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Fish & Wildlife Service proposes new strategic plan

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The Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed a new Draft Strategic Growth Policy for the National Wildlife Refuge System. FWS announced the plan and a request for public comments on Thursday, Jan. 30. View the request at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-30/html/2014-01849.htm.

The public can comment until March 3.

The guidance will set policy for expanding existing refuges and starting new ones, as well as conserving wildlife. It will discuss coping with threats such as climate change and invasive species. The policy will explain on the national and local level how to set priorities and work with other federal, state and local agencies.

FWS explains that the policy “prioritizes acquisitions within existing refuge boundaries, expanding
existing refuges, and establishing new refuges. As well, the draft policy focuses protection measures on priority conservation features to ensure our limited resources make the greatest contribution to the conservation of species in a strategic, cost-effective, and transparent manner. This policy ensures strategic growth of the system and reflects our vision towards managing for functional landscapes, enhancing our scientific rigor, improving our effectiveness, and involving our partners and the American people.”

Send comments to Sarena Selbo, Division of Natural Resources & Conservation Planning, National Wildlife Refuge System, FWS, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Room 600A, Arlington, VA 22203, nwrsstrategicgrowthpolicy@fws.gov.

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