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Public comment period extended for draft EA for continued fish stocking in Arizona

Posted June 11, 2021

New comment deadline is June 25; Proposal would continue federal funding to support AZGFD sport fish stocking program

 

PHOENIX — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) today extended the deadline for the public to comment on the draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) of Arizona’s sport fish stocking program. The original June 11 deadline has been extended for two weeks, until June 25, 2021, to allow for more comment opportunity. The methods of providing public comments remain the same as in the original announcement and are described below.

The dEA is part of a process to continue to allow federal Sport Fish Restoration funding to support AZGFD’s long-standing program of stocking fish for public recreational opportunities, and for hatchery operations and maintenance. Each year, thousands of anglers in Arizona take advantage of the fish stocking program, which is funded in part by federal dollars from the Sport Fish Restoration Program and augmented by state dollars from fishing license sales.

Every 10 years, USFWS and AZGFD evaluate the social, economic and environmental effects of Arizona’s stocking program, and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), prepare a dEA that analyzes possible actions or alternatives. The preferred alternative for the agencies, also known as the Proposed Action, would allow AZGFD to continue its stocking program for the next 10 years and also includes conservation measures to reduce potential impacts on federally listed or sensitive native aquatic or semi-aquatic species.

Members of the public are encouraged to review and provide comments on the dEA. Written comments can be submitted from May 11, 2021 through 5 p.m. (Arizona time) on June 25, 2021. Comments can be either:

• Emailed to fw2fa@fws.gov, or
• Sent by U.S. Mail to Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attention Dave Weedman, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086 (must be postmarked no later than June 25, 2021).

Your written comments—including personal identifying information, such as name, address, phone number, and email address—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask that personal identifying information be withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Two Facebook Live sessions with information about the dEA were held June 1 and June 2 and are available for on-demand viewing:
• View the June 1 session – covers AZGFD northern regions (1, 2, 3).
• View the June 2 session – covers AZGFD southern regions (4, 5, 6).

View the draft Environmental Assessment