Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

For Immediate Release

September 13, 2012

Contacts:

Martha Nudel; 703-358-1858; martha_nudel@fws.gov
Claire Cassel; 703-358-2357; claire_cassel@fws.gov


Visit Your National Wildlife Refuges: October 14-20, 2012

 

Kayaker on National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
Kayaking is one of many recreational opportunities on National Wildilfe Refuge. Credit: USFWS

Treat yourself with a visit to a national wildlife refuge during National Wildlife Refuge Week, from October 14-20. Celebrate America’s wildlife heritage, and see what wildlife refuges are doing to conserve it.

“National wildlife refuges play a crucial role in conserving America’s wildlife legacy,” says U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Refuges also play important roles in human communities. By providing healthy habitats for wildlife, refuges improve the air we breathe and the water we drink, improve soil quality and give protection against flooding in flood-prone areas. Jobs and businesses in local communities rely on refuges – and the visitors they attract. Refuges offer glorious and protected places to hunt, fish, hike and share the outdoors with a new generation.”

Visitors to refuges like what they find there, according to a study this year by the U.S. Geological Survey. About 90 percent of the survey’s 10,000 adult participants reported satisfaction with refuge recreation, information and education, public service and conservation. “Nowhere else do I feel such a deep sense of connection with the land, the plants, and the wildlife,” offered one respondent. “Visiting a refuge is truly a spiritual experience.”

Among the most popular activities for 45 million refuge visitors last year were wildlife viewing, bird watching, photography, hiking and auto-tour-route driving. 

Since Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has become the nation’s premier habitat conservation network, encompassing 150 million acres in 556 refuges and 38 wetland management districts. Every state has at least one national wildlife refuge. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major cities.

National wildlife refuges also offer world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and wildlife observation along 2,500 miles of land and water trails to photography and environmental education.

National Wildlife Refuge Week Highlights
Check the special events calendar for Refuge Week events. Among the events planned:

Saturday, October 13:

Halloween Adventure: The Wild Night Life of the Refuge. Enjoy an afternoon and evening of family fun and learning about animals that are active at night, including bats, owls and coyotes. Pre-registration is required: 701/442-5474 ext. 117

Meet your “wild” neighbors at this free event celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week. Enjoy a variety of wildlife activities and booths, arts and crafts, and nature films for all ages. Preview the new nine-mile Wildlife Drive, a self-guided auto tour route.

Sunday, October 14:
Scores of refuges will once again host The Big Sit!, an annual event in which teams count and report bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle.

###

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/

 - FWS -