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Since CDIP’s inception, 250 students have progressed through the program and gone on to permanent positions with federal agencies and other conservation organizations. Credit: Terry Whittaker / USFWS
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Service Kicks off 2015 Diversity Youth Program at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

May 22, 2015

Over this past week, 40 college students from around the U.S. came together at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of an award-winning diversity youth hiring program that theService created in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in 2008. The Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP) aims to prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals by introducing culturally and ethnically diverse youth to conservation careers. Each year, the students participate in a weeklong training orientation at a refuge before heading off to locations throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System to begin summer-long internships.

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Since CDIP’s inception, 250 students have progressed through the program and gone on to permanent positions with federal agencies and other conservation organizations. Credit: Terry Whittaker / USFWS
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A wildlife inspector examines a shipment. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Head of Florida Auction House Sent to Prison as Operation Crash Gets Another Wildlife Trafficker off the Streets

May 21, 2015

Christopher Hayes, the President and owner of Florida auction house Elite Estate Buyers Inc., has been sentenced to three years in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his role in an illegal wildlife smuggling conspiracy that bought, sold and smuggled rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn, elephant ivory and imperiled coral from the United States to China. Elite was fined $1.5 million and banned from trading wildlife for five years. The prosecution of Elite and Hayes is part of Operation Crash, an ongoing nationwide criminal investigation led by the Service that is fighting any U.S. involvement in the black market rhino horn trade.

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A wildlife inspector examines a shipment. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Louisiana black bear on Avery Island, La. Credit: Pam McIlhenny Credit: Pam McIlhenny
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Service Announces Proposed Delisting of the Louisiana Black Bear Due to Recovery

May 20, 2015

The Service today proposed removing the Louisiana black bear from the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act, due to its recovery. The announcement follows more than 20 years of successful collaborations between the Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife, private landowners and other stakeholder groups working together to address threats facing the bear, such as loss of habitat.

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Louisiana black bear on Avery Island, La. Credit: Pam McIlhenny Credit: Pam McIlhenny
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A weekend tornado destroyed nearly all the tents at a Boy Scout camp at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, but no Scout was hurt. Credit: Ralph Bryant / USFWS
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Federal Wildlife Officer Acts Quickly to Save Boy Scouts

May 19, 2015

As a severe storm was approaching last weekend, Federal Wildlife Officer Matt Belew evacuated 65 Boy Scouts and their leaders camping at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. About 30 minutes later, a tornado ripped across the refuge, destroying nearly all tents where the scouts had been staying.

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A weekend tornado destroyed nearly all the tents at a Boy Scout camp at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, but no Scout was hurt. Credit: Ralph Bryant / USFWS
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Whooping Cranes, in flight at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Austwell, Texas. Credit: Steve Hillebrand
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FWS, NOAA Propose Actions to Build on Successes of Endangered Species Act

May 18, 2015

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service announced a set of proposed actions designed to improve the effectiveness of the nation's premier law for imperiled wildlife, the Endangered Species Act. Through both the set of revisions submitted to the Federal Register today and additional ones over the coming year FWS will better engage state wildlife agencies in ESA listing processes, promote the use of the best available science, improve scientific transparency, and incentivize voluntary conservation. Together, these efforts will focus limited resources where they can do the most good. 

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Whooping Cranes, in flight at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Austwell, Texas. Credit: Steve Hillebrand
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Wildlife trafficking continues to threaten elephants, rhinos and many more species. Credit: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS
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Another Smuggler of Rhino Horn and Ivory Heads to Prison

May 15, 2015

Ning Qiu, an appraiser of Asian art for a Texas auction house, was sentenced to 25 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to smuggle rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn and elephant ivory, worth nearly $1 million, from the United States to China. 

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Wildlife trafficking continues to threaten elephants, rhinos and many more species. Credit: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS
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Pumpout Boat. Credit: Navigation and Boating Infrastructure Unit, Connecticut
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Service Helps Recreational Boaters Maintain Clean Vessels to Benefit Waterways, Wildlife Habitat with $16 Million in Grants

May 13, 2015

The Service announced today more than $16.2 million in funding to 27 states under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program. CVA provides grant funds for the construction, replacement, renovation and maintenance of facilities that assist recreational boaters in properly disposing of on-board septic waste. The program helps maintain clean waterways, benefiting people and wildlife that share this resource.

