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Stories from the Home Page

The Service’s Scott Kahan and his son at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Credit: USFWS
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Hunters Help Conserve our Wildlife Heritage

September 25, 2017

As hunting seasons begin, learn how regulated hunting contributes to conservation, the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and more.

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The Service’s Scott Kahan and his son at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Credit: USFWS
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Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan enjoys a day of fishing. Credit: USFWS
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National Hunting And Fishing Day

September 23, 2017

From Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan - As a kid, nothing made me happier than the chance to get out on a trout stream in the West with my dad. The experience of dropping a fly in the water and feeling the strike was thrilling, as was the chance to spend a day in solitude with him. Decades later, I can remember those trips like it was yesterday.

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Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan enjoys a day of fishing. Credit: USFWS
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Jonathan Young dumps Hurricane Irma debris into Jimmy Berry’s truck at the Key Deer NWR. The men work at the North Mississippi Refuge Complex. Credit: Dan Chapman/USFWS
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‘Lots of new help here,’ as recovery picks up and residents begin returning to the Keys

September 20, 2017

Hurricane Irma hammered the Florida Keys a week ago Sunday and the recovery has been a whirl of progress and promise. Armies of police, fire, utility and emergency workers swarm the 120-mile long chain of islands restoring order and power. Armadas of 18-wheelers, front-end loaders and dump trucks supply food, water, generators and hope. Even Mother Nature, who unleashed 180 mph winds on the Lower Keys – crippling this still-hobbled island, home to the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge – has kept additional rains at bay.

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Jonathan Young dumps Hurricane Irma debris into Jimmy Berry’s truck at the Key Deer NWR. The men work at the North Mississippi Refuge Complex. Credit: Dan Chapman/USFWS
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Hispanic Access Foundation interns participate in bird watching at Patuxent Research Refuge. Credit: Kayt Jonsson/USFWS
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USFWS Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 18, 2017

The Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to join the observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, 2017. The month celebrates the cultures and contributions of Americans whose origin or descent are from Spain, Mexico, Central or South America, and the Caribbean. During the month and throughout the year, the FWS invites Hispanic Americans to get out an enjoy YOUR nature with family and friends!

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Hispanic Access Foundation interns participate in bird watching at Patuxent Research Refuge. Credit: Kayt Jonsson/USFWS
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Kayla Kimmel, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, talks to homeowner Billy Snyder in his ruined living room in Everglades City. Credit: Phil Kloer/USFWS
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A Service Task Force wades into the gray mud to help families in Everglades City

September 18, 2017

Billy Snyder stood in mud-caked boots in his mud-caked living room, or what used to be his living room before Hurricane Irma roared in. Half a dozen U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) personnel waited for his instructions: What to save, what to dump. It was actually pretty easy. Anything below three feet off the ground was a smelly, sodden mess, because that was the level at which Irma’s storm surge dumped a deluge of stinky gray mud and swamp water that ran through and ruined his family’s house.

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Kayla Kimmel, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, talks to homeowner Billy Snyder in his ruined living room in Everglades City. Credit: Phil Kloer/USFWS
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The winning 2017 Federal Duck Stamp art, an acrylic painting of a pair of mallards by Minnesota artist Bob Hautman. Credit: USFWS
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Minnesota Artist Bob Hautman Wins 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Contest!

September 16, 2017

Bob Hautman, an artist from Minnesota, is the winner of the 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest announced by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Hautman's acrylic painting of a pair of mallards will be made into the 2018-2019 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp. Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sale of Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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The winning 2017 Federal Duck Stamp art, an acrylic painting of a pair of mallards by Minnesota artist Bob Hautman. Credit: USFWS
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Clearing a staging area on Big Pine Key. Credit: Dan Chapman /USFWS
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Service Employees Joining Irma Response Effort

September 15, 2017

It could’ve been worse, especially for national wildlife refuge lands, but there was still plenty to do for the Service teams that went to Florida to secure Service assets and support local citizens and communities.

