Outdoor Heritage

Public comment opportunity for National Elk Refuge Management Plan

By September 10, 2014 February 15th, 2016 No Comments

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced yesterday a Notice of Availability (NOA) for a draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the National Elk Refuge, located in Teton County in northwest Wyoming. These draft documents describe how the Service intends to manage the refuge for the next 15 years.

The Service works with partners and the public to prepare CCPs for every national wildlife refuge and wetland management district in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Each of these 15-year plans identifies specific goals for achieving the purpose and vision for each refuge and for the overall mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

This draft CCP and EA provides the public with a clear picture of what the Service intends to do for wildlife protection, habitat management, and visitor services on the National Elk Refuge. The documents describe four management alternatives for the National Elk Refuge. The proposed action is Alternative D, a blended alternative that would both increase public use opportunities with an emphasis on the six priority wildlife-dependent uses (hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education, and interpretation) and focus management efforts on promoting natural processes and supporting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the largest relatively intact ecosystems on the planet.

“We understand the National Elk Refuge is a special place for many people, so we want to listen to the needs and desires of the surrounding community,” said Project Leader, Steve Kallin. “This comment period provides the public with an opportunity to review proposed management options and to suggest others. We value the public’s input and very much look forward to working with the community on this plan,” Kallin added.

The draft CCP and EA are companion documents to the National Elk Refuge Bison and Elk Management Plan and its contents, including supplemental feeding, are not part of this comment period.

Comments may be submitted in two ways:

Email: refuge_ccps@fws.gov (Include “National Elk Refuge CCP” in the subject line of the message.)

U.S. Mail:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Attn: Toni Griffin, Planning Team Leader

134 Union Boulevard, Suite 300

Lakewood, CO 80228

Copies of the draft CCP/EA may be obtained in three ways:

Writing to:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning

134 Union Boulevard, Suite 300

Lakewood, CO 80228

Picking up at:

National Elk Refuge Administrative Office

675 E. Broadway

Jackson, WY 83001

Downloading from:

http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/planning/ccp/wy/ner/ner.html

The National Elk Refuge is also hosting a public meeting to provide an opportunity for the public to meet with staff and provide input on the draft plan. That meeting will take place Thursday September 25th, from 6-8 p.m. at:

Snow King Hotel

Summit Two Room

400 East Snow King Avenue

Jackson, WY 83001

Established in 1912, the National Elk Refuge spans approximately 25,000 acres and provides wildlife with a variety of habitat types, including grassy meadows, marshes, forest, sagebrush, and rock outcrops. Although the refuge is known for the large herd of elk that winters there, nearly 175 species of birds and at least 47 mammal species have been observed on the refuge. In addition to the large herd of elk, a free-roaming bison herd also winters at the refuge. Each year, more than 300,000 people visit the National Elk Refuge.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance

fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/

Contacts:
USFWS:
Steve Kallin, 307.733.9212; Steve_Kallin@fws.gov
Ryan Moehring, 303.236.0345; Ryan_Moehring@fws.gov

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