FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2002
Allyne “Lyne” Askins, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge system employee since 1998, has been selected to manage Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Askins, the former Assistant Refuge Manager at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, in Chiefland, Florida, will begin her new assignment in mid-January.
“Lyne will be a definite asset to Bon Secour refuge because she has a strong biological background and good managerial skills,” said Ricky Ingram, refuge supervisor over Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
“I look forward to managing the Bon Secour’s coastal resources for future generations,” said Askins. At Lower Suwannee refuge, Askins focused on completing the refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan, strengthening community partnerships, and developing an environmental education program. She also oversaw refuge operations at Cedar Keys refuge in Levy County, Florida.
Before joining the Service, Askins was a wildlife biologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. She managed the field program for the red-cockaded woodpecker recovery effort on state lands. That effort included overseeing eight woodpecker populations. She also was involved in the successful trapping and relocating of the woodpeckers from state and private lands to recovery populations. Askin’s first experience with the Service was as a refuge volunteer from 1994 to 1998 at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge in McBee, South Carolina, where her experience managing the endangered woodpecker was invaluable. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, Askins earned a Masters of Science degree in Forest Resources from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Before joining the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Askins held positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, USDA–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) -Wildlife Services, and Sonoco Products Company.
Askins was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and except for a brief time in New Mexico, has lived in the Southeast her entire life. She and her husband, Greg, have two children: Christopher, age 19, and Zachary, age 2. Askins spends her free time reading, cooking, and butterfly gardening.
Askins replaces Bill Gates, who recently left Bon Secour refuge for a biologist position at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur, Alabama.
A variety of habitats comprise the 6,700-acre Bon Secour refuge including beaches, sand dunes, scrub forest, fresh and salt water marshes, fresh water swamps, and uplands. The endangered Alabama beach mouse is found there, and both the threatened loggerhead sea turtle, and the endangered green sea turtle nest on refuge beaches from mid-May through mid-August. Coyotes, foxes, bobcats, opossums, and armadillos are among the more common species seen at the refuge. Over 50,000 visitors tour Bon Secour annually. The refuge was established in 1980.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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