Public meeting planned in Jamestown Dec. 15 on proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation AreaThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host public meetings regarding the proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area in the Dakotas and Montana. One of the meetings is scheduled in Jamestown. Public scoping comments regarding this issue will be accepted until Dec. 31.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host public meetings regarding the proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area in the Dakotas and Montana. One of the meetings is scheduled in Jamestown.
Public scoping comments regarding this issue will be accepted until Dec. 31.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to accelerate the conservation of wetland and grassland habitats within the Prairie Pothole Region in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana through the use of conservation easements. The easements will be used to create the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area (Dakota Grassland). The proposed Dakota Grassland will be part of a landscape-scale, strategic habitat conservation effort to conserve populations of migratory birds by protecting the unique, highly diverse and endangered ecosystem known as the Prairie Pothole Region.
Establishment of the Dakota Grassland would allow the FWS to further the protection of wetland and grassland habitats by working with private landowners to develop conservation easement agreements. Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements between landowners and the FWS. The easements protect wetlands and grasslands from being converted to other uses, but allow for the continuation of traditional activities such as farming wetlands when dry from natural conditions and livestock grazing and haying in grasslands.
The FWS wants to hear from the community and will hold several meetings about the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area proposal from Dec. 14-16 at various locations. At the meetings, those attending will be able to meet with FWS personnel, learn about the proposal, and provide input. These meetings will be forums for sharing ideas and issues about proposed land conservation efforts. Public comment is also encouraged through letters, e-mails and phone calls to the local or regional contact listed. Comments and information received will help determine the appropriate level of environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act to develop the land protection plan for the proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area.
The Fish and Wildlife Service encourages individuals or group representatives to call, write or request information on upcoming meetings with FWS staff to discuss this proposal and their perspectives on the future of the Dakota Grasslands. FWS will accept public scoping comments until Dec. 31. However, there will be another opportunity to comment on the Land Protection Plan in the winter of 2011.
Visit the project website for more information – http://www.fws.gov/audubon/DakotaGrassland.html
The meeting in Jamestown is at 7 p.m. Dec. 15, at the Gladstone Inn & Suites, 111 Second St. N.E.
For more information or to provide comments, contact:
Lloyd Jones, wildlife refuge manager
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
3275 11th Street NW
Coleharbor, ND 58531
701-442-5474, ext. 111
Nick Kaczor, planning team leader
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, CO 80225