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The Mountain-Prairie Region


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


DC 427                                                                                                            November 17, 2004

Contact:   Mitch Snow/Washington, D.C. 202/219-9807
                 Steve Hillebrand/Shepherdstown, West Virginia 304/876-7673 


       The National Wildlife Refuge System may have just marked its 100th anniversary, but the sights and sounds of the world's largest system of public lands for wildlife are as fresh as today's latest technology with the release of the first DVD "armchair" tour of our Nation's refuges. 

      "America's Wildest Places" presents nearly two hours from eight of the most stunning refuges in the refuge system, complemented by narration and musical scores, in handy DVD format. 

      In the new "Wildest Places" collection, you'll fly among the stately white whooping cranes of Aransas and Matagorda Island national wildlife refuges in Texas. You'll track the stealthy endangered red wolf in the gloomy backwaters of North Carolina's Pocosin Lakes national wildlife refuge. You'll tumble alongside rollicking Alaska brown bears at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.  Your video tour continues at five other of America's finest windows on wildlife ? Caribbean Islands refuge, Eufaula in the marsh country of Alabama and Georgia, Horicon's duck and goose haven in Wisconsin; the bottomland woods of Muscatatuck refuge in Indiana; and the John Heinz/Tinicum urban oasis with the Philadelphia skyline as wildlife's backdrop. 

      "'America's Wildest Places' commemorates the centennial celebration of President Theodore Roosevelt's designation of Florida's Pelican Island as the nation's first refuge," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams said. "Here, in this first volume in what we hope will

become an occasional series of video tours of the National Wildlife Refuge System, we've packed more color, action, and scenic beauty than you'll find in any other commercially-available wildlife video for the money." 

      "America's Wildest Places" incorporates the work of the Fish and Wildlife Service's professional team of videographers, who travel the refuge system from Alaska to Puerto Rico in search of the Nation's most spectacular outdoor scenery and unusual wildlife projects includingrestoration of the Atlantic puffin on fog-shrouded Maine islands far out into the Atlantic to restoration and colorful Hawaiian forest birds in Hawaii. 

      "The majesty of America's refuges is the palette from which our photographers paint, and we want to showcase their outstanding work, at the lowest possible cost, before the American public, who make our efforts possible," says Steve Hillebrand, production director for the Service's video unit, who conceived "America's Wildest Places" and selected the first eight refuges to highlight in the first volume of the new DVD series. Volume 1 incorporates presentations on each of eight refuges that were previously issued individually in traditional VHS video format, but never before available to the public in DVD compilation. 

      "America's Wildest Places," Volumes 1 sells for $6.00 each, plus $2.50 shipping and handling, regardless of quantity ordered.  With each order, a copy of the National Wildlife Refuge System Visitor Guide is enclosed, providing a map of all 540 refuges in the system and a listing of public use activities available at each station. 

      To order "America's Wildest Places," visit or call 304/876-7692 to place your order. 

      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 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small

wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management 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 Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on

fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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