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Celebrating a Century of Conservation
Centennial sectionEducationGeneral Interest sectionHabitats and Conservation sectionPolicy Makers section

Celebrating a Century of Conservation!


Five acres, known as Pelican Island, started what is now known as our National Wildlife Refuge System. This System of lands encompass over 95 million acres and more than 575 national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts, where at least one can be found in every state and U.S. Territory.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's plans for the Centennial Anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System include considerable attention to showcasing and strengthening the entire agency's programs. As the Service's land management arm, and because of refuge visitation by more than 35 million Americans, the National Wildlife Refuge System is the stage for putting the Service in the limelight, and its Centennial can be our best opportunity to do so.

Much has already been accomplished to lay the foundation for our celebration. Congress has declared year 2003 as "The Year of the National Wildlife Refuge" and the President is requested to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to conduct appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities to accomplish the goal of such a year.

You are invited to help us celebrate a century of conservation. Click on our Special Events link to find out what is happening at a refuge near you.

Get involved - a centennial of this magnitude only happens once in every 100 years!

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For a Refuge System Visitors Guide
call 1-800-344-WILD