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Stories from the Home Page

Hurry to Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in northern Maine. The foliage peaks earlier there because of cold weather. Credit: Keith Ramos/USFWS
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Following Fall: A Foliage Tour of the Northeast

October 13, 2020

Love the fireworks shows of the Fourth of July but hate the hot weather? As the weather cools, nature starts putting on its own brilliant show. Take a fall foliage road trip through your area’s National Wildlife Refuges. The link gives you options if you are in the Northeast, but it is a wonderful time to stop by refuges nationwide as we celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week through October 17.

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Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week »»

Hurry to Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in northern Maine. The foliage peaks earlier there because of cold weather. Credit: Keith Ramos/USFWS
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New regulations provide greater access on America's public lands. Credit: Lori Iverson/USFWS Credit: Lori Iverson/USFWS
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New Regulations Pave the Way for More People to Experience Bicycling on Public Lands

October 2, 2020

The Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced that it finalized electric bike (or e-bike) regulations that help land managers allow more people, especially older Americans and those with physical limitations, to experience bicycling on public lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other DOI bureaus. Bicycling is an excellent way to experience America’s rich natural heritage, and e-bike innovations in bicycle design open possibilities to more people.

News Release (DOI) »»

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Read the USFWS Final Rule »»

New regulations provide greater access on America's public lands. Credit: Lori Iverson/USFWS Credit: Lori Iverson/USFWS
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A young man exploring John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of 101 urban national wildlife refuges. Credit: Lamar Gore/USFWS
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Celebrate Your Public Lands During National Wildlife Refuge Week: October 11-17

October 2, 2020

Enjoy stellar outdoor recreation and the country’s wildlife heritage during National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 11-17, 2020. Celebrate your access to nature on the nation’s largest network of public lands dedicated to wildlife conservation, the National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Find a Refuge Near You »»

A young man exploring John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of 101 urban national wildlife refuges. Credit: Lamar Gore/USFWS
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Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was “established, designed and built by the community for the community,” Refuge Manager Jennifer Owen-White says. Credit: Ian Shive/USFWS
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You Belong Here

October 1, 2020

What makes you feel welcome at national wildlife refuges and other outdoor spaces? We asked five people to share their thoughts and experiences. Why do we ask? Because ensuring access to nature benefits everyone even as it grows the ranks of tomorrow’s conservation stewards.

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Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was “established, designed and built by the community for the community,” Refuge Manager Jennifer Owen-White says. Credit: Ian Shive/USFWS
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A monarch butterfly sipping nectar in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge pollinator garden. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS
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Trump Administration Celebrates Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day

September 30, 2020

In recognition of Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day, the Trump Administration announced that both Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge have been awarded $1 million in additional funding to bolster their urban refuge programs. In addition, a 44-acre site at the Refuge Gateway of Detroit River Refuge was opened to the public for recreation.

Funding Announcement »»

Opening »»

A monarch butterfly sipping nectar in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge pollinator garden. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS
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A scout group (pre-pandemic) pulls garlic mustard at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana. Credit: D. Stanley/USFWS
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Visiting Public Lands Has Special Meaning Saturday

September 25, 2020

Saturday is both National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day, and visiting your public lands is a great way to celebrate. National Public Lands Day invites you to take a moment and make your lands better. There are also plenty of virtual events to enjoy. National Hunting and Fishing Day honors sportsmen and – women for their support of conservation.

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day »»

A scout group (pre-pandemic) pulls garlic mustard at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana. Credit: D. Stanley/USFWS
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Unlike other woodpeckers, red-cockaded woodpeckers dig their cavities in living pines, including longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly and slash. Their habitat stretches from Virginia to Florida and from Texas and Oklahoma. Credit: USFWS
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Half Century of Conservation Prompts Proposed Downlisting of Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

September 25, 2020

With significant commitments from public and private landowners in place, the Service is proposing to downlist the red-cockaded woodpecker under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) from endangered to threatened. Thanks to ESA-inspired partnerships across its range, woodpecker populations are stable and increasing and adequate protections are in place for its continued recovery.

News Release »»

FAQs »»

Unlike other woodpeckers, red-cockaded woodpeckers dig their cavities in living pines, including longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly and slash. Their habitat stretches from Virginia to Florida and from Texas and Oklahoma. Credit: USFWS
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2021-2022 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring a single lesser scaup drake painted by Delaware artist Richard Clifton Credit: © USFWS
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Delaware Artist Richard Clifton Wins 2020 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest!

