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Director's Corner

Dan Ashe served as FWS Director from June 2011 until January 2017. The following is an archive of blogs authored by Director Ashe during that time. This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.

‘Bully’ for the National Elk Refuge!

If you ever have occasion to speak to the public, here’s a quick tip: Try to avoid coming to the stage after one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century.

It sounds unlikely, but it happened to me Friday, when I spoke after Teddy Roosevelt at the Centennial Celebration of the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming.

Well, OK. It wasn’t exactly THE Teddy Roosevelt, but the impersonator sure looked and sounded like the old Rough Rider himself. And I’m sure “TR” would have been pleased and amazed at the growth and success of the National Wildlife Refuge System he founded more than a century ago.

Teddy Roosevelt (Case Hicks) and I help the National Elk Refuge celebrate a century. Credit: Cindy Souders/USFWS

The National Elk Refuge, established in 1912 to protect winter habitat vital to the Jackson elk herd, was among the first refuges created after Roosevelt left office. It signified that the Refuge System was not simply the passion of a single president, but an enduring linchpin for North American conservation.


Budget Day

Yesterday, in Washington-speak, was "budget day." The day that the President unveils his budget for the next fiscal year -- FY 2013. For agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is the culmination of a process that began in November 2010, so it's a long time coming.

The President’s FY 2013 budget request for the Service is 1.5 billion, that’s $72 million more than the last fiscal year.  As with all budgets, we had to make some tough choices when we made our request; tough as they were, in a time of fiscal austerity, our request reflects the good conservation work that we do.  It also furthers our goal of transforming the agency to meet the many conservation challenges of the 21st century. 

Wind TurbineThe Service’s budget includes an additional $4.0 million to support energy development including funding for enhanced studies of renewable energy projects, technical assistance in project design, and Endangered Species Act consultation. Photo: NOAA


A Visit to Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge With My Dad

I'm currently visiting our National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia, but I wanted to catch you up on a busy last week.

After attending Thursday's board meeting with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in DC--who, by the way, are developing a really cool business model that emphasizes species-driven outcomes, very much like our Strategic Habitat Conservation framework--I was off to Massachusetts, home to our Northeast Regional Office and my Dad's home state.

I flew into Logan Airport in Boston Thursday night. After a Friday morning meeting with the Boston Globe, I delivered the keynote address to the annual meeting of the Nashua River Watershed Association. The Association is a great partner and very engaged in helping protect a watershed which encompasses our own Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge


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