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Open Spaces

A Talk on the Wild Side.

‘A New Beginning’: Cherokee, Service Work Together to Preserve the Land, Relationship

green landscape under blue sky Kituwah is the heart of the Cherokee Nation as well as a conservation hot spot. Photo by Dan Chapman/USFWS

Seven miles outside Cherokee, North Carolina, in the fertile valley that runs alongside the Tuckasegee River, lies the heart of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Remnants of a ceremonial mound more than a thousand years old are all that remain of “the Mother Town,” or Kituwah.


#WeAreUSFWS: Then, 101st Airborne. Now, a Wildlife Inspector

man in fatigues with military vehicles, materials in back Thomas Toth III takes a well-deserved break in Helmand Province, the setting for some of the fiercest fighting during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Thomas Toth III has been a wildlife inspector in the busy Port of New York since January 2017, intercepting smuggled wildlife and at the same time, helping to facilitate the multibillion-dollar legal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. As we celebrate Veterans Day, Thomas agreed to share some thoughts about being a U.S. military veteran in our Office of Law Enforcement (OLE)


#WeAreUSFWS: Cohort of Senior Social Scientists Joins the Service

We recently completed our first-ever batch hire of senior social scientists. The hiring action is a historic milestone in our efforts to integrate the conservation social sciences into our work. Please join us in welcoming our new colleagues, Shannon Westlake, Kelly Green Guilbeau, Kiandra Rajala, and Brad Milley! 


Social Science for a Stronger Service

deer with antlers looks a camera while blending in in forest We need the social sciences. We don’t want them to stay hidden like this white-tailed deer. Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS

People sit at the heart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission. As public servants, we work with and for the American public to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. Yet despite our mission of “working with others,” we are not always as adept in understanding the hearts and minds of the people we serve and who influence our ability to succeed. For nearly a decade, a small and growing group of social science practitioners, allies, and champions within the Service have worked to better equip our workforce with the information, tools, and skills we need to grow the application of the conservation social sciences in our work.


Albuquerque Dentist Discovers Joys of Birding During Pandemic

blue bird with black and brown wings sits outsideOne of the birds David Duniven has seen is a blue grosbeak. Photo by David Duniven 

A 38-year-old dentist in Albuquerque, New Mexico, David Duniven spends much of his time examining the inside of mouths, cleaning teeth, filling cavities, and administering the occasional but always-dreaded root canal surgery.



Not the Fool Hen Blues

black and white bird with orange on head and maroon spot on sideA male dusky grouse. Photo by NPS

It’s October and I am thinking about my shotguns and shot patterns, bird dogs and coming bird seasons. I throw a few clays at a shooting range near my home, hoping to restore “muscle memory” in case that is a real thing. My daughter who studies kinesiology says it is bogus—muscles cannot remember squat. But I remember missing more than a few birds on a chaotic flush, and practice does lead one toward perfection.


National Hunting and Fishing Day is a Time for Reflection

close-up of child  smiling with fishing rod on boat with adult fishing behind himAlmost 36 million Americans fished in 2016, according to the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. Photo by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
My trolling motor clicks, and from below the belly of my boat I hear the prop pulse as I ease into a lake cove near my Vermont home.

Click-pulse, click-pulse.


#WeAreUSFWS: Jennifer Chin, Duck Stamp Office Program Assistant

2 photos: left is of woman with owl on gloved hand; right is of smiling woman holding turtle in palmsJennifer with Eurasian eagle owl, Mr. Hoots, and holding a baby box turtle in 2017 when she helped the Patuxent Research Refuge Bio team. All photos courtesy Jennifer Chin

Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and what was your family life like?

I grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I remember my childhood as always being around extended family. I have 11 cousins and I feel like we got together at least once a month to celebrate someone’s birthday! I have a sister and a brother that I am super close to and each year we would go on vacations that ranged from Disney World, Universal Studios, cruises to Mexico, and visiting extended family.


The Green Status of Species: Measuring the Impact of Wildlife Conservation Around the World

Tiger on path through tall grassPhoto by Harshawardhan Dhanwatey/Tiger Research and Conservation Trust

Elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes, and marine turtles have long captivated the hearts of Americans. As with all of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s conservation efforts, partnerships are key to their conservation success. For more than 30 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s International Affairs Program has worked with partners around the world to protect iconic and lesser-known species and the habitats they depend on, and to strengthen capacity to more effectively address conservation threats.


A Time to Celebrate Wilderness

 grassy beach under blue skyA beach in Key West Wilderness. Photo by Kristie Killam/USFWS

Lions and tigers and bears?  For real?  

Yes. Wilderness is home to mountain lions, grizzlies and black bears, tiger salamanders, and so much more! Wilderness provides homes to birds, mammals, butterflies and hundreds, of other types of animals and plants. It also preserves the clean air, clean water, and wild spaces that sustain our own lives.  


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