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Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Cabeza Prieta NWR
The desert unfolds in color and sweet scent
in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge,
which is more than 90% wilderness.
Credit: Cabeza Prieta NWR

The Cabeza Prieta interdisciplinary planning team recently conducted a series of EIS public scoping meetings and a solicitation of comments that ended February 14, 2003. Public scoping is the process of identifying issues of concern to the interested public, institutions and government agencies. Issues identified during scoping shape the analysis of alternatives in the draft and final EIS. This process will determine how the Cabeza is managed in the future. It is nearly entirely wilderness. Read more about the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge here.

The Cabeza Prieta interdisciplinary planning team, which includes staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the U.S.G.S Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Program, is currently preparing draft management alternatives for the EIS. When these draft alternatives have been sufficiently developed (likely within one month) the Service will contract with experts in the fields of wildlife, wilderness, recreation, and economics to model the impacts of implementing each alternative. During this analysis, the management alternatives may be somewhat refined.

The results of the impact analysis, background information and the management alternatives will then be used to prepare a Draft EIS. The Park Service and Arizona Game and Fish will review the Draft EIS internally prior to public release, tentatively scheduled for December 2003. Upon public release there will be a 90-day review and comment period. The Final EIS will address all comments received during this period. It is likely that preparation of the Final EIS will take 9 to 12 months after the end of the comment period.

For further information regarding the Cabeza Prieta, contact John Slown, Planning Director, at 505-248-7458.

-Arizona Wilderness Coalition mission statement