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Klamath Marsh plan open for comment
Refuge in northern Klamath County established in 1958
Klamath Falls Herald and News
August 9, 2009
The Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment is available for review and comment, according to a press release.
The Klamath Marsh refuge, located in northern Klamath County, protects habitat for waterfowl and other unique wetland and aquatic dependent species, including the greater Sandhills cranes, yellow rails, Oregon spotted frogs, red-naped sapsuckers, pygmy nuthatches, bald eagles, beaver and redband trout.
The purpose in developing a comprehensive plan is to provide refuge managers with a 15-year plan consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife management, conservation, legal mandates and department policies. The plan also identifies opportunities for public hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation.
The 40,960-acre Klamath Marsh refuge was established in 1958 and is located along the Williamson River and is one of the West Coast’s largest remaining natural freshwater marshes. The entire refuge is located within the former reservation of the Klamath Tribes.
The documents identify three alternatives for how the refuge will be managed over the next 15 years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge, has a preferred alternative would restore the portion of the Williamson River and Big Spring Creek on the refuge. In addition, the alternative would improve the management of emergent marsh, meadows, ponderosa pine forest and aspen to increase habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
In addition, the preferred alternative would improve and expand visitor services by developing new trails, interpretive exhibits, an environmental education program and a visitor contact station.
It calls for maintaining existing hunting and fishing programs with minor modifications; increasing cultural resources protection; and recommends no units for wilderness designation. The service would also revise and update the memorandum of understanding with the Klamath Tribes regarding subsistence hunting and gathering.
A no-action alternative would continue current management policies, while a third alternative would enhance wildlife protections, restore some habitat and eliminate public hunting and minimize other public recreational opportunities.
How to comment
Public meetings on the draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment for the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Shilo Inn, 2500 Almond St., in Klamath Falls and 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Chiloquin Community Center.
Written comments on the draft plan, which must be received by Friday, Sept. 18, should be sent to Mark Pelz, Chief of Refuge Planning, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 95825.
The draft comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying documents for the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife, located in northern Klamath County, can be viewed and downloaded at www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/Klamath-MarshCCP/kmarshccp.html.
Page Updated: Friday August 21, 2009 03:26 AM Pacific
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