Strategic Habitat Conservation
Conserving the Nature of America


Strategic Habitat Conservation

Shared Stories and Practices

My Conservation Legacy


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My Conservation Legacy

Photo of Warden Paul Kroegel
Photo of Warden Paul Kroegel. Credit: USFWS

America's conservation legacy is composed of the individual  vision, contributions and passions of people like Theodore Roosevelt, Paul Kroegel (pictured at right) Ding Darling Jr., Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson. Today, that legacy is continued by the men and women of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and people all over the world who share a passion for conserving wild things and wild places -- each of whom have their own story to tell. Share your story via email (and attach a photo if you like) by sending to As a unified conservation community, we can ensure landscapes that provide for the needs of wildlife and people -- now and in the future.

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Additional Resources:

Conserving the Future

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Photo of Rick Kearney. Credit: USFWS

I can still vividly recall the sunny spring day in 1968 when I heard the song of a warbler bursting forth from a nearby thicket, luring me in to investigate. Little did I know that entering the woods that day would change me forever. First seeking, then finding and observing that bird was the spark that lit the flame of curiosity about the natural world that still inspires me even now. My conservation legacy is to make the world a better place than the way I found it, leaving behind the knowledge and tools that the next generation will need in order to do the same.

-- Rick Kearney, USFWS, Sacramento, CA



Photo of Mike Slattery. Credit: USFWS

I learned to love nature, and to delight in the privilege of authentic, elemental interaction with it, during my life as a child in rural New England. Days and nights spent afield, in forests, on the sea, and about the marsh with family, especially my father, rooted in me a deep spiritual connection with nature and the outdoors. As I grew older, through thoughtful introspection and deep meditation in the "wilderness" as I knew it, I became progressively, irretrievably connected to nature - in body, mind and spirit. I came to believe that perfection in nature, as experienced by each of us in our own ways, is a reflection of God's perfect love for mankind, and that such experiences, at their purest, are transcendent moments of grace that let us see and touch the face of God.

I do what I do so that others may experience the grace of such moments in nature. I do it so my children and grandchildren may have opportunities, as I have, to experience nature in very personal and individual ways, to forge personal and individual connections to the natural world, and to be physically, emotionally and spiritually enriched and rejuvenated by it, as I have. If one day I am so fortunate as to be judged as having made a lasting contribution to our conservation mission, this will be my legacy.

-- Mike Slattery, USFWS, Annapolis, MD



Photo of Megan Nagel. Credit: USFWS

Growing up outdoors, I had the privilege of sharing some of the secrets of the mountains, deserts, and rivers with my family. The stillness of the mountains at dawn broken by birdsong, the way the sunset paints the sagebrush dusky lavender, and pulling in sturgeon from the river bottom that have lived there longer than I’ve been alive. These moments are priceless and my conservation legacy is to work to ensure that other people will be able to experience moments like these, for many generations to come.

-- Megan Nagel, USFWS, Hadley, MA



Last updated: December 11, 2014

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