The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is evaluating creation of a new to conserve currently unprotected, high priority fish and wildlife habitats across southern Maryland.
In collaboration with landowners, outdoor enthusiasts, conservation partners, and local communities, the Service proposes to identify lands for protection as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System in southern Maryland. If approved, these lands would be incorporated into a new National Wildlife Refuge that encompasses portions of Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s, Prince George’s, and Anne Arundel Counties.
An in-depth, collaborative effort over the past 15 years demonstrated that currently unprotected habitats in these counties support significant populations of fish and wildlife appropriate for protection by the National Wildlife Refuge System, primarily threatened and endangered species, waterfowl, and migratory birds of conservation concern. These species face habitat loss from land use changes, , competition from , and other stressors.
The process of establishing a new national wildlife refuge requires preparation of a land protection plan (LPP) and environmental assessment (EA) which will be made available for a 45-day public review and comment period. The responsibility to approve or disapprove the proposal rests with the Service’s Director. The LPP/EA will propose a boundary within which the Service may acquire interests in lands from willing sellers. Land protection work could be achieved with fee title or acquisition. Landowners who do not wish to sell or donate interests in land to the Service are under no obligation to do so.
For more information about this project, please see the Press Release and Frequently Asked Questions documents.
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