Regional Director Tom Melius. Photo by USFWS.
The change that a new year brings
Welcome back from what I hope were very happy holidays for you all. This month brings us more than just a new year, it brings us change. Change at the Department of Interior and at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as Service Director Dan Ashe leaves office.
I can’t say enough about the tremendous contributions to our agency Dan has left us through his leadership. I’ve had the honor of working with him over several decades in a number of positions. I’ve always found Dan to be a great thinker, an innovator and a truly dedicated conservationist. He will be greatly missed, yet remembered through his tremendous contributions to this agency and the American people. We had the honor of recognizing Dan and thanking him recently on a region wide teleconference with headquarters.
I’d also like to recognize our only international wildlife refuge and one of our congressional heroes. Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge turned 15 last month and this weekend we will be celebrating the conservation legacy of former Congressman John Dingell Jr. Nearing completion, our new visitor center is a symbol of success and of the hard work by our staff and enthusiastic partners who are so vital to the refuge. Learn more.
Later this month, a number of us will be attending the State Fish and Wildlife Agency Monarch Conservation Plan Workshop down in Burnet, Texas. The purpose of the meeting is to assist in the development of a Mid-America Regional Monarch Butterfly Strategy. Working collaboratively with states will help advance conservation for hundreds of species.
I’m also looking forward to attending the upcoming Midwest Region National Wildlife Refuge System biologist and project leader meeting, as well as our Ecological Services project leader meeting later this month in La Crosse, Wisconsin. These gatherings are always a great reflection of the caliber of talent you all bring to our mission and offers a sampling of your hard work and dedication.
Every new year brings us great opportunities and, upon reflection after the holidays, reminds us of all the great work that has been done. We will continue to strive to do our best in 2017, be it traditional conservation efforts for fish, (Learn more), wildlife and their habitat, or our work with migratory birds and pollinators. Learn more. Best wishes to you all as we work together toward new successes in the year ahead.
Enjoy this month’s issue of Inside Region 3!
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