the refuge, according to specific refuge regulations. As required by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, wildlife resources must be given first priority with recreational uses available to the public as long as these activities are compatible with the mission of the Service and the purpose for which the refuge was established.
The doors to the Multi-Purpose Room of the Tennessee Technology Center will open at 6:45 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Service will begin the meeting with a 45-minute open house during which refuge staff will be on hand to discuss the Refuge and the planning process. Following the open house, a 20-minute presentation will be given to describe the comprehensive planning process designed to guide the management of the Refuge for the next 15 years. Following the presentation, the Service will invite the public to ask questions and provide comments about issues they believe should be addressed in the plan.
Members of the public who are unable to attend the meeting can mail comments or request to be placed on the mailing list by writing to: Rob Martin, Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 309 North Church Street, Room 201, Dyersburg, Tennessee 38024, by phone at (901) 287-0650 or by fax at (901) 286-0468. Mr. Martin can also be e-mailed at Rob_Martin@fws.gov. (Federal government mailing lists must be released to the public upon request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act of 1974.)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.
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Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286