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Pumpout Boat. Credit: Navigation and Boating Infrastructure Unit, Connecticut
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The rufous hummingbird will benefit from this year's grants. Credit: Dave Menke Credit: Dave Menke
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Migratory Birds Get $3.8 Million Boost

May 11, 2015

Migratory birds throughout the Western Hemisphere will benefit from $3.8 million in grants for 27 collaborative conservation projects across the Americas. The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grants will leverage the Service’s investment with $14.6 million in additional private funds—a nearly 4-to-1 match. The projects will conserve migratory bird habitat across the Americas, stimulate critical research into declining bird populations, and strengthen international relations.

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The rufous hummingbird will benefit from this year's grants. Credit: Dave Menke Credit: Dave Menke
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Cynthia Martinez, National Wildlife Refuge System Chief. Credit: USFWS
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New National Wildlife Refuge System Chief Selected

May 11, 2015

Cynthia Martinez has been selected as the Service's Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System. A 21-year veteran of the agency, she has served as the Service's deputy chief for the refuge system since 2012 and now will lead management of the world's premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. There is a national wildlife refuge in every state and U.S. territory.

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Cynthia Martinez, National Wildlife Refuge System Chief. Credit: USFWS
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Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges and the Texas Master Naturalist Program - Cradle of Texas Chapter bring a little "wild" to the banks of Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas, during their annual KBR Kids Day Celebration. Credit: Pete Romfh
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With Monarch Butterflies, Service and Partners Hope to Replicate Success of Bald Eagle Recovery

May 6, 2015

The road to saving the monarch is long, winding, even hilly and fully of roadblocks. But working together with conservation partners, battalions of schoolteachers, children and community leaders, success awaits.

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Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges and the Texas Master Naturalist Program - Cradle of Texas Chapter bring a little "wild" to the banks of Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas, during their annual KBR Kids Day Celebration. Credit: Pete Romfh
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Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington state is a stunner, with Mount Rainier as a backdrop. Credit: Ian Shive / USFWS
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Perfect Pairs: Complement Your National Park Trip with a Stop at a Nearby Wildlife Refuge

May 6, 2015

How to make the most of your national park visit this summer? Pair it with a side trip to a nearby national wildlife refuge. Adding a refuge stop to a park trip will enrich your understanding of public lands and their purposes. An added plus: you won't have to go far. Refuges are in every state and U.S. Territory, and many are surprisingly close to some of the country's most celebrated canyons, mountains and springs.

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Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington state is a stunner, with Mount Rainier as a backdrop. Credit: Ian Shive / USFWS
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Bay checkerspot. Credit: USFWS

Services Finalize Revisions to ESA Regulations Governing Incidental Take Statements

May 1, 2015

As part of their ongoing efforts to improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service are finalizing the regulations governing Incidental Take Statements for endangered and threatened species under section 7. These changes will clarify and codify the current policy of the Services.

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Bay checkerspot. Credit: USFWS

Cameron Teller of Seattle, Washington, captured this moment at Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Courtesy of Share the Experience
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Arctic Refuge Polar Bears Featured on 2016 Federal Recreational Lands Pass

April 30, 2015

A photo of a polar bear and her cub at Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska won the National Park Foundation's annual Share the Experience photo contest, which ask amateur photographers to submit their favorite views, moments and adventures in America's national parks, refuges and other public lands. Cameron Teller's winning picture will appear on the 2016 Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

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Cameron Teller of Seattle, Washington, captured this moment at Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Courtesy of Share the Experience
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A hunter afield. Credit: Pat Hagan / USFWS
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State Wildlife Agencies Receive $1.1 Billion in Revenues Generated by Hunters, Shooters, Boaters and Anglers

April 28, 2015

The Service announced today it will distribute $1.1 billion in revenues generated by the hunting, boating and angling industry to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies throughout the nation. The funds support critical fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects that benefit all Americans

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A hunter afield. Credit: Pat Hagan / USFWS
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The long-billed curlew is one of many species to benefit from a NAWCA grant. Credit: Robert Burton
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Commission Approves $58 Million to Protect Waterfowl, Other Bird Species in North America

April 28, 2015

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $58 million in funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners to purchase, lease or otherwise conserve more than 200,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds across North America. 

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The long-billed curlew is one of many species to benefit from a NAWCA grant. Credit: Robert Burton
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