U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

NEWS RELEASE


U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
134 UNION BOULEVARD
LAKEWOOD, COLORADO 80228

October 3, 1996

Sharon Rose 303-236-7905
At Trout 801-723-5887

Utah Celebrates National Wildlife Refuge Week

Governor Mike Leavitt signed a proclamation declaring October 5-13, 1996 as National Wildlife Refuge Week in Utah. The goal of the celebration is to raise awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the values of the over 500 national wildlife refuges that make up this unique and magnificent public lands system. This is the second annual celebration, leading up to the Refuge System's 100th anniversary in the year 2003.

"By the year 2003, we hope to make all Americans aware of National Wildlife Refuges as places to enjoy wildlife, to hunt, to fish, to watch, and to learn about our natural heritage," said Al Trout, Refuge Manager of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. "It's a time for all Americans to learn about and celebrate this magnificent collection of lands we as a people have set aside for wildlife," Trout added.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Ouray, and Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge join refuges across the county in celebrating America's spirited commitment to wildlife conservation. Self guided auto tours are in place in Utah's refuges for anyone to enjoy during the spring, summer and fall.

In addition to the tours, this year opening week of waterfowl hunting in the State of Utah coincides with National Wildlife Refuge Week. Refuge waterfowl hunting seasons and bag limits run in accordance with State regulations. Each Refuge has specific guidelines pertaining to areas open to hunting and methods of hunting. Sportsmen are urged to contact each National Wildlife Refuge prior to their visit. Questions on statewide hunting regulations should be directed to an office of Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources. Specific questions about hunting on the national wildlife refuges in Utah can be addressed by the individual refuge:

Nearly 300 of our nation's 511 National Wildlife Refuges are open to small game, waterfowl, or big game hunting. Although hunting is a popular outdoor activity on refuges it is permitted only where it is compatible with the purpose for which the refuge was established.

Last year, approximately 1.6 million people hunted on national wildlife refuges. By contrast, some 14.1 million people 16 and older enjoyed hunting nationwide in 1991 -- nearly 11 million big game hunters, almost 8 million small game hunters, and about 3 million waterfowl hunters.

Refuges provide vast opportunities for other kinds of wildlife-based recreation such as wildlife viewing, photography, fishing, and environmental education and interpretation.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's most outstanding network of lands for wildlife, including more than 500 refuges and 92 million acres of prime wildlife habitat. For a free guide to National Wildlife Refuges, call 1-800-344-WILD.


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