Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Acting Regional Director Charlie Wooley. Photo by USFWS.
Acting Regional Director Charlie Wooley. Photo by USFWS.

February 2019

Welcome back!

And now our new year finally begins

It’s great to see everyone finally back to business after a challenging stretch of time during the recent furlough.

And now that we are all back, firstly, take time to take a deep breath and wind back up to full speed. Revitalizing is important without being worried about deadlines that may have come and gone while we were away that will now be reset as we forge ahead into what will no doubt still be a great 2019.

Many sacrifices were made, I know, whether you worked or didn’t work. And, although the rules of the game that all government employees play by only allow people to work on what is deemed the most urgent of tasks, I can tell you from the heart that each and every one of you is essential to us. We value the talent and teamwork you bring to work with you in good times and bad. So I thank you for all you do.

A few special shout outs are due as well: our administrative team during the shutdown including Rick Greenblat, Julie Anderson and Adam Abbott deserve thanks for their hard work through the furlough handling vital things like restoring our back pay at record speed, validating unemployment insurance actions with state offices, and moving people in and out of excepted status as urgent matters came up needing to be addressed during the shutdown. They did a remarkable job!

Also thanks to those in our field offices who were working with only skeleton staffs to protect facilities that had to be protected, feed fish that needed to be fed, and moreā€¦ both safely and effectively.

It was also great to be able to join those of you who dialed into our conference calls to hear updated information that we learned on the fly for things ranging from administrative functions to staffing issues and project status updates due to mission essential changes that came up along the way.

As only a handful of us worked, it was reassuring to hear your voices and concerns via these calls so we could try to answer your questions and ease the transition to jumping back into our jobs. Hopefully you found the calls both informative and comforting. I know I did.

And we even faced challenges upon our return after the shutdown in the form of an ill-timed polar vortex. Thanks to each of you for taking care of business safely through the brutal cold and making sure you took the proper steps to avoid frostbite and the other risks that a Midwest winter can bring.

As I mentioned, take this time to revitalize and refocus on the work ahead in this very unusual, so far, year. In doing so, take a look back at some of our great accomplishments from last year with this link to our 2018 year in review, which we shared over the holidays before our time away.

We will resume publishing Inside Region 3 in its normal full issue in March. Now let’s move ahead and make 2019 even better!





Last updated: February 6, 2019