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Director's Corner

Meet Service Director Dan Ashe.

Celebrating a Milestone in Conservation – the Recovery of the Oregon Chub


An Oregon chub swims at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon. Photo by Rick Swart, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.


A winter storm grounded me in Washington Tuesday, keeping me from traveling to Portland to mark the recovery of the Oregon chub. But no amount of snow can keep me from celebrating this milestone in conservation history.

As small as the 3-inch chub is, it will forever be known for a giant accomplishment – becoming the first fish ever removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife because of recovery.


A Coordinated Federal Approach to Combating Wildlife Trafficking

We live in a world with elephants. Will our children? Photo Credit: Gary M. Stolz/USFWS

By Dan Ashe, John Cruden and Catherine Novelli

“Did you ever get to see an elephant in the wild before they became extinct?”  This is a question children may soon be asking unless we take immediate action.  Wildlife trafficking – not just of elephants, but also of rhinos, tigers, great apes, exotic birds and many other species – has exploded in recent years to become a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise with increasingly grave and potentially irreversible consequences.  The scourge of wildlife trafficking threatens conservation efforts, national security, the rule of law, regional stability and the sustainable livelihoods of communities.  So what are we doing to stop this problem?    

Today, the United States launched an implementation plan for the President’s National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking, which will be a roadmap to fighting poaching and illegal wildlife trade.  The plan focuses on three key areas:  strengthening law enforcement domestically and globally, reducing demand, and building international cooperation.  Wildlife trafficking is a global problem that demands a global solution.  We are determined to be a part of that solution, and we will continue to work closely in our efforts with foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, community leaders, and civil society to achieve this goal. 


President Obama Deserves Our Thanks for Supporting Arctic Wilderness

A pond and river valley within the Brooks Range show just a bit of the refuge's diversity. Photo Credit: USFWS

Former-director and dear-friend, Mollie Beattie, said, “What a country chooses to save, is what a country chooses to say about itself.” This week, when President Obama announced his intention to follow the recommendations of his U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and support wilderness, and wild and scenic designation for over 12 million acres and four rivers within Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he was choosing to say something important about America.

Only Congress can confer wilderness or wild and scenic status, and now a President is asking them to do just that.  It may be a long effort.  But this week, we begin.  And in the meantime, we will continue to manage this spectacular refuge to protect its wildness, spanning five distinct ecological regions – lagoons, beaches, salt marshes, tundra and forests that are home to more than 200 species of birds, 37 land mammal species, eight marine mammal species and 42 species of fish.


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