Conserving the Nature of America
Media Advisory
Secretary Jewell to Celebrate Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and the New Medicine Creek Treaty National Memorial in Washington State

July 18, 2016

Contact:

Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220
Website: https://www.fws.gov/external-affairs/public-affairs/



OLYMPIA, Wash. – On Tuesday, July 19, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will join U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, U.S. Congressman Denny Heck, U.S. Congressman Derek Kilmer, and other federal, state, tribal and community leaders to celebrate the renaming of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge as the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, in honor of the internationally recognized Native American civil rights leader and Nisqually Indian Tribe member. They will also celebrate the newly established Medicine Creek Treaty National Memorial. Before the ceremony, Secretary Jewell will meet with students from the Squaxin Island Tribe.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the “Billy Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act” into law. The act renamed the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in honor of Billy Frank Jr., who worked to protect Native American traditional ways of life and endangered salmon. Billy Frank Jr. founded the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and served as its chairman for over 30 years.

The act also established the Medicine Creek Treaty National Memorial to commemorate the location of the signing of the treaty between the federal government and members of the Medicine Creek Treaty tribes. The Medicine Creek Treaty tribes include the Nisqually Indian Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Puyallup Tribe of Indians and Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. 

The Nisqually River Delta, a biologically rich and diverse area at the southern end of Puget Sound, supports a variety of habitats within its estuary. Established in 1974 to ensure habitat for migratory birds, the refuge protects waterfowl and provides food for seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds and raptors.

Who:

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator, Washington
Denny Heck, U.S. Congressman, Washington
Derek Kilmer, U.S. Congressman, Washington
Robyn Thorson, Pacific Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Farron McCloud, chair, Nisqually Tribal Council
William Frank III, Nisqually Tribal Council

What:

Ceremony celebrating the renaming of  Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in honor of Billy Frank Jr. and the establishment of the Medicine Creek Treaty Memorial

When:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 
10:05 a.m. PDT – Media check-in
10:20 a.m. PDT – Secretary Jewell meets with students (b-roll opportunity)
11:00 a.m. PDT – Ceremony followed by a brief media availability 

Where:

Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
100 Brown Farm Road NE
Olympia, Washington 98516

Media:

Credentialed members of the media are encouraged to RSVP here.

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