Cover of the JanuaryFebruary Refuge Update bimonthly newsletter by qbi14405


									                                          U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
                                          National Wildlife Refuge System

Inside                                    RefugeUpdate                                         January/February 2007 Vol 4, No 1

Rare Bee Species in South
Carolina, page 5
Carolina Sandhills National
                                          Honors in the Planning Process
Wildlife Refuge finds 20 bee species
never recorded in South Carolina.

Focus: Engaging the Next
Generation, pages 10 – 19
The Refuge System nurtures
a professional interest in
conservation in many ways.

Wilderness Training, page 24
Reconnect with nature at
its wildest.

Bird Call, page 28
Rare bird nestings provide a thrill
in Alaska.

National Wildlife Refuge                  Lupine thrives at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, which won the Outstanding Plan

System Chief Is Named                     Award for its Comprehensive Conservation Plan. The annual awards recognize exceptional contribu­
                                          tions to the Refuge System’s planning program. (USFWS)
Geoffrey L. Haskett has been officially
named Assistant Director, National

Wildlife Refuge System. Just before           he 2006 refuge planning awards,                Conservation Plan that went through
becoming acting Chief of the Refuge           presented annually by the Refuge               46 public meetings and workshops
System in June upon Bill Hartwig’s        System Division of Conservation                    attended by 4,500 people. The Final
retirement, Haskett served as Deputy      Planning & Policy, recognize exceptional           Environmental Impact Statement totaled
Regional Director for the Southwest       contributions to the Refuge System’s               800 pages, including more than 3,000
from 1997 to 2006.                        planning program, just as the Refuge               written comments, due to the large
He completed the Department of the        System invigorates its Comprehensive               number of issues and the complexities
Interior’s Senior Executive Service       Conservation Planning process to meet              of a refuge established in 1924 that runs
Candidate Development Program in          Congress’ 2012 completion deadline.                through four states and two U.S. Corps
May 2006. Haskett began his Service       The Refuge System developed its refuge             of Engineers’ districts. (See November-
career in 1979 in Portland, Oregon, and   planning awards and criteria in 2004.              December Refuge Update for article by
has also served as the Refuge System’s                                                       Refuge Manager Don Hultman about
                                          Best Support of Refuge Planning                    the CCP .)
Chief of Realty, among other posts.       The entire staff of the Upper Mississippi
                                          River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge            This award recognizes exceptional
                                          has won the Best Support of Refuge                 contributions by an individual or
                                          Planning Award for its success in                                                    continued pg 22
                                          developing a top-notch Comprehensive
                      From the Director

                      A Sense of Wonder
                      W       hen I was a
                              kid growing
                        up in the hills of
                                               attachment to electronic detachment.” I
                                               can only lament what that might mean
                                               for the future of conservation — until I
                                                                                            important, they are welcoming places
                                                                                            where Friends, volunteers and staff are
                                                                                            more than willing to share what they
      H. Dale Hall      Harlan County,         think about our national wildlife refuges.   know. Anyone who has ever taken the
                        Kentucky, I felt       It heartens me that the Service provides     “eagle prowl” at Blackwater National
rich. I had the mountains, the beautiful       access to refuges so that children and       Wildlife Refuge in Maryland with Zeeger
Cumberland Plateau and the headwaters          families can spend time outdoors,            de Wilde can tell you how much you can
of the Cumberland River. If I wasn’t up        nurturing what Rachel Carson called “a       learn from a volunteer. If you haven’t
in the mountains chasing squirrels, I was      sense of wonder” about nature.               met Zeeger, then turn to the story on
down on the Cumberland River trying                                                         page 8 to see what I mean.
to fish and run trot lines. Today, you’re      Refuges are taking another important
more likely to see kids with iPods and cell    step: Teaching the teachers. In this         In Edge of the Sea, Carson wrote, “Only
phones hanging out in shopping malls           issue of Refuge Update, you can read         as a child’s awareness and reverence for
instead of meeting at local fishing holes.     about the Matagorda Island Teacher           the wholeness of life are developed can
That’s why national wildlife refuges are       Workshop Cooperative Initiative,             his humanity to his own kind reach its
more important than ever.                      which has brought teachers to Aransas        full development.”
                                               National Wildlife Refuge in Texas to
It troubles me that so many young              give them a crash course in wildlife         My own love of the outdoors has shaped
people today choose to immerse                 and wildlife habitat. Other refuges are      my life and career, and I believe the Fish
themselves in a virtual reality of video       doing much the same thing, bringing the      and Wildlife Service can play a role in
games when they could explore the              lessons of nature and conservation right     teaching children about the wholeness of
actual world of plants and animals. “In        into the classroom, making nature not        life. We are going beyond just fulfilling
the space of a century,” writes Richard        only relevant to everyday life but also to   that obligation with the work we do on
Louv in Last Child in the Woods, “the          subjects such as math and English.           national wildlife refuges. ◆
American experience of nature has gone
from direct utilitarianism to romantic         National wildlife refuges are beautiful
                                               and fascinating places. But just as

                       Chief’s Corner                                                       RefugeUpdate

