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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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Americans will have more access to hunting and fishing under the proposal. Credit: Creative Commons
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Secretary Zinke Proposes Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities at 30 Refuges

May 21, 2018

Continuing his efforts to increase recreational access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced a proposal to open more than 248,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 30 national wildlife refuges. If finalized, this would bring the number of units of the National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt to 377, and the number where fishing would be permitted to 312.

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Americans will have more access to hunting and fishing under the proposal. Credit: Creative Commons
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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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Federal Wildlife Officer Ashley Uphoff teaches orienteering. Credit: Joshua Bauer/USFWS
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Tools of the Trade: Kids Get Hands-on Experience Learning to Solve Wildlife Crime

May 17, 2018

What do federal wildlife officers do everyday? Like all law enforcement professionals, they serve and protect, but there’s more to the story. Learn about what federal wildlife officers in the Midwest Region are doing to inspire the next generation of women and men who protect America's National Wildlife Refuge System.

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Federal Wildlife Officer Ashley Uphoff teaches orienteering. Credit: Joshua Bauer/USFWS
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Thumbnail of the Attu 75: Remembering a Forgotten War video. Credit: USFWS
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Valor in the Aleutians: Commemorating the Battle of Attu

May 15, 2018

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge's Attu Island, the westernmost of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and another Aleutian island, Kiska, share a unique history. These islands were refuge lands dedicated to wildlife before being captured by enemy forces during World War II. This month marks the 75th anniversary of the battles to retake Attu. The Service and partners are commemorating the Battle of Attu, World War II in the Aleutians, and the sacrifices of the Alaska Native Unangax? people.

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Thumbnail of the Attu 75: Remembering a Forgotten War video. Credit: USFWS
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Florida panther kittens are nestled in their den near Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: David Shindle /Florida FWCC
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Partnerships Put Once Near-Extinct Texas Cactus on Path to Recovery

May 15, 2018

Thanks to a slew of partnerships among the Service, Texas agencies and local stakeholders, the Service downlisted the Tobusch fishhook cactus from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. When listed under the ESA in 1979, fewer than 200 plants were known to exist. Today more than 3,300 cacti have been documented. This action brings this plant, once on the brink of extinction, one step closer to the ultimate ESA goal, full recovery and delisting.

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Florida panther kittens are nestled in their den near Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: David Shindle /Florida FWCC
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Florida panther kittens are nestled in their den near Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: David Shindle /Florida FWCC
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At a National Wildlife Refuge Near You: Some of Nature's Cutest Babies

May 11, 2018

As Mother’s Day approaches, try not to smile at these National Wildlife Refuge cuties. In addition to helping humans, refuges around the nation provide places for youngster and mom animals to thrive. 

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Florida panther kittens are nestled in their den near Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: David Shindle /Florida FWCC
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“There is nothing better than spending your day outside in beautiful surroundings, in a country you know and appreciate,” says Gary Lang. Credit: Ryan Hagerty/USFWS
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Nature's Good Neighbors: For Fly Fishing Guide, Conservation and Commerce Go Hand in Hand

May 10, 2018

In West Virginia, fly fishing guide Gary Lang works with the Service and others to preserve clean rivers. It helps his business because trout need the clear water. It’s also about preserving the streams for future generations of wildlife and people alike to enjoy.

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“There is nothing better than spending your day outside in beautiful surroundings, in a country you know and appreciate,” says Gary Lang. Credit: Ryan Hagerty/USFWS
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Students from Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School investigate in the creek. Credit: Nicole Vidal/USFWS
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Nature's Good Neighbors: The Homely Hellbender and the Diligent Schoolkids

May 10, 2018

Private landowners, including a private school along the stream’s lower reaches, work to restore Betty’s Creek in Georgia and save the at-risk eastern hellbender. Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School also operates a profitable cow and corn farm that straddles the stream. The school’s financial health is intertwined with the creek’s health.

