Public Invited to Comment on the Proposal
DENVER–The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment (Draft EA) regarding the State of Nebraska’s proposed transfer of the federal interest from the South Twin Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to the American Game Marsh WMA. The Service’s decision to approve the transfer constitutes a Federal action subject to the provisions of the National Environmental Policy of 1969, as amended (NEPA). This Draft EA has been prepared to comply with NEPA provisions to assess potential impacts on the human environment. Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period ending June 28, 2019.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) has submitted a grant application to WSFR requesting approval for the transfer the PR real property interest in the 160.46-acre South Twin WMA to the 165.21-acre American Game Marsh WMA which is located approximately 2.4 miles east of South Twin WMA in Brown County, Nebraska. NGPC originally acquired South Twin WMA with PR grant funds to provide wildlife habitat and public access for hunting opportunities.
South Twin WMA is located approximately 3.5 miles from a maintained county road. Access from the county road to the WMAwas provided by a road across private property that was originally owned by the Nebraska Board of Education Lands and Funds (BELF). BELF has since sold the “access property” to a private landowner and no formal agreements are in place to provide access to the WMA. This has resulted in difficulty for both NGPC management and public access to hunting. Ongoing negotiations with the current adjacent landowner have not been successful.
Transferring the PR interest from the South Twin WMA to a similar property with adequate public access would ensure that the purpose and objectives for originally acquiring South Twin WMA would be attained more effectively. It would also provide greater flexibility to NGPC for determining and implementing a public access solution at South Twin WMA.
The Draft EA prepared by the Service and NGPC analyzes the environmental effects of the proposed transfer of federal interest. The Service concluded the proposed project will not have impacts on floodplains or wetlands, will not affect historical and cultural resources, and will not have any effect on threatened, endangered or candidate species pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
Copies of the Draft EA, which include details of the proposed action and the alternatives considered, are available online by clicking on the title of the document at https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/wsfr/nepa.php. Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period, which ends June 28, 2019.
Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services’ Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program at 303-236-8156. Comments should be sent to: Chief, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO, 80225.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube.