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Stories from the Home Page

Coastal barriers serve as important habitat for fish and wildlife and as natural buffers for vulnerable mainland communities. Credit: USFWS
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Proposed Changes to Coastal Barrier Resources System Increase Accuracy

March 12, 2018

Using a rigorous set of objective mapping criteria, the Service has made available for public review and comment proposed revisions to the boundaries of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey.  The changes are designed to fix technical mapping errors and add qualifying areas to the CBRS. 

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Coastal barriers serve as important habitat for fish and wildlife and as natural buffers for vulnerable mainland communities. Credit: USFWS
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The San Diego flamingo seems quite happy on the refuge. Credit: Lisa Cox / USFWS
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Pink Surprise Touches Down at San Diego Refuge

March 12, 2018

A wayward flamingo plunked its long slender legs into the salt marsh at San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge's South San Diego Bay Unit, fittingly this past Valentine's Day, creating a burst of color in the otherwise neutral landscape. The unexpected bird, which is still happily foraging on the restored marsh, energized news crews, neighbors and birders. Far from its home range, the flamingo is thought to have escaped from a private collection.

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The San Diego flamingo seems quite happy on the refuge. Credit: Lisa Cox / USFWS
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The Fred Berry Conservation Education Center provides opportunities to experience fishing for catfish to more than 2,000 young people per year. Credit: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
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One Project, Many Outcomes

March 9, 2018

The Service was just one of many partners on a native grassland restoration project on the Fred Berry Conservation Education Center in Arkansas to provide habitat for declining grassland birds. Then monarch butterflies and other pollinators were added. Now groups take classes, camp, hike, fish, hunt or work on conservation projects. Livestock producers can even take workshops.

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The Fred Berry Conservation Education Center provides opportunities to experience fishing for catfish to more than 2,000 young people per year. Credit: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
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Rainbow trout are a non-migratory form of steelhead. Credit: USFWS
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Bringing Steelhead Back to Southern California

February 28, 2018

Today, steelhead are nearly non-existent in Southern California - a strikingly different picture from the one painted by historical accounts that tell of abundant numbers of the fish migrating from the Pacific Ocean to Southern California's coastal waterways in search of spawning grounds. The Service and partners are determined to restore the fish.

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Rainbow trout are a non-migratory form of steelhead. Credit: USFWS
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Paddlers navigate rapids on Alaska’s Sheenjek River, a National Wild and Scenic River. Credit: Tim Palmer
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No Better Time for River Recreation on National Wildlife Refuges as Nation Celebrates Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

February 23, 2018

The mighty Missouri. The mighty Mississippi. The mighty Yukon. The U.S. has a mighty lot of mighty rivers. They and other rivers bring clean drinking water, economic health, food for many native people, transportation and a mighty lot of recreation — especially on national wildlife refuges. This year’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is a great time to get onto a river to fish, hunt or boat. 

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Paddlers navigate rapids on Alaska’s Sheenjek River, a National Wild and Scenic River. Credit: Tim Palmer
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Scouts show off their milkweed. Credit: Courtesy of Robert Snip/Boy Scouts of America
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Boy Scouts Vie for Top Monarch Award

February 21, 2018

The Fish and Wildlife Service joined the National Capital Area Council Boy Scouts of America last week as the Scouts kicked off their Milkweed for Monarchs program. Scouts will plant milkweed and submit photos of their projects to a photo contest, where winners will be named Top Monarchs. Participants also get a Milkweed for Monarchs program patch.

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Scouts show off their milkweed. Credit: Courtesy of Robert Snip/Boy Scouts of America
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Wisdom and her newest chick. Credit: B. Peyton/USFWS
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Chick Magnet: Albatross Wisdom Hatches Another Egg

February 21, 2018

At 67, Laysan albatross Wisdom, the world’s oldest known breeding bird in the wild, is a mother once more! On February 6, approximately two months after Wisdom began incubating her egg, Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai, welcomed their newest chick to Midway Atoll.

