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Stories from the Home Page

2018-2019 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring a pair of mallards, art by Robert Hautman of Delano, Minnesota. Credit: USFWS
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A Great Day for Ducks and Geese: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unveils New Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp

June 29, 2018

Mallards and emperor geese were the stars of the show today as the 2018-2019 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp – commonly known as the Duck Stamp – went on sale. Since 1934, sales of this stamp have raised more than $1 billion to protect more than 5.7 million acres of wetlands habitat on national wildlife refuges around the nation. The 2018-2019 Junior Duck Stamp also went on sale today and supports youth conservation education.

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2018-2019 Federal Duck Stamp, featuring a pair of mallards, art by Robert Hautman of Delano, Minnesota. Credit: USFWS
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Bog turtles measure up to 4 inches and can be most easily identified by a mahogany-colored shell and bright yellow-orange blotches on both sides of the head. Credit: Leah Hawthorne/USFWS
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Nature's Good Neighbors: Dairy Farmer Brings Together Turtles and Cows

June 29, 2018

The Service worked on conservation easements that helped a New York dairy farmer become steward of a large population of bog turtles, a threatened species. They also gave him, and his cows, his pastures back after invasion by non-native plants. And by putting easements on 60 acres of his property, he put some extra cash back in his pocket.

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Bog turtles measure up to 4 inches and can be most easily identified by a mahogany-colored shell and bright yellow-orange blotches on both sides of the head. Credit: Leah Hawthorne/USFWS
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A bicolored striped-sweat bee pollinates a sunflower. Credit: USFWS
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Have a Mouthwatering Pollinator Week

June 27, 2018

Today is the start of National Pollinator Week. Pollinators are a vital part of not only nature but also farming. The economic value of native pollinators in the United States is estimated at $3 billion a year, but they do it for FREE! Let’s meet some favorite summer foods and their pollinators. 

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A bicolored striped-sweat bee pollinates a sunflower. Credit: USFWS
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Visitors to Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada watch Moapa dace, the region’s tiny namesake fish, navigate a stream. Credit: Angelina Yost/USFWS
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Trails for Non-Hikers

June 27, 2018

You don’t have to be a hiker to enjoy trails on national wildlife refuges. A slew of refuge paths — including art trails, nature trails and scat trails (yes, scat trails) —will entertain you without making you break a sweat. The 50th anniversary this year of the National Trails System Act is a good time to discover them.

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Visitors to Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada watch Moapa dace, the region’s tiny namesake fish, navigate a stream. Credit: Angelina Yost/USFWS
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Rancher Frank Imhof stands in a field as cattle graze nearby. Credit: Rancher Frank Imhof Sr. grazes his cattle at the Warm Springs Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
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Nature's Good Neighbors: Grazing Operation at Refuge is a ‘Cud’ Above

June 22, 2018

Through an agreement between the Imhof family and the Fish and Wildlife Service, the ranching family graze their cattle on non-native grasses at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont, California. With this arrangement, they’re keeping alive a ranching heritage in a densely populated area. The grazing, in turn, offers a host of benefits for wildlife.

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Rancher Frank Imhof stands in a field as cattle graze nearby. Credit: Rancher Frank Imhof Sr. grazes his cattle at the Warm Springs Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
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Service wildlife inspectors examine passenger baggage with Customs officers at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: USFWS
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Service, Global Wildlife Officers Bring the Thunder in Worldwide Anti-trafficking Effort

June 21, 2018

Snakes, songbirds and monkeys are just a few live species law enforcement officers from around the globe intercepted during Operation Thunderstorm. They also found shells, skins and other parts of protected species, and dangerous injurious species such as the giant African land snails, which were seized in New York.  

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Service wildlife inspectors examine passenger baggage with Customs officers at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: USFWS
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The Big Six uses are outlined in the refuge system’s operating principles. Credit: Christin Engelberth
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Young Artist Finds her Muse at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

June 14, 2018

A college art student not normally one for the outdoors was sent on a voyage of discovery when she drew a challenging class project: illustrate the “Big Six” uses of national wildlife refuges—hunting, fishing, photography, wildlife observation, education and interpretation. She found her inspiration during a visit to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington; her illustrations might now inspire you.

