The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. For more than three decades, this civil rights law has prohibited discrimination based on disability. We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are committed to providing access to public lands, so that all visitors can fall in love with outdoor spaces. We work closely with state partners, national organizations and other federal agencies to provide access for people with disabilities for boating, hunting, wildlife viewing and other activities.
What does a lack of access to outdoor spaces look like? For someone in a wheelchair, it could look like being limited to a visitor center or even a parking lot while everyone else hits the trails to connect with wildlife and wild places.
With the help of Friends of the Iron River National Fish Hatchery and generous donations from the community, Iron River National Fish Hatchery has acquired a new tracked wheelchair, available for use on the hatchery’s trail system for anyone with mobility issues.
“Small things like being able to hear the birds, smell the soil and see different views from a trail, rather than from a photograph in a visitor center make this wheelchair worthwhile for visitors,” said Hatchery Manager Carey Edwards. “We can offer visitors with mobility impairments an opportunity to experience nature with friends and family. It’s not just about experiencing the outdoor spaces, but also being able to share an adventure and make memories.”
Visitors can reserve the wheelchair and learn more by contacting the hatchery. A training session is required for use of the chair. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.