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Students from Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School investigate in the creek. Credit: Nicole Vidal/USFWS
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Raccoon Creek. Credit: Credit: Brett Albanese/Georgia DNR
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Partners and Volunteers Create an Angler Paradise Outside Atlanta

May 7, 2018

The Service and its partners are gussying up favorite fishing holes around the country for the season. These are fruitful relationships that improve habitat, boost under-siege species, and pump millions of dollars into local and state coffers. Nearly 50 volunteers recently cleared trails, trimmed branches and picked up trash at Raccoon Creek in Georgia, with many taking mental notes of pools, riffles and unimpeded casting spots.

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Raccoon Creek. Credit: Credit: Brett Albanese/Georgia DNR
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Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge in Washington and Oregon is one of a couple dozen U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges are situated roughly along the expedition’s 1804-05 westbound route. Credit: USFWS
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National Wildlife Refuges Along the Lewis and Clark Trail

May 1, 2018

One of the greatest expeditions in U.S. history followed the Missouri, Snake and Columbia rivers from near St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. The 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System is a wonderful time to celebrate that exploratory journey.

Refuges Along the Trail: Map and Story »»

Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge in Washington and Oregon is one of a couple dozen U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges are situated roughly along the expedition’s 1804-05 westbound route. Credit: USFWS
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Adult bald eagle, known as Valor II, on the nest with two eaglets. Credit: Photo courtesy of Stewards of Upper Mississippi River Refuge Credit: Courtesy of Stewards of Upper Mississippi River Refuge
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We are Family: Eagle Trio Sees Parenting Success in Illinois

April 30, 2018

Male eagles Valor I and Valor II, and female newcomer Starr, are raising an eaglet along the Mississippi River in Illinois. For several years, fans have been watching this family at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge through a webcam as the eagles deal with the trials and tribulations of parenting. Having more than two birds assist with feeding and rearing young isn't all that uncommon, but these two males seem to prefer the teamwork approach.

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Adult bald eagle, known as Valor II, on the nest with two eaglets. Credit: Photo courtesy of Stewards of Upper Mississippi River Refuge Credit: Courtesy of Stewards of Upper Mississippi River Refuge
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Green-winged teal. Credit: Peter Pearsall/USFWS
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Secretary Zinke Announces Grants to Boost to Wetland, Waterfowl Conservation, Access to Public Lands

April 25, 2018

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, approved $24.6 million in grants for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners to conserve, enhance or restore more than 176,000 acres of lands for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds in 18 states. The commission also approved more than $9.8 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to conserve 5,628 acres on national wildlife refuges and open thousands of additional acres for public hunting and recreational access.

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Green-winged teal. Credit: Peter Pearsall/USFWS
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White-tailed deer. Credit: Photo courtesy of Steve Gifford

Service Law Enforcement Helps Deer Stay Healthy

April 24, 2018

To combat chronic wasting disease, a 100-percent fatal disease affecting deer species, many states restrict importation of live deer. Service special agents and state law enforcement professionals work to uphold those laws, protecting wild populations from the disease. A recent operation resulted in the sentencing of two men for illegally transporting deer into Alabama. One was fined nearly $1 million.

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White-tailed deer. Credit: Photo courtesy of Steve Gifford

More than 2,000 organizations from around the world highlight the importance of open rivers and migratory fish conservation. Credit: Jason Ching / World Fish Migration Foundation
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Service Joins More Than 2000 Organizations Celebrating World Fish Migration Day

April 20, 2018

A global initiative highlighting the importance of conserving migratory fish species and aquatic ecosystems, World Fish Migration Day 2018 will be celebrated April 21. More than 520 worldwide events will be held in 62 countries, including nearly 100 events in the United States ranging from global inaugurations of "fishways" that help migratory fish bypass water infrastructure, dam removal to family educational events, kayak tours and river cleanup activities??.

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More than 2,000 organizations from around the world highlight the importance of open rivers and migratory fish conservation. Credit: Jason Ching / World Fish Migration Foundation
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