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The Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228


October 29,2002
Contact: Mike Blenden, 719-589-4021

U.S. Representative Scott McInnis Honors Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge
for a Half-Century of Contributions to Wildlife Conservation

In recognition of 50 years of wildlife conservation efforts, U.S. Representative Scott McInnis, of Colorado’s Third Congressional District, entered an official tribute to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge into the Congressional Record on October 21, 2002. The tribute recognizes the important contributions Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge has made to migratory bird conservation by providing outstanding nesting and migration habitat for thousands of ducks, geese, cranes and other water birds in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, as well as high-quality hunting, education and wildlife viewing opportunities for refuge visitors.

"We are truly honored to be part of this 50-year legacy of working with a wonderful community to provide important habitat for several populations of migratory birds." said Michael Blenden, Refuge Manager of the Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge Complex. "It is also very gratifying to have this national wildlife refuge recognized by Representative McInnis and the United States Congress," he added.

"The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge stands as a model of 50 years of cooperation between the public’s many interests, integrating the refuge seamlessly into the agricultural community around it. The refuge and its partners have shown great dedication to conserving wildlife habitat and I am honored to recognize them for all they have accomplished," said Representative McInnis.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service greatly appreciates Representative McInnis’ support for, and recognition of, Monte Vista Refuge and its long and successful conservation history. We also applaud all of the public and private partners in the San Luis Valley who have worked so hard over the past 50 years to make Monte Vista such an outstanding example of the National Wildlife Refuge System," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Ralph Morgenweck.

Representative McInnis will publicly present this tribute at 2:30 pm on Saturday, November 2, 2002, at a short ceremony to be held at the Wildlife Observation trailhead. located about 200 yards east of the Monte Vista National Wildlife Headquarters 6 miles south of Monte Vista, Colorado on State Highway 15. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses nearly 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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