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Bitter Lake seeks public input

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge wants the public to provide opinions and thoughts about a proposed right-of-way to allow for a fiber optic communications line through a small portion of refuge property.

The public comments are sought on the draft of the Compatibility Determination (CD). The draft is available on the refuge’s website and at the refuge’s visitor center, 4200 E. Pine Lodge Road in Roswell. People also can request a mailed or emailed copy by calling (575) 625-4019.
The comment period is open Wednesday until close of business Aug. 16. Comments can be emailed to Floyd_Truetken@fws.gov. They also can be mailed or hand-delivered to Refuge Manager, Bitter Lake NWR, Attn: Plateau Fiber Optic Line CD, 4200 E. Pine Lodge Road, Roswell, NM 88201.

A Compatibility Determination, required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a written determination that a refuge use will not materially interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of the system mission or the purposes of the refuge.
This Compatibility Determination concerns the request of the Plateau Telephone Cooperative to obtain a 20-foot right-of-way within the North Tract of the refuge as part of its project to bury approximately 3,563 feet, or 0.67 miles, of fiber optic line within an existing New Mexico Department of Transportation right-of-way along a U.S. Highway 70 corridor. A portion of the line will cross under the Pecos River. Brush clearing and mowing for the project is expected to be minimal because the exiting right-of-way is maintained annually by the state Department of Transportation.