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Students from Oregon experienced Alaska’s rugged wilderness fishing in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge as part of a partnership between Soul River and Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Courtesy of Soul River Inc. Runs Wild
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To Feel Healthier, Happier…Try Nature National Wildlife Refuges Spread the Word

March 9, 2016

Can nature enhance your health? There’s a strong case to be made that it can. Around the country, national wildlife refuges are reminding visitors that nature experiences can enhance health. And there’s a large and growing body of research behind it. Even small doses of nature can make a difference in the inner city. No matter where you live, you can enjoy nature at a refuge near you.

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Students from Oregon experienced Alaska’s rugged wilderness fishing in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge as part of a partnership between Soul River and Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Courtesy of Soul River Inc. Runs Wild
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Coastal wetland. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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Service Revises its Policy on Mitigating Impacts of Development to Further Conservation of the Nation’s Wildlife and their Habitats

March 7, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced new actions to mitigate the adverse impacts of land and water development on America’s wildlife and their habitats. A revision of the Service’s Mitigation Policy, which has guided agency recommendations to address these issues since 1981, will provide a broad and flexible framework to facilitate conservation that addresses the potential negative effects of development, while allowing economic activity to continue.

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Coastal wetland. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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Horicon Marsh. Credit: Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWS
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Internationally Celebrated Wetland Turns 75

March 7, 2016

Visitor Services Manager Erin Railsback at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin tells us a bit about the history of 75-year-old Horicon, showing how local conservationists, our biologists and land managers can work together to bring back the land and waters of the nation.

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Celebrating the Future and Appreciating the Past in the Midwest »»

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Horicon Marsh. Credit: Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWS
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Engaging Youth in Fish Stocking. Credit: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
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Service Allocates $1.1 Billion to States to Support Environmental Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Projects

March 7, 2016

Wildlife across the nation will benefit from $1.1 billion in revenues distributed to state agencies by the Service's Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. The funding, which supports critical state environmental conservation and recreation projects and their related jobs, derives from excise taxes paid by the hunting, boating and angling industries. 

To date, the acts have generated more than $18 billion, matched with more than $5 billion by the recipient state wildlife agencies, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues. These funds help sustain wildlife diversity and vibrant regional recreational economies.

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Engaging Youth in Fish Stocking. Credit: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
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USFWS Director Dan Ashe and Jet Blue CEO Robin Hayes. Credit: Levi Novey / USFWS
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Service and JetBlue Forge New Partnership to Reduce Demand for Illegal Wildlife Trade

March 3, 2016

JetBlue and the Service today revealed a five-year partnership agreement to encourage and empower travelers to play a role in protecting the beauty and wildlife of one of the world’s most popular destinations: the Caribbean. The partnership will involve a traveler education and awareness campaign, including an in-flight video plus web and social media content designed to reduce demand for illegal wildlife. Wildlife trafficking in the area is contributing to the decline and potential extinction of indigenous animal species such as sea turtles, parrots, iguanas and coral.

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USFWS Director Dan Ashe and Jet Blue CEO Robin Hayes. Credit: Levi Novey / USFWS
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Grizzly Bear in Field at Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Terry Tollefsbol / USFWS
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Service Proposes Delisting Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Due To Successful Recovery

March 3, 2016

In response to the successful recovery of one of America’s most cherished animals, the Service has proposed delisting grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species Act. For decades, the Service has worked hand in hand with states, landowners and diverse partners to effectively address primary threats to the grizzly. As a result, Yellowstone grizzly populations have been stable for more than a decade and the ecosystem is now at or near carrying capacity for the bears. 

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Grizzly Bear in Field at Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Terry Tollefsbol / USFWS
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Overwintering monarchs. Credit: Pablo Leautaud / Creative Commons
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New Monarch Data Encouraging; Public Conservation Efforts Still Needed

February 26, 2016

Good news from our partners in Mexico today: The area occupied by monarch butterflies wintering in Mexican forests totaled approximately 10 acres, three times more than last season’s 2.8 acres, an increase of 255 percent since December 2014. The Service is the leading U.S. organization working closely with Canada, Mexico and many state and local organizations to create habitat, engage the public and leverage resources to conserve monarchs. Although population numbers are up, they are still far below historic levels, so citizen efforts remain crucial to make a difference for this iconic species.

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Overwintering monarchs. Credit: Pablo Leautaud / Creative Commons
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A white ibis at sunrise at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: courtesy of "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge
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Happy Birthday, National Wildlife Refuge System! 113 Years of Conserving Nature, Serving Communities

February 26, 2016

The National Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s premier network of public lands devoted to wildlife conservation turns 113 on March 14. “Refuges are intrinsic parts of the communities that surround them, contributing to the local economies, serving as recreational epicenters for residents and visitors, and keeping local ecosystems healthy and resilient. What better way to celebrate these national treasures on this anniversary than by visiting your nearest refuge?” said Service Director Dan Ashe.

