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The Mountain-Prairie Region


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

February 4, 2003

Contact: Deserai Anderson-Utley(303) 236-8145, x.226

                                                                REGION’S UNIQUE CULTURE

The National Wildlife Refuge System will celebrate its 100th birthday on March 14, 2003. To celebrate this historic event, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Mountain-Prairie Region has created a commemorative quilt. This one-of-a-kind quilt will spend the next several years traveling throughout the eight state region.

"This is a great opportunity to illustrate the special characteristics of our region, including the rural traditions- like quilting- that many local communities still value," said Mountain-Prairie Regional Director Ralph Morgenweck. "The Centennial provides a means to showcase the talents and variety of resources at our field stations and in local communities."

The Mountain-Prairie Region includes eight states (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming), which house around 110 wildlife refuges and 20 wetland management districts. These offices collaborated to undertake this unique quilt project. The quilt consists of squares from 50 Service field stations. These squares, many created by local artists, depict wildlife, nature, and the educational benefits of the refuge system.

The Centennial quilt was sewn together in Malta, Mont., but will be quilted and finished in Idaho Springs, Colo. during the month of February. Video and photo opportunities are available, including b-roll of the National Wildlife Refuge System and the initial quilting in Montana. After completion, the quilt will be unveiled in Denver to help celebrate the National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial on March 14, 2003. It will then travel to field stations in the Mountain-Prairie Region in order for the local quilters and communities to celebrate their hard work and appreciate the finished product.

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 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource 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 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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