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New Manager Selected for Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges


May 31, 2002

Jim Brown, 404/679-7125

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the selection of Layne Hamilton, a 15-year U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service veteran, as manager of the Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges near Naples, Florida.

Hamiltonís most recent job was as Deputy Refuge Manager at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. She also directed all aspects of refuge management at Matlacha Pass, Pine Island, Caloosahatchee and Island Bay National Wildlife Refuges as well as "Ding" Darling.

"Layne brings a wide range of skills and experiences to this new assignment. Iím extremely pleased to have her in this key management position," said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director.

Prior to her work at J.N. "Ding" National Wildlife Refuge, Hamilton was Refuge Manager at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge in Hilton Head, South Carolina (part of the Savannah Coastal Refuge Complex). Other Refuges where Layne has gained extensive experience include: Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge in Jena, Louisiana and Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Gautier, Mississippi.

Hamilton began her career in 1980 as a wildlife management specialist with the former Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission in the Everglades Wildlife Management Area near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She earned a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida in Gainesville and a M.S. in Wildlife Management from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

"Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges contain many of the rarest plants and animals in Florida. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be involved with the protection and management of such unique natural resources," said Hamilton. "I look forward to working in partnership with other land management agencies and local citizens to manage our unique Southwest Florida wildlife resources."

Hamilton was born in Ft. Pierce, Florida. She has enjoyed working throughout the Southeast, but is thrilled to continue to work in her home state of Florida. She and her husband, Jim Goodwin, enjoy any activity that gets them outside, especially canoeing and camping.

Hamilton replaces Jim Krakowski who was promoted and assigned to the Service's Albuquerque Regional Office as Chief of Resource Management.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at Our national home page is at:

Atlanta, GA 30345

Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

2001 News Releases

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