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Wisdom and her newest chick. Credit: B. Peyton/USFWS
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Anglers and boaters benefit from USFWS grants. Credit: RBFF
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Grants will Help Boost Angler and Boater Numbers, Create Recreational Access on Nation's Waters

February 21, 2018

A new five-year, $60 million cooperative agreement between the Service and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation will help retain and recruit recreational anglers and boaters of all ages. In addition, $14 million in Boating Infrastructure Grants will benefit outdoor recreation and tourism by improving facilities for large transient recreational boats across the country. 

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Anglers and boaters benefit from USFWS grants. Credit: RBFF
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Find Your Way: Florida National Wildlife Refuges video snapshot. Click to view. Credit: USFWS
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Find Your Way: Florida Refuges

February 20, 2018

What's in your backyard? Four young Floridians venture out on a weekend getaway exploring four national wildlife refuges. From paddle boarding with manatees to interactive history to discovering trails, adventure means something different for each of these millennials.

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Find Your Way: Florida National Wildlife Refuges video snapshot. Click to view. Credit: USFWS
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Three generations of Bowies: Lane (from left), Mark and John. Credit: Phil Kloer/USFWS
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Making Memories in a Duck Blind

February 14, 2018

For a 12-year-old hunter in Alabama, connecting with family and the outdoors trumps video games, even in the cold, even if he harvests nothing. “It’s fun to be outdoors and take a break from school,” Lane Bowie says, “and I like being with my dad and grandpa.”

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Three generations of Bowies: Lane (from left), Mark and John. Credit: Phil Kloer/USFWS
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The White House. Credit: The White House
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President Requests $1.2 Billion Budget for Service in FY19, Proposes Fund to Improve Refuge Infrastructure

February 12, 2018

President Donald Trump has proposed a $1.2 billion Fiscal Year 2019 budget for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that includes proposed legislation to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund. The fund would take revenue from federal energy leasing and development and provide up to $18 billion for repairs and improvements in national wildlife refuges, national parks and Bureau of Indian Education funded schools. The Service's budget also includes $1.6 billion in permanent funding, which is administered to states through grants that support state wildlife and sport fish conservation, recreational boating and other related programs.

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FY 2019 Budget Justification »»

The White House. Credit: The White House
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A child inspects a dragonfly he caught before sketching it in a nature notebook at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. The outdoor nature study championed by Anna Comstock continues today on refuges. Credit: USFWS
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Anna Comstock: A Force of Nature

February 7, 2018

American conservationist and nature study artist Anna Comstock cultivated children’s love of the outdoors to awaken in them a passion for science and nature. Today, national wildlife refuges keep alive the learning tradition she started.

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A child inspects a dragonfly he caught before sketching it in a nature notebook at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. The outdoor nature study championed by Anna Comstock continues today on refuges. Credit: USFWS
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Bull elk at Wichita Mountains Refuge. Credit: W. Munsterman
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Science Enables Elk Hunting at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

February 7, 2018

By 1875, elk disappeared from what would become Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, the victims of overhunting. In 1908, a single bull elk from an area zoo began the reintroduction effort. The herd thrived. Careful scientific management of elk to ensure a healthy herd continues. One of the tools used is hunting.

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Bull elk at Wichita Mountains Refuge. Credit: W. Munsterman
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Serenity Coleman planting milkweed for monarch butterflies. Credit: Patrick D. Martin/USFWS
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African American History Month: Sorority Embraces Environmental Stewardship

February 7, 2018

Each spring, national wildlife refuges across the country welcome leading African American sorority Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., a national partner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and friends for Zeta Days at the Refuge. This joint initiative promotes outdoor recreation and environmental education among Zeta members, including those not familiar with all nature and public lands have to offer. During African American History Month, we revisit last year’s Zeta Days event at Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas.

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Serenity Coleman planting milkweed for monarch butterflies. Credit: Patrick D. Martin/USFWS
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A monarch near Death Valley, California. Credit: USFWS
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Western Monarchs Need Our Help

February 5, 2018

February 5 is Western Monarch Day, a day to celebrate the lesser-known branch of the famed butterfly family. Western monarchs migrate, just not in the droves their eastern cousins do. Some overwinter on the Pacific Coast, and during the spring and summer the butterflies can be found throughout California and in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, the western monarch does share something in common with its eastern counterpart: declining population numbers. A new study tallied fewer than 200,000 monarchs, the lowest number since 2012.

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A monarch near Death Valley, California. Credit: USFWS
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