The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it has completed the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (CCP/EA) for the Hopper Mountain, Bitter Creek, and Blue Ridge National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) and is making the plan and its accompanying Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) available to the public.

“The CCP outlines how the Service will fulfill its legal purposes at the refuges and contribute to the National Wildlife Refuge System’s wildlife, habitat and visitor service goals,” said Michael Brady, Project Leader for the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  Implementation of the selected alternative will be subject to the availability of funding and other resources, and may occur incrementally over the life of the 15-year plan.

The refuges are part of the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex and are located in southern California.  They were established to protect the endangered California condor and other wildlife and plants protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act.  The refuges’ upland and riparian habitats provide food, water and cover for a diverse array of wildlife species.  The CCP provides a framework for the Hopper Mountain, Bitter Creek, and Blue Ridge NWRs to continue expanding both natural resource management and visitor services opportunities, specifically interpretation and environmental education.  A new refuge administrative office with visitor area and a condor observation area are planned for Bitter Creek NWR.  Hopper Mountain NWR will remain closed to public use.

Copies of the Final CCP/EA and FONSI are available online at: http://www.fws.gov/hoppermountain or by contacting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Refuge Planning, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, California 95825, or fw8plancomments@fws.gov (e-mail); please include “Hopper CCP” in the subject line.

Logo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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