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OK,

Here is Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge's Public Notice on the night time surf fishing in October. They also enhanced a few other activities which were nice to see and not asked for.

If you would like to comment, please do so to the address listed at the bottom of the Public Notice or use the e-mail provided.

July 30, 2007

PUBLIC NOTICE

Implement Refuge Fresh and Saltwater Fishing and Crabbing Program, to Include Night Oceanfront Surfcasting.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is evaluating a proposal to allow fresh and saltwater fishing and crabbing in designated areas of the Refuge. The proposal expands the current fishing program to permit night surfcasting along a designated section of the Refuge’s oceanfront, between the Seaside Trail and Dune Trail boardwalks. As proposed, night surf fishing activity would be allowed by special use permit, until 12:00 a.m. daily during the month of October, excluding seven days designated for the Refuge’s annual feral hog/deer hunt. Individuals permitted to fish through the evening would not be permitted vehicle access to the beach, and the fishing activity would be governed by all state and federal licensing and regulatory requirements, as well as Refuge permit stipulations.

Prior to allowing this use on the Refuge, federal law requires that the Service first determine that fresh and saltwater fishing and crabbing is a compatible use. A compatible use is a proposed or existing wildlife-dependent recreational use or any other use of a national wildlife refuge that, based on sound professional judgment, will not materially interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of the National Wildlife Refuge System or the purposes of the national wildlife refuge. We develop a compatibility determination document to facilitate evaluation of such uses.

(OVER)

The National Wildlife Refuge System mission is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. The purpose for establishing Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge was to serve as winter resting and feeding grounds for migratory birds.

The Service would like to know what you think about this proposed Refuge use. We are especially interested in information or studies you are aware of regarding the effects of such uses. A compatibility determination has been drafted, and is available for public review and comment. All comments received within 14 days following the date of this notice will be considered in finalizing that determination. We hope to make a final decision on this proposed use within 10 days following the closure of the public comment period.

To request a copy of the compatibility determination, to learn the final decision regarding this proposed use, or for more information, contact Chris Lowie, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Deputy Manager, by mail at: 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23456; by telephone at 757-721-2412; or by email at chris_lowie@fws.gov

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