Southwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America
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Bees and butterflies on flower
Southwest Region Highlights HotTopics

Public Input Requested

September 2015
Washita National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA), Hunt Plan and Compatibility Determination for opening the refuge to spring turkey hunting. The Refuge considered whether to maintain the existing hunting program (no turkey hunting), allow limited turkey hunting (the proposed action), or open the refuge to unrestricted turkey hunting during the State open seasons. Copies of these documents are available at the link below. The public is encouraged to submit written comments to Washita NWR, Attn: Hunt Plan/EA, 20834 E 0940 Road, Butler, OK 73625-5001. Written Comments will be accepted until 4:30 pm on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

Learn more...
Washita NWR Wild Turkey Hunt Plan
Draft Environmental Assessment
Draft Compatibility Determination


Las Vegas NWR staff with Pollinator Award

Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge Staff have been recognized for their contributions to Monarch butterfly conservation through educational programming. Credit: USFWS.

Winners for Monarch Conservation Announced

September 2015
Congratulations to Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge for receiving the National Pollinator Champion in the Education category. They earned this award, as a result of their Mission Fly Away program, a curriculum that promotes citizen science and conservation of monarch butterflies.  In 2014, five schools in Las Vegas, New Mexico, participated in the curriculum, which engages youth and the community in raising, tagging, and releasing monarchs at the Refuge.  

Learn more about Monarch Conservation 


kids in a park discovering

A young boy and girl discover something interesting during their hike. Credit: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS.

Every Kid In A Park…and A National Wildlife Refuge Too!

September 2015
From sea to shining sea, our country is home to inspiring landscapes, vibrant waterways, abundant wildlife and historic treasures that all Americans can enjoy.  Every Kid In A Park encourages valuable opportunities to explore, learn, and play in the spectacular places that belong to all of us, including America’s national wildlife refuges.  Through this program, fourth graders, including home schooled and free choice learners 10 years of age, can obtain fee-free entrance access to their public lands for one year. It’s easy! Simply visit the Every Kid In A Park website, participate in an educational activity, and print your Voucher!  And remember, most national wildlife refuges are already free!

Learn more and get your Voucher here  
Find a National Wildlife Refuge near you  


dusks lift off at a wetland

A flock of ducks lift off from a wetland. Credit: Gary Kramer, USFWS.

Habitat Improvements Bring Temporary Closure on Sevilleta Refuge

August 2015
Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico was recently awarded a competitive grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Cooperative Recovery Initiative. This Initiative provides funding to national wildlife refuges to assist in the recovery of federally threatened or endangered species. This grant will allow for improvements to approximately 60 acres of wetlands and riparian habitat for a variety of endangered species and other wildlife. To complete the work, Wetland Units A & B on the Refuge are closed for the next several months to public access and all recreational activities including hunting and wildlife observation. The closure is to ensure public safety and is expected to last through the 2015/2016 hunting season. In addition to habitat improvements, the Refuge will also improve hunting and wildlife observation opportunities.

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Map of closed area
Visit Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge


red snapper in a cooler

Red snapper in a cooler. Credit: Office of Law Enforcement, USFWS.

Operation in the Red

August 2015
A multi-agency task force was organized as part of an investigation called OPERATION IN THE RED.   The purpose was to identify, apprehend, and prosecute individuals and businesses involved in the unlawful catch, possession, sale and purchase of red snapper along the Texas coast.  

Learn more...




Service Proposes Delisting the Hualapai Mexcian Vole

June 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove from the Endangered Species list the Hualapai Mexican vole of northwestern Arizona. The proposal is based on extensive reevaluation of the endangered subspecies’ status and updated genetic information. Publication of the proposal begins a 60-day comment period.

Learn more...
Read the published notice from the Federal Register, June 4, 2015.


Service Issues 90-Day Finding on BoneCave Harvestman Delisting Petition

June 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing that a petition to delist the Bone Cave harvestman does not provide substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that delisting the Bone Cave harvestman may be warranted.

Read additional information on the 90-day finding.
Federal Register

Southwest Region Archived News Releases

Search additional archived news releases for the Southwest Region

Wildlife Selfies Trailcam
Southwest Emphasis Areas
Youth and Students
Wildlife Selfies!
The Southwest Region has a brand new interactive webpage; every month new, exciting refuge trailcam photos will be highlighted.  Simply click on the Refuge Trailcam button and enjoy!  And remember…check back often!Visit the Southwest Region's Refuge Trailcam site of Wildlife Selfies!
Our Stories
Projects Using State Wildlife Grants
​There are many projects using State Wildlife Grants taking place in the Southwest Region.Learn more...
R2 LE Agent Receives Honor Award
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The Arizona Game and Fish Department recognizes two of our employees
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Science Leadership Award
Grant Harris receives recognition for scientific leadership
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Southwest Region's Wounded Warriors
There are eight Wounded Warriors who have joined our ranks.
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Two New Refuges
Two new refuges in the Southwest Region are the 559th and 560th refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
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Last updated: September 3, 2015