Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and State of North Carolina Strengthen Partnership at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge’s Lake Mattamuskeet

December 5, 2014


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

Waterfowl in the lake and flying.

Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. Credit: Allie Stewart, USFWS.
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SWAN QUARTER, North Carolina – Tomorrow Cindy Dohner, Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Gordon Myers, Executive Director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, will strengthen a joint commitment to the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats on Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge and its centerpiece Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde County, North Carolina. 

The two agencies will announce details of this commitment at 12:30 p.m. Saturday during Swan Days at the Refuge.  It marks the latest action the two agencies have taken in the past 18 months to strengthen their conservation partnership.

The memorandum outlining this joint commitment provides a framework for continued collaboration and cooperation between the Service and the Commission on efforts to improve Lake Mattamuskeet’s aquatic environment and enhance public access to the lake for a variety of recreational uses.  Earlier this year, the Refuge, with the assistance of the Commission, completed several projects to improve fishing access to Lake Mattamuskeet.  

“The Service is looking forward to our continued collaboration with the Commission and joining forces to tackle conservation challenges,” Dohner said.  “Working more closely with the state provides a better service to people and wildlife.” 

This memorandum establishes a Mattamuskeet Collaboration Team.  This team will have a primary objective to establish clear, common goals and actions that the Service and the Commission can take to address conservation challenges facing the Refuge, especially Lake Mattamuskeet. These actions are categorized into five areas: collaboration, research, outreach, regulatory, and enforcement. This collaboration philosophy with our State partner is consistent with the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan.

“We are excited to formalize our longstanding partnership by establishing a shared management philosophy to address the conservation challenges facing both our agencies,” Myers said.

The signing of the memorandum coincides with the Refuge’s 80th anniversary as well as Swan Days, a weekend event of wildlife related activities and arts and crafts celebrating the return of tundra swans and other migratory wildlife to the area. More than 200,000 migrating and wintering waterfowl spend time at the Refuge, which is strategically located along the Atlantic Flyway. A diverse population of wildlife also inhabits the refuge, including deer, bobcat, gray fox, black bear, largemouth bass and other popular game fish, blue crab, American eel, 31 species of snakes and 240 resident and migratory birds.  

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