The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge released a draft comprehensive conservation plan. The draft can be found at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Silvio_O_Conte/what_we_do/conservation.html. (There are underscores "_" where the blanks appear.) There is also one printed copy available in the Select Board Office. The plan, when final, will guide management of the refuge for a period of 15 years. It is available for public review and comment through November 16, 2015. There is a formal public hearing for the plan scheduled on November 9, 2015 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Regional Office located at 300 Westgate Center Drive in Hadley, MA 01035.
The Refuge is proposing to acquire and protect an additional 7,000 acres in Chesterfield which would greatly impact the Town's tax revenue.
The public may submit comments on the draft plan by one of the following methods:
- Electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://regulations.gov. In the "Search" box, commenters will enter the docket number for this project (FWS-R5-NWRS-2015-0036). Comments can be submitted by clicking on "Comment Now!".
- By hard copy via U.S. mail or hand-delivered to : Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-NWRS-2015-0036; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
- Via oral public testimony at one of the public hearings.