Printer Friendly

IMPACT STATEMENT PREPARATION BEGINS ON PROPOSED PATOKA RIVER WETLANDS PROJECT IN SOUTHWESTERN INDIANA

IMPACT STATEMENT PREPARATION BEGINS ON PROPOSED PATOKA RIVER WETLANDS
 PROJECT IN SOUTHWESTERN INDIANA
 TWIN CITIES, Minn., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (service) has formally begun preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Patoka River Wetlands Project (project) focused on 21,000 acres of bottomland forest located along the Patoka River near the communities of Oakland City and Winslow in southwestern Indiana.
 John Rogers, Jr., acting regional director for the service's North Central Region based in Twin Cities, Minn., said preparation of the EIS was put on hold the past several years pending completion of biological and resource inventory studies critical to addressing possible impacts of the proposed project.
 "Detailed information on coal resources, wetlands, plant and wildlife resources is now available to allow us to proceed with preparation of the EIS," Rogers said. He said the service hopes to have the draft EIS ready for distribution by July 1, 1992.
 Rogers said the service has also redefined the purposes and possible alternatives for protecting and enhancing wetland, wildlife and fish resources of the Patoka River Valley.
 These purposes include restoration, protection and management of: a unique bottomland forest ecosystem, upland habitat that complements wetlands, migratory bird habitat with emphasis on wood ducks, and threatened and endangered species of plants and animals.
 Secondary purposes of the proposal are to increase wildlife-oriented recreation and education, provide wildlife extension services in the project area and surrounding area and to enhance water quality in the Patoka River watershed for the benefit of wildlife, fish and the public.
 Rogers said the original environmental assessment dealt almost exclusively with alternatives that called for the creation of a national wildlife refuge.
 He said alternatives have been expanded for the EIS and include both traditional and innovative ways to meet the purposes or objectives of the project. The service currently has no preferred alternative.
 Preliminary alternatives being considered are:
 -- No action;
 -- Rely on the existing Waterbank or Wetland Reserve programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect existing or restored wetlands in the project area;
 -- Expansion of land use and zoning regulations to protect resources in the project area;
 -- Acquisition and management of the project area's resources by other government entities or private organizations;
 -- Voluntary private landowner agreements for the restoration and enhancement of wetland and supporting upland habitat;
 -- Acquisition of 20,774 acres by the service as the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge as previously defined in the environmental assessment issued in 1989;
 -- Acquisition of interests in land by the service as Wildlife Management Areas from within a 20,774-acre selection or project area;
 -- Acquisition of interests in 7,505 acres as the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, with acquisition of interest in other lands within the remainder of the 20,774 acre project area as Wildlife Management Areas.
 Rogers said the alternatives employing acquisition of Wildlife Management Areas could provide greater flexibility than a traditional refuge, especially in regards to such issues as coal resources present, planned highway construction and timing of any acquisitions; while providing greater flexibility for landowners in the project area.
 The service's involvement in the Patoka River Valley stems from the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act (act) passed by Congress in 1986 and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) signed by the United States and Canada in 1986. Both the act and the NAWMP led to identification of the Patoka River area as a nationally important wetland resource warranting protection, restoration and management.
 Rogers said the service is inviting persons to comment on the proposed project now and through the entire planning process. Public meetings will be held following completion of the draft EIS to gather comments and suggestions for the final EIS and to guide the decision on which alternative should be selected.
 Questions or comments on the proposed project should be directed to Bill McCoy, project manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 510, Winslow, Ind. 47598-0510, phone 812-789-2102, or, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, Minn. 55111-4056, Attn: Jeanne Holler, RE-A.
 Copies of the service's formal "Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS" to be published in the Federal Register in Washington are available at either of the above locations.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: Bill McCoy, 812-789-2101, or Susan Drieband, 612-725-3519, both of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/ CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ST: Indiana IN: SU:


AL -- MN006 -- 2450 02/25/92 15:01 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
Words:758
Previous Article:COMMERCIAL INTERTECH REPORTS RESULTS
Next Article:CHATTAHOOCHEE BANCORP REPORTS 1991 EARNINGS YEAR-END TOTALS SHOW NET INCOME AND PER-SHARE EARNINGS FOURTH QUARTER NET INCOME ADVANCES OVER 1990
Topics:


Related Articles
What are the odds?
EPA AND ORANGE COUNTY N.Y. SETTLE A WETLANDS DISPUTE
Ten Projects Selected for IPALCO Environmental Awards.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves Cinergy Plan to Conserve Endangered Bird.
Indiana and Wisconsin Conservationists Among Those Honored for Wetland Accomplishments by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Indiana's first HCP conserves least tern.
Amphibians and reptiles of the Grand Calumet River basin.
Distribution patterns of freshwater shrimp and crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in the Patoka River basin of Indiana.
Notes on Indiana crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) with comments on distribution, taxonomy, life history, and habitat.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters