Happy Birthday, National Wildlife Refuge System!

113 Years of Conserving Nature, Serving Communities

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Happy Birthday, National Wildlife Refuge System!
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington, DC -(AmmoLand.com)- Hooray for America’s nature. One big reason it’s there to treasure: the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s premier network of public lands devoted to wildlife conservation. The Refuge System turns 113 on March 14.

Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, refuges provide vital habitat for thousands of species and access to pastimes from fishing and hunting to nature watching, hiking, biking and boating. National wildlife refuges protect wildlife habitat on dramatic landscapes that range from Oregon’s rocky cliffs to Texas lagoons, and from Alaska wilderness to woods and ponds within Philadelphia city limits.

President Teddy Roosevelt created the first national wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903, at Pelican Island, Florida, to protect brown pelicans and other birds from extinction through plume hunting. Today, the Refuge System includes more than 560 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts covering over 150 million acres plus more than 418 million acres of marine national monuments.

“These are America’s refuges — an unparalleled system of public lands that provide access to the great outdoors to all its citizens,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Refuges are intrinsic parts of the communities that surround them, contributing to the local economies, serving as recreational epicenters for residents and visitors, and keeping local ecosystems healthy and resilient. What better way to celebrate these national treasures on this anniversary than by visiting your nearest refuge?”

Many of America’s beloved wildlife species — including those threatened with extinction, such as the whooping crane, manatee and ocelot — depend on national wildlife refuges for their survival. And refuges provide a range of vital ecosystem services, including storm buffering and flood control, air and water purification, and the maintenance of robust populations of native plants and animals.

There’s at least one national wildlife refuge in every state. More than 47 million people visit refuges every year, making them an economic powerhouse to the tune of $2.4 billion annually and 35,000 jobs, according to the report Banking on Nature.

In an increasingly urban America, refuges also provide an important connection with the outdoors, particularly for young people. There is a refuge within an hour’s drive from most major metropolitan areas. The Service’s Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, launched in 2013, is providing new opportunities for residents of America’s cities to learn about and take part in wildlife habitat conservation.

No matter where you live, you can enjoy nature at a refuge near you.

What refuges offer you

Enjoy bird festivals, nature tours or a drive along a scenic wildlife viewing route.

See how refuges conserve some of our nation’s most cherished natural treasures. Refuges are great places to witness seasonal wonders, such as spring bird migration, the arrival of monarch butterflies or elk bugling for a mate in fall.

Get started

Check out other Refuge System birthday events on our special events calendar. Use the “Find Your Refuge” feature here to look for happenings on a nearby refuge.

Find your favorite

Every state has at least one national wildlife refuge. There’s a refuge within an hour’s drive of most metropolitan cities. Find a refuge near you with a quick zip code or state search at http://www.fws.gov/refuges/.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.

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5WarVeteran
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5WarVeteran

Who among us ELECTED these federal corporatized agencies?

5WarVeteran
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5WarVeteran

I wonder how many of the lands these “refuges” are comprised of were STOLEN from private land owners. You DO REALIZE the Federal Government does not legally own any land other than those areas set aside by the US Constitution?

Seriously how about we get to the facts and end the elite serving hype?

JohnC
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JohnC

NWRS continues to allow citizens reasonable and controlled access to much of America’s wonder.

Walt your comment is a bit extreme. Maybe you should stay away from these areas.

Walt
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Walt

“In 2003, federal law enforcement officers from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, clad in protective Kevlar and bearing semiautomatic weapons, raided the home of George Norris, forcing him to remain in his kitchen as the agents searched his belongings. Norris was indicted for “smuggling” legally imported orchids. In reality, though, his only crime was a paperwork violation; agents found that a small percentage of his documentation for the orchids was inaccurate.” Just one of many examples. Get you head out of the sand. Some day the knock will be at your door.

Walt
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Walt

“In 2003, federal law enforcement officers from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, clad in protective Kevlar and bearing semiautomatic weapons, raided the home of George Norris, forcing him to remain in his kitchen as the agents searched his belongings. Norris was indicted for “smuggling” legally imported orchids. In reality, though, his only crime was a paperwork violation; agents found that a small percentage of his documentation for the orchids was inaccurate.” Get your head out of the sand. Some day the knock will be at your door!

Walt
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Walt

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a terrorist organization and they will kill you if you don’t comply with their political agenda. Check out their SWAT. They “enforce” law that never saw a legislature while their courts have a 98% conviction rate for citizens. I’ll say it again, citizens lose 98% of the time. Can you say rigged? Redress grievances? Not with this organization. Just pray that they knock on the other guy’s door.