Date: 5/14/18 8:25 pm
From: Michael Zerr <zerrmick...> [sd-birds] <sd-birds-noreply...>
Subject: [sd-birds] Fwd: Update on Sand Lake Waterfowl Hunting
Folks, you might be interested in this update.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dave Azure <dave_azure...>
Date: Mon, May 14, 2018 at 4:03 PM
Subject: Update on Sand Lake Waterfowl Hunting
To: Dave Azure <dave_azure...>


Good Afternoon,



Last fall, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service initiated a 60-day comment
period to gather public input into the possible expansion of waterfowl
hunting on Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge. You either provided
comments or indicated that you wished to be kept informed as the evaluation
process progressed. This letter is to provide an update on the public
input that was received and to explain how that input was used in the
decision that was made.



Before expanded waterfowl hunting on Sand Lake Refuge could be evaluated,
we first needed to know exactly when, where and how such an expansion might
occur. To increase the likelihood of public support, we chose to invite
the public to share their ideas and perspectives. With this input in hand,
our plan was to craft a proposed hunt that met the expectations of
sportsmen and women while achieving the objectives of increased hunter
recruitment, retention and reactivation. The details of this proposed hunt
would then be evaluated for compatibility with other Refuge activities and
the Refuge’s purpose of providing a resting and breeding area for migratory
birds.



After the 60-day comment period ended, we reviewed the public’s input and
found that we received very few comments on the questions of “when, where
and how” an expanded waterfowl hunt on Sand Lake Refuge might occur..
Rather, the comments received at the public meetings (held in Aberdeen, SD
on Nov. 1 and Columbia, SD on Nov. 2), by phone calls, and in writing
revealed that an overwhelming majority of people are opposed to expanding
waterfowl hunting on Sand Lake Refuge. While a variety of reasons were
offered, a common and recurring theme was that people value and treasure
Sand Lake Refuge as a sanctuary for migratory birds and other wildlife.
Even though many recognized the potential of having both a sanctuary and an
area open to waterfowl hunting, many of these same people still preferred
that waterfowl hunting not be expanded on the Refuge. Therefore, after
careful attention to all comments received, we decided to not consider the
expansion of waterfowl hunting on Sand Lake Refuge any further at this
time.



I want to thank you for your interest in Sand Lake Refuge and for taking
the time to become involved in this process. Whether you were for or
against this proposal, your input was sincerely appreciated and we learned
a tremendous amount about how the Refuge is valued by the public.



If you have any questions or want more information on this or anything else
related to Sand Lake Refuge, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the
above address, or by calling me at 605-885-6320, ext. 215. Once again,
thank you for your interest in Sand Lake and we look forward to seeing you
at the Refuge in the near future.





Dave Azure

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge

39650 Sand Lake Drive

Columbia, SD 57433-7109

605-885-6320, ext. 215


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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Posted by: Michael Zerr <zerrmick...>
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