Media Tip Sheet
Midwest Region

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Cycle of Success: Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
There's a reason the Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has been called "The Cycle of Success." Funded by excise taxes on hunting, boating and angling equipment, this program provides more than $180 million in funding to habitat restoration and wildlife research to further the hunting, shooting and angling sports.

Federal Duck Stamps: Your personal investment to conservation!
Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have raised more than $700 million to acquire habitat for national wildlife refuges in all 50 states. Find out which refuges near you have been purchased in part with Duck Stamp dollars at http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/Conservation/conservation.htm.

Then go visit, meet the refuge manager and explore the refuge to see the spectacles of wildlife that Duck Stamp dollars have helped protect. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetlands specifically targets vital breeding habitat within the National Wildlife Refuge System. When you buy a Duck Stamp, you are doing your part to help ensure a bright future for wildlife, waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Natural Resources Damage Assessment: Preparing for the future
Oil spills and environmental contaminants have presented major challenges for conservation in recent times. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment is a critical part of the Service's responsibility to ensure responsible parties are held accountable for damages caused to natural resources as a result of contamination. Talk to Service staff who lead NRDA efforts in the Midwest Region.

Hydrokinetic Power and Wildlife
Hydrokinetic projects in major waterways, including the Mississippi River, are among the latest endeavors as the United States looks for renewable energy resources. Consisting of turbines installed on the riverbed, hydrokinetic energy has become a focus for energy producers and resource managers. As this potential energy source becomes more attractive, the Service and other resource agencies will be busy assessing impacts on fish and wildlife and other resources.

Ten Years of Success in Conservation through the State Wildlife Grant Program
The State Wildlife Grants Program provides federal dollars to every state and territory to support cost-effective conservation aimed at preventing wildlife from becoming endangered.

First-Ever Internationally Funded Fish Habitat Restoration Project in the Great Lakes ongoing at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
U.S. and Canadian biologists are working together to engineer and construct a lake sturgeon spawning reef in the Detroit River. Construction is nearly completed on the project, located in Canadian waters, just off of Fighting Island, across from Detroit, Mich. The location was selected because the area was historically known as an important spawning and nursery area for lake sturgeon. In November 2006, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey biologists captured four juvenile lake sturgeon near the southern end of the island. The historic and recent evidence of the importance of this area made it the ideal location to build the reef.

Isle Royale National Park: Coaster Brook Trout Recovery
Isle Royale National Park is one of the most remote and unique wilderness areas in the U.S. The park consists of one large island surrounded by about 400 smaller islands; it includes submerged land which extends 4 1/2 miles out into the largest freshwater lake in the world. Isle Royale is home to three of about a dozen populations of coaster brook trout remaining in Lake Superior.

Restoring Fish and Wildlife for Future Generations: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Comprised of more than 10,000 miles of coastline and 30,000 islands, the Great Lakes provide drinking water, transportation, power and recreational opportunities to the 30 million citizens who call the Great Lakes basin "home." Unfortunately, years of environmental degradation has left the Great Lakes in need of immediate on-the-ground action to save this precious resource for generations to come. In 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was allocated approximately $65 million through an interagency agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement Great Lakes Restoration Initiative priority programs involving toxic substances, invasive species and habitat restoration in the Great Lakes. Funding continues in 2011 and the Service is gearing up for another active and exciting field season.

Highlight a National Wildlife Refuge
Each of our 54 national wildlife refuges are home to rich landscapes, healthy habitats and thriving populations of fish, wildlife and plants, as well as unique cultural histories, that make them special places for Americans to visit and enjoy. One is located within an hour or so drive of most American's homes.

Duck's-Eye View of the Prairie Pothole Region
Follow the Regional pilot as he uses an airplane to map habitat, survey easements and estimate wildlife populations across the Midwest and the Continent.

Marsh Masters
Who do you call when you've got miles of marsh between you and where you need to be? The Marsh Master. This unique piece of equipment allows staff at several refuges to conduct management activities and conduct surveys in hard to get places.

Air Boats: Not Just for the Bayou
The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and other refuges use air boats for many activities across the Midwest. These boats are used year-round on both water and ice.

