Today, Director Dan Ashe checks in from Madison, Wisconsin....
After more than a year of planning and anticipation, Conserving the Future: National Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation is here.
When I got here yesterday, I was greeted with dark clouds and claps of thunder. Some might think this was an inauspicious beginning, but I thought it was perfect, an exciting start to our history-making event.
A lot has changed since the last time we did this. In 1999, Fulfulling the Promise became the National Wildlife Refuge System’s guiding vision.
Today, we face more – and more complex – conservation challenges. There’s the U.S. population – more urban, older and more diverse -- that has grown by 58 million in the past 20 years. There are increasing threats to fish, wildlife and habitats and the added challenge of a changing climate. Add to these the rapid changes in communication fostered by the web and social media.