Celebrating a Century of Conservation The date: March 14, 1903 The place: Three-acre Pelican Island near The man: President Theodore Roosevelt News from the cooperating association of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge SOCIETY Pages “DING” DARLING WILDLIFE The capsule contains artifacts from refuges across the nation. “Ding” Darling contributed an article about the Refuge’s lone homebody crocodile and a copy of its volunteer manual. Below is a schedule of weekend events, which feature appearances by Disney performers, Wild Animal Adventures’ Jack Hanna, and—would you believe?—President Teddy himself. Planners are still hoping President George W. Bush will make an appearance, along with Secretary of Interior Gale A. Norton. Boat tours around the rookery island will be offered throughout the event, and visitors may observe bird nesting on the island from the nearby mainland observation tower in Sebastian. SPRING 2003 W Sebastian, Florida ith the christening of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Roosevelt set off a chain reaction that continued with the designation of 55 refuges during his presidency and tallies today at 538 refuges and nearly 3,000 small waterfowl breeding and nesting areas. To celebrate this most important legacy to wildlife and to the American people, whose own survival depends upon the survival of habitat, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is throwing a big party at the place where it all began, America’s first national wildlife refuge, Pelican Island. And you’re all invited to attend. “We hope to funnel our people and incoming tourists to the Centennial Celebration,” said “Ding” Darling’s Lead Park Ranger Kevin Godsea, who has been involved in the event’s planning. The celebration takes place March 13-16 in conjunction with the 11th Annual Pelican Island Wildlife Festival. USFWS staff, including some from “Ding” Darling, will man welcome centers on the interstates to inform visitors about the all the hoopla, which begins on Thursday, March 13, with the unveiling of a time capsule display. and entertainment by the Orlando Peabody Ducks, Challenger the bald eagle, and President Theodore Roosevelt. • Thursday, March 13, 1 p.m. Indian River Mall, Vero Beach: Time capsule unveiling CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION • Friday, March 14, 10 a.m. Riverview Park, Sebastian: U.S. Postal Service First Day of Guthrie) and Fireworks. • Friday, March 14, 7 p.m., Riverview Park, Sebastian: Centennial Concert (Arlo • Saturday & Sunday, March 15-16, 9:30-4, Issue Ceremony for the new Pelican Island stamp; Disney’s Voices of Liberty; President Roosevelt performance; Jack Hanna live wildlife demonstration. ext to President Teddy Roosevelt, J. N. “Ding” Darling had the most profound impact on the nation’s National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) as head of the agency that foreran the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. He is held generally responsible for getting the refuge system to its feet. As a Pulitzer-Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, ‘Ding’ Darling and the Centennial Riverview Park, Sebastian: 11th Annual Pelican Island Wildlife Festival, featuring exhibits, arts & crafts, boat tours to view Pelican Island, food, seminars, wildlife shows, and open house at new public facilities for Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society was formed in 1982 to provide support and services to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It became one of the first refuge Friends groups to organize as an independent nonprofit association in cooperation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Society supports services for more than 800,000 people who annually visit the Refuge. ABOUT THE SOCIETY The new Pelican Island postage stamp honors the refuge system’s 100 years. N his artistic talents live on in the blue goose logo for the NWRS, which has been incorporated into the Centennial logo. So it’s only fitting that “Ding” Darling Refuge celebrate conservation’s centennial in its own right. Since most of the Refuge staff will be helping out at the Pelican Island celecontinued on page 2 INSIDE: NEW ENDOWMENT FUND • MANAGER’S UPDATE • SPECIES IN THE SPOTLIGHT SPRING 2003 – PAGE 2 P MANAGER’S UPDATE by Rob Jess, Refuge Manager ‘Ding’ and Centennial bration, and because “we don’t want to steal Pelican Island’s thunder,” according to Lead Park Ranger Kevin Godsea, “Ding” Darling will concentrate on festivities beginning later in the spring and culminating