Upper Mississippi River NWFR Virtual Geocache GPS Tour and cell phone tour
Take a virtual geocache GPS tour of the Upper Mississippi River NWFR. Celebrating more than a decade of learning and adventuring, geocaching has become a huge outdoor recreation phenomenon, with more than 1.2 million active sites world-wide. Upper Mississippi River is a leader in linking the public through geocaching and spreading the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Smallest National Wildlife Refuge in the Country
Mille Lacs NWR, an island in Lake Mille Lacs, a just a few acres in the smallest national wildlife refuge in the nation. It is also home to a unique population of terns.

Tundra Swans by the Thousands
From early November through about the third week in November, hundreds of people come to a newly constructed overlook near Brownsville, Minnesota, to view thousands of tundra swans, ducks and geese feed, rest and migrate through the Mississippi River Valley.

Wetland and Grassland Easement Violations
Go with a refuge law enforcement officer and our regional pilot as they fly over the state looking for people who have intentionally violated easements and destroyed wildlife habitat.

New Hunting Opportunities at Wisconsin Refuge
Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin will be opening soon to new hunting opportunities. These new opportunities are the perfect way for a family to begin a "new" hunting tradition.

On Standby for Oil Spills
The Gulf oil spill brought to focus just how vulnerable fish and wildlife resources are when oil or other contaminants are released into the environment. Closer to home in the Midwest, Service biologists worked tirelessly when pipeline malfunctions spilled oil into waterways in Michigan and Illinois. Find out more about how the Service's Environmental Contaminants biologists prepare for and respond to potentially disastrous releases of oil.

Tracking Emerging Contaminants
"Emerging contaminants" is a term commonly used to describe a broad range of substances - personal care products, pharmaceuticals, new pesticides, detergents, flame retardants, and others - that have recently become a concern in waters across the United States. Although scientists are able to detect these substances in surface water, little is known about their effects on fish and wildlife populations. To start to fill this gap, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Contaminants programs in the Midwest and Northeast received Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding for an early warning program in five areas across the Great Lakes Basin. Results of this study will identify the extent of contamination, impacts on the health of local fish populations, and actions to prevent or reduce adverse impacts before they become widespread.

Tracking an Elusive Urban Rattlesnake
Service biologists are are part of a multi-agency effort to monitor the eastern massasauga rattlesnake in the Chicago area. The eastern massasauga is a candidate for listing as a federally threatened or endangered species, with historical occurrences in 10 states and the Province of Ontario. Throughout much of its range it is the only venomous snake, making it of high educational and display value for zoos, as well as a species of conservation concern. Learn about how the Service is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and other partners to gain an understanding of this rarely seen species.

Sea Lamprey: A Dirty Job
Imagine a two-foot-long leach with teeth that latches onto a fish with a death grip and sucks out its life. That's a sea lamprey, and crews from the United States and Canada - through a joint effort - handle these noxious pests every day in an effort to keep their populations in check.

The National Fish Hatchery System
From Genoa and Iron River National Fish Hatcheries in Wisconsin to Neosho National Fish Hatchery in southwest Missouri, the National Fish Hatchery System is a major contributor to the sustainability of angling in our Great Lakes and Big Rivers region.

Mass Marking in the Great Lakes
Tag along with the traveling taggers to see how Federal and State hatcheries are working together to gather valuable data to preserve our Great lakes fisheries!

MV Baird - Stocking the Great Lakes
The M/V Spencer F. Baird is the Service's largest vessel and assists Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in stocking hatchery-raised lake trout into the Great Lakes.

The Ozark Hellbender: Out from Under a Rock
What lurks below the clear waters of Ozark streams? Well, it's not pretty, but it is pretty cool. The Ozark hellbender, which can reach a length of about 2 feet, is one of the largest salamanders in the world.

The Fight Against Asian Carp
Asian carp, voracious eaters who can grow up to 40 or more pounds in just a few years, are out-competing desirable gamefish and damaging the Midwest's aquatic ecosystems. As Asian carp begin to encroach on the Great Lakes and threaten the largest freshwater fishery in the world, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has committed itself to keeping this invasive species at bay.

Tundra Swans by the Thousands
From early November through about the third week in November, hundreds of people come to a newly constructed overlook near Brownsville, Minnesota, to view thousands of tundra swans, ducks and geese feed, rest and migrate through the Mississippi River Valley.

