Compatibility Determinations released for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge following review

In August 2016, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) released 23 revised draft Compatibility Determinations (CDs) which re-evaluated uses of the Refuge that were determined to be compatible with the Refuge mission. The original Compatibility Determinations were completed in 2006 as part of the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan and are required to be re-evaluated.

The following 16 Compatibility Determinations (CDs) have been finalized and are being released. Copies of the finalized CDs can be found on the Refuge website at and include:
• Archeological Investigations and Surveys
• Camping (including hammocking)
• Canoeing, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddling, and Sailing
• Dog Exercising and Training
• Fruits of the Soil Harvest (e.g. berry and mushroom picking, antler collection)
• Grazing (controlled)
• Inventory, Monitoring, and Research by Third Parties
• Prescribed Haying for Habitat Management
• Sediment Removal
• Special Events, Non-Refuge Sponsored
• Temporary Work Outside Existing Rights-Of-Way
• Tree Cutting for Habitat Management and Safety Purposes
• Vehicular Recreational Transport (all-terrain and utility-task vehicles, bicycles, and snowmobiles)
• Winter Silent Sports (ice skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and back country skiing)
• Commercial Fishing (including mussel and turtle harvest)
• Trapping of Furbearers.

Seven CDs remain under internal review to evaluate input received during the public comment period and are listed below:
• Beach-related Day Uses (swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and other)
• Boating with Motor-driven Watercraft
• Guided Sport Fishing
• Guided Waterfowl Hunting
• Commercial Fishing Floats
• Commercially Guided Wildlife/Wildlands Observation
• Fishing Tournaments and Other Competitive Fishing Events.

The Refuge will notify the public when these CDs have been finalized. Activities surrounding these uses will continue to be implemented as they have in the past until the season following their finalization.

The purposes for establishing, acquiring and managing the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is “as a refuge and breeding place for migratory birds included in the terms of the convention between the United States and Great Britain for the protection of migratory birds, concluded August 16, 1916, and (b) to such extent as the Secretary of the Interior by regulations, prescribe, as a refuge and breeding place for other wild birds, game animals, fur-bearing animals, and for the conservation of wild flowers and aquatic plants, and (c) to such extent as the Secretary of the Interior may, by regulations, prescribe a refuge and breeding place for fish and other aquatic animal life.”

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