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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

NEWS RELEASE

BOYER CHUTE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
3720 Rivers Way
Ft. Calhoun, NE 68023

March 10, 2005 

Contact:           Brian Schultz, (402) 468-4313

                         Mike Ellis, (402) 468-4313

 BOYER CHUTE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE RECEIVES
HIGH MARKS FOR VISITOR SATISFACTION
 

Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge has received high marks from the public for visitor satisfaction, according to a new survey commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The survey, the results of which show that 95% of visitors to the National Wildlife Refuge System are satisfied or very satisfied with their outdoor experience, included specific data on Boyer Chute indicating that visitors to the refuge were pleased with their overall experience, ranging from access to education and information to recreation.  Visitors also registered strong approval about the Service’s efforts to conserve fish, wildlife and plant species at the refuge. 

“We greatly appreciate the positive feedback our visitors provided about their experiences at Boyer Chute,” said Refuge Manager Brian Schultz.  “We will continue to work to make Boyer Chute a place where our many publics can enjoy learning about wildlife and wildlife habitat in the Missouri River Basin.” 

Located in Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska, 8 miles north of Omaha, Boyer Chute is a joint Federal and local conservation partnership aimed at restoring a portion of Missouri River habitat where a historic channel of the river flows for 2 ½ miles through riparian woodlands, tallgrass prairie, and wetlands.  Restoration and conservation of these habitats benefit native Missouri River fishes, migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, as well as resident wildlife. 

Visitors to Boyer Chute enjoy a wide range of wildlife-compatible recreation, including fishing, hunting, photography, wildlife watching, and environmental education. 

The national survey results are based on responses from more than 2,400 visitors to 47 wildlife refuges from the islands of Alaska to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The survey was conducted in the fall of 2004 during the peak migration of millions of waterfowl and songbirds.  Fall is one of the most popular seasons for visitors as they flock to wildlife refuges to enjoy watching wildlife, photography, hunting and environmental education programs. 

The survey results show that visitors appreciate the employees and volunteers of the refuge system.  According to one respondent, employees and volunteers “continue to be very friendly, helpful and educational.  We love coming here and we tell many other people to come here too.”  

The Service will ultimately use the customer satisfaction survey to fine tune the refuge system’s outdoor recreation and education programs. 

The refuge system has been the foundation of American conservation for more than 100 years.  Established on March 14th, 1903 by famed outdoorsman and conservationist President Theodore Roosevelt, the refuge system helped save our national symbol, the American Bald Eagle, and provided habitat to support more than 700 species of birds, 220 kinds of mammals and more than 200 types of fish.  Each year, millions of migrating birds use this network of 545 wildlife refuges as a series of stepping stones to rest and feed as they fly thousands of miles south for the winter and return north for the summer. 

National wildlife refuges are premier destinations for outdoor enthusiasts interested in any of six priority wildlife-dependent activities.   Each year, more than 40 million people visit wildlife refuges to learn about the environment through educational and interpretive programs.  More than six million people visit wildlife refuges to enjoy hunting and fishing and millions more photograph or simply watch wildlife. 

The survey was designed to assess visitor satisfaction, identify areas to improve wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities, and develop a better understanding of visitors’ needs.  While the survey did not reveal any major areas for improvement, the refuge system will use the information to improve visitor centers, interpretive exhibits and enhance wildlife refuge roads. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million- acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices, and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American Tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies. 

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