Planning Begins Now for Future of the National Wildlife Refuge System
March 30, 2011
What should the National Wildlife Refuge System undertake in the next decade or so? How should it grow? The National Wildlife Refuge System is seeking public comment by Earth Day, April 22, on those questions and others as part of Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation, a vision process that will guide management of America's wildlife refuges for the next decade or so. Comments on a draft document and bold ideas are being collected at www.AmericasWildlife.org.
The Refuge System, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages 553 national wildlife refuges across 150 million acres. It is the nation's largest network of public lands devoted to the conservation of wildlife habitat and species. National wildlife refuges offer outstanding wildlife recreation, welcoming about 44 million visitors annually.
The draft vision contains almost 100 recommendations on how to conserve, maintain and restore the critical lands on behalf of future generations, and how to attract a younger generation to a conservation ethic.
More than 1,100 people are already participating in the conversation about conservation on www.AmericasWildlife.org . The website allows people to register as members of a social network, comment on the draft vision, make and vote on bold ideas, and offer their opinions on how to shape the Refuge System. A refined vision document reflecting the comments and ideas received on the website is expected to be published in July 2011.