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Riders in the Wild Goose Chase cycle in and around Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Credit: J. Kerr
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Biking on Wildlife Refuges

May 2, 2019

For a stress-free bike ride and the chance to see wildlife such as elk, bald eagles or sandhill cranes, pick a trail in a national wildlife refuge. Many refuges permit bicycling when it’s consistent with their conservation objectives.

Best Refuge Bike Routes »»

Find a Refuge Near Your »»

Riders in the Wild Goose Chase cycle in and around Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Credit: J. Kerr
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Barrel cactus was just one species unlawfully collected. Credit: NPS
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Investigation into Cactus Trafficking Leads to 2-Year Sentence

May 2, 2019

An Arizona man was sentenced to two years behind bars after an investigation led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He stole, and had others steal, more than 500 federally protected cactus plants from Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona. He then sold them. He also pleaded guilty to drug and other charges.

News Release (DOJ) »»

Barrel cactus was just one species unlawfully collected. Credit: NPS
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A longleaf pine stand in the Coastal Headwaters Forest in Alabama. Credit: USDA
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Longleaf Pine Restoration Takes Major Step Forward

April 25, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined dozens of public, private and nonprofit officials this week to celebrate the wonders of the permanent setting-aside of 3,719 acres of forested land. It’s likely the first of many such easements intended to restore majestic longleaf pine stands across a large swath of private property. The goal is the transformation of 200,000 acres of Florida and Alabama scrub and loblolly pine into long-living, species-sustaining, revenue-generating longleaf pine forest.

Coastal Headwaters Forest Project »»

A longleaf pine stand in the Coastal Headwaters Forest in Alabama. Credit: USDA
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American robin gets the worm at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Credit: Keith Ramos
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Why I Took These Shots

April 17, 2019

National wildlife refuges are wonderful places for nature photography – for visitors and employees. Manager Keith Ramos makes a point of taking photos that celebrate the animals, forest and wetlands of Maine at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I watched 30 to 40 American robins eating worms near the refuge entrance on and off for three or four days before I could get this photo right,” he says of the image above. “It was a tug of war between the bird and the worm.”

More of Ramos’ Favorite Photos and Why He Took Them »»

Find a Refuge Near You »»

American robin gets the worm at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Credit: Keith Ramos
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The winning 2019 Junior Duck Stamp art, an acrylic painting of a harlequin duck by Nicole Jeon. Credit: USFWS
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New York Youth Wins 2019 National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest

April 16, 2019

Nicole Jeon, a 16-year-old from Scarsdale, New York, took top honors at the Service’s National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest with her acrylic rendition of a harlequin duck. Her artwork will grace the 2019-2020 Junior Duck Stamp, which will go on sale June 28 and supports conservation education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

News Release »»

Learn More »»

The winning 2019 Junior Duck Stamp art, an acrylic painting of a harlequin duck by Nicole Jeon. Credit: USFWS
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A monarch on a false sunflower. Credit: Jim Hudgins/USFWS
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Service Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Conservation Agreement for Monarch Butterfly

April 12, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the opening of a 60-day public comment period regarding an “enhancement of survival” permit application associated with a proposed conservation agreement for the monarch butterfly on energy and transportation lands. The proposed agreement would involve transportation and energy partners across the lower 48 states and would address conservation needs of the species on millions of acres of rights-of-way and associated lands. 

Largest Proposal of its Kind »»

Learn More About Monarchs »»

A monarch on a false sunflower. Credit: Jim Hudgins/USFWS
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A volunteer and his dog, a newly minted B.A.R.K. Ranger, are ready to take to the trails of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Credit: USFWS
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Thank You, Volunteers! ‘Working Together We Accomplish Many Things’

April 10, 2019

We are celebrating National Volunteer Week and our volunteers – nearly 42,000 – who give more than 1.5 million hours to help conserve the nature of America. “Volunteers are integral to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge,” says Sarah Inouye-Leas, volunteer coordinator there.

‘Our Jobs Would Be Impossible Without Them!’ » »»

Volunteering Information » »»

A volunteer and his dog, a newly minted B.A.R.K. Ranger, are ready to take to the trails of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Credit: USFWS
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USFWS special agents operated an undercover wholesale fish business in Michigan. They were so convincing that when the investigation had completed, local fishermen could not believe they were actual federal agents. Credit: USFWS
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Lake Trout Trafficking Costs Michigan Fish Dealer $1.03 Million in Restitution

April 8, 2019

John H. Cross III will serve 12 months in prison – intermittently during a five-year term of probation – and he and his company, John Cross Fisheries Inc., will pay $1.03 million in restitution for trafficking fish taken from the Great Lakes. Over two years, Cross Fisheries illegally bought and sold approximately 48,500 pounds of lake trout.

