Press Release
Seeking Public Comment on Plans to Expand Aransas and Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuges
Draft Land Protection Plans available for review.
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on Land Protection Plans for Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge. The plans establish acquisition boundaries within which the Service could preserve and protect high-quality wildlife habitat by purchasing conservation easements or fee-title ownership from willing sellers. 

At Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, the proposal would almost double the 115,240 acre refuge in size by adding up to 95,000 additional acres. At Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge, the proposal to acquire up to 55,000 acres of land would result in a major expansion of the 4,526 acre refuge in Jackson and Matagorda Counties.

The total planning area for both plans encompasses a portion of the Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes ecoregion in the Coastal Bend region of Texas, which hosts high-quality habitat for several species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including the endangered whooping crane. The planning area includes all or portions of Aransas, Calhoun, Goliad, Jackson, Matagorda, Refugio, San Patricio and Victoria counties.

Acquiring these lands or easements will enhance wildlife populations through the protection of habitat, with a focus on whooping crane, mottled duck, Eastern black rail, Attwater’s prarie chicken, and various wintering waterfowl. In addition, these protections will help prevent the future listing of endangered or threatened species and support the delisting of listed species.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's largest collection of public lands and waters dedicated to wildlife conservation, and it continues to grow in size. The Service develops Land Protection Plans to fully evaluate the establishment of new refuges and major expansions to existing refuges.

To view the plans and learn more about how to submit comments read our announcement and frequently asked questions

The Service will review public comments and use them to inform the development of the final plans. Public comments will be accepted through January 26, 2024 by emailing