Rose Atoll NWR releases Management Plan for review
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released its Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (CCP/EA) for the Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) on October 9th.
Public comments regarding the plan will be accepted until November 9, 2012. A CCP is a 15-year plan for managing a National Wildlife Refuge, and the Fish and Wildlife Service is required to develop a CCP for each Refuge.
Rose Atoll is one of 556 national wildlife refuges, which are found in every state and territory in the United States.
Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1973 through an agreement between the American Samoa government and the Fish and Wildlife Service and covers 2.6 square miles. The Refuge was also included in the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, which was established in 2009 and covers 13,450 square miles.
The CCP is for the Refuge portion of the Monument only.
Other planning is underway for resources outside of the Refuge’s perimeter reef.
“This draft plan has been evolving since the Fish and Wildlife Service first went out to communities in 2009 and incorporates much of what we heard during those public scoping meetings,” said Refuge/Monument Manager Frank Pendleton. “It is the first-ever management plan for this Refuge and it is essential we have the input of the people of American Samoa in its development.”
Some examples of how community ideas were incorporated into the Draft CCP/EA include the plan’s call for creating environmental education materials such as DVDs and posters for use with school groups, engaging local students with scientific research through partnering with schools and the college, and starting a Refuge internship program.
The Draft CCP is also an Environmental Assessment and provides two management alternatives to be considered for the final CCP. Alternative A continues existing management of the Refuge, while Alternative B is the preferred alternative and enhances habitat restoration, monitoring, outreach, and law enforcement.
Interested citizens, agencies, partners, and organizations are welcome to review and comment on this Draft CCP/EA. Copies of the CCP are available from the Refuge Manager located in the National Park Service office in Pago Pago.
There will be 3 public meetings in American Samoa where printed copies of the CCP will be available and refuge staff will answer any questions:
• October 16 at 2:00 pm Sadie’s by the Sea;
• October 18 at 9:00 am Ofu Community Center
• October 18 at 2:00 pm Ta’ūHigh School
Comments can also be sent in the following ways;
• Comments can be emailed to FW1Planningcomments@fws.gov (make sure to identify in the subject line “Rose Atoll NWR Draft CCP/EA”);
• Written comments can be mailed to the Refuge office at Rose Atoll NWR/MNM, c/o National Park Service, Pago Pago, AS 96799 or faxed to 684-699-3986; and
• Comments can be taken by phone at the Refuge/Monument office at 684-633-7082, ext. 15.
Comments are due by November 9, 2012.
“We appreciate everyone’s involvement and invite your continued input to improve and complete this CCP,” Pendleton said.
Persons with disabilities needing reasonable accommodations to participate in the public meetings are invited to contact Frank Pendleton at 684-633-7082 ext. 15 (voice) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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