Today, we feature Dan's Los Angeles Times op-ed on a deadly bat disease called white-nose syndrome. The disease is killing bats, seriously affecting the economy and the environment.
October 12, 2011
By Dan Ashe
It's October, which means that bats are once again having their annual star turn, popping up on classroom bulletin boards and store windows across America. But this year, actual living bats in North America aren't so abundant. They are being decimated by a deadly health epidemic.
Today, Director Dan Ashe checks in from Madison, Wisconsin....
After more than a year of planning and anticipation, Conserving the Future: National Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation is here.
When I got here yesterday, I was greeted with dark clouds and claps of thunder. Some might think this was an inauspicious beginning, but I thought it was perfect, an exciting start to our history-making event.
A lot has changed since the last time we did this. In 1999, Fulfulling the Promise became the National Wildlife Refuge System’s guiding vision.
Today, we face more – and more complex – conservation challenges. There’s the U.S. population – more urban, older and more diverse -- that has grown by 58 million in the past 20 years. There are increasing threats to fish, wildlife and habitats and the added challenge of a changing climate. Add to these the rapid changes in communication fostered by the web and social media.
Today, Dan visited the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge located in our Midwest Region. This is Dan's first visit to a field station since he was confirmed as the Service's 16th Director on June 30th.
Dan (left) was joined by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (center) and Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius (right). Secretary Salazar was visiting the refuge to announce recent land acquisitions that will protect valuable habitats and provide recreational opportunities for the urban community that surrounds the refuge.
The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only International Wildlife Refuge in North America. The refuge includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands along 48 miles of Detroit River and Western Lake Erie shoreline. Its location is unique -- situated in the heart of a major metropolitan area.
Learn more about the Refuge at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/detroitriver/.