The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, invites the public to review and comment on a draft Environmental Assessment for the development of public water access sites in Ohio. The draft EA evaluates several alternatives. This includes a proposed alternative that would continue developing and renovating access facilities on lakes and rivers using Sport Fish Restoration funds. These funds come from federal excise taxes on fishing tackle and motorboat fuels. Comments should be submitted by September 17, 2014.
ODNR has determined that there is a need to continue to construct new and renovate existing boating facilities on lakes and rivers to provide adequate access for fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing and environmental education activities. New and improved facilities are necessary to meet increased demand for recreational facilities generated by increased boat ownership. Other benefits include enhanced safety for users, improved accessibility for disabled users, and improved access for fisheries management purposes and law enforcement.
The proposed alternative would address this need by continuing to provide funding through Sport Fish Restoration to develop or renovate one to four access facilities annually, and conduct maintenance at all sites as needed. Maintenance activities would include but is not limited to repairs to access roads, parking lots, boat ramps and docks. This will ensure that the public’s needs for safe recreational boating and fishing facilities are met. Other alternatives considered in the EA include continuing project work at a diminished level of activity without using Federal funding, as well as an alternative with no new public construction/renovation work which would depend on private efforts to meet the public’s needs.
The EA was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act that applies to the actions of all federal agencies. This project is proposed by the ODNR for funding through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration in Sport Fish Restoration Act, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The draft EA is available at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/documents/2014-EA-for-Ohio-boat-access.pdf. Additionally, copies may be obtained from the ODNR, Division of Wildlife, 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. G-2, Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693, Attn: Ms. Stacy Xenakis, (614-265-6321). Written comments should be sent to Ms. Xenakis via mail at the above address, via email: email@example.com, or via fax to 651-297-5475. Comments should be received no later than September 17, 2014.
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