Presquile National Wildlife Refuge seeks public input

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on developing its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Presquile National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a 1,329-acre island in the James River, accessed by ferry from Bermuda Hundred near Enon.

The CCP is a 15-year plan designed to provide strategic management direction that best achieves the Refuge’s purposes; attains the vision and goals developed for the Refuge; contributes to the National Wildlife Refuge System mission; addresses key challenges, issues and relevant mandates and assures it is consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management.  

The refuge staff is initiating the planning process by hosting public scoping meetings.  The meetings are open to everyone and provide an opportunity for the public to speak directly with Refuge staff and comment on what they see as the issues, concerns and challenges for the Refuge over the next 15 years. The meeting format is an informal open house with a brief presentation by Refuge staff.

Two public scoping meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, April 19 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. at the Chester Library on Centre Street in Chester and Wednesday, April 20 at the Maymont Stone Barn meeting room, 1700 Hampton Street in Richmond from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The Refuge planning team will review all the information, data and comments gathered during public scoping before developing a draft CCP and environmental assessment.  The draft plan will be distributed for public review and comment.

Presquile Refuge is one of four refuges that comprise the Eastern Virginia Rivers Refuge complex.  Established to protect habitat for wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds, the refuge is an important component in the network of refuges on and around the Chesapeake Bay.  The refuge is particularly well-known for the nesting and roosting bald eagles it supports, as well as the large number of overwintering waterfowl.

Also welcome are comments received in writing to Andy Hofmann, Project Leader, Eastern Virginia Rivers Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 1030, 336 Wilna Road, Warsaw, VA 22572; or via e-mail at northeastplanning@fws.gov. Please put “Presquile CCP” in the subject line. For additional information, contact Andy Hofmann at 333-1470, or Nancy McGarigal, Planning Team Leader, at 413-253-8562 or visit http://www.fws.gov/northeast/presquile/.

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