An array of speakers will address summit participants, beginning Monday, May 24, with Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton, who will open the conference with a keynote welcome at 1:20 p.m.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams will close the conference with his personal call to action Thursday, May 27.
In between will be more than a dozen speakers ranging from a refuge manager, a representative of a Friends organization, a member of the Centennial Commission, and a law professor. Refuge System Chief Bill Hartwig will present his challenges for the next century in a presentation Tuesday, May 25, at 8 a.m.
Among the speakers are:
- Lynn A. Greenwalt, a member of the Centennial Commission, on "Where We have Been and Where Are We Going" today at 1:40 p.m. Greenwalt worked on refuges in Utah, Oklahoma and New Mexico before serving in USFWS regional offices in Albuquerque, Portland, OR, and Minnesota. He was chief of the Refuge System from 1971-73, when he was appointed USFWS Director. He served three presidents before stepping down in 1981. He then worked for 13 years with the National Wildlife Federation in a number of capacities.
- Robert L. Fischman, a law professor, on "The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act" today at 3 p.m. A law professor at Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington, Fischman taught at the University of Wyoming College of Law before taking his current position in 1992. Previously, he has been natural resources program director and staff attorney at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC. His book, "The National Wildlife Refuges: Coordinating a Conservation System through Law," was published in 2003.
- Rollin Sparrowe, president emeritus of Wildlife Management Institute, on "Working Together for the Next Century of Conservation A Shared Sense of Priorities" Tuesday at 11 a.m. Sparrow has more than 35 years of experience with state and federal wildlife management in North America, including 22 years with the USFWS.
- Ann Smith, president of Friends of Black Bayou, Inc., on "A Friend's Perspective" Wednesday, 8 a.m. An instructor in composition and literature at the University of Louisiana at Monroe from 1982-97, Smith is a founding member of the highly successful Friends group and oversees its public relations. She helped organized the first annual Southeast Regional Friends Conference and a campaign that raised $250,000, which purchased a biology wet lab at the refuge.
- Dr. Michael Suk, White House Fellow to the Department of the Interior, on "Refuges and Recreation for a Healthier US," Wednesday at 4 p.m. Dr. Suk, who is also an attorney with a master's degree in public health, heads an initiative to develop the link between public health and recreation. He believes that encouraging simple outdoor activities on public lands and water can translate into a healthier lifestyle.
- Robin L. West, refuge manager at Kenai NWR, AK, on "A Refuge Manager's Perspective" Thursday, 8:30 a.m. West leads one of the most visited and spectacular refuges in the Refuge System. He previously served as refuge manager at Izembek NWR and assistant manager at Yukon Flats NWR, both in Alaska.