Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

August 20, 2007

Contacts:  Dan Mulhern  785-539-3474, x109


Volunteers Climb Trees to Help U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monitor Eagles


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will recognize several outstanding volunteers who have worked through the years to help monitor bald eagle nesting and recruitment in Kansas.  Using their unique talents and capabilities, these individuals have volunteered time to ‘climb’ eagle nesting trees and to monitor active nesting pairs, allowing the Service to band chicks and track the status of the growing eagle population.  Thanks, in part, to the efforts of many concerned individuals all across the country, the bald eagle recovered sufficiently to be taken off the list of threatened and endangered species in June.


Awards will be presented to the following volunteers at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22, at the Corps of Engineers’ Perry Reservoir Project Office, 10419 Perry Park Drive, Perry, Kansas.


Jesse Brinker, Lawrence, Kansas, who, along with his parents, has been a volunteer climber, helping us gain access to eaglets still in the nest.


Dennis Dinwiddie, Director of the Stone Nature Center, Topeka, Kansas, is another volunteer climber who helps with banding operations.


Marty Birrell, Nature Interpretive Supervisor of the Prairie Park Nature Center, Lawrence, Kansas, serves as a climbing assistant, belaying climbers from the ground.


Betty Waller, Tecumseh, Kansas, closely monitors nests on the Kansas River near her home and helps the Service determine best time to band chicks based on their age.


Mike Watkins, Corps of Engineers District Wildlife Biologist, Lawrence, Kansas, spends much of his own non-duty time assisting with eagle nest monitoring and banding.


Joel & Cheri Brinker, co-owners of Brinker Tree Care, Inc., Manhattan, Kansas, have provided their climbing expertise and will receive their award at a separate time in Manhattan.


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 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 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 and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


- FWS -