Last year, hundreds of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees and partners forged the Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation vision for the National Wildlife Refuge System. This year, we are implementing that vision.

In 2012, Refuge Update has been presenting a series of Focus sections devoted to the implementation. This Focus section, the final installment in that series, looks at some objectives of the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative implementation team as they pertain to recommendation 13 of the vision.

Recommendation 13: Create an urban refuge initiative that defines excellence in our existing urban refuges, establishes the framework for creating new urban refuge partnerships and implements a refuge presence in 10 demographically and geographically varied cities across America by 2015.

The section includes articles about where the urban wildlife refuge initiative stands, and how existing urban refuges in Michigan, New England, California, Louisiana and New York are connecting with their communities.