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Report on local refuge draws ire of fishermen

Copies of the Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge are available in various formats, according to Refuge Manager Tony Booth.

The CCP is designed to guide management at the refuge for the next 15 years, although Booth says it could be used even longer than that.

Several years in development, the draft version of the CCP was the subject of a series of town hall meetings. It has grown to two volumes since then, as it includes an environmental assessment and a finding of "no significant impact" for the refuge, as well as the CCP itself.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials signed off on the final version in September 2013, shortly before the government shut down on Oct. 1. Although the CCP has yet to be published in the Federal Register, officials at the Region 2 headquarters of Fish & Wildlife in Albuquerque, N.M., have decided to go ahead and make it available to the public.

Will people who come to the refuge notice any difference as a result of the management plan?

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