September 25, 2020

After two days of competition, Richard Clifton of Milford, Delaware, emerged as the winner of the 2020 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a single lesser scaup drake. The announcement was made via live stream at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. Clifton’s acrylic painting will be made into the 2021-2022 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp. Since 1934, sales of this stamp have raised more than $1 billion to protect over six million acres of wetlands habitat on national wildlife refuges around the nation.

News Release »»

2020 Federal Duck Stamp Contest Entries »»

Learn more about the Duck Stamp »»

2021-2022 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring a single lesser scaup drake painted by Delaware artist Richard Clifton Credit: © USFWS
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Families fish at the hatchery pond. Credit: USFWS

Casting for Community Connections

September 21, 2020

This spring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North Attleboro National Fish Hatchery found themselves with a sudden surplus of brook trout when local fishing events that they had planned to stock were canceled because of safety concerns. The hatchery stocked its small pond weekly with an estimated 1,600 good-sized, catchable brook trout and let the community know. Without a designated fishing event, visitors from near and far took advantage of a freshly stocked pond and an open gate to safely enjoy the outdoors.

Story »»

Families fish at the hatchery pond. Credit: USFWS

Migratory bird species like mallards will benefit from wetland conservation projects funded by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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More than $130 Million in Public-Private Funding will Benefit Wetland Conservation Projects

September 10, 2020

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, approved $33.3 million in grants for the Service and its partners to conserve, enhance or restore more than 157,000 acres of lands for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds in 21 states through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act matched by nearly $85 million in partner funds. The commission also approved nearly $1 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to conserve waterfowl habitat on national wildlife refuges in three states.

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News Release »»

Migratory bird species like mallards will benefit from wetland conservation projects funded by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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A northern pintail duck at Delevan National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: Steve Emmons/USFWS
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Why I Took These Shots

September 5, 2020

Emmons is a California refuge manager, a bird lover and an avid photographer. He reflects on a dozen of his favorite photos, including the one above.

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A northern pintail duck at Delevan National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: Steve Emmons/USFWS
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The Service will continue to monitor and conserve the American burying beetle and its habitat across federal, tribal, state and private lands. Credit: USFWS
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Partnership-Driven Efforts Lead to Downlisting of the American Burying Beetle

September 4, 2020

The first insect added to the endangered species list – the American burying beetle – is staging a comeback, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is downlisting it from endangered to threatened. The victory came after more than 30 years of partnership-driven conservation across this species’ range.

News Release »»

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The Service will continue to monitor and conserve the American burying beetle and its habitat across federal, tribal, state and private lands. Credit: USFWS
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Adult male dusky gopher frog. Credit: John Tupy
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Service Proposes Clarifications to Critical Habitat Designations

September 4, 2020

Furthering the Trump Administration’s objectives to balance effective, science-based conservation with commonsense policymaking, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing regulations to clarify and update its processes for considering exclusions from critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species Act. The proposed changes relate to the Service's recent proposed definition of habitat and a 2018 Supreme Court decision involving critical habitat.

News Release »»

Frequently Asked Questions »»

Adult male dusky gopher frog. Credit: John Tupy
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Aurelia Skipwith: “I applaud and thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations for their assistance with this case.” Credit: USFWS
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Operation Apex Shuts Down Operation that Profited from Shark Finning, Much More

September 3, 2020

In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began Operation Apex to investigate the trafficking of shark fins. It grew into a multi-agency law enforcement operation that today arrested 12 defendants and conducted 22 federal search warrants from coast to coast. Agents seized millions in gold, silver, jewels and cash as well as marijuana, firearms and totoaba fish bladders. They also documented the harvest of more than 6 tons of shark fins.

News Release »»

Aurelia Skipwith: “I applaud and thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations for their assistance with this case.” Credit: USFWS
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A monarch butterfly perched on swamp milkweed. Credit: Anna Weyers / USFWS
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Agencies, Businesses Make Room for Monarchs

August 26, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched a historic agreement in April to encourage transportation and energy partners to provide and maintain monarch habitat. Already, eight state transportation agencies and eight energy companies have stepped up to help monarch butterflies by applying to participate under the agreement. These applicants alone have the potential to conserve and restore more than 600,000 acres of monarch habitat on 2.3 million acres of rights-of-way in 22 states.

More Expected to Join »»

Learn More »»

A monarch butterfly perched on swamp milkweed. Credit: Anna Weyers / USFWS
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