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America’s First National Wildlife Refuge To Host 100th Anniversary Celebration
Press Credentials Required for Centennial Event in Sebastian, FL


March 4, 2003

Lindsey Gordon, 952-346-6079,
Tom MacKenzie,
(404) 679-7291 or Mobile: (678) 296-6400

(WASHINGTON) March 4, 2003 — March 14, 2003 marks the Centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the only federal system of lands dedicated to the conservation and management of wildlife. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton will be joined by a host of notable individuals and thousands of local residents to commemorate this milestone in Sebastian, Florida, home to Pelican Island, the first National Wildlife Refuge.

A series of events from March 13-16 will honor the unique network of lands that make up the National Wildlife Refuge System. There are a number of exciting media opportunities available, including:

Time Capsule Dedication: On Thursday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. at the Indian River Mall in Vero Beach, Florida, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams will unveil the national time capsule with artifacts from hundreds of wildlife refuges across the country.

Special entertainment will be provided by the Peabody Orlando Ducks, Challenger the bald eagle and President Theodore Roosevelt impersonator, Jim Foote.

There are 540 National Wildlife Refuges in the United States, at least one in every state and territory and within driving distance of most major cities. Time Capsule events are scheduled at hundreds of these refuges. Tie this event in with the time capsule being buried at the wildlife refuge near you!

Centennial Celebration at First Refuge: On Friday, March 14 at 9:00 a.m., a special ceremony will take place at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge to honor the entire Wildlife Refuge System, followed by a public celebration at nearby Riverview Park. Secretary Norton will participate in these events, along with Members of Congress, Centennial Commissioners, and event host Jack Hanna, of Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. Highlights of the ceremony will include:

  • Secretary Norton and Director Williams will place the final plank on the Centennial Boardwalk
  • The U.S. Postal Service will hold a first date of issue ceremony for the Pelican Island Commemorative Postage Stamp
  • US Mint will announce Centennial Coin Series
  • Pelican Island Elementary School students will plant trees as a part of the habitat restoration effort at Pelican Island NWR
  • Voices of Liberty from the Walt Disney World® Resort will perform

Pelican Island Media Boat Tours: See Pelican Island, the first official wildlife refuge set aside by President Theodore Roosevelt and endures as a symbol of his 100-year conservation legacy. Tours are scheduled for March 10, 11, 12, and 13 and will include the opportunity to secure breathtaking footage and interviews. Slots are filling up fast, so sign up today!

In-Depth Interview Opportunities: With the Centennial approaching quickly, the following government officials and Centennial Commissioners are available for in-depth interviews:

  • Gale Norton, Secretary of the Department of the Interior
  • Judge Craig Manson, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks
  • Steve Williams, Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Patrick Donahoe, US Postal Service
  • The National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Commission
    William Horn, Chair of Centennial Commission
    Ramona Bass, Texas Wild, Fort Worth Zoo
    Michael Bean, Chair for Wildlife Programs at Environmental Defense
    Peter Coors, Chairman, Coors Brewing Company,
    Lynn Greenwalt, Former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Director Jack Hanna, host of the hit television series “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures,”
    Karl Malone, NBA All-Star forward for the Utah Jazz,
    John Morris, Founder of BassPro Shops,
    Kym Murphy, Corporate Vice President, Walt Disney Company,
    Daniel A. Pedrotti, former President of Boone and Crocket Club.

Official event credentials are required for all press. To obtain credentials, please complete the attached form and send it to Lindsey Gordon at or FAX it to 202-383-0079 by March 12. Credentials must be picked up at our on-site pressroom, which will be located in the Sales Center at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, 9250 Island Grove Terrace, Vero Beach, FL. Transportation to and from the events on March 14 will be provided from this location. The pressroom will be open March 11-12 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., March 13 from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., and March 14 from 6:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. All media inquiries should be directed to the pressroom at 772-234-2078 from March 11-14. For directions to the resort or for information on lodging, please call 772-234-2073.

PLEASE NOTE: Shuttle transportation to the March 14 events will be provided to all credentialed media. Shuttle service will originate at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Parking is limited, and those using their own vehicles will be required to obtain a vehicle permit by
completing the information on line 10 on the attached credential form.

B-Roll and Photos: Beta copy of b-roll and stunning photographs from some of America’s 540 National Wildlife Refuges are available upon request. The b-roll includes dramatic wildlife footage and special historical footage of Pelican Island NWR. In addition, digital images of the new Pelican Island commemorative postage stamp, to be issued on March 14, are available in JPEG and PDF formats.

For more information on the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the wildlife refuge near you please visit: For further information on Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the events celebrating the centennial, please visit: To schedule an interview with one of the above spokespeople or to obtain a copy of the b-roll or a digital photo of the postage stamp, please contact Lindsey Gordon at 952-346-6079.

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at or

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

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