The Warm Moments In The Heart Of Winter
Regional Director Tom Melius stops for a photo with fellow snowshoe participant Evan Stottlemyer, at the 2012 Sherburne NWR Winterfest. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)
With the winter months upon us, my heart has been warmed by the continual successes our Region and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have enjoyed. A recent example, where the spotlight shone on these successes, brought the opportunity to join Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar at Pelican Island NWR, Florida. There we participated in a planking event to recognize the addition of Hackmatack NWR as our 561st refuge in our National Wildlife Refuge System. You can read more about our newest refuge in this month’s issue. (Click here)
This event, and many we celebrate throughout the year, not only highlight the great work of our own staff, but point to the key role our partners and the volunteers who make up our Friends Groups play throughout our region. In the case of Hackmatack NWR, a 12-acre habitat easement donation from Chicago-based Openlands, opened the door to this addition. Openlands is an organization dedicated to the protection of the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region.
This month we welcome our Director, Dan Ashe, who arrived in the Twin Cities on February 15 to meet with our Regional Office staff and participate in activities at Pheasant Fest, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Pheasant’s Forever. (Click here)
We also welcome both Charlie Blair and John Rogner into their new positions.
Charlie Blair steps into the vital role of Assistant Regional Director for Refuges, where his entire career has proven him to be a strong advocate of our refuge system. Having worked most recently at an urban refuge and closely with youth programs, the enthusiasm he brings to the job will benefit us all.
John Rogner is our new coordinator for the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes LCC. John returns to our staff from a stint as the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in mid-February. We look forward to having his expertise again as we forge ahead in the evolution of our LCCs.
February also has been a great time to get out and enjoy the winter season around the region. January and February highlights include ice fishing events and winter festivals, like those recently held at both Genoa NFH and Sherburne NWR, as well as several indoor gatherings to note such as the Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium and Pheasant Fest.
I again salute the hard work, some under the bright spotlights of public events, but perhaps even more behind the scenes, that our staff perform every day in support of our mission.
Enjoy this issue of Inside Region 3!
I was recently joined by Regional Office staff to celebrate some of the many accomplishments from 2012. Please enjoy the brief video below that recognizes many of these efforts:
2012 Year In Review Video
Navigating Inside Region 3
To explore this issue you can click through the story titles on the left. You can also use the "Start Reading" link below, and click "Next" or "Previous" story at the bottom of each article.