On April 22, 2008, the National Park Service held the Dyke Marsh Restoration scoping meeting at the Belle View Elementary School in Alexandria,VA. One hundred and four people signed the register. Members and representatives from water fowling conservation organizations were present. Members of VAWFA, DU, Delta Waterfowl and Waterfowl USA stood in unity to support waterfowling opportunities, wildlife and the restoration of the Dyke Marsh. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) is not the primary partner in the Dyke Marsh restoration. The DGIF representatives present, stated that the agency supports waterfowling opportunities in the Dyke Marsh area. As for now, the hunting will remain in the area. People who opposed waterfowlng opportunities remained low key. No one publicly spoke out in opposition of hunting. The waterfowlers presence made a positive presentation of today’s modern waterfowlers.
The formal presentation of the meeting was conducted by John G. James, Deputy Superintendent of the GW Parkway, Brent Sturley, National Resource Manager for GW Parkway and Melissa Barant of the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS is looking for options to fulfill their legislative mandate for wetland restoration in Dyke Marsh. The NPS does not have any options in place, the scoping meeting was for public input on matters that may affect those options.
Any organization that wants to be involved in the restoration, will have to submit their comments to the NPS by May 21, 2008. In about a year, the NPS will make their options public. They will again solicit public comments on those options. They will consider the comments on their options and come up with a proposed final plan, and seek comments on this before making a final decision. A final decision should come in 2011.
What can waterfowlers can do?
- A. Submit comments that succinctly make the point that any restoration effort should accommodate the interests of waterfowlers.
- B. Include in comments that waterfowling organizations such as VAWFA, DU, DeltaWaterfowl and Waterfowl USA have interest in being part of the process and can be a ready source of funding, materials and manpower. C. If you have already submitted your comments to the NPS, do it again. D. Please stay tuned to hear about the options, they will be coming up within a year and get ready to voice comments again.
Enclosed is a hyperlink address for waterfowlers to submit positive comments for support of water fowling, wildlife and restoration. Park Planning National Park Service .
Waterfowlers, please be a supporter of waterfowling opportunities, wildlife, habitats and wetlands restoration. Be one of today’s modern waterfowler of Virginia.