with “Ding” Darling Day, which will expand to perhaps a week of seminars, on- and off-site tours, and other special events. Kevin hopes to organize a Second Day Issue of the Pelican Island Stamp with the local post office and a book-signing and lecture series to run through the summer. Local tourism agencies and resorts are working with him to promote the Centennial Season at “Ding” Darling Refuge. The past months have been busy ones making improvements to the Refuge, including trail refurbishment and the new observation tower. continued from page 1 erspective seems to be the word of the month for the Refuge. Why? Consider manatees, land acquisition, reduced budgets, spinach in my teeth while in public, boat docks, increasing responsibilities, not enough hugs from the children, poaching, great partnerships, increased tourism pressures, volunteers who keep us afloat, staff called to Homeland Security, reduced wildlife numbers, increased number of endangered species, possible war, and now a space shuttle disaster. All of these issues crop up in any one day and thanks to a tremendously strong-spirited staff and a great volunteer force and partnerships, the Refuge is able to move forward on issues and accomplish a great deal relative to our perspective. And it’s much appreciated... I’m proud to announce that an intern program was established at the Refuge. Heidi Hoffman from Illinois will be spending the next six months assisting the biological staff. If the program is successful, more are sure to follow. Stacey Hatcher, a Student Career Education Program student (formerly the coop education program), is here, too, and taking over some of the many wildlife surveys for the Refuge. I hope you take the time to walk down the recently renovated Indigo Trail. The construction is recycled plastic on the front end and crushed shell rock to the back. Construction on the new observation tower will begin sometime in March and will be completed in eight weeks. As we move into season, the staff is busy. The volunteers are busy. Life is busy. I wouldn’t haven’t it any other way! Centennial Mementos: After March, they’re gone, so get your 100th anniversary collectibles now. The bookstore is stocked with Centennial buttons, license plates, and other commemoratives. Red or white polo shirts with the blue goose Centennial logo cost only $26.95 and come in all sizes. For the kids, order a precious stuffed T.R. Bear, in the likeness of the father of our refuge system, and our own Blue Goose. For more bookstore news, see page 6. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 20 YEARS OF SOCIETY CONTRIBUTIONS Spearheaded and financed the new $3.3-million Education Center and exhibits Established radio information system for visitors Assisted Refuge with plans and pilings for new observation tower and remote video camera Purchased computer and other office equipment for Refuge staff Built the education pavilion on the Cross Dike Trail Operates Education Center bookstore Maintains Web site with online bookstore Organizes and funds the annual “Ding” Darling Day Provides the Refuge manager a discretionary fund for emergency use Supplies materials to area teachers for field trips Provides informational materials for Refuge visitors Provides and replaces interpretative signage and outdoor kiosk displays Contributes tens of thousands of dollars each year for special Refuge projects Funds research projects VISITOR SNAPSHOT First-timers to “Ding” Darling, Cathy and Bill Fitzgerald from Boston were thrilled to find flocks of white pelicans feeding at low tide in the impoundment ponds. They traveled from Pompano Beach partly to visit the Refuge. “I used to see all these wonderful wildlife pictures and they all said ‘Ding’ Darling on them. That’s been in the back of my head ever since,” said Bill, whose work involves film and video processing. SPRING 2003 – PAGE 3 SOCIETY News F ormer board members mingled with current board members on December 10 to reminisce about the glorious early days of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society and to look forward to the future. Christopher “Kip” Koss, president of the J. N. “Ding” Darling Foundation and grandson of the Refuge’s namesake, recalled some of the individuals who contributed to the legacy of his grandfather, including the Society’s first president, Bud Ryckman, and the board presidents that followed in his solid footsteps. He praised Society Celebrates its 20th the accomplishment of the illustrious Education Center and other contributions the Society makes every day. “Even at only 20 years, the Society really has an established heritage,” said Kip, “and ‘Ding’ Darling would certainly be pleased with you and the many personal contributions you have made and continue to make.” Board President Jim Sprankle gave a short thank-you speech to the gathering of more than 60 staff and Board members, former and current. