Action Required – Help Open the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge to Hunting

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently published a draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment for the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.  The refuge is located within Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Ottawa, and Sequoyah Counties.  Part of the Plan addresses hunting in the refuge.  The FWS is considering two alternatives: (1) the current management plan which does not allow hunting on any portion of the refuge; and (2) an alternative that would allow for walk-in-only, open-access hunting on the Sally Bull Hollow Unit of the refuge, which is adjacent to the State-managed Ozark Plateau Wildlife Management Area. 

Comments on the plan are due by March 8, 2013.  All comments must be submitted by email to sarah_catchot@fws.gov or by U.S. mail to:

Sarah Catchot
Lead Planner
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
NWRS Division of Planning
P.O. Box 1306
Albuquerque, NM 87103.

A downloadable version of the draft CCP and EA is available at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/Plan/plansinprogress.html.

Additionally, public meetings will be hosted at the following:

Monday, February 25th, 5:30 p.m., at the Delaware County Library, in Jay, OK
Tuesday, February 26th, 5:30 p.m., at the Stilwell Community Center in Stilwell, OK
Thursday, February 28th, 5:30 p.m., in the Community Ballroom of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Headquarters in Tahlequah, OK.

If you are available to attend any of these public meanings to make your voice heard, we encourage you to do so.  The future of hunting in the Ozarks would greatly benefit from this alternative.

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