|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
September 29, 2005
Contact: Matt Kales, (303) 236-4576
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sends Personnel, Resources from Mountain-Prairie Region to Assist With Relief Efforts for Hurricanes Rita and Katrina
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mountain-Prairie Region, is actively working to support ongoing hurricane relief efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
Numerous personnel, including National Wildlife Refuge system law enforcement officers, wildland firefighters, construction managers, logistical support staff, environmental contaminants experts, heavy equipment operators, maintenance staff, and other technical specialists are deploying to areas affected by the recent hurricanes from Service offices throughout the 8-state region, which consists of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
These personnel are assisting with a wide variety of relief activities, including tasks directly related to the Service’s conservation mission, such as assessing the impacts of oil spills on fish and wildlife resources and removing storm debris from national wildlife refuge roads, to general tasks involving health and safety and security for relief workers. Service personnel are also distributing food and water, maintaining emergency shelters, and engaging in other community assistance activities.
Currently, 17 regional personnel are assigned to relief duties: 3 for Katrina activities and 14 for Rita activities. In addition to currently assigned personnel, the region deployed nearly 20 other personnel during earlier phases of Katrina relief.
Service offices contributing personnel to the relief effort include:
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife
Refuge, Commerce City, Colorado
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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