Michigan Fish Dealer Sentenced for Unlawful Trafficking in Michigan Lake Trout (DOJ) »»

USFWS special agents operated an undercover wholesale fish business in Michigan. They were so convincing that when the investigation had completed, local fishermen could not believe they were actual federal agents. Credit: USFWS
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Thumbnail image of the Tracking Paddlefish YouTube video. Credit: USFWS
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Progress for Paddlefish

April 8, 2019

Paddlefish are arguably the oddest looking creatures swimming the waters of the Mississippi River Basin. They are certainly among the oldest. Swimming dinosaurs. This video tells how the Texas Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery work in concert with the Texas Parks and Wildlife to restore, and learn more about, paddlefish.

View Video »»

Thumbnail image of the Tracking Paddlefish YouTube video. Credit: USFWS
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The BIG program benefits boaters and local communities. Credit: USFWS
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$20+ Million in Grants Will Support Recreational Boating Infrastructure Projects

April 5, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program continues its substantial contributions to recreational boaters and local communities and their economies through this year’s award of $20.6 million in grants to states and U.S. territories. By providing funding to support dedicated boat tie-up facilities and associated amenities, the BIG program helps Americans enjoy the nation’s waters and our cherished wildlife, natural and cultural resources. 

News Release (DOI) »»

Learn More »»

The BIG program benefits boaters and local communities. Credit: USFWS
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Poacher's mounted bobcat and mountain lion (right). Credit: USFWS
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Wisconsin Poaching Scheme Exposed

April 2, 2019

Four longtime hound hunters who enjoyed decades of running their dogs after bear, mountain lion, bobcat and other wildlife are now branded as poachers and have lost their hunting privileges worldwide, some for up to four years. 

Judge: ‘They cut corners and cheated’ »»

Poacher's mounted bobcat and mountain lion (right). Credit: USFWS
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Screenshot image of the YouTube video, Poachers and Protectors: The Story of Scarlet Macaws in Honduras. Click to view video.  Credit: USFWS
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New Film Showcases Effort to Combat Trafficking of Scarlet Macaws

April 1, 2019

In the dangerous Moskitia region of Honduras, poachers seek out the chicks and eggs of wild scarlet macaws. Their goal: sell them in the lucrative illegal pet trade. To counter the traffickers, brave community members, with the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have united to patrol and protect the nests. Poachers and Protectors: The Story of Scarlet Macaws in Honduras puts a spotlight on the wildlife trafficking crisis in Latin America, and introduces us to some of the heroes who are willing to risk it all for these birds.

Watch the Film in Spanish »»

Audio Descriptions »»

How the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Helps Conserve Scarlet Macaws » »»

Screenshot image of the YouTube video, Poachers and Protectors: The Story of Scarlet Macaws in Honduras. Click to view video.  Credit: USFWS
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Anglers and boaters help improve fishing access through their contributions. Credit: RBFF Credit: RBFF
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States Receive More Than $1 Billion for Recreation Access, Conservation

April 1, 2019

Outdoor recreationists who hunt, shoot, fish and boat are providing more than $1 billion this year to support increased outdoor access and wildlife habitat conservation across the United States.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is distributing the funds to all 50 states and U.S. territories today. The funds are generated through excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment and boat fuel. 

News Release »»

Learn More »»

Anglers and boaters help improve fishing access through their contributions. Credit: RBFF Credit: RBFF
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Navy veteran Chad Brown, right, founder of Soul River Inc. Runs Wild, pairs vets with inner-city youth on fishing trips to promote healing. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge near Portland, Oregon, partners with Soul River. Credit: Courtesy of Chad Brown/Soul River Inc.
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11 Ways Wildlife Refuges Make Life Better

March 21, 2019

Even if you’ve never set foot on one of the country’s 567 national wildlife refuges, you’ve probably benefited from its existence. 

We are Hard-wired to Crave Contact with Nature »»

Find a Refuge near You »»

Navy veteran Chad Brown, right, founder of Soul River Inc. Runs Wild, pairs vets with inner-city youth on fishing trips to promote healing. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge near Portland, Oregon, partners with Soul River. Credit: Courtesy of Chad Brown/Soul River Inc.
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Allowing adjacent landowners to use district lands is a way we could help our neighbors and protect the cattle they depend on,” says Brad Krohn, project leader for the Rainwater Basin Waterfowl Management District. Credit: Brad Krohn/USFWS
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After Flooding, Service Staff Make Room for Neighbors’ Cattle

March 21, 2019

Recent flooding in Nebraska left fields used for winter pasture full of mud too deep for cattle to walk through. Staff at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District have been helping two neighboring ranchers with emergency grazing, welcoming more than 400 animals onto waterfowl production areas on higher ground.

'This is our Community' »»

Allowing adjacent landowners to use district lands is a way we could help our neighbors and protect the cattle they depend on,” says Brad Krohn, project leader for the Rainwater Basin Waterfowl Management District. Credit: Brad Krohn/USFWS
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