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Stories from the Home Page

Young angler at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
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Service Proposes Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges

July 13, 2016

The value to Americans provided by national wildlife refuges was highlighted today when U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced the agency is proposing to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 13 national wildlife refuges across the United States. This includes migratory bird, upland game, big game hunting and sport fishing. In addition, the proposal modifies existing refuge-specific regulations on more than 70 additional refuges and wetland management districts throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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Young angler at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
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Ducks in flight at Bear River Watershed Conservation Area in Utah. Credit: Brian Ferguson / USFWS
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Utah Family Land Donation Establishes Bear River Watershed Conservation Area

July 12, 2016

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting a 30-acre conservation easement donation west of Brigham City, Utah, from the Ferry Ranch and Farm family. Their contribution formally establishes the Bear River Watershed Conservation Area as the 565th national wildlife refuge. The Ferry family – John, Ben and Joel – are long-time landowners who are passionate about conserving the land, wildlife and resources for future generations. The area’s diverse landscapes support habitat for elk, pronghorn, numerous native fish species, such as Bonneville cutthroat trout and more than 200 species of birds.

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Ducks in flight at Bear River Watershed Conservation Area in Utah. Credit: Brian Ferguson / USFWS
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Service Members Accepting Certificate of Appreciation from Phi Beta Sigma at Serious Summit 2016. Credit: USFWS
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The Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta Leadership Summits are in Full Swing and We're There!

July 12, 2016

This week, two leadership summits in Orlando, Fla., are bringing African Americans together to offer unique training and personal development opportunities. The Service is taking part in both – the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Serious Summit and the Zeta Phi Beta sorority Grand Boulé – to help add a wildlife conservation dimension. The Service’s partnership with Phi Beta Sigma is the Agency’s first collaboration with a nationally historic African American organization and was followed by the development of last summer’s new partnership with sister sorority Zeta Phi Beta. These collaborations are helping open up the natural world and ideas of conservation stewardship to young people of color by showing them the wonders of nature and providing them with a sense of ownership over public lands. 

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Service Members Accepting Certificate of Appreciation from Phi Beta Sigma at Serious Summit 2016. Credit: USFWS
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More than 40 miles of the Mississippi River headwaters flow through the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape. Credit: Camp Ripley
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Sentinel Landscapes Announced for Three U.S. Military Bases, Partnerships Preserve Wildlife and Support Military Readiness

July 12, 2016

The departments of Interior, Agriculture and Defense joined with state and other partners today to announce three new Sentinel Landscapes for Avon Park Air Force Range in Florida, Camp Ripley in Minnesota and military bases across eastern North Carolina. The partnerships target improved conservation of wildlife, working landscapes and military readiness. This year’s Sentinel Landscapes will help protect imperiled species such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, northern long-eared bat and Florida gopher tortoise. 

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More than 40 miles of the Mississippi River headwaters flow through the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape. Credit: Camp Ripley
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Screenshot of the, "What You Can Do With Your African Elephant Ivory?" video. Credit: USFWS
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Near-Total U.S. Ban on African Elephant Ivory Trade Goes into Effect; Guidance Available

July 6, 2016

A near-total ban on commercial trade of African elephant ivory goes into effect today, July 6, 2016, to help ensure U.S. domestic markets do not contribute to the decline of elephants in the wild. See links below to learn more about what you can do if you own ivory. 

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Screenshot of the, "What You Can Do With Your African Elephant Ivory?" video. Credit: USFWS
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Timber Theft Leads to 10 Months in Prison for Kentucky Man

June 26, 2016

Wildlife crime doesn’t always involve species from far-off countries. A Kentucky man was recently sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution for illegally harvesting a stand of black walnut trees. The sentence “sends a serious message that we will not tolerate the profiteering of America's natural resource legacy,” said Edward Grace, the Service’s Deputy Assistant Director for Law Enforcement.

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Teresa R. Christopher. Credit: USFWS
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Teresa R. Christopher Becomes Service’s New Associate Director

June 24, 2016

Teresa R. Christopher has been named the Fish and Wildlife Service’s new Associate Director and will begin Monday. As Associate Director, she will serve as principal advisor to the Director on major policy issues and will represent the Service’s priorities within the U.S. Department of the Interior and the broader administration. Christopher served as Senior Advisor for Gulf Restoration to the Secretary of Commerce since October 2012.

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Teresa R. Christopher. Credit: USFWS
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The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp features a pair of trumpeter swans in flight. Credit: USFWS
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Federal and Junior Duck Stamps Now on Sale

June 24, 2016

The 83rd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp a.k.a. the Duck Stamp is now on sale, having debuted at a special event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Bass Pro Shops’ flagship retail store in Springfield, Missouri. The stamp art was painted by wildlife artist Joseph Hautman, who won his fifth Federal Duck Stamp Contest and is now tied as leading Duck Stamp artist of all time. The Junior Duck Stamp, depicting a pair of Ross’s geese painted by Stacy Shen, 16, of Fremont, Calif., also goes on sale today.

