George Maze 515-928-2523
Scott Flaherty- 612-713-5309
Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge to Implement Grass Management Plan; Public Comments Support Plans to Restore Native Prairie
Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge will soon implement its plans to restore native grasses and tallgrass prairie habitats to the northern Iowa refuge following a month-long solicitation of comments from the public on the refuge’s Grass Management Plan.
In early July, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mailed summaries of the plan to about 180 local residents and posted the plan on the refuge’s website (http://Midwest.fws.gov/unionslough). The 26-page document includes maps showing specific areas of the 3,300 acre refuge that will be affected by the plan. Management plans were also discussed with local residents at a public meeting in Algona, Iowa, in February.
During the comment period, the refuge received 41 responses from the public - all in support of implementing the Grassland Management Plan. In addition, refuge staff conducted two public tours of the affected areas of the refuge to discuss the importance of the tallgrass prairie, different management strategies outlined in the plan, and specific areas of the refuge where the strategies will be utilized.
Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge is located about 50 miles west of Mason City near Titonka, Iowa. Approximately 20,000 people visit the refuge each year.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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