U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Seeks Comments on the Compatibility Determination for Waterfowl Hunting at Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2007
A Compatibility Determination for Waterfowl Hunting on Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Collier County, FL is available for a 14-day public review beginning March 5, 2007. The comment period will end March 19, 2007.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is in the process of updating the existing waterfowl hunting compatibility determination for Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge was acquired in 1996 and opened to waterfowl hunting in 2000. The prior Compatibility Determination was completed in 1997. The Service is required to update Compatibility Determinations every 10 years. Prior to opening Refuge lands for any use, Federal law requires that the Service first determine that these uses are compatible with Refuge purposes. A compatible use is any use of a National Wildlife Refuge that, based on sound professional judgment, will not materially interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of the National Wildlife Refuge System mission or the purposes for establishing the Refuge. The Service develops a compatibility determination to facilitate evaluation of proposed refuge uses, including anticipated impacts and stipulations necessary to ensure compatibility. A draft compatibility determination has been crafted for waterfowl hunting and is currently available for public review.
Copies of the Compatibility Determination can be requested from the refuge and copies are available for review at the following location:
Written comments, requests for the document, or questions can be directed to Ben Nottingham, Deputy Refuge Manager, 3860 Tollgate Blvd, Suite 300, Naples, FL 34114. Email comments can be provided to the following address: Ben_Nottingham@fws.gov.
The Ten Thousand Islands NWR encompasses 35,000 acres of mangrove forest, freshwater and brackish marsh, coastal barrier islands, and small upland hammocks. The Refuge was established n 1996 under the provisions of the Florida Land Exchange Act of 1988. The refuge is located east of Marco Island in Collier County, south of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail), and west of Port of the Islands.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource 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.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286