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Director's Corner

Meet Service Director Dan Ashe.

Congressman Dingell: Unwavering Advocate for Conservation

Rep Dingell
Congressman Dingell has been a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission since 1969.

It’s not often that we can feel history being made as it happens. The significant events in our lives usually pass by in a blur, their importance understood only when we revisit them years later.

That wasn’t the case today – the last day that Congressman John Dingell held a seat on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. Everyone in the room understood that an era was ending, the likes of which we probably won’t see again. 

In a few days, Congressman Dingell will likewise end his long tenure in the House of Representatives, confronting us with the nearly unimaginable reality of a United States Congress – and a conservation movement – without him. 

His retirement means that for the first time since 1933 – when his father, John Dingell, Sr. was sworn in – that a John Dingell won’t represent Michigan in Congress. Congressman Dingell succeeded his father, John Dingell Sr. in 1955. His departure, along with that of Congressman Ralph Hall of Texas, also leaves Congress without any World War II veterans in its ranks for the first time in nearly 70 years. 

We have all been extraordinarily privileged to work with Congressman Dingell, who has done as much as anyone in the past century to ensure that our nation’s fish and wildlife resources are sustained for future generations. Through his leadership and hard work, millions of Americans are able to hunt, fish and observe wildlife every day at thousands of wildlife refuges, parks, nature reserves and other amazing places across the nation. 


Thank You, Veterans

Jonathan Wardell served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne, 2005-2009, and left as a Sergeant.   He served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.  He is now a fish biologist at the Orangeburg National Fish hatchery in South Carolina. See more of our veterans.

In his Second Inaugural Address, President Abraham Lincoln spoke of a time when, although the Civil War still raged, the Union would be at peace.

Lincoln understood that among the moral imperatives arising out of the ashes of war was the obligation “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”  

This obligation has traditionally been taken to mean caring for wounded veterans and the widows and orphaned children of those killed in battle. But I believe that we have an additional obligation: To utilize all means at our disposal to help veterans heal their spiritual and emotional wounds. 

For the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that means embracing veterans and helping them access the natural world and its restorative powers.


Two Years After Hurricane Sandy, Resilient People and Nature Are Coming Back

Coral reef

Student Conservation Association students Edward Whitehead and Emily Bowles with U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe with a slice of the log they helped cut. Photo credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS

Two years ago today, Hurricane Sandy stormed ashore, bringing tropical storm force winds that extended over an area about 1,000 miles in diameter across the Northeast. Flooding from record storm surge levels in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut did even more damage.

For the families of people who lost their lives, life will never be the same. They and countless others also lost their homes, businesses and irreplaceable memories. I hope you’ll take a moment to remember these losses – and that so many people and communities still need our help to recover. 

In addition to the extensive loss of life, livelihood and property, the region's wildlife and the habitat that supports it were also devastated. National wildlife refuges in 14 states along the Atlantic Coast are still recovering from the damage wrought by Sandy.  


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