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Published:January 18th, 2007 05:21 EST

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines

By SOP newswire

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has determined a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) for the final Environmental Assessment of a state proposal, "Whetstone Sportsman and Conservation Club Trap Range Development, Milbank, Grant County, South Dakota" as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The proposal is a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration project to be funded jointly by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The final environmental assessment, prepared by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks (Department) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, analyzed the Department's proposal to construct a new 6-acre shotgun trap range in Grant County in northeastern South Dakota.

The new trap range will replace an existing range that is being surrounded by a new housing development and is adjacent to a golf course.  The current site is no longer useful and presents safety issues for the surrounding area.  Relocation of the trap range to the new site will provide improved safety conditions, accessibility for users with disabilities, and an improved hunter safety education facility.

The new range will require the construction of a 14-by-28-foot A-frame utility shed, installation of an accessible porta-potty, construction of two trap houses with five walkways each, construction of an accessible ramp to the building, installation of electrical wiring for the building, construction of an access road to the range, and installation of outdoor lighting.
 
The following agencies were involved in the pre-planning efforts of the project: Natural Resource Conservation District, South Dakota State Historic Preservation Center; and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers for the following Tribes: Rosebud Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, and the Flandreau Santee Sioux.  The draft Environmental Assessment was also made available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance and http://www.sdgfd.info/Wildlife/hunting/Safety/WhetstoneProj.htm.  No comments were received on the draft environmental assessment during the public review period.

The FONSI and the final environmental assessment are available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance.  The document can also be accessed through the Department at http://www.sdgfd.info/Wildlife/hunting/Safety/WhetstoneProj.htm.  Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services' Division of Federal Assistance, 303-236-5420.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

 

Contacts

David McGillvary, 303-236-4411
Otto Jose, 303-236-8156