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Feds Seek Public Input On Conboy Lake Refuge

Open house on June 14

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be holding a public open house to discuss a new management plan to be written for Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

An open house is scheduled for June 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Glenwood Grange Hall.

The open house will begin with a short presentation on the refuge and the planning process, after which the public will have the opportunity to discuss refuge management with USFWS resource specialists in a one-on-one atmosphere.

Congress has directed that all national wildlife refuges have a management plan, known as a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP), completed by the end of 2012.

The open house will kick off the planning process for Conboy Lake, a process the USFWS hopes to complete by next summer.

The open house will be an opportunity for the public to learn about CCPs, but of greater importance is the chance for the USFWS to gather ideas about the future of the Conboy Lake refuge from the public.

"It's vital that we hear from the public about their management ideas, what issues need to be addressed in the plans and how we can protect wildlife while allowing people to enjoy the refuge," said refuge manager Shannon Ludwig.

CCPs are designed to direct refuge management for at least 15 years, and they cover almost every aspect of a refuge -- wildlife and habitat management, visitor use, cultural resource protection, law enforcement, and research are just a few of the programs to be addressed in the plans.

Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System -- the largest network of lands and water in the world set aside for the benefit of wildlife.

Established in 1964 to provide habitat for migratory birds, the refuge encompasses 6,500 acres of Camas Prairie and forests in the heart of the Glenwood Valley. Over 200 species of wildlife can be found on the refuge and visitors can enjoy wildlife observation on the two-mile Willard Springs Trail and stroll back in time while roaming through the historic Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log Cabin. The refuge's current annual visitation is approximately 6,500.

Those unable to attend the meeting can send their comments to: mcriver@fws.gov, or mail them to: Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 64 Maple Street, Burbank, Wash., 99323

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