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Stories from the Home Page

2013-1014 Federal Duck Stamp. Credit: USFWS. Credit: USFWS.
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Ducks + Art + Hunters = Conservation Success

March 5, 2014

Many wildlife species benefit when duck hunters, artists and conservationists collaborate to protect vital habitat through the 80-year-old Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp). Duck hunters over the age of 16 are required to carry the stamp. Ninety-eight percent of the proceeds from sale of the $15 Federal Duck Stamp go to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which supports the purchase of wetland habitat for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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2013-1014 Federal Duck Stamp. Credit: USFWS. Credit: USFWS.
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Girl scouts. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Girl Scouts Learn More Than Catch and Release During Ice Fishing Event

March 5, 2014

A small lake north of Anchorage, Alaska was buzzing with activity as the sun began to rise over the mountains and nearly two dozen volunteers from the Service's Alaska Regional Office, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Bass Pro Shops prepared for the arrival of members of 16 Girl Scout Troops from Anchorage and nearby communities of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. By 9:00 a.m., holes were drilled in the ice; tables were loaded with fishing equipment, and warming tents with hot cocoa were ready for children looking to take a break from the cold.

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Event Photos »»

Girl scouts. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Angler at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Brett Billings / USFWS Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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Service Announces 2014 Expansion of Hunting, Fishing Opportunities in Refuge System

March 5, 2014

Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the agency will expand hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System, opening up new hunting programs on six refuges and expanding existing hunting and fishing programs on another 20 refuges. The rule also modifies existing refuge-specific regulations for more than 75 additional refuges and wetland management districts. The Service manages its hunting and fishing programs on refuges to ensure sustainable wildlife populations, while offering traditional wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands.

News Release »»

Guide to Hunting in Refuges »»

Guide to Fishing in Refuges »»

Flickr Photos »»

Director's Blog »»

Angler at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Brett Billings / USFWS Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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Longstreth Elementary student gardeners learn about plants and wildlife at the garden they helped create at nearby John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Frank Doyle
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Pollinator Garden Sets Shining Example for Engaging City Kids

March 4, 2014

Students at Longstreth Elementary School in Philadelphia created a pollinator garden at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in 2011 with plants from a school penny collection. Since then, the garden has gone on to win a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society award and helped teach hundreds of inner-city kids about the natural world.

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Longstreth Elementary student gardeners learn about plants and wildlife at the garden they helped create at nearby John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Frank Doyle
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Young man fishing with dog at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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President Requests $1.5 Billion in Fiscal Year 2015 for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

March 4, 2014

The President's Fiscal Year 2015 discretionary budget request supports $1.5 billion in programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an increase of $48.8 million over the 2014 enacted level to fund the agency's high priority needs. The budget also includes approximately $1.3 billion available under permanent appropriations, most of which will be provided directly to states to support fish and wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation.

News Release »»

FY 2015 FWS Budget Justification »»

Learn more about the President's budget request for the Service »»

Interior Dept. budget highlights »»

Young man fishing with dog at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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Birding at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. Credit: USFWS
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National Wildlife Refuge System Marks 111 Years!

February 28, 2014

President Teddy Roosevelt created the first national wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903, at Pelican Island, Florida, to protect brown pelicans. Today, 562 refuges and 38 wetland management districts make up the nation’s premier wildlife conservation network, the National Wildlife Refuge System. Join in the birthday celebration!

Bulletin »»

Find a Refuge »»

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Birding at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. Credit: USFWS
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annually between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Their 3,000-mile journey has become more hazardous because of increased deforestation, development, agriculture, livestock raising, forest fires and other threats. Credit: USFWS
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White House Announces Renewed Collaboration with Canada and Mexico to Conserve the Monarch Butterfly

February 27, 2014

President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and President Peña Nieto recently met in Toluca, Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit. The leaders emerged with several commitments, including the conservation of the imperiled monarch butterfly. The Canada-Mexico-U.S. Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management will address the challenges faced by this species and dedicate discussions to its preservation in May 2014.

View joint statement »»

Learn more about the Trilateral Committee »»

Learn more about the Service’s efforts to conserve Monarch butterflies with our partners in Mexico »»

annually between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Their 3,000-mile journey has become more hazardous because of increased deforestation, development, agriculture, livestock raising, forest fires and other threats. Credit: USFWS
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UAO TV team with Director Dan Ashe, WSFR AD Hannibal Bolton, and Kansas State Senator David Haley. Credit: Urban America Outdoor TV
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USFWS Teams up With Urban American Outdoors TV

February 26, 2014

Service Director Dan Ashe and Asst. Director for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Hannibal Bolton appeared on the Urban American Outdoors Show to talk about the Service's mission and the importance of engaging urban audiences in conservation and outdoor activities. Director Ashe, Asst. Director Bolton and show host Wayne Hubbard spoke to an audience of young urban kids and took them fishing at a local pond.

