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DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AVAILABLE FOR PROPOSED NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE NEAR LITTLE FALLS

 DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AVAILABLE FOR PROPOSED
 NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE NEAR LITTLE FALLS
 TWIN CITIES, Minn., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A draft environmental assessment for the proposed Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (refuge) near Little Falls, Minn., is now available to the public according to Jim Gritman, regional director of the North Central Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (service).
 Gritman said the assessment evaluates four alternatives, including a "no action" alternative and three refuge establishment alternatives. The service's preferred alternative calls for the purchase of up to 12,000 acres from willing sellers to create a refuge covering 13,540 acres.
 Gritman said the proposed refuge would protect and enhance nearly 6,000 acres of wetlands. "The area under consideration is one of the truly unique wetland ecosystems left in central Minnesota," he said.
 Gritman said the area under consideration attracts up to 10,000 waterfowl during migration, contains remnant sand prairie and oak savanna plant communities, and is one of the most important breeding grounds for greater sandhill cranes in central Minnesota.
 A public meeting to discuss the draft environmental assessment is planned for Feb. 4, 1992, at 7 p.m. in the Little Falls High School Commons, 1001 Southeast Fifth Avenue, Little Falls. Comments on the proposed refuge will be accepted through Feb. 15, 1992, after which a final environmental assessment will be prepared and a decision made on whether or not to establish a national wildlife refuge.
 Copies of the assessment are available by writing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Realty, 1 Federal Way, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, Fort Snelling, Minn. 55111-4056; or by calling 612-725-3306. In Little Falls, copies are available at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Area Office or the Carnegie Regional Library.
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Don Hultman, 612-725-3306, or Susan Dreiband, 612-725-3519, both of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/ CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


AL -- MN006 -- 9503 01/14/92 11:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1992
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