Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Regional Director Tom Melius Photo by USFWS
Regional Director Tom Melius. Photo by Tina Shaw/USFWS.

February 2018

A chill in the air but a thaw around the corner

For starters I would like to applaud each of you for your patience and professionalism during the 3-day government shutdown that impacted all of us and our operations. Although we’re not out of the woods yet as far as a final budget for FY 2018, please continue to keep your heads up and understand that we appreciate your great work and understand the challenges that this uncertainty brings. Also know that, thanks to your great work, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remains well respected and appreciated by the public. People know and support the important work you perform for fish, wildlife and the treasured lands we are stewards of. We will all wait and see where current negotiations lead and remain hopeful that we can avoid any additional shutdowns.

Although we feel the deep lock of winter here in the northern reaches of the region, it won’t be long before we begin seeing the liveliness of the spring migration, some of which may already be touching our southernmost areas. We are also keeping our eye out for results from this month’s monarch butterfly census taking place in Mexico to not only determine if the extensive efforts made in the region toward pollinator habitat has had a positive impact, but to perhaps see if even more needs to be done on that front. Stay tuned and also learn more about an innovative outreach effort to help spread the word about the importance and the plight of pollinators.

I’d like to give a shout out to our staff at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge as their Oak Savanna Learning Center was selected for a coveted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Leadership Award. I had the honor of being there for the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration and can’t tell you how pleased we all are with the educational and recreational opportunities this energy efficient facility and our staff provide in this part of Minnesota. Learn more

As mentioned, early migrations are just around the corner but until that time comes, I’m enjoying getting outdoors and the best that winter has to offer. I know Genoa National Fish Hatchery and other field offices host some great events that provide unique recreational opportunities for both youths and adults, many of whom are experiencing outdoor winter activities like ice fishing for the first time. Having attended these events, I know how special they are and I applaud our staff who provide these opportunities each winter.

Stay warm, stay safe and enjoy this month’s issue of Inside Region 3!


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Last updated: February 2, 2018