Regional Director Tom Melius (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
Getting Out To Enjoy The Fruit of our Labors
I hope everyone has been having a great, safe and productive summer around the Region. I am and have enjoyed taking the opportunity to see firsthand the great things each of you do on a day-to-day basis. A nice addition to summer, as it is every year, is seeing our summer interns and student employees onboard. It’s always refreshing to see them spend a portion of their summer with us. We hope that their time with us is fun, educational and interests them in a career with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
My travels this month included a trip to Maine for our Directorate Meeting, where our leadership collectively continues to share and further develop the ways we manage through the challenge of declining budgets. As the likelihood of new rhetoric increases and the next fiscal year approaches, we will do all we can to make sure you have reliable and timely information on where our budget stands and how this may affect the work that we do. As our splendid summer days continue, I’m also excited at the prospect of traveling to our Tamarac and Agassiz National Wildlife Refuges to see and learn more about the refuge.
This month we will be signing an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. This MOU will continue our pledge of working together on state and federal lands along the Detroit River and Lake Erie in research, monitoring, conservation planning, restoration and public use opportunities. This is a partnership with great results over the years that will no doubt continue to blossom.
As the accolades continue to come in and highlight our staff and their usual great work, they are also extended to our facilities. Congratulations are in order for our Neosho National Fish Hatchery staff, where their visitor center became the first Service building to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification and was recently recognized with Environmental Leadership Award from the Service. I encourage any of you who are in the area to stop by and see this great facility that is saving 42 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, thanks to their geothermic heat pump and solar energy use. Hatchery Manager Dave Hendrix and his staff do a wonderful job and would be happy to have you stop in.
Another great new facility will be celebrated on August 21, with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Great River Road Interpretive Center, right next to our Genoa National Fish Hatchery. The center will offer a great way for the local community and those passing thru to experience what we have to offer, and is the result of another great partnership, in this instance with the Federal Highway Administration. The center is designed to commemorate the local history of the area and to celebrate the rich conservation history of the Upper Mississippi River Region.
I hope that you also will have time to get out and see the fruits of our labors around the Region before this summer season winds down. As always, I appreciate the great work you are doing and ask that you stay safe. Enjoy this issue of Inside Region 3!
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