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The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp features a pair of trumpeter swans in flight. Credit: USFWS
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Black rhino. Credit: Richard Ruggiero / USFWS

Stiff Sentence Handed Down in Wildlife Trafficking Case

June 23, 2016

A California auction official was just sentenced to more than a year in prison, a fine and more for conspiring to smuggle wildlife products made from rhinoceros horn, elephant ivory and coral with a market value of at least $1 million. The sentencing is another win for Operation Crash, an ongoing, nationwide, Service-led criminal investigation focused on the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory.

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Black rhino. Credit: Richard Ruggiero / USFWS

A bee and ladybug on a sunflower. This photo won an internal Service contest for Pollinator Week. Credit: Janine Van Norman / USFWS
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Happy Pollinator Week!

June 22, 2016

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has proclaimed this week Pollinator Week, a celebration of the birds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies and other animals that help flowering plants reproduce. Without pollinators, many of the foods, beverages, fibers, spices and medicines we use daily wouldn’t be possible. Pollinator populations have been declining, but there are steps everyone can take to help.

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A bee and ladybug on a sunflower. This photo won an internal Service contest for Pollinator Week. Credit: Janine Van Norman / USFWS
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The Discover Nature App encourages visitors to explore the trails on San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in a whole new way. Credit: Matthew Cicanese / North American Nature Photography Association
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Free, Bilingual Game Apps Bring Education and Fun to South San Diego Bay

June 17, 2016

To help urban, tech-focused youngsters develop a connection with nature, the Service's SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project of Southern California and the Living Coast Discovery Center are launching “Discover Sweetwater” and “Discover South Bay” scavenger-hunt-style apps.  English portions will be automatically translated to Spanish and visa versa. If you aren’t in Southern California, check out the "Discover Nature Apps" for other national wildlife refuges to “play” in.

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The Discover Nature App encourages visitors to explore the trails on San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in a whole new way. Credit: Matthew Cicanese / North American Nature Photography Association
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The Howland nature-like fishway (to the left of the photo) allows fish to bypass the Howland Dam both up and downstream. Credit: Josh Royte / TNC / Lighthawk
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Fish Passageway Enables Maine Fish to Once Again Reach the Sea

June 14, 2016

The Service and partners gathered in Howland, Maine, today to celebrate the newly constructed fish bypass around the dam in Howland. Completion of this large stream-like channel will allow American shad, river herring and Atlantic salmon to freely access important historic habitat for the first time in more than a century. The bypass is the last major milestone in the Penobscot River Restoration Project, which has improved access to nearly 1,000 miles of Maine's largest river for 11 species of native-run fish, all while maintaining energy generation.

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The Howland nature-like fishway (to the left of the photo) allows fish to bypass the Howland Dam both up and downstream. Credit: Josh Royte / TNC / Lighthawk
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Southwest Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle (center) presents the Military Partner Conservation Award to Colonel Ricardo Martinez, commander of the Marine Corp Air Station Yuma (left) and Brigadier General Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base. Credit: USFWS
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Service Honors Barry M. Goldwater Range with Military Conservation Partner Award

June 10, 2016

The Barry M. Goldwater Range in southern Arizona has been honored as the recipient of the Service’s 2016 Military Conservation Partner Award. Working in close collaboration with partners, the managers of the range provide exemplary landscape-level stewardship for diverse and rare natural resources including three federally protected species: Sonoran pronghorn, lesser long-nosed bat and acuña cactus.

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Southwest Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle (center) presents the Military Partner Conservation Award to Colonel Ricardo Martinez, commander of the Marine Corp Air Station Yuma (left) and Brigadier General Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base. Credit: USFWS
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Fishing at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside of Denver. Credit: Stephanie Raine Credit: Stephanie Raine
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Go Fishing Today; You’ll Be Hooked

June 9, 2016

What better time than National Fishing and Boating Week to remind you great fishing is available on more than 270 national wildlife refuges in every part of the country. The Service also stocks more than 130 million chinook salmon, rainbow trout, walleye, striped bass and other species of fish every year, often in places we love to fish, to give recreation opportunities to America’s 33 million anglers. And the Service sponsors or helps sponsor free fishing days.

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Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges »»

Fishing at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside of Denver. Credit: Stephanie Raine Credit: Stephanie Raine
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Staff at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Chris Hinkle / Land + People
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Magazine Highlights ‘Trailblazers’ at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

June 2, 2016

When Jennifer Owen-White, refuge manager at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was hiring a staff for the Southwest’s first urban national wildlife refuge, she says her goal was “hiring a team that reflects the broader community.” The refuge staff is composed of six young women who are, The Trust for Public Land’s magazine says, “not your typical conservation professionals. And that’s no accident.”

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Staff at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Chris Hinkle / Land + People
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