Compatibility Determination for Forest Management on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the compatibility determination for forest management on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is available for public comment.  The Service developed this compatibility determination to facilitate evaluation of the proposed refuge use, including anticipated impacts of the activity and stipulations to ensure compatibility.

Forest management, including the commercial harvest of trees, is the most feasible and practical way of maintaining or enhancing habitat for the wide array of forest dependent species on the refuge. Forest management on the refuge is used to encourage tree species that produce food for wildlife, such as oaks, thinning of pine stands that are susceptible to southern pine beetle and other insect infestations, and to maintain or increase the structural diversity of refuge forests. There have been no significant changes to the forest management program on the refuge since the last compatibility determination was completed in 2006.

The compatibility determination is available for viewing at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, and on the refuge website at Comments should be submitted in writing to the attention of Mr. Matt Whitbeck, Wildlife Biologist, at Chesapeake Marshlands NWRC, 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613; or Comments will be accepted until June 8, 2018.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 29,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwoods and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife.  To learn more, visit our website at or @BlackwaterNWR.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

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