The Klamath Falls Herald and News | April 24, 2014 8 p.m. | Updated: April 25, 2014 1:21 p.m.
LACEY JARRELLH&N Staff Reporter
Three conservation groups filed a lawsuit Thursday against the federal wildlife agency tasked with developing new management tools for Klamath Basin wildlife refuges.
According to a news release, the three groups — the Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon Wild and WaterWatch of Oregon — filed the suit to compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Klamath Basin CCP is 18 months past deadline.
The plan is long overdue in area of such “extraordinary ecological importance,” said Jim McCarthy, communications director and Southern Oregon program manager for WaterWatch of Oregon.
“The fact we don’t have a plan for these refuges 18 months out is just not right,” McCarthy said.
The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 requires the USFWS to develop and implement a plan for each unit within the national wildlife refuge system, according to the release.