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres catered by Seafood Factory. Hometown: Manhattan Family: Mother in Virginia, brother in New Day job: Island Sun and VIP Realty Favorite Refuge species: White ibis York City Hooked on Conservation NEW BOARD MEMBER BRIAN JOHNSON rian Johnson has always gravitated toward the outdoors, but his new devotion to Sanibel wildlife came purely by chance. A sports editor for the Reston Times in Virginia, he arrived to Sanibel in 1998 in search of warmth and a job. The Island Sun needed someone to cover the local youth sports scene but also were looking to plug into the buzz surrounding the development of “Ding” Darling’s forthcoming Education Center. Brian started a series about the exhibits and their themes, and wound up four years later writing a book about C.R.O.W. (Clinic for Care and Rehabilitation of Wildlife) and becoming a member of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Board of Directors. “I enjoyed learning about ‘Ding’ Darling and feeling like part of the community,” says Brian, who still works parttime for the Sun and part-time for VIP B Realty. In his spare time, he coaches youth basketball and volunteers at the Children’s Center of the Islands. He plans to help the Board with marketing efforts, “to get the word out about all that’s going on at the Refuge right now and how the Society and Refuge work together.” Brian Johnson is the latest addition to the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Board of Directors. ince the last newsletter, exciting times have been unfolding here at DDWS. In November, the Society hired a professional facilitator to help our Board identify long-term goals. This two-day retreat came at the perfect time. We had just completed raising money and building the new Education Center and were ready for the next challenge. We identified five areas that we will pursue. Committee appointments have been made for the following areas: Public Awareness/ Public Relations, Fund Development/ Endowment, Education, Book Store, and Physical Facilities. (See page 4 for appointments.) On December 10, 2002, DDWS celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Education Center. The party provided a great opportunity for the current Board to meet retired Board members, renew old friendships, and listen to “war stories” of DDWS life “way back when.” The ability of Board members to recognize Refuge needs and respond to them has been a common thread that runs through our 20-year history. A short program included brief comments by “Ding” Darling’s grandson Kip Koss, Refuge Manager Rob Jess, and me. With my baseball history, no one was surprised to hear the context of my comments. I read an article printed in USA Today during the 2002 World Series. It reported that in the previous year 357,170 baseball fans had visited the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame. That is relevant to us when we learn that in the same time period we welcomed more than 800,000 visitors to the Refuge! This would not be possible if not for the devoted and dedicated support of our faithful DDWS volunteers. I am also pleased to report that we have a new Board member, Brian Johnson. Many of you already know Brian through his presence at and coverage of Refuge and Society activities as a reporter for the Island Sun. Brian will be a great asset in our public relations efforts. Read more about him on this page. Completion of the new observation tower on Wildlife Drive is anticipated for April or May. Once the tower is in place, installation will begin on the remote camera system at the top of the tower. Dick Hulit has been overseeing this project and tells us that camera installation should be complete before July 1, ready to beam live feed video into the Education Center. S PRESIDENT’S REPORT by Jim Sprankle, Society President SPRING 2003 – PAGE 4 W P I MEMBERSHIP Life Members e welcome these Life Members who have joined since the last newsletter: Sam & Cookie Bailey lease demonstrate your appreciation for our business members with your patronage. Bank of The Islands • Barrier Island Title Services, Inc • The French Corner • Island Sun Newspaper • Jensen’s on The Gulf • Sanibel Creative