PUBLIC NOTICE: The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is soliciting comments from the public on a proposed wetland restoration plan/project

Please take notice that in accordance with 42 U.S.C.A.- 9617, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation ("Wildlife Department") is giving the public an opportunity to comment on its next proposed wetland restoration plan/project along the Neosho River in Oklahoma ("Neosho Bottoms Project"). The most notable and acclaimed successful wetland restoration project conducted by the Wildlife Department was completed in 1999 for Hackberry Flat in Tillman County, Oklahoma.

The Neosho Bottoms Project area is located in Craig and Ottawa counties in northeast Oklahoma and conceptually encompasses 24,100 acres of floodplain and uplands along the Neosho River. The Neosho River has long been noted for its unique, natural resources, particularly as it relates to Bottomland Hardwood forest system values. Over the past 50-75 years bottomland hardwood systems throughout eastern Oklahoma have experienced accelerated losses and alterations due to reservoir construction and land use conversions. This project area extends from the Kansas/Oklahoma border downstream to the city of Miami, Oklahoma. The Department, with substantial assistance from Ducks Unlimited, has developed a comprehensive restoration plan for the entire Neosho Bottoms Project area.

The success of this proposed effort in completing the Neosho Bottoms Project hinges on support, contributions and funding from multiple partners, including state and federal agencies, as well as private conservation organizations. Contributing funds may include those from Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds related to the Tar Creek Mining Superfund site currently held in trust with the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment, Oklahoma's designated Natural Resource Trustee. Another critical factor in achieving a successful completion of the project will be the support and cooperation received from local landowners.

If comments cannot be made online, written comments will be accepted by mail or orally by telephone at 405-522-6281 until 4:30 pm February 28, 2014. The Wildlife Department's main office address in Oklahoma City is P.O. Box 53465, OKC, OK 73152. An opportunity exists for a public meeting if a request for such a meeting is received by the Wildlife Department no later than 4:30 pm February 28, 2014. Thereafter, arrangements for a meeting in the local area will be made with appropriate notice of time and place.

Included in this restoration project is also an opportunity for the Wildlife Department to provide public land in far northeast Oklahoma for sportsmen and other recreational users where there currently is none. The Wildlife Department intends to manage these lands to benefit multiple users as it relates to a variety of wildlife/habitat conservation efforts.

For a summary of the plan and to comment on the Project. A complete copy of the plan is also available upon request.