National Wildlife Refuge System
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Have a Say in Your Refuge System's Future

Results from a nationally representative refuge visitor satisfaction survey are expected in 2011. Here, visitors to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas share excitement over a bird sighting.
The Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin, will host the July 2010 Vision Conference of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Public comments are welcome at http://www.americaswildlife.org
Credit: USFWS

What should your National Wildlife Refuge System be like over the next 20 years? Now — and in the months ahead — is the perfect time to weigh in. The National Wildlife Refuge System, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is drafting a new vision for the 107-year-old network of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants. The vision will be the centerpiece of its "Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation" conference the week of July 10 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Conference teams, building on a 1998 document called "Fulfilling the Promise," are focusing their goals on conservation design, planning and delivery; science; relevance; and leadership. Drafts of team documents will be posted at http://www.americaswildlife.org, where the public can read them and comment on them.

Organizers expect some 1,200 people to attend the 2011 Vision Conference and thousands more to be part of an online audience. The Refuge System has pledged a carbon-neutral conference.

The conference site of Madison, Wisconsin, was once home to author/environmentalist and University of Wisconsin game management professor Aldo Leopold, revered by conservationists as the father of wildlife ecology. Leopold's classic 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, has inspired many in the environmental movement.

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