Tile Company • Wachovia Bank • West Wind Inn F Business Members t’s that time of the year again—time to renew your membership for 2003. Many of you have already done so. If the number “3” appears above your name on the mailing label about an inch in from the left margin, you have renewed. Renewals received since about February 1 may not be reflected on the label. All memberships except life memberships are completely deductible from your income tax. The deductible amount for life memberships must be reduced by the retail value of any gifts received. If you decline the gift the total membership amount is deductible. A renewal form is included on this page. Membership Renewal ive representatives from “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society (DDWS) and “Ding” Darling Refuge traveled to Washington, D.C. on January 31 to learn more about refuge fundraising and support and to influence legislators in favor of refuge funding. Society President Jim Sprankle, Deputy Refuge Manager Susan White, Board Members Don Heidorn and Art Krival, and active volunteer Molly Krival joined nearly 400 other refuge friends and staff for the four-day Second Annual Centennial DDWS Goes ‘Up the Hill’ Manatees Entertain Friends by Marilyn Kloosterman Refuge Friends Conference. “When you have that many people together up on the Hill, you can really scatter some pressure up there,” said Jim. “The idea is to promote the refuge system and try to grab some funding during these trying times.” The Sanibel contingency met with legislative assistants to Congressman Porter Goss and Senators Bill Nelson and Bob Graham. One of the highlights of the long weekend, Jim said, was a breakfast speech by Secretary of Interior Gale A. Norton. he following new committees have been formed as a result of Society long-range planning efforts. Public Awareness/Public Relations Chair: Marilyn Hooper • Co-Chair: Jeff Combs • Brian Johnson • Gary Ogden • Cindy Anderson Fund Development/Endowment Chair: Marc Giattini • Co-Chair: Don Heidorn • Susan White • Sharon Lightner Bookstore Chair: Art Krival • Co-Chair: Jeanne Rankin • Lise Bryant • Frank Fallert • Joe Fisher • Susan White • Jim Mathisen Education Chair: Marilyn Kloosterman • Co-Chair: Gene Steele • Kip Koss • Art Krival • Kevin Godsea • Toni Westland Physical Plant Chair: Mike Cuscaden • Co-Chair: Rob Jess • John Carney • Bill Currise • Dick Hulit • Kevin Godsea T Lomg-Term Planning Subcommittees Manatees and Centennial Celebration plans topped the agenda for the meeting of the Association of Friends of Florida National Wildlife Refuges on January 17 and 18, hosted by the Friends of Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge at DeLand, Florida. Jim Sprankle, Art Krival, and Marilyn Kloosterman represented DDWS. On Friday the group was treated to a tour of Blue Spring State Park in Orange City and a program on manatees. In the sparkling clear water of the spring they easily observed many manatees. Saturday’s meeting centered on plans for the upcoming Centennial Celebration at Pelican Island March 13-16. The Society will team with the Merritt Island Wildlife Association in an exhibit tent for sales of Centennial items and for publicity about our Friends groups. Our Board has also committed $2,000 to help provide refreshments for dignitaries and volunteer workers. This Centennial Celebration is a oncein-a-lifetime event, and all of our members are welcome to attend. We hope to see you there! 2003 M EM BE RS HIP DONA TI ON FORM One Wildlife Drive • Sanibel, FL 33957 “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, Inc. NAME: MAILING ADDRESS: (City) (Please Print) (Street and Number) (State) (Zip) PLEASE CIRCLE YOUR CATEGORY All members will receive a Society decal and a card entitling them to 10 percent off purchases at the Society bookstore in the Education Center. Memberships and donations are tax-deductible except for the value of gifts received with Life membership. Student $10 Supporting $50 Individual $20 Membership Amount _________ Contributing $100 Family $30 Optional Additional Donation _________ Sponsor $250 Business $50 Life $1,000 TOTAL ENCLOSED _______ hen Connie Ayers learned that this year marks her 20th year as a Refuge volunteer, she joked: “Some people probably think I must not have much imagination to keep doing the same thing for so long, but I believe in the cause. I believe in ecology. And it’s fun.” This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Refuge’s volunteer program, making Connie one of the originals. A friend from Ohio, Millie