Fish and Wildlife Service selects new manager for Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2009
Tom MacKenzie, 404-679-7291, Tom_MacKenzie@fws.gov
John Earle is the new refuge manager for Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge in Eufaula, Alabama, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. He begins his new duties on August 4, 2009.
“John has spent most of his 17-year career with the Service working for refuges in the Southeast Region,” said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director. “We’re glad he’s coming home. He brings a lot of experience, particularly in the areas of habitat restoration, environmental education, and law enforcement.”
For the last six years, Earle served as refuge manager at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge in Needles, California. The Colorado River flows through the 18,000-acre refuge. Havasu hosts more than six million visitors a year and has the distinction of being the most visited national wildlife refuge in the system. The refuge protects 50 acres of seasonal wetlands, provides 175 acres of agricultural crops for wildlife, and contains 18,000 acres of wilderness. As refuge manager, Earle oversaw the reclamation of a 200-acre native fish habitat restoration area and the restoration of 200 and 300 acres impacted by wildfires. He also supervised research involving wildlife’s response to woody vegetation techniques on an 100-acre site on the refuge. “I’m excited about returning to the Southeast and helping Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge realize its conservation mission,” Earle said. “Eufaula offers a variety of wetland and upland habitats, especially well suited for waterfowl, wood storks, and neotropical migratory songbirds.”
Established in 1964, the 11,184-acre Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge is located on both banks of the Chattahoochee River in southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia. A total of 7,953 acres are situated in Barbour and Russell Counties, Alabama, and 3,231 are in Stewart and Quitman Counties, Georgia. The refuge is known for its abundant wetlands, particularly Lake Eufaula (Walter F. George Reservoir) and several feeder streams. Eufaula is situated on the eastern edge of the Mississippi Flyway and about 300 different bird species have been seen on the refuge. It hosts the wood stork, federally listed as endangered, during the summer and sandhill cranes during the winter. Eufaula include wetland habitat for several rookeries where birds like great blue herons, snowy egrets, and anhingas nest. Two observation platforms, a one-third-mile walking trail, and an auto tour route make it easy for visitors to see wildlife. Fishing, boating, and permitted hunting for deer, dove, squirrel, rabbit, and waterfowl is available.
Prior to his position at Havasu, Earle worked as an assistant refuge manager or refuge operations specialist at Okeefenokee and Banks Lake refuges in Georgia; Catahoula refuge in Louisiana; and Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote refuges in Louisiana. He also was an assistant refuge manager at Cibola refuge in Arizona. Originally from South Carolina, Earle holds both a bachelor of science and a master of science degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia. He and his wife Cindi Hall have two daughters: Abby, aged 12, and Hayley, aged 10.
In his spare time, Earle enjoys hunting, boating, and fishing with his family.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, please visit http://www.fws.gov/southeast/ or http://www.fws.gov/