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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
REGION 8: Refuge Events Offer Families Opportunities to Get Outside, September 27
Region 8, September 27, 2008
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National Wildlife Refuges Observe National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day


Hunting, hiking and “helping hands” events will mark National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day on national wildlife refuges in California and Nevada  Saturday, September 27, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.


National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands. In 2007, 110,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, planted trees and native vegetation, and removed trash and invasive plants. It’s also a day when people can visit all federal lands--including national wildlife refuges--without paying an entry fee.  This year, September 27 and 28 will be "fee free" days on national wildlife refuges and many other federal lands. 


National Hunting and Fishing Day is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  About 270 national wildlife refuges have fishing programs and more than 300 hunting programs are offered on national wildlife refuges across the country. The Service’s California and Nevada Regional office has current information about hunting opportunities on refuges in California and Nevada on its website:  http://www.fws.gov/cno/hunting.html 


The public is invited to participate in the following events at refuges in California and Nevada Saturday:


--San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge (7715 Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma, Calif.  94954) is inviting the public to help plant trees and assist with propagation of native plants in the refuge nursery beginning at 9 a.m. Supplies will be provided. Call the refuge for more information and to make reservations: 707-769-4200, ext. 103.


--Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (1624 Hood-Franklin Rd. Elk Grove, Calif.,  95757) will conduct a seasonal wetland hike from 9 a.m. to noon. Bring your binoculars for this two-mile hike that will feature early migrating birds such as sandhill cranes, shorebirds and waterfowl. No reservations required. Contact the refuge at 916-775- 4420 for more information.


--Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (752 County Rd 99W, Willows, Calif. 95988 ) is inviting the public to pitch in and assist in the cleanup and preparation of hunting areas at Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges during the 14th Annual Brush-Up Day 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The working portion of the event concludes at noon and is followed by a barbecue and raffle hosted by California Waterfowl Association ($6 charge for barbecue). Participants should meet at the hunter check station on Road 68 at Sacramento refuge. Contact the refuge for more information: 530-934-2801.


--Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge (1045 Guadalupe St.,Guadalupe, Calif., 93434)  is partnering with the Dunes Center to co-host a one mile roundtrip hike into the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes refuge at sunset. The guided hike begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to all interested hikers, especially parents and children.  The hike is free of charge. Reservations are required. Contact the Dunes Center for more information: 805-343-2455.


-- Kern National Wildlife Refuge (10811 Corcoran Road, Delano, Calif. 93215) is inviting the public to assist with cleaning around waterfowl hunt blinds; adding vegetation and wire frames to existing blinds; weeding around water control structures; cleaning around parking lots and bridges. Contact the refuge for start time: 661-725-2767




--Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge (HC 60 Box 860 Ruby Valley, Nevada 89833) will co-host its 6th annual youth waterfowl expo for youths aged 8 to 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event is co-sponsored by Ducks Unlimited and the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Morning activities include demonstrations on waterfowl banding, decoy placement, and a duck calling contest. Free hot-dog and chili feed at noon is followed by a waterfowl identification seminar.  Youths will also get the opportunity to test their shooting skills at a clay target range. Call the refuge for more information: 775-779-2237.


Desert National Wildlife Refuge (HCR 38 Box 700 Las Vegas, Nevada 89124) will be picking up trash and repairing hiking trails. Contact the refuge for details and start time: 702-879-6110.


Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (HC 70 Box 610Z Amargosa Valley, NV 89020) Join refuge staff and volunteers to clear invasive cattail to improve wildlife habitat. Contact the refuge for details and start time: 702-879-6110


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov