Subject: Comments on Ponca/Niobrara Land Protection Plan due by Sept 30
Friends of the Missouri River:
Please compose a brief personalized letter supporting the Ponca/Niobrara Land Protection Plan, using one or more of the talking points provided below if you like, and send it NOW, before something else in your busy life gets in the way. It is critically important that we win the "numbers game," that US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service can hold up a big stack of letters and emails from supporters of protecting our unique stretch of the Missouri, a stack that must be higher than the stack from organized forces that want to preserve private development interests rather than the right of future generations to experience the relatively wild river we love.
Of the talking points listed below, I composed my Sample letter focused on #4.
Email could be brief. See email addresses at end of talking points. Sending an email has as much impact as sending a letter.
I support the Ponca/Niobrara Land Protection Plan. The National Park closest to Western Iowa is the Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR). These 100 river miles come closest to the historical river before the largest dams on the continent impounded vast portions of the river. This protection campaign will build upon the work that has made this segment of the river a favorite segment for canoeing and kayaking. The campaign will enhance conservation, provide habitat and refuges, and fight back encroaching development. Thank you for providing this opportunity to comment on this plan.
1. Under the Land Protection Plan USFWS and NPS would purchase land or easements on land from willing landowners. The landowners with an easement could determine how much public access they wanted to give for the land.
2. NPS and FWS are going to be highly selective in accepting offered acreages. The land has to be special. It must be either historically/culturally significant, important wildlife habitat, have great potential for public access, or in some other way be important for conservation purposes.
3. Tax money is not being used for this project. This project will primarily be funded by money specifically designated for conservation efforts (Land and Water Conservation Fund) and Duck Stamps.
4. The Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR) looks and functions more like the pre-dam river than other stretches of the river. This project will build on that foundation and provide national wildlife refuges within the MNRR. It will enhance conservation, provide more habitat for wildlife, and limit development.
5. It will increase tourism and provide more dollars for rural communities.
Sending an email has as much impact as sending a letter. The public comment period on the protection plan has been extended to Sept 30. Please send a letter of support for the project to email@example.com or Wayne_NelsonStastny@fws.gov or Steve_Thede@nps.gov.
Thank you for your help.