Ford, who organized the volunteer program in 1983, persuaded Connie to join the corps. She worked first in the bookstore. She couldn’t be a Rover, she says, because she’s not a “good birder; there’s always someone around who knows more about birds, so I stopped tryVOLUNTEER CONNIE AYERS ing to learn them all,” she says. “Now I just ask them.” The former elementary art and music teacher ended up Hometown: Grew up in Fairmont, West working the desk because she enjoys answerVirginia; spends summers in Geneva, Ohio. ing visitors’ questions. She especially loves Her shift: Education Center Desk, Fridays looking at the children’s artwork that adorns from 3 to 5. the center’s back wall. The teacher is still Favorite Refuge species: Black-necked stilt. teaching… and learning. SPRING 2003 – PAGE 5 W W CONTRIBUTIONS Education Center Still Teaching T BOOK SIGNING AND LECTURE he Centennial Season Book-Signing and Lecture Series kicks of March 19 with the appearance of Kenn Kaufman. Kenn, author of the popular Birds of North America and Butterflies of North America will begin his talk in the Education Center at 11 p.m. Book-signing will follow at the Bookstore. Please join us and help make this inaugural event a success. • The Society will sponsor two Sanibel School students for Sea Camp at a cost of $370 per student. The Refuge will sponsor one student. • A contribution of $300 will go toward helping other Friends groups attend the National Friends conference. • The Education Committee will review a proposal from the Stewardship Education Initiative for funding a program with Florida Gulf Coast University. • Bookstore sales were up by $14,000.00 for the year. • The Society and Refuge are working at placing staff members on each of the Society’s longrange planning committees. • Meetings have been held with grant writers and more are planned to benefit both the Society and the Refuge. BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS ifts in remembrance of loved ones and friends can be made by sending a check to the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, One Wildlife Dr., Sanibel, FL 33957. Please include the name of the person in whose memory the gift is made, your name and address and the name and address of the family you would like us to notify about the gift. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society records all memorial gifts in a book on permanent display in the Education Center. The Memorial Fund is designated for projects to enhance the education program. Our gratitude extends to donors who have designated recent gifts in memory of the following: Gisela Clary • Shirley Dulberg • Amelia M. Goulding • Melva Jo Hendrix • Max Musa • Richard D. Remington • Burwell “Bud” Ryckman • Robert Wallace G e thank the following, who have made recent contributions to defray the costs of our new Education Center and its exhibits, for their kind generosity. $25,000 to $49,999 The Bruning Foundation $5,000 to $9,999 Felix & Susanne Yokel • Janet Vea $2,500 to $4,999 William & Elizabeth Pugh $1,000 to $2,499 Adelaide Henderson • Frank Mangano Foundation William B. O’Connor • John & Donna Schubert • Yawkey Foundation $500 to $999 Douglas & Christine Evans • Mike & Peggy Kelly $100 to $499 Mr. and Mrs. John Bredfeld • Charlotte Brooker • Jane & Bob Brown • Mary B. Carter • James & Catherine Crandell • Nancy Edelmayer • Bill & Martina Haggard • Irving & Alwyn Johnson • David & Deborah MacKenzie • Al & Joan Perlin • Klaus & Helga Petersen • Betty B. Remington • Frederick & Susan Ryckman & family • Patti & Mike Sacher • Ken Sembach • Jean Way In Memory of… G ifts in honor of the following friends of the Refuge have been donated recently: Jack & Marcia Cohen • Bob & June Ingraham • Jim & Mary LaVelle • John & Lois Penner • Martha Ryckman • Ann & Bob Savage • Frank Swartz In Honor of... SPRING 2003 – PAGE 6 J ust in for the kids, and truly “flying off the shelf,” the stuffed Audubon birds come equipped with “squeeze-me” bird sounds. Look for our tree-full at the front of the store. Twenty different species include the great horned owl, peregrine falcon, and bald eagle, plus backyard birds and waterfowl. DRIVING TOUR Available on CD ($9.95) and cassette ($7.95), the new “Driving Tour: J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge” is invaluable to the first-timer and can even teach veteran visitors a thing or two about What’s New on the Shelves? BOOK REPORT Refuge plant and wildlife species. The two-hour tour tells the story of J. N. “Ding” Darling, the island, and the Refuge’s development and