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National Wildlife Refuges Bring Jobs, Dollars to Local Communities


MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 2003

Contact:
Kyla Hastie, (404) 679-7133
Jim Rothschild,
(678) 296-6272


What: Media availability with high-ranking officials from the U.S. Department of Interior to announce the finding of a new report, Banking on Nature. The report shows that National Wildlife Refuges bring economic benefits to local communities. The announcement coincides with the 1st Annual Georgia Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival.

Who: J. Steven Griles, Deputy Secretary of the Interior
William Hartwig, Chief, National Wildlife Refuge System

Where: Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, from Savannah take I-95 South approx. 33 miles to Exit 67. Turn left onto US 17 south less than 1 mile. Turn left onto Harris Neck Road. Drive 7 miles to the refuge entrance on the left.

When: Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, from Savannah take I-95 South approx. 33 miles to Exit 67. Turn left onto US 17 south less than 1 mile. Turn left onto Harris Neck Road. Drive 7 miles to the refuge entrance on the left.

Why: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announces results of the Banking on Nature 2002 Report: The Economic Benefits to Local Communities of National Wildlife Refuge Visitation. Findings include:

  • National Wildlife Refuges generate on average 120 jobs, up from 87 in 1995, resulting in $2.2 million impact to surrounding communities.
  • Refuges fueled more than $816 million in sales of recreation equipment, food, lodging, transportation, and other expenditures in 2002, double the $401.1 million generated in 1995.
  • For each Federal dollar spent on refuges, $4.43 in recreation expenditures and $1.42 in job-related income results.

The announcement is timed to coincide with National Wildlife Refuge Week and the Centennial Anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System in 2003. The National Wildlife Refuge System was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Today, the system conserves nearly 100 million acres of land on 542 National Wildlife Refuges.

Some of America’s oldest national wildlife refuges are located along the Georgia coast and include: Blackbeard Island NWR (1924), Savannah NWR (1927), Wolf Island NWR (1930), Okefenokee NWR (1936), Harris Neck NWR (1962), Wassaw NWR (1969).

The first annual Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival will be held October 10-12, and includes trips to many of Georgia’s national wildlife refuges and State wildlife management areas. Harris Neck NWR will be the sight of numerous field trips during the festival. More than 300 people are expected to attend the festival and benefit the coastal economy.

Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles is the second highest ranking official at the Department of Interior, the nation’s primary conservation and land management agency. As Deputy Secretary, Griles works with Secretary of Interior Gale Norton to manage more than 507 million acres of land, or one-fifth of the lands in the United States. Griles oversees the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and numerous other land management agencies.

Go to http://harrisneck.fws.gov for more information and a map of the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge and http://www.shrike.net/ccbf/. for additional information about the Georgia Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival.

 


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.


NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.

Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286



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