I'm currently visiting our National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia, but I wanted to catch you up on a busy last week.
After attending Thursday's board meeting with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in DC--who, by the way, are developing a really cool business model that emphasizes species-driven outcomes, very much like our Strategic Habitat Conservation framework--I was off to Massachusetts, home to our Northeast Regional Office and my Dad's home state.
I flew into Logan Airport in Boston Thursday night. After a Friday morning meeting with the Boston Globe, I delivered the keynote address to the annual meeting of the Nashua River Watershed Association. The Association is a great partner and very engaged in helping protect a watershed which encompasses our own Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge.
Saturday was a real treat. I had the chance to visit Oxbow with a great group that included people from the Association and the most important person I can think of--my Dad, Bill Ashe.
Dad was a 37-year veteran of the Service and the former president of the Association. He lives in Harvard, Massachusetts now, which is the hometown for a big part of the Oxbow Refuge.
The first refuge I remember visiting with my dad was Georgia's Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in the Southeast region. I must have been 7 or 8 years old at the time.
Dad and I have gone to dozens of Refuges over the years. But Dad is 82 now, and his days of visiting refuges are limited.
Saturday’s visit to Oxbow will always have a special place in my memory.
Dad holding a map of Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge
A special thanks to Oxbow Refuge Manager Libby Herland and her top-notch staff who cleared storm-damaged trees from the refuge parking lots and trails. Without their hard work, Dad and I probably wouldn’t have been able to have another great memory of time well spent at one of our National Wildlife Refuges.