Fish & Wildlife Service Header

Celebrating 100 Years of Wildlife Preservation, Wild Birds Unlimited Announces New Three-year Partnership with National Wildlife Refuge System


March 13, 2003

Alicia Craig
, Wild Birds Unlimited (317) 571-7100/317-796-5283
Michele Soho, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 202-857-5675
Tom MacKenzie, US Fish and Wildlife Service 404/679-7291 or 678-296-6400 (cell)


Wild Birds Unlimited, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a new partnership that will provide $600,000 in grants to National Wildlife Refuges.

The grants, awarded through the Pathways To Nature® Conservation Fund, will support environmental education and wildlife viewing projects. Wild Birds Unlimited, representing its nearly 300 franchises across North America, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation each plan to contribute $300,000 to this new partnership. Today’s announcement is made in recognition of the Centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System, started in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Pathways To Nature Conservation Fund was established in 1999 as a partnership of Wild Birds Unlimited and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Through February 2003 the two organizations have committed nearly $500,000 for the 22 grants awarded to a variety of public and private partners. The agreement announced today focuses exclusively on additional grants to be made to the National Wildlife Refuge System.

“We are proud to support the fine work of the National Wildlife Refuge System and its 100-year history of working to preserve our natural environment,” said Wild Birds Unlimited CEO Jim Carpenter. “Our mission at Wild Birds Unlimited is to bring people and nature together. By providing support to the wildlife refuges across the country, we will help to ensure that people can enjoy the wonders of wildlife for the next 100 years.”

“The Centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System gives us an opportunity to not only celebrate our conservation success but also invite all Americans to experience the wonders of the outdoors. With the help of our partners, we will continue to conserve our wildlife heritage for the next 100 years,” said Steve Williams, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wild Birds Unlimited:
Wild Birds Unlimited is based in Carmel, IN (an Indianapolis suburb) and has more than 290 locations across North America. The company, which started in 1981, specializes in bringing people and nature together by providing expert information and offering an exclusive line of products designed specifically for the backyard birdfeeding hobbyist. For a list of Wild Birds Unlimited stores near you and more information about Wild Birds Unlimited’s numerous philanthropic endeavors, call toll-free (800) 326-4WBU or visit the Web site at You can view more information about the Pathways To Nature Conservation Fund at

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 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. Visit the Service’s website at

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation:
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats by attracting diverse investments, encouraging public and private collaboration, and funding the stewardship of natural resources. The Foundation supports and invests in the best possible solutions for wildlife conservation through creative, diverse, and respectful partnerships. For more information, please visit


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

| Home | Privacy Information | Site Map | Contact Site Administration | Got Fish & Wildlife Questions?