Watch the Show »»

UAO TV team with Director Dan Ashe, WSFR AD Hannibal Bolton, and Kansas State Senator David Haley. Credit: Urban America Outdoor TV
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The illegal trade in ivory is placing African elephant populations in crisis Credit: Gary Stolz / USFWS
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Service Tightens Trade in Elephant Ivory

February 26, 2014

Service Director Dan Ashe has issued a Director’s Order tightening controls on the trade of elephant ivory and other products made from protected species. The Order is the first in a series of administrative actions to further restrict commercialization of elephant ivory as called for in the Administration’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. Shortly after signing the Order, Director Ashe testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the National Strategy. Also testifying were Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones and the Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dreher, together representing the three co-chairing agencies of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking.

Director's Order »»

Questions & Answers »»

Oral Testimony of Director Ashe »»

Written Testimony of Director Ashe »»

Learn more about our efforts to stop wildlife trafficking »»

The illegal trade in ivory is placing African elephant populations in crisis Credit: Gary Stolz / USFWS
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Urban areas offer opportunities to engage youth in study of birds. Credit: Earth Conservation Corp.
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Urban Bird Treaties Highlight Importance of Our Cities to Birds

February 21, 2014

Cities across America provide critical stopover habitat for migrating birds in spring and fall, and year-round habitat for resident birds. The Service is working with a number of major metropolitan areas to enhance their benefit to birds and other wildlife. Find out if your city is one of them.

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Urban areas offer opportunities to engage youth in study of birds. Credit: Earth Conservation Corp.
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The downtown skyline serves as backdrop to Buffalo Bayou in Houston, site of one of eight newly established pilot urban wildlife refuge partnerships. Credit: Marc Reid / HoustonWilderness.org
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New Urban Partnerships Reach Out to Inner-city Audiences

February 21, 2014

America's National Wildlife Refuge System is a national treasure, but not every city is fortunate enough to have a refuge in its backyard. In order to include urban audiences as part of the conservation community, the Service is developing Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships in metropolitan areas where it does not have a physical refuge. Eight such partnerships recently announced aim to “meet people where they are” and explore different values and ways to connect with nature.

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The downtown skyline serves as backdrop to Buffalo Bayou in Houston, site of one of eight newly established pilot urban wildlife refuge partnerships. Credit: Marc Reid / HoustonWilderness.org
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The grand opening of the Desert Refuge visitor center will be celebrated February 22 with archery lessons, live reptiles, wildlife walks and a barbecue hosted by the Friends of Desert Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Opening of Desert Refuge Visitors’ Center Attracts City Visitors from Las Vegas

February 21, 2014

Service Director Dan Ashe, Senator Harry Reid and Congresswoman Dina Titus today officially opened a new visitors’ center at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Las Vegas, NV. The center will become a key wildlife education center for the city’s residents and visitors. The public is invited to a special Saturday grand opening event.

More Information » »»

Refuge Brochure (1.7 MB pdf) » »»

Grand Opening Flyer (800 KB pdf) » »»

Blog post from Service Director Dan Ashe » »»

The grand opening of the Desert Refuge visitor center will be celebrated February 22 with archery lessons, live reptiles, wildlife walks and a barbecue hosted by the Friends of Desert Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Mule deer stand alert against the Denver skyline at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The Service has launched an initiative to bring more urban Americans into contact with nature. Credit: Mike Mauro
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Service Engages Urban Communities in Wildlife Conservation

February 21, 2014

If we are to succeed in conserving our treasures of biodiversity for future generations, we need to ensure that the rising number of Americans living in urban centers feel connected to and passionate about wildlife. To that end, the Service has begun an urban initiative that gives people in cities, big and small, opportunities to learn about and participate in wildlife conservation and recreation.

Learn More » »»

Mule deer stand alert against the Denver skyline at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The Service has launched an initiative to bring more urban Americans into contact with nature. Credit: Mike Mauro
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Responders taking core samples of coal ash spill on Dan River. Credit: Steve Alexander / USFWS
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Service Response to Coal Ash Spill in North Carolina

February 20, 2014

On February 2, between 30,000 and 39,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons of ash pond waste were released into the Dan River in North Carolina from a broken pipe at Duke Energy's disused Dan River Steam Station. Service biologists are on the ground determining the short- and long-term impacts of the spill on fish, mussels and other wildlife, including two endangered species. 

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Responders taking core samples of coal ash spill on Dan River. Credit: Steve Alexander / USFWS
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The Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in London will address the crisis facing African elephants and other animals caused by trafficking Credit: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS
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U.S. Officials Head to London for Trafficking Talks

February 12, 2014

The United States will be among the many nations represented when the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade convenes on February 13, 2014. Members of the U.S. delegation, which will communicate the President’s commitment to addressing wildlife trafficking, include Letty Belin, Counselor to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior. 

About the Conference »»

The Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in London will address the crisis facing African elephants and other animals caused by trafficking Credit: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS
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