Big-river Mussels in Peril
They have amusing names: the sheepnose, the spectaclecase, the snuffbox, and the rayed bean. But there's nothing humorous about their imperiled status. These and other freshwater mussels that inhabit large rivers are declining. These species range across the eastern, southeastern and Midwest states, and their decline is sending a warning signal: the quality of their aquatic habitat is declining too. Find out how dam construction, sedimentation, contaminants and even the status of their host fish can dramatically affect the health of mussel populations.

Road to Recovery: The Bald Eagle
From a low of only 417 nesting pairs in 1963, the bald eagle population in the lower 48 states has grown to a current estimate of 9,789 nesting pairs, the highest count since World War II.

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP): Ten years into the project, working toward a sustainable population
The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) is an international coalition of public and private groups that is reintroducing this highly imperiled species in eastern North America, part of its historic range. There are now around 100 whooping cranes in the wild in eastern North America thanks to WCEP's efforts.

State of the Birds: Informing conservationists on the health of our Midwest birds
The next State of the Birds Report will be published this spring, and identify the importance of conservation on private lands to the health of our birds. Talk to a bird biologist with the Service's Migratory Birds program to learn how the State of the Birds is helping conservationists in the Midwest Region.

Kirtland's warbler recovery in Michigan and Wisconsin
Follow the efforts to recover the endangered Kirtland's warbler, a small bird with a long history of recovery milestones. The 2010 nesting season surveys found 1,747 singing males in Michigan, the species' stronghold, along with 24 in Wisconsin and three in Ontario. Learn more about how cowbird control and jack pine forest management help the species, and the partnership among federal and state agencies and the Bahamas National Trust working to recovery the Kirtland's warbler.

Change on the Wind: Bats, Birds and Wind Energy
Wind energy is a fast-growing part of our nation's effort to become energy efficient. With its vast expanses of agricultural land, parts of the Midwest seem made to order for establishing wind energy facilities. As interest in wind energy increases, the Service is stepping up efforts to ensure this potentially critical energy source is developed with consideration of impacts to wildlife, especially bats and birds. Service field offices in many Midwestern states have seen an increase in the number of wind projects under review for impacts to wildlife. Learn more about the Service's efforts to facilitate wind energy production while minimizing impacts to wildlife through guidelines on siting and operation of turbines. Also find out how Habitat Conservation Plans are being used to lessen impacts to endangered bats.

Federal Duck Stamps: Your personal investment to conservation!
Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have raised more than $700 million to acquire habitat for national wildlife refuges in all 50 states. Find out which refuges near you have been purchased in part with Duck Stamp dollars at http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/Conservation/conservation.htm.

Then go visit, meet the refuge manager and explore the refuge to see the spectacles of wildlife that Duck Stamp dollars have helped protect. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetlands specifically targets vital breeding habitat within the National Wildlife Refuge System. When you buy a Duck Stamp, you are doing your part to help ensure a bright future for wildlife, waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Junior Duck Stamp Program: Integrating science and art into the classroom to inspire a generation of conservation.
Interview the students and teachers that have made the Junior Duck Stamp Program the premiere connecting people with nature initiative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service!

The Mentorship of USFWS Pilot Brian Lubinski
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Pilot, Brian Lubinski, realized his life long dream through the help of a string of important mentors. The impetus for his aviation passion was an airplane full of snakes that he encountered as a 12-year-old boy on Lake Vermillion in northern Minnesota.

In the Field with SCEP Student Lionel Grant
As a SCEP student and Visitor Services Park Ranger for Minnesota Valley National
Wildlife Refuge, Lionel Grant is responsible for the creation and implementation of
environmental education programming.

Want to Manage Wildlife for a Living?
Meet a new hire in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Midwest Region and follow the education, travel and training it took to land the job.

USFWS Special Agents and Wildlife Inspectors
Special Agents in the USFWS conduct a wide variety of undercover operations across the state and the nation. Wildlife Inspectors also inspect wildlife brought into Minneapolis, Detroit and Chicago International Airports from across the world. A look at what these agents encounter over a few days would be very interesting. The illegal wildlife trade is second only to the illegal drug trade.

Follow a Refuge Law Enforcement Officer
In addition to Special Agents and Inspectors, national wildlife refuges also have resident law enforcement officers who protect the wildlife and habitat (as well as visitors) to national wildlife refuge and waterfowl production areas.

Mentoring the Next Generation of Hunters in Minnesota
Hamden Slough and Agassiz National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota, in partnership with the MN Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited, offer youth hunting opportunities. Learn more about youth mentoring

Last updated: April 4, 2013