Inside Region 3
Midwest Region

January 2013

Regional Director Tom Melius
Regional Director Tom Melius

The Winter Season Doesn't Mean Hibernation For Service Staff

While 2012 held many success stories, 2013 is gearing up to be yet another year we can look back on with pride. Although the winter months might appear on the surface to be the calm before a storm of activity, in terms of public use and the task of managing our national treasures, quite the opposite is true. The successes we see at each year’s end couldn't be reached without the dedicated behind-the-scenes work done during this seeming lull of winter. 

Our maintenance crews, who are the backbone of this work, deserve a “shout out” of thanks for all they are doing to orchestrate another outstanding year. These behind-the-scenes heroes deserve thanks for putting in the heavy lifting and physical work of maintaining the vast range of equipment and facilities that will be put into more frequent use as the warmer season comes back into bloom.

Our refuges continue to offer many cold weather opportunities that draw the public out from the warmth of home to visit us and enjoy the great outdoors, be it our winter fests, events offering a snowshoe or cross country ski trek thru our scenic trails, ice fishing, or educational events for families and school groups.

We also see the frozen lakes this time of year speckled with ice fishing shacks…a sure sign of many enjoying the fruits of our labor. While out of the spotlight, our fish hatchery staff is stirring the key ingredients to success, as fish culture continues year round and lake trout eggs are shipped, and fry hatched and reared during the cold winter months. The culture pallid sturgeon and the care of mussel host species also continue.

Our staff complete many site visits during these low profile months for habitat restoration projects that will be in full swing as the ice and snow subside. Perhaps less glamorous, but also vital to success, the winter months are a critical time for staff to complete important paperwork and meet with partners to plan for the smooth and successful completion of work during the traditional field season.

2013 is a significant anniversary year for us, as this December will be the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. In this issue of Inside Region 3, we begin our look at both the historic and the current endangered species conservation work occurring within our region. We will continue to highlight endangered species work in each issue this year, leading us to the anniversary.

This year we will also continue our work with surrogate species, identifying species and taking the next steps involved with our managing for their success.

I’m pleased to reflect on the many great things that we've done together throughout the past year, and I’m looking forward to yet another productive year ahead.

Please enjoy this month’s issue of Inside Region 3. 



ESA: Illinois' Unique Places and Species»


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Last updated: January 18, 2013