mission. Familiar voices give priceless lessons on different aspects of the Refuges. Board Member Art Krival talks about shorebird migration; Volunteer Rover Mary Lou Schadt on identifying egrets and roseate spoonbills; Bev Postmus on the black-necked stilt; Harold Johnstone, on the difference between white and brown pelicans; Anne Wollschlager on the Calusa shell mounds; Jeff Combs, on alligators and crocodiles; Board President Jim Sprankle, on the importance of Refuge volunteers; and more. The tour takes you around Wildlife Drive, to Bailey Tract and Tarpon Bay Recreation Area, and ends up at the Education Center. Bookstore Manager Lise Bryant recommends it to anyone who can’t take the Refuge’s narrated tram tour. WHAT ELSE? The latest out in the “Florida’s Fabulous” series is titled Fishes. It features the same ish you had bought an extra “Ding” Darling denim shirt on your last visit or looking for the perfect gift for your favorite birder? Good news: You don’t have to travel to Sanibel to do your shopping. Well, maybe that isn’t great news, because who wouldn’t love any excuse to come back to the island and its number-one attraction. The really good news is that now you can order most of the Refuge’s Bookstore merchandise online through the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s Web site, www.dingdarling.org. On the home page, simply click on “Select a Link,” and choose Bookstore. The e-store site went live in late February and is “a moving target, a continuing work of art,” according to Rudy Lampron, bookstore associate, who set up the site through a service called RetailCart.com. The Society hired Rudy, a former Refuge volunteer, in October 2002, on a part-time basis (see related story). The easy-to-use site lets you browse the catalog, and order your items with a credit card on a secured site. The opening page takes you to different catalog sections such as books, clothing, and accessories. These sections are further departmentalized. At Books, for instance, you’ll find several divisions such as Children, Sanibel, Plants, and Florida. “We’re featuring primarily Florida-based stuff—things about Sanibel and the Refuge that you can’t find elsewhere,” said Rudy, who photographed and entered full descriptions for all the merchandise. W ‘ Ding’ Souvenirs Available Online vivid photography for which the series is famous and covers fresh- and saltwater species. Cost: $16.95. The “Ding” Darling Refuge collector’s pin spotlights the roseate spoonbill. Cost: $3. To mail-order any bookstore item, call 239-472-1100, ext. 241. To order the book on the web, log on to www.dingdarling.org, click on “Select a Link,” and choose Book Store. RUDY LAMPRON: MULTI-TASKING T hree jobs weren’t enough for Rudy Lampron, who has been volunteering at the Refuge since 1995. It wasn’t enough reporting for part-time administrative work at Manatee Park, Lakes Park, and Six Mile Cypress Preserve. So now he’s working part-time also at the Refuge Bookstore. Doing two jobs, no less. “Half of my work is developing the online bookstore Web site,” said the employee of four months. “The other half is helping Lise [Bryant, bookstore manager] with inventory management.” The “retired” south Fort Myers man worked 30 years for the U.S. Army as a civilian in computer management. Before moving here he lived 20 years in Germany. The new job at the Refuge has posed its challenges for the multi-talented employee. One was photographing shirts to their best advantage. Rudy had to invent a PVC-pipe hanger to achieve just the right effect. T he specially appointed Endowment Fund Committee, headed by Society Board Member Don Heidorn, has published a polished new brochure to inform potential donors about the opportunities available through the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Legacy program. Board members Jane Werner, Marc Giattini, Bill Currise, and Jeanne Rankin assisted on the committee. The impressive four-color brochure features wildlife photography contributed by David Meardon and others. It explains the Society’s Endowment Fund as “a professionally managed fund established to support …[an] ongoing commitment to the conservation of wildlife and its habitat.” It suggests New Endowment Fund ways for donors to leave a Wildlife Legacy. These include outright gifts of assets, gifts through will bequests, and gifts that return income. For more information or a copy of the brochure, contact the Society office at 239-4721100, ext. 233 or dingdarling@ iline.com. As the nation celebrates 100 years of federal-level conservation, it