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The latest on the Service and Irma »»

Clearing a staging area on Big Pine Key. Credit: Dan Chapman /USFWS
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This spring, the Florida manatee was downlisted from endangered to threatened. Credit: Jim Reid/USFWS
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Strangers Rally to Save Stranded Manatees

September 13, 2017

“I knew I had to do something,” said native Floridian Marcelo Clavijo. What he and others did in the hours before Hurricane Irma hit became an internet sensation, showcasing how good things can happen when strangers unite to achieve a conservation goal. Irma’s winds and tides had sucked all the water out of Sarasota Bay, leaving two adult manatees stranded. Clavijo and a score of others teamed up to save them.

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This spring, the Florida manatee was downlisted from endangered to threatened. Credit: Jim Reid/USFWS
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A NOAA satellite shows Tropical Storm Irma centered over central Florida. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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Service Works to Keep Communities Safe

September 11, 2017

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is very much a part of our local communities. As disasters strike across the country, our first obligation is to the health and safety of our employees and the public.  Then it is time to help local communities - human and wildlife - recover.

Blog: When Disaster Strikes, We Respond »»

A NOAA satellite shows Tropical Storm Irma centered over central Florida. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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American wigeon. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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Secretary Zinke Announces Boost to Wetland, Waterfowl Conservation, Access to Public Lands Through Conservation Grants, Federal Duck Stamp Funds

September 7, 2017

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, approved $21.9 million in grants for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners to conserve, enhance or restore more than 92,000 acres of lands for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds in 16 states. The commission also approved more than $5.4 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to conserve 2,259 acres on national wildlife refuges and open thousands of additional acres to public hunting.

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American wigeon. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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Many national wildlife refuges provide access for hunters. Credit: Credit: Kristy Solliday
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40 Percent of U.S. Population Hunts, Fishes, Watches Wildlife

September 7, 2017

A new preliminary report by the Service indicates 101.6 million Americans 16 years old and older participated in wildlife-related activities such as hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching in 2016. These outdoor enthusiasts are economic powerhouses, last year spending $156 billion—the most in the last 25 years, adjusted for inflation. The report shows substantial increases in wildlife-watching, and fishing and hunting participation remain strong.

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Many national wildlife refuges provide access for hunters. Credit: Credit: Kristy Solliday
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Despite flowing by the facility where hundreds of kids spend their summer, many kids didn’t know this creek’s name or that it had fish. Credit: Katrina Liebich /USFWS
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Hooked: Bringing Fishing to Urban Alaska Kids

August 31, 2017

A Fish & Wildlife Service program works to make fishing more accessible to urban kids from mostly non-fishing families. Did it succeed? Well, the nearly 100 kids that participated spent more than 1,000 hours with us this summer.

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Despite flowing by the facility where hundreds of kids spend their summer, many kids didn’t know this creek’s name or that it had fish. Credit: Katrina Liebich /USFWS
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An Oregon silverspot butterfly. Credit: Bill Medlen
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Oregon Silverspot Butterflies Take Wing at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

August 24, 2017

After a successful prairie restoration at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, the Service and partners released Oregon silverspot caterpillars at the end of July. Earlier this week, a longtime volunteer spotted the fruits of all the hard work: threatened Oregon silverspot butterflies.

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An Oregon silverspot butterfly. Credit: Bill Medlen
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The eclipse as seen in South Carolina. Credit: Geoff Livingston, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Dark Delight at National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina

August 23, 2017

The solar eclipse of 2017 crept up on Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina until, suddenly, the beach went dark. Birds stopped singing. Crickets fell silent. Dragonflies that had flitted from one bush to the next went to earth. Everywhere, people stood and cheered. Among the nearly 3,000 visitors was Greg Sheehan, the Service’s principal deputy director. “I thought [coming to watch] would be kind of corny.” Sheehan shook his head. “It wasn’t.”

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Kindness Outshines the Sun »»

The eclipse as seen in South Carolina. Credit: Geoff Livingston, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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The moon covers the center of the sun during the November 13, 2012, total solar eclipse, visible from the southern hemisphere. Credit: Photo courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Eclipse is Today; Watch it on Public Lands

August 21, 2017

Today’s solar eclipse will track directly over more than a dozen national wildlife refuges from coast to coast. Some refuges are preparing to welcome eclipse viewers and share their excitement, while protecting fragile wildlife habitat and maintaining public safety.

Photo Essay »»

NASA's eclipse site »»

The moon covers the center of the sun during the November 13, 2012, total solar eclipse, visible from the southern hemisphere. Credit: Photo courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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