"If you travel much in the wilder sections of our country, sooner or later you are likely to meet the sign of the flying goose - the emblem of the National Wildlife Refuges. Wherever you meet this sign, respect it. It means that the land behind the sign has been dedicated by the American people to preserving, for themselves and their children, as much of our native wildlife as can be retained along with our modern civilization."
"Wild creatures, like men, must have a place to live. As civilization creates cities, builds highways, and drains marshes, it takes away, little by little, the land that is suitable for wildlife. And as their space for living dwindles, the wildlife populations themselves decline. Refuges resist this trend by saving some areas from encroachment, and by preserving in them, or restoring where necessary, the conditions that wild things need in order to live." -Rachel Carson
A Hundred Years in the Making:
National wildlife refuges provide habitat for more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 1,000 species of fish. More than 280 threatened or endangered plants or animals are protected on wildlife refuges. Each year, millions of migrating birds use refuges as stepping stones while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes.
A hundred years in the making, the National Wildlife Refuge system is a network of habitats that benefits wildlife, provides unparallelled outdoor experiences for all Americans, and protects a healthy environment. Today, there is at least one wildlife refuge within an hour's drive of most major metropolitan areas.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.