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January 4, 2005     Cape Gazette
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January 4, 2005

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8 - CAPE GAZETTE, Tuesday, Jan. 4 - Jan. 6, 2005 Jim Cresson photos Looming south of Fowler Beach Road on a foggy morning, Jan, 3, a World War II gun em- placement that once stood well above the high-water mark now is awash in the surf. Several of the eight parcels the refuge wants to acquire from willing landowners lie beyond the old structure, toward the north end Hook of Prime Hook Beach. culty in assessing the value of these small parcels. In general, coastal buildable property is val- ued at hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre. But most of these parcels are not buildable due to state and federal regulations re- garding dune and wetland set- backs. If a building could be con- structed on one of the parcels, the state would not allow a septic to be installed. We'll see what the appraisers say, and we'll then meet with the landowners willing to sell their parcels." Schafler said the days are long gone when government condem- nation was usedto procure land in the refuge system. Now, the refuge system uses fair-market appraisals as a basis for land ac- quisition from willing sellers. "We are working with our Delaware congressional delega- tion to get appropriations for the purchases through the Land and Water Conservation Fund," Schafler said. "Our delegation is also working to have money for the purchases included in Presi- dent Bush's 2006 budget. One way or the other, we think our delegation will find the money for us. In the meantime, the Conser- vation Fund is willing to buy the parcels for us to use until we can pay them back." The Prime Hook Refuge cur- Continued from page 1 A similar land deal was com- pleted last June when the Conser- vation Fund bought bayside acreage at the end of Fowler Beach Road from local landown- er Joseph Penuel of Slaughter Neck. Schafler said the refuge just repaid the Conservation Fund for securing the Penuel land last year. "It seems like we're doing something different, but we're re- ally not," Schafler explained as he sat in his refuge office, Jan. 3. "Acquiring these parcels for the refuge has been my primary ob- jective since I arrived here. Those eight small pieces of land have been available for the past 30 years, but the need to protect them has never been greater than it is right now." Acquiring the eight parcels - none of which is accessible by road and many are too small to build on - would be like fitting to- gether the final pieces of a refuge jigsaw puzzle that was mostly as- sembled between 1963 and 1972, Schafler said. "We're looking forward to as- sembling this puzzle one partner- ship at a time," Schafler said. "We've been having a little diffi- 188% Steel Buildings Commercial Warehouse -Agricultural Mini-Storage 38x48x18 -$6,585 48x58x14 - $18,316 58xi 88x14 - $21,648 188x288x18 - $98,356 Buy Local From a National Supplier.'[ note.com00l 6-8345] I -Steeli 42681 Hwy. One! Unit # I Rehoboth Beach: g j I RB n -.-. rently consists of 10,000 acres, most of which is wetlands. The refuge is a prime destination for thousands of visitors who like to watch migratory shorebirds, wa- terfowl and migrating hawks. The refuge office can be reached at 684-8419. Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Manager Jonathan Schafler studies a map of the refuge and ad- joining Delaware Bay beach- front between Slaughter and Prime Hook beaches. Schafler has high hopes of adding some key beachfront parcels to the refuge this year through partnership purchases from willing landowners. At right, paint gun splatters add small spots of color to a refuge sign advising the public to keep the area clean. 10% off Hike O Bike ,m Ride with our DelmaWa ' National Geographic announces their First Trails Illustrated recreation map of the peninsula. for hiking, biking, and experiencing Peninsula. These new waterproof, tear-resistant maps provide unique coverage to all eco-tourists at $14.95. To obtain your'own Delmarva Peninsula Recreational Map, contact the Cape Gazette at (302) 645-7700, or visit www, Available for the : :' 2004 Holiday Season IIII ma