The Refuge is 'in the community' on many levels. One way of measuring the Refuge "in the community" is economically. Erin Carver and James Caudill (both USFWS employees) recently published (2013) the Banking on Nature report . Their summary findings for the system of 560+ refuges:
Obviously, the economics puts a dollar figure on broad recreational activities. Drilling down to specifics, the Refuge integrates with communities in a variety of ways. The Refuge coordinates with schools on a statewide basis the Junior Duck Stamp program which provides curriculum to "connect students with nature through the arts". Refuge Volunteer Rebecca Ames goes into Bitterroot Valley elementary school classrooms introducing children to our locally common plants and animals. Bitterroot Valley high school students are employed for the summer through the Youth Conservation Corps. The Refuge also participates in community-based special events, such as: Creamery Picnic, Scarecrow Festival, Bitterroot Birding and Nature Festival and Welcome Back Waterfowl Day. Montana Department of Tourism, Stevensville Main Street and Stevensville Civic club meetings have been attended by staff. Staff also do wildlife presentations to a spectrum of other civic organizations. There is coordination with Ravalli County Weed District and the Police Departments for the County and Stevensville. The culture and history of the Bitterroot Valley, e.g. the Salish, Corps of Discovery, Nez Perce, Plummer gang, founding of Stevensville, obviously encompasses the Refuge and we also share in this heritage.
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Characteristic species of riparian, gallery forest habitat; requires snags for nesting and eats free-flying insects and fruit.