Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
AK PENINSULA BECHAROF: Refuge Week Events Explain How a Refuge is Different than a Park
Alaska Region, October 14, 2006
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Refuge Week started with school presentations about the unique features of the Becharof and Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuges.  Presentations were held at Bristol Bay School for kindergarten through third grade. The theme of the presentations was "getting to know your neighbor, the Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges." The students asked lots of questions and enjoyed the photos of all of the special features of both Refuges.

The celebration continued Tuesday evening with a film festival.  “The Journey of the Tiglax” and “Winged Migration” were shown at the Bristol Bay School auditorium. Most viewers were surprised to find out about the Fish and Wildlife Service's research vessel and were amazed at its annual journey.  One attendee was so impressed he asked where he could apply for a job on the Tiglax. 

The activities continued following the same theme.  It is estimated that at least 60 percent of the community does not understand the difference between the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Therefore, the activities and information during Refuge Week were designed to emphasize each agency's role in the local area.

On Thursday night, a bird identification class was offered at the Refuge Office for those who continue to watch for birds in the winter.  Ranger Franulovich and Biologist Savage worked with a small group to help them identify birds wintering on the Alaska Peninsula and discussed/illustrated the birds that are first to return to the area in spring.

Friday night the Refuge Office was open for viewing of the Natalie Fobes Photographic exhibit based on her book titled "Reaching Home; The Lifecycle of the Pacific Salmon." The collection of photos and text follow the story that illustrates not only the lifecycle of salmon but also the issues surrounding them.  Visitors view the photos and follow the story with the assistance of an interpretive brochure.

For something fun and different, daily doses of Refuge trivia were shown on the local cable channel. Participants checked their answers at the King Salmon Visitor Center on Saturday at the Open House. Prizes, games, cookies and a book sale were offered to all participants.

Approximately, 65 people (or 24 percent) of the local population, participated in one or all of the events.  Information was provided in visual, oral and tactile methods to increase the effectiveness of the messages. 

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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