U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/National Wildlife Refuge System/Celebrating a Century of Conservation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

America's National Wildlife Refuge System -- 1903-2003

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bald eagleNowhere is America's love affair with wildlife more apparent than on the nearly 540 units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. In the 99 years since the first refuge was established the system has evolved into a 95-million acre network of lands and waters protecting many of America's--and the world's--most unique natural areas as habitat for an amazing variety of wildlife.

As the refuge system prepares to celebrate its centennial anniversary on March 14, 2003, refuges from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska to the Caribbean are gearing up--hosting special events, partnering with conservation organizations and private corporations, bolstering volunteerism and reinforcing public support for their wildlife conservation mission.

manatees A wealth of exciting adventures and terrific stories await you at our national wildlife refuges as we prepare for our 100th anniversary. No matter where your readers or viewers are located, there is sure to be a refuge within a few hours drive. And where you find our national wildlife refuges, you will also find some extraordinary stories of conservation, recovery and recreation that are unique to this network of lands. Go behind the scenes of America's best kept secret, our national wildlife refuges and you can:

• Join our biologists as they research the mysteries behind the migration and nesting patterns of sea turtles and shorebirds;
• Explore rarely visited destinations that are homes for some of the rarest animals in the world;
• Get into the wild--hike, hunt, fish, birdwatch and investigate the myriad other wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities available on refuges;
• Discover the connection between the fashion industry and the first national wildlife refuge;
• See school children incorporate real life scientific research into their lesson plans; participate in conservation efforts for endangered species and waterfowl.


America's National Wildlife Refuges... Where Wildlife Comes First!

To get started, learn more or request an information package and video about the National Wildlife Refuge System, call 202-208-5634 or e-mail refuges100@fws.gov