FOA ANWR Comments

We have sent our comments to the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment. We hope that you took the time to read the document and provide your input. June 24, 2011 is the deadline to get comments in.

As a group concerned about communication and cooperation, our comments fell into two categories.

1) We continue to voice our ongoing concern over the loss of the distinction between the Atchafalaya Basin, which extends from the Teche ridge to Bayou Manchac – because of its historic origins as one of the tentacles of the Mississippi River, before constructed levees were built – and the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System, defined by the flood protection levees built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Floodway construction greatly affected and its operation continues to affect the areas outside the levees and that distinction should not be lost.

2) The lack of mention of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area as a player in the visitor services and public information aspects of the Refuge operations strikes us as a huge oversight and we requested a dialog between the two organizations, both overseen by the US Department of the Interior, and additions to the CCP to acknowledge the role of the Heritage Area in the entire Basin area.

Please let us know what you think about the Refuge plans and how you think they might be modified to improve the habitat and wildlife management in the Floodway.