Conservation plan issued for Delaware wildlife refuge

After a lengthy delay, a massive plan to fix problems at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge has finally been revealed.

 

The Comprehensive Conservation Plan includes three alternative paths to managing the 10,000 acre refuge over the next 15 years.  The plan has been more than five years in the making and will now be the subject of a series public hearings to get input from those who live near the refuge and those who are concerned for its future.  The need for the plan stems from drastic changes at the refuge including a changeover from a fresh water marsh to salt water and a loss of habitat for migratory birds.

The first proposal, called Alternative A, would not change the way the refuge is managed and is also being dubbed the “No Action” alternative.  This plan was developed to demonstrate what would happen to the refuge if things weren’t changed.  Alternative B is designed to fix the problems at the refuge in such a way that the system will be able to continue to regulate itself naturally.  That is the favored plan for refuge leaders.  Alternative C calls for major changes to the refuge and would take years to complete. 

You can find the full details of the plan at the Fish and Wildlife Service website.  There will be a series of hearings on the plans, starting Tuesday, June 5, at Milford Senior Center from 6 to 9 p.m.  Five more hearings will be held in June.  The public comment period on the plan ends August 6.

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WHYY visited Prime Hook while the plan was being developed earlier this year.   Take a look at the story which outlines some of the challenges facing the area.

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