Public meetings scheduled for comments and input on management plan
PRATT–The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is participating in a five-state effort to develop a range-wide conservation plan to address the decline of the lesser prairie chicken in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. The conservation plan is intended to benefit the wildlife resources, people, and economies of these states by providing a framework for effective lesser prairie chicken management and habitat improvement that will increase the range-wide population of lesser prairie chickens. The plan will emphasize incentives and tools that encourage landowners to partner with agencies in conservation efforts while achieving their land use needs. More information about the planning process can be found at the project website: http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/p.aspx?tabid=275
KDWPT has contracted with the Ecosystem Management Research Institute (www.emri.org) to prepare the lesser prairie chicken conservation plan for Kansas. Planners are now consulting with landowners, stakeholders, the general public, agency managers and scientists in developing the plan. Public input is important.
Public meetings will be held in the southwest Kansas communities listed below on Nov. 13-15, 2012. Planners will present information about lesser prairie chicken population and habitat goals for Kansas and propose areas in the state where conservation efforts will be focused. A primary purpose of each community meeting will be to discuss the best ways to encourage landowners, industry and others to voluntarily partner with state and federal management agencies to improve habitat for lesser prairie chickens, while also achieving their land use and development needs. Draft planning products will be posted on the project website in advance of the meetings.
The public meeting schedule is:
November 13: Ness City, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Ness County Historical Bank Building, 106 W Main (corner Pennsylvania and Main).
November 14: Ulysses, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 4-H Building at Civic Center Complex, 1000 W Patterson.
November 15: Greensburg, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Community Center (by fairgrounds), 720 N Bay
Written comments regarding the lesser prairie chicken conservation plan for Kansas are also welcome. Comments will be accepted through Friday, December 14 via email to [email protected] or mail to Jan Caulfield, 114 S. Franklin St., Ste. 203, Juneau, AK 99801
To receive updates during the planning process, please email Jan Caulfield at [email protected] with your contact information, including name, organization (if applicable), address, phone, and email address.
A Message from Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
More than a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt set aside a tiny bird rookery off the coast of Florida, Pelican Island, as the first national wildlife refuge. Since then the refuge system has grown to become one of our greatest treasures with refuges from the Caribbean to the Pacific, from Maine to Alaska.
This week (Oct. 14-20) we celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with special events for the public to enjoy at our 560 national wildlife refuges from coast to coast.
Our refuges include examples of every type of ecosystem in North America including boreal forests, wetlands; deserts, grasslands; arctic tundra and remote islands. They provide habitat for 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 1,000 species of fish and countless invertebrates and plants.
Under President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, we have added nine new refuges in the past four years, including our twelfth urban refuge, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, just last month.
These special places provide not only vital habitat for wildlife but also places for people to hike, bike, hunt, fish, paddle, watch wildlife or otherwise connect with nature. They also support jobs and economic growth. In fact, 47 million people visit refuges each year and spend $2.1 billion to local economies, supporting tens of thousands of local jobs.
During National Wildlife Refuge Week, refuges everywhere will hold events ranging from open houses, to behind-the-scenes nature tours with refuge staff, to opportunities to see birds of prey up close or tag a monarch butterfly.
Wherever you live, a national wildlife refuge is almost certain to be nearby. There is at least one refuge in every state and one within driving distance of every major city.
You can find a list of Refuge Week events on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.
So enjoy a walk on the wild side this week and connect with nature at a national wildlife refuge near you.
Extensive information can be viewed at http://water.epa.gov/action/cleanwater40/cwa101.cfm.
On this anniversary day of the Clean Water Act, it would be a valuable experience to explore the various education resources and activities for students (K-12) available at this EPA webpage :
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. Every person deserves clean water – it is vital for our health, communities, environment and economy. We have made great progress in reducing pollution during the past 40 years. But many challenges remain and we must work together to protect clean water for our families and future generations. Everyone has an impact on the water and we are all responsible for making a difference. Water is worth it.