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Friends of Alaskan National Wildlife Refuges Meet for the First Time
Alaska Region, March 16, 2005
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A public voice was heard for Alaskan national wildlife refuges today as a group of interested citizens met for the first time to discuss forming a state-wide refuge Friends group. Eight public members, joined by eight refuge system employees, met over teleconference to discuss the needs and logistics for forming a non-profit organization to represent all of the Alaska national wildlife refuges. Meeting attendees called in from throughout the state, with the farthest north from Wiseman and the farthest south from Kodiak. Attendees also called from Colorado (a former Kodiak Refuge volunteer) and Arizona (a Homer resident on vacation.)

The group plans to continue meeting and will next develop a vision, mission, and organizational structure. Ideas for the direction of the Friends group were discussed, including supporting habitat conservation and wildlife research, increasing educational and outreach efforts, organizing volunteer opportunities, and advocating for our national wildlife refuge needs. While the group of attendees represented a variety of experiences and objectives, they shared one main thing in common ? a love for Alaska national wildlife refuges. Together they are striving to make a difference. As Margaret Mead once said, ?Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

For more information contact Maeve Taylor at (907) 786-3391.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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