Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Northeast United States will have new national wildlife refuge
Americans will soon have a new national wildlife refuge to visit in five New England states and New York. The Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge, finalized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Tuesday, includes 15,000 acres of land that
mainly consists of shrubland teeming with as many as 136 types of
animals and insects, according to the Associated Press, which includes
the New England cottontails and American woodcock. It also hosts
threatened and endangered species such as bog turtles and the
Massachusetts's northern red-bellied cooter. This new refuge is a continuation of President Obama’s streak in holding the record for protecting the most public land
and water of any past president. It will be the 18th created under his
administration since 2009 and the 566th in the nation, joining a network
of protected areas covering over 150 million acres of land. It also
increases the amount of land under FWS’ purview. In August, Obama
expanded the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii to become the world’s largest marine protected area that spans two wildlife refuges. For the refuge to materialize, the next step for FWS is to acquire land from willing landowners in non-contiguous areas in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island. According to the Associated Press, the officials say they plan to purchase half of the land targeted while obtaining the other half through conservation easement.
The process could take decades, as the press release points out. It is entirely up to landowners to decide if they want to sell or donate their land to become part of the refuge. They could also opt for conservation easement, where the owners permanently sell property rights to FWS that restricts the types of activities that can be done on the land...more
All refuges within the project area
have approved CCPs, and all have goals and objectives related to the
restoration, maintenance, and continuing management of shrubland and young forest
habitat. All of the CCPs were released for public and partner review and comment, with
accompanying public meetings in their respective areas.
A CCP is a Comprehensive Conservation Plan.
This is for 15,000 acres. All plans are completed with public review and comment prior to designation, and it is voluntary on whether or not you are part of the refuge.
Compare that to the 500,000 acre Organ Mtn-Desert Buttes National Monument. Sec. Jewell held one 'listening session', the plans come after the designation, and there is nothing voluntary about it.