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U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE STEPS UP LAND SURVEILLANCE

 U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE STEPS UP LAND SURVEILLANCE
 TWIN CITIES, Minn., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (service) today announced plans for increased surveillance of its lands within the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in an effort to curtail group public uses which are unsafe, causing disturbances to wildlife and other refuge users, damaging refuge resources and are conducted without the required permits.
 An increasing number of organized events, such as keg parties with live bands, have occurred on islands in the Mississippi River. Organizers of events on service lands are required to obtain federal, state and local permits, whether or not a fee is charged for the event.
 Permits are required when the general public is invited to an event; the event is advertised; a live band, amplifiers, lights and/or generators are involved; fees are charged; or when safety hazards or other disturbances are possible.
 In addition to the $35 permit fee for an approved event, organizers are responsible for paying a refundable $100 cleaning deposit. Organizers are also responsible for obtaining liability insurance and bringing that certificate of liability to the appropriate Refuge District Office two weeks before the event. They must also provide security for the event (one security person per 100 participants), and comply with other special conditions, depending upon the use planned.
 The public is encouraged to use service lands for picnics, photography, nature study, fishing, camping and so on, but should make prior arrangements for group events. Individual use does not require a permit and the rules for organized group use are designed to protect natural resources and provide for human safety.
 Violators could face fines up to $5,000 and six months in prison for violation under the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Act, depending upon the severity of the crime. Also, if violations warrant, those guilty may face prosecution from other agencies as well. Some violations, such as transporting illegal substances across state lines, are felonies with increased penalties to correspond.
 For more information concerning permits for group events on service lands along the Mississippi River, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 507-452-4232 (for uses planned in Pools 4 through 14); or the MacGregor District Refuge Office at 319-873-3423 (for Pools 9 through 11).
 -0- 7/22/92
 /CONTACT: Susan Dreiband of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, 612-725-3520/ CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


AL -- MN009 -- 1831 07/22/92 11:13 EDT
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Date:Jul 22, 1992
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