is befitting to look at the movement through the eyes of Refuge namesake, J. N. “Ding” Darling, whose mighty pen conjured this image of conservation’s importance decades ago. The political cartoonist, two-time winner of the Pulitzer prize, believed that decimated wilderness would come back with a little help from man. On this and many other issues, the years have proven his predictions accurate. he brown pelican is a resident of coastal environments along the central Atlantic coast and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Brown pelicans are also native to the Pacific Coast from San Francisco to northern South America. Brown pelicans are noted for their graceful flight and spectacular headfirst plunges to feed on fish. They’re social birds, breeding in colonies of hundreds of birds on small islands called rookeries. These rookeries provide a safe, secluded space from predators and human disturbance. Brown pelicans were being hunted at an alarming rate at the turn of the century. Feathered hats were in fashion and poachers could sell the feathers for twice that of an ounce of gold. This unscrupulous greed almost led to many of our feathered friends’ extinction until President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island as the first National Wildlife Refuge on March 14, 1903. At the time, Pelican Island was the only remaining rookery on Florida’s East Coast. The widespread use of DDT also led to the demise of the pelicans in the 1950s and 60s. In 1963, the species disappeared completely from Louisiana, ironically nicknamed the “Pelican Brown Pelican (Pelecanus Occidentalis) State.” In 1970, the brown pelican was placed on the federal endangered species list. Several years after the ban of DDT, nesting production began to rise and in 1985 the brown pelican was removed from the endangered species list in the southeastern United States. By 2000, the pelican population of the Gulf Coast had recovered to numbers comparable to the population before the use of DDT. Today, due to Roosevelt’s leadership to protect America’s natural treasures and the ban on DDT in the 1960s, the brown pelican is no longer endangered. It stands as one of great success stories of the Endangered Species Act. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service T by Kevin Godsea, Lead Park Ranger SPECIES IN THE SPOTLIGHT ‘DING’ DARLING WILDLIFE SOCIETY Recycled Paper One Wildlife Drive Sanibel, FL 33957 NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 52 SANIBEL, FL Phone: (239) 472-1100 ext. 233 Fax: (239) 472-7803 WEBSITE www.dingdarlingsociety.org E-MAIL email@example.com 2003 BOARD President Jim Sprankle Vice President Mike Cuscaden Secretary Joe Fisher Treasurer Marilyn Hooper Assistant Secretary Jeanne Rankin Assistant Treasurer Marilyn Kloosterman Members At Large John Carney Bill Currise Frank Fallert Marc Giattini Don Heidorn Richard Hulit Brian Johnson Art Krival Gene Steele SOCIETY STAFF Office Manager Gary Ogden Bookstore Manager Lise Bryant Bookstore Assistants Fran Varga, Rudy Lampron ADVISORS TO THE BOARD Refuge Manager Rob Jess Supervisory Refuge Ranger Kevin Godsea CONSULTANTS TO THE BOARD Dave Boshart Milena Eskew Christopher Koss Molly Krival Bill Rankin NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE Editor Chelle Koster Walton Contributors Kevin Godsea Rob Jess Marilyn Kloosterman Jim Sprankle Photography Chelle Koster Walton U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Design and Production Susan Holly Printing and Mailing Gulf Coast Printing t hit the stands this winter at the Education Center Bookstore, and already the “Ding” Darling Refuge souvenir booklet is a success, reports Bookstore Manager Lise Bryant. A project of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, the 35-page soft-cover booklet tells the story of the Refuge, its Education Center, cartoonist “Ding” Darling, and the National Wildlife Refuge System in evocative prose and stunning photography. Volunteer Jim Hooper headed a committee including Lise Bryant and Lead Park Ranger Kevin Godsea. They hired local writer Jill Tyrer, a former island reporter, and Sanibel photographer David Meardon to create the pages as a potent reminder of a visit at “Ding” Darling. The book is available at the bookstore for $6.95 or available by mail-order by calling 239-472-1100, ext. 241. I Refuge Souvenir Booklet Released The cover of the new souvenir booklet. To order this book and other bookstore merchandise on the Web, log on to www.dingdarling.org, click on “Select a Link,” and choose Book Store.