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Refuge Releases Expanded Environmental Assessment for Public Comment


March 7, 2007


James Burkhart, (912) 496-7366
Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291

In response to a 2003 lawsuit filed by the Fund for Animals, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will amend or rewrite environmental assessments that describe hunting programs at twenty-three national wildlife refuges located in the Southeast Region. The modified environmental assessments will address the cumulative impacts of hunting at all refuges which were named in or otherwise affected by the lawsuit. This document addresses the small game hunting program at the Cowhouse Unit of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Ware County, Georgia.

The Cowhouse Unit Small Game Hunt is currently managed in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Dixon Memorial Wildlife Management Area in Ware County.

A copy of the expanded draft Environmental Assessment for the Cowhouse Island Unit Small Game Hunt and the amended portion of the refuge hunt plan that deals with this particular hunt are available for review at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Administration Office, near Folkston, GA. You may request a copy of both by mail, or pick up copies during normal business hours (8:00am to 3:30pm Monday – Friday, except holidays)

A copy of the expanded draft Environmental Assessment and the amended hunt plan for the Cowhouse Unit Small Game Hunt are also posted on the Refuge web site at the following address:

Please contact Jim Burkhart, Supervisory Refuge Ranger, at (912) 496-7366 x233 if you have questions concerning the expanded Environmental Assessment for the Cowhouse Island Unit Small Game Hunt.

Please submit your comments in writing to Refuge Manager, Okefenokee NWR, Rt. 2, Box 3330, Folkston, GA 31537. You may also submit your comments via email to with “Cowhouse Hunt” in the subject line. All comments must be received by Thursday, April 5, 2007.

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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 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 Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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