For Immediate Release
August 5, 1998

Contact: Tom MacKenzie
404-679-7291

STUDENT TRAINEE RETURNS AFTER 24 YEARS TO MANAGE
FLORIDA'S A.R.M. LOXAHATCHEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

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Mark J. Musaus
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has appointed Mark J. Musaus as refuge manager for Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, Florida. He succeeds former refuge manager Burkett Neely, who retired earlier this year.

According to the Service's Regional Director, Sam D. Hamilton, Masaus brings a wealth of refuge operations and management experience to his new position. He is a 24-year Fish and Wildlife Service veteran, Hamilton said, who has served for the past eight years as deputy project leader at Savannah Coastal Refuges, headquartered in Savannah, Georgia.

Prior to this assignment, Musaus spent six years as the primary assistant refuge manager at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in Paris Tennessee, five years as the assistant refuge manager at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Round Oak, Georgia, two years as assistant refuge manager at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida, and another two years as assistant refuge manager at Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge in Jackson, Alabama.

A native of Park Ridge, New Jersey, Musaus received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Grove City College in 1975. He and his wife, Linda, have two daughters, Lauren, 20, a junior at Shorter College in Rome Georgia, and Meggan, 16, who will be a junior in high school. They plan to live in the Boynton Beach area.

"I am excited and honored to be chosen for the refuge manager's position and I feel like my career has gone full circle since I started at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge as a student trainee during the summer of 1974," Musaus said, adding that he looked forward to working with the various federal and state agencies, local communities, neighbors, organizations, and partners on the complicated issues of preserving the Everglades, water quality and water management.

The A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is all that remains of the northern Everglades. It lies west of U.S. Highway 441 and south of U.S. Highway 98 in Palm Beach County, Florida, 15 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Visitor activities include fishing, boating, and birdwatching. Boat ramps are available at Headquarters Recreation Area, and Hillsboro Recreation Area. An observation tower, observation platform, nature trails, and a 5.5 mile canoe trail begin at the Headquarters Recreation Area.

The Visitor Center which features exhibits and an introductory video, is open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. -- mid-October through April-- and Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. during the rest of the year. The refuge is closed Christmas Day and refuge hours daily are 6 a.m. to sunset. Closing times are posted at the entrance gate. Admission is $5 per vehicle or $1 per pedestrian. Seasonal passes are available.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service's nearly 93 million acres include 514 national wildlife refuges, 78 ecological services field stations, 66 national fish hatcheries, 50 wildlife coordination areas, and 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl production areas.

The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies. This program is a cornerstone of the Nation's wildlife management efforts, funding fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education, shooting ranges, and related projects across America.

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Release #: R98-070


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