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A white ibis at sunrise at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: courtesy of "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge
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Malheur National Wildlife Refuge provides important breeding grounds for greater sandhill cranes and other birds. Credit: Roger Baker / USFWS
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FBI Ends Evidence Collection at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

February 25, 2016

Following the end of the illegal, armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on February 11, the FBI has now finished its work gathering evidence and turned control of the facility back to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There is more to be done before we can once again open the doors to the public, and the Service will work with the U.S. Attorney's Office to determine when we can welcome the American people back to their refuge.

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Malheur National Wildlife Refuge provides important breeding grounds for greater sandhill cranes and other birds. Credit: Roger Baker / USFWS
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Ten Thousands Islands National Wildlife Refuge Beach, Collier County, Florida Credit: Mark Danaher / USFWS
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Service Announces Changes to Coastal Barrier Resource System Maps in Collier County, Florida

February 22, 2016

:Residents in Collier County, Florida may be interested in the Service’s revisions to five units of the Coastal Barrier Resources System. The new maps correct errors affecting property owners in Collier County and add two new units to the System. The Coastal Barrier Resources System helps save taxpayer dollars and reduces the intensity of development within hazard-prone and ecologically sensitive coastal areas.

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Ten Thousands Islands National Wildlife Refuge Beach, Collier County, Florida Credit: Mark Danaher / USFWS
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Melissa Guevara, bottom left, with the Green Team and refuge staff at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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In a City’s Tough Streets, a Charismatic Native Sells Kids on Nature

February 19, 2016

Using nature to expand young people’s horizons is a challenge when the kids live in an inner city more than an hour away. But some national wildlife refuges are finding a way. This past summer, 22-year-old Melissa Guevara, the first youth “ambassador” from Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge wooed kids off their smartphones with tales of pollinators, native plants and conservation careers that she delivered from a booth at a local farmers market.

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Melissa Guevara, bottom left, with the Green Team and refuge staff at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Great horned owlet at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. Credit: Courtesy of Karen Dever, USFWS volunteer
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Explore a National Wildlife Refuge on President’s Day Weekend!

February 12, 2016

In honor of President’s Day, national wildlife refuges will waive admission fees all weekend. America’s refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors and see a rich diversity of wildlife in beautiful, natural settings. There’s at least one refuge in every state…and one within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

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10 Great Places to Go for Free »»

Great horned owlet at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. Credit: Courtesy of Karen Dever, USFWS volunteer
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Channel Island fox surrounded by vegetation. Credit: National Park Service
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In Historic Endangered Species Act Success, Service Proposes Delisting Three Fox Subspecies on California’s Northern Channel Islands

February 12, 2016

Representing the fastest-ever recovery of a mammal in the history of the Endangered Species Act in the U.S., the Service has proposed delisting three subspecies of fox native to the California Channel Islands. The recovery of foxes on San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands is not only an unprecedented ESA success, but underscores the critical role of Service partnerships in recovering species. The Service also proposed downlisting the fox population on Santa Catalina Island from Endangered to Threatened.

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Channel Island fox surrounded by vegetation. Credit: National Park Service
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Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Megan Nagel / USFWS
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Malheur Refuge Occupation Ends Peacefully

February 11, 2016

As the last four occupiers turn themselves in to police, Service Director Dan Ashe expresses his relief and his gratitude to Service staff, particularly those from the refuge and surrounding area, for their exemplary conduct during this difficult and stressful time. “I share your relief and joy that the occupation is over. It will take some time to repair the damage – both physical and psychological – that this occupation has left in its wake. But we will repair it! And like all adversity, squarely faced, along with our friends, neighbors and partners, we will emerge stronger than ever,” he says.

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Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Megan Nagel / USFWS
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Monarch on New England Aster Sand Lake WMD. Credit: USFWS
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President FY 2017 Budget Request Highlights National Conservation Priorities, Service’s Role in Preserving America’s Wildlife Heritage

February 9, 2016

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of $1.6 billion underscores the Administration’s commitment to building partnerships, strengthening management and using science to conserve wildlife and ecosystems. It emphasizes improving the resilience of communities and wild landscapes, enabling them to better adapt to a rapidly changing environment, and uses smart investments in conservation and landscape-level planning to improve the Service’s ability to facilitate economic growth, while avoiding and mitigating the impacts on wildlife and habitat.

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Monarch on New England Aster Sand Lake WMD. Credit: USFWS
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