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The Big Six uses are outlined in the refuge system’s operating principles. Credit: Christin Engelberth
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The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex fire crew. Credit: Jack Sparks/USFWS
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Driving Home, Service Fire Crew Comes Across and Helps Fight Five Small Fires

June 14, 2018

A Service fire crew from San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex in California was traveling home from a three-day “skills and drills” workshop last week when the firefighters encountered not one but five vegetation fires burning in the median of Interstate 5 just outside Maxwell, California. The crew—including two new seasonal firefighters—sprang into action. Working with local firefighters, they soon put the fires out.

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The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex fire crew. Credit: Jack Sparks/USFWS
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Dragonfly at Port Louisa Refuge, IA. Credit: Jessica Bolser/USFWS
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Why I Took These Shots

June 13, 2018

National wildlife refuges are wonderful places for nature photography – for visitors and employees. Jessica Bolser, a wildlife biologist at Iowa’s Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge, uses her keen observation skills to capture amazing shots. She has taken hundreds of photos at the refuge in recent years, including this one of an eastern amberwing dragonfly. What she loves about this shot “is the delicate detail on the wing and the tiny hairs on the legs.”

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Dragonfly at Port Louisa Refuge, IA. Credit: Jessica Bolser/USFWS
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Group photo of four generations of Reeds sit on the front stoop of Jewell Reed's home. Credit: Jennifer Strickland/ USFWS
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Nature's Good Neighbors: Family Builds Conservation Legacy

June 8, 2018

Wildlife is part of the business model at Reed Ranch, a sheep and cattle operation in Wyoming's Thunder Basin.

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Group photo of four generations of Reeds sit on the front stoop of Jewell Reed's home. Credit: Jennifer Strickland/ USFWS
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Fishing and boating are surefire ways to make memories. Credit: Ed Grimes
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'Catch the Summer Fun'; Fishing is the 'Reel' Deal at National Fish Hatcheries and National Wildlife Refuges

June 1, 2018

National Fishing and Boating Week begins Saturday, June 2 and ends on June 10. This celebration offers the perfect opportunity to engage in two great summer pastimes on your public lands and waters, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you have lost the habit of going outdoors, never found the time to connect with nature or are a certified outdoorsman or –woman, National Fishing and Boating Week is made for you.

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Fishing and boating are surefire ways to make memories. Credit: Ed Grimes
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A waterman inspects oysters. Credit: Harris Seafood Company. Credit: Harris Seafood Company.
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Nature's Good Neighbors: Service Helps Oysters and Watermen in the Chesapeake

May 30, 2018

For several years, the Fish and Wildlife Service has been helping communities in part of the Chesapeake Bay create oyster beds. More oysters mean cleaner water, a thriving habitat for other species, protection for shorelines and a boost for the local seafood industry.

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A waterman inspects oysters. Credit: Harris Seafood Company. Credit: Harris Seafood Company.
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Challenging and rewarding saltwater fishing opportunities can be found at. clockwise from top left, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island, Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Credit: USFWS
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As Summer Starts, Your Guide to Fishing

May 29, 2018

Fishing opportunities are available at public lands and waters managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service across the country. Those fishing opportunities represent virtually every type of sport fishing on the continent – seasonally and in accordance with state and federal regulations. From remote Alaska to mangroves in Florida, your public lands offer anglers adventure and diversity in a natural setting. Get hooked today!

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Challenging and rewarding saltwater fishing opportunities can be found at. clockwise from top left, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island, Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Credit: USFWS
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Rick Spring and his therapy dog, Max, at the door to one of his blinds. Credit: Brent Lawrence/USFWS
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Nature's Good Neighbors: Disabled Veteran Crafts Accessible Hunting Blinds

May 24, 2018

Rick Spring knows that spending time hunting, fishing and hiking isn't always a given for injured veterans or other people with disabilities. So he builds and donates to federal and state lands, including national wildlife refuges, hunting and bird-watching blinds that are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. A Spring-made blind, for example, is big enough to accommodate two wheelchairs.

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Rick Spring and his therapy dog, Max, at the door to one of his blinds. Credit: Brent Lawrence/USFWS
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Carolyn Read looking over her boysenberry crop. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS
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Nature's Good Neighbors: Berry Grower Embraces Conservation, History

May 18, 2018

San Marcos, California, ranch owner Carolyn Read, 86, runs a ranch that started in the 1800s and faces increasing development pressure from sprawling San Diego. Determined to keep her land working and wild, Read is the only non-commercial boysenberry producer in Southern California. She’s worked with the Service to restore some of her property for pollinators and native birds.

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Carolyn Read looking over her boysenberry crop. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS
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