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Open Spaces

A Talk on the Wild Side.

Implementing the Refuge Vision

Remember our entries on Open Spaces last summer from the Conserving the Future Conference in Madison? Well, charting a bright future for the National Wildlife Refuge System didn’t stop there. Here’s an update on the implementation of the vision document that came out of the conference.

Transparency was a driving principle when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed Conserving the Future as the vision that will guide the National Wildlife Refuge System for the next decade.  That same transparency is evident as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service begins implementing the vision. 

Implementation Plan Cover


5 Things you Need to Know About Wetlands

World Wetlands Day occurs each year on February 2 to highlight the importance of wetlands to animals and people around the globe.  It celebrates the day the Ramsar Wetlands Convention was signed in 1971 (the Convention celebrated its 40th Anniversary last year).  The Wetlands Convention promotes the conservation and wise use of wetlands through international cooperation. Today, 1,994 Ramsar sites covering more than 474 million acres have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance.

ChincoteagueChincoteague National Wildlife Refuge


The Weekly Wrap: November 27 - December 3

Is it hard to believe we're already in the last month of 2011?  The end of another week means another weekly wrap.  Here are the things we've been talking about on at Open Spaces, check them out if you didn't get to see them the first time around!

Rabbit Rescue at San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge

Did you get a chance to read the tale of a riparian brush rabbit rescue along the San Joaquin River? 

Rabbit Rescue


Let's Go Outside! Featured Refuge Events for the Week of November 28th

The weather may be getting colder, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to do outside! Here are some of the events happening at refuges across the country this week.  As always, make sure you head over to the Refuge System's homepage and use their searchable map to find a Wildlife Refuge near you!

Let's go outside!

First Snow at SunsetThe season's first snow at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, ND on Nov. 7, 2011


Rabbit Rescue at San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge

When you were a child, did you read Watership Down, a tale of a herd of rabbits who leave their home before it is destroyed to find a new land? In the book, most of the dangers that Fiver, Hazel and the other rabbits must overcome are caused by people. 

Similar to the book, last March, endangered riparian brush rabbits at San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge in Calfornia faced a serious threat to their homes. In this real-life story of survival, however, the people in the story played protagonists, not the villains of the book.

When post-winter flooding along the San Joaquin and Stanislaus rivers began to threaten the rabbits, the Endangered Species Recovery Program and San Joaquin River Refuge staff mobilized to bring 125 rabbits to safety.


The Weekly Wrap: October 2nd - October 8th

It's been an interesting week here at Open Spaces. Today we are relaunching our weekly wrap up series where we summarize all of the posts over the last week.

So enjoy! Simply click the title or the picture to catch up on what you might have missed.

As always, please leave your comments and let us know how we're doing. Your feedback about how we are doing, both good and bad, is always valuable.

Looking Back: Spotlight on Rudolph Dieffenbach

On Sunday we started a regular feature to highlight the insanely interesting, but little known, history of your National Wildlife Refuge System. The first post was dedicated to Rudolph Dieffenbach, a man who acquired more land for American wildlife than any other figure before or after his era.