August 14, 2003
Fish and Wildlife Service
law enforcement officers assigned to U.S. Army base, Fort Campbell,
Kentucky, are helping soldiers' sons and daughters experience the great
outdoors and gain an up-close appreciation of the beauty of nature and
the value of fish and wildlife conservation.
Examples of the kinds of activities Starcher and his fellow officers, Greg Smith and Adam Rawlinson, have been offering Fort Campbell's youth include a wild turkey hunt organized last April, in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, and a fishing derby they arranged more recently for the base's younger children.
He said they are planning, together with Fort Campbell and several non-profit organizations, a complete slate of youth activities in upcoming months to include waterfowl, upland bird, and deer hunts, hunter safety classes and various fishing events. All these activities will take place either on Fort Campbell or on one of three adjacent national wildlife refuges B Tennessee, and Cross Creeks, near Paris and Dover, Tennessee, respectively, or Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge in Benton, Kentucky.
During Fall months the Fish and Wildlife law enforcement officers at Fort Campbell will instruct the youth on the importance of wildlife habitat and show them how to provide shelter for birds and improve their habitat by building waterfowl nesting boxes. After the boxes are constructed, Starcher said, the youngsters will place them in locations on Fort Campbell and nearby refuges, where they can be used next Spring by migrating waterfowl.
To coordinate these and
other activities, Starcher said he has met with refuge representatives,
non-profit groups, and educators from the Fort Campbell's kindergarten
through 12th grade school system. The base has 5 elementary, 2 middle,
and 1 high school, serving a total student population of approximately
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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 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, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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Atlanta, GA 30345