Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Regional Director Tom Melius talks about eagles with a participant at the Chicago Park District Corridor Community Planting Day. Photo by Louise Clemency/USFWS
Regional Director Tom Melius. Photo by USFWS.

April 2016

As Spring Takes Flight

It’s great to see and hear the sights and sounds of spring returning to our region. These past couple of weeks alone, I've seen the migration underway as backyard feeder birds and waterfowl are headed north once again. I think of sandhill cranes this time of year. Their distinctive call brings back fond memories of growing up in the Dakotas where, after the last ice of winter left, we would hear the sandhills as they returned. Looking to the skies, I’d watch as they gracefully rode the thermals in a spiral upward, then gracefully moved on to the next thermal in their aerial carnival-like ride through our skies.

A special feature this spring is our recent celebration of the 75th anniversary of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and its internationally renowned wetland in Wisconsin. Horicon is one of the many jewels in our chain of refuges dedicated to providing habitat for waterfowl and much, much more. Learn more

As you are well aware, the field season is upon us once again. Prescribed burns and a barrage of other seasonal mainstays resume as we care for our public treasures and creatures living upon them. Our safety office recently shared a series of informational tips to help remind us of our roles and responsibilities and of the constant need to keep safety at the forefront. No short cuts, no side-steps, just straight ahead smart and safe work is what we ask for, as we tend to our duties while taking care of ourselves and one another. I remind supervisors and their staffs to complete all required safety training and certification as we enter this busy time of year.

I’d also like to give a shout out to the staff at our Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa, who are featured in this month’s issue. They perform fascinating and important work upon a unique landscape. That work includes focusing on the tiny endangered Iowa Pleistocene snail. Last year I had a chance to see the majestic bluffs in Iowa that are habitat for this species. The snails are considered a glacial relict found only in the small areas where temperature, moisture and food are suitable, including limited areas of northeast Iowa and another spot in Illinois. Learn more

Enjoy this month’s Inside Region 3!



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Last updated: April 12, 2016