U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Temporary Closure of National Wildlife Refuges in Areas Affected by Hurricane Katrina
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced today the temporary closure of 16 national wildlife refuges in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Initial damage assessments have been conducted, but the full extent of damage is still unknown.
An FWS Incident Command Team, operating out of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge near Gautier, Mississippi, has determined that all Service personnel are safe and accounted for, and is currently focusing efforts on providing community support and humanitarian relief.
Refuges impacted by Hurricane Katrina are listed by State:
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 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 fishery resource 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 that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast. Our national home page is at: http://www.fws.gov/news/newsreleases/, Atlanta, GA 30345, phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286