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National Wildlife Refuges May Receive Help from Congress in Battle Against Invasive Species


October 11, 2002

Serena Rinker, 561/732-3684, ext.109
Bert Byers, cell: 772/321-5960

Congressmen, U.S. Department of Interior officials, and refuge partners will announce proposed legislation to provide funds to combat invasive species on national wildlife refuges. This event is one of several across the U.S. to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week and kick-off the centennial of the refuge system.



Fran Mainella, Director, National Park Service/Dept. of Interior, Washington, D.C.
Congressman Mark Foley, 16th District (Tentative)
Congressman Clay Shaw, 22nd District
Evan Hirsche, President, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Washington, D.C.
Phil McCullem, President, Loxahatchee Natural History Association
Mark Musaus, Manager, A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Lou Hinds, Florida Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach (See “Visitor Information” for detailed directions to the North/ Headquarters entrance; refuge is .3 miles west of U.S. 441). Meet at boat ramp, at the end of Lee Road, ¼ mile past Administration Building.


Saturday, October 19, 2002; Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Press availability, featuring photo and interview opportunities. Boy Scout Troop Number 325 will join officials and volunteers to remove invasive species by pulling and chopping at plants.


  • Legislation being considered in Congress will provide an additional $2 million to national wildlife refuges to train and mobilize refuge volunteer Friends groups in early identification and control of invasive species.
  • Invasive species control is one of the biggest challenges facing our nation’s wildlife refuges, affecting approximately eight million acres of refuge lands. At Loxahatchee NWR, melaluca, Old World climbing fern (lygodium), and Brazilian pepper consume more than 25 acres per day, making these lands unsuitable for wildlife.
  • The public can help prevent the spread of invasive species by planting only native species in their backyards.
  • October 13-19 is National Wildlife Refuge Week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the nearly 95-million-acre refuge system, the only system of public lands where wildlife comes first. There are 540 national wildlife refuges across the country, with at least one in each state.
  • In March 2003, the National Wildlife Refuge System will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The refuge system was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 when he set aside Pelican Island, Florida as a federal bird reserve.
  • As the refuge system’s 100th anniversary approaches, Secretary of Interior Gale Norton and President Bush recognize that national wildlife refuges are an American treasure. The President’s 2003 budget requests an increase of $56 million -- the largest budget increase ever for refuges


Brazilian Pepper Fact Sheet
National Invasive Link


For more information of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Wildlife Refuges, go to

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Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

2001 News Releases

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