                       To Honor All Firefighters
                                                                                            Dirk Kempthorne            Address editorial
                       Fire is now well       built in the last 10 years have been in WUI   Secretary                  inquiries to:
                       understood to be       areas. Couple that with a trend toward        Department of the          Refuge Update
                                                                                            Interior                   USFWS-NWRS
                       a major habitat        warmer and drier conditions, shown by the                                4401 North Fairfax Dr.,
     Geoff Haskett     management tool        fact that 2006 was the hottest year in the    H. Dale Hall               Room 634C
                       to sustain healthy     continental United States in the past 112     Director – U.S. Fish and   Arlington, VA
                                                                                            Wildlife Service
biological communities. Yet, several          years. Several studies tell us to plan for                               22203-1610
trends are making the use of fire and         more of the same.                                                        Phone: 703-358-1858
                                                                                            Geoffrey L. Haskett
                                                                                                                       Fax: 703-358-2517
firefighting more complex. It will take                                                     Assistant Director
the coordinated efforts of many to make       As fire seasons have become more              – National Wildlife
sure the Refuge System’s fire program         severe, suppression costs have gone up.       Refuge System

is as good as it can be.                      In four of the past seven years, federal      Martha Nudel
                                                                                                                       This newsletter is
                                              wildland fire suppression costs have          Editor in Chief
                                                                                                                       published on recycled
As the nation’s population grows and          risen above the $1 billion mark.                                         paper using soy-based
                                                                                            Karen Leggett              ink .
city boundaries expand, the demands for
firefighting in wildland-urban interface      So, where do we go from here?                 Managing Editor

(WUI) areas are also growing. Just            First, the Refuge System has long                                                         C
consider that 60 percent of all new homes     had an aggressive fuels management
                                                                    — continued on pg 28

Pg 2 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
Auklets on Farallon Islands Pose More Questions
than Answers
T   he breeding population of tiny
    Cassin’s auklets has dropped
precipitously for two years in a row
                                               Joelle Buffa at Farallon National Wildlife
                                               Refuge says life on the islands is never
                                               static. Totally apart from the recent
                                                                                              habitat sculptures. Auklets will use
                                                                                              crevices in the sculptures as burrows.

at Farallon National Wildlife Refuge           breeding failure, Buffa is constantly          Northern Fur Seals Reappear
in California. In 2004, the number of          reassessing habitat conditions so they         Another interesting development on the
auklets was about 30,000. By 2005, the         can be managed most effectively for            Farallon Islands is the reappearance of
number had dropped by nearly half. The         Cassin’s auklets as well as other species      northern fur seals, which had virtually
refuge is working hard to understand and       on the islands.                                disappeared after they were slaughtered
reverse the current decline.                                                                  for their pelts in the 19th century. In the
                                               For example, the refuge has been               early 1970s, some male seals were seen
In fact, researchers with the Point            working to control New Zealand                 on the islands. Females followed and a
Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO)                  spinach, an invasive weed, for 15 years.       few pups were born in 1996.
have been counting the auklets on the          It becomes so thick that the auklets
Farallon Islands, 27 miles west of San         aren’t able to dig burrows. Every              A decade later in 2006, 97 pups – almost
Francisco Bay, ever since 1971, soon           year, the weeds are hand-pulled just           three times as many as in 2005 – were
after the islands became part of the San       before breeding season. An herbicide is        born. These seals establish their
Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge         sprayed after breeding season. So far,         rookeries in the same type of habitat
Complex. At the time, there were about         the refuge has succeeded in keeping the        preferred by the auklets although they
100,000 birds.                                 weeds within a 25-acre area. Buffa says        are not using the same areas right now.
                                               there are now plans to try to eradicate        So far there is room for both auklets
Auklets breed on the Farallon Islands;         it completely.                                 and seals, and Buffa is delighted the
each pair of birds digs a burrow, mates                                                       seals have returned. PRBO has long-
and lays an egg. The adults take turns         “We are trying to restore the natural          term research underway to assess
incubating the egg and feeding the             habitat as much as possible,” says Buffa,      the potential impact of the rising seal
chick; they switch places under cover of       “and we are also trying to free other          population on Cassin’s auklets and other
darkness to avoid predator gulls. One          habitat for the auklets on the Farallon        species on the islands.
adult is gone all day feeding on krill. In a   Islands.” One habitat restoration project
good breeding year, a pair may bring off       involves breaking up the old concrete          The auklets begin nesting in March and
two clutches in a single season.               foundations of wartime buildings on the        everyone will be watching and counting.
                                               islands. This was completed by a group         “We’re concerned about the auklets,”
Russ Bradley, Farrallon project manager        of artists called Meadow Sweet Dairy,          says Buffa, “but the take-home message
for PRBO, says the breeding failure of         who use their art to help wildlife. In         is that it will take everyone working
these birds in 2005 and 2006 is “totally       this case, they used the concrete to build     cooperatively to find the answers.” ◆
unprecedented. We have never seen it in
35 years of observing these birds.”
                                                                                            The population of tiny Cassin’s auklets has
Where is all the Krill?                                                                     dropped precipitously for two consecutive years at
An absence of krill could be the source                                                     Farallon National Wildlife Refuge in California.
of the problem. These tiny shrimp-like                                                      Researchers suspect a drop in production of krill,
crustaceans are at the very bottom of                                                       the primary food source for the auklets. (Duncan
the food chain but they are a critical food                                                 Wright/Point Reyes Bird Observatory)
source for auklets as well as rockfish,
salmon and whales. Bradley blames the
lack of krill on both a shift in currents
and ocean upwelling as well as warmer
temperatures. PRBO is working with
oceanographers from NOAA and
fisheries biologists to try to explain this
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge
Manager Joelle Buffa says life on the
islands is never static. Refuge Manager

                                                                                        January/February 2007 | Pg 3 Refuge Update
Hard-working Young People Contribute to the 

Refuge System

                                                                                                           Last summer, they thinned trees along
                                                                                                           the refuge boundary and helped open
                                                                                                           2.5 miles of access road that had been
                                                                                                           overgrown for more than 15 years. The
                                                                                                           teens also built a trail that had been
                                                                                                           planned by the refuge Friends group.
                                                                                                           They cleared the roughed-out path of
                                                                                                           vegetation and spread gravel to make a
                                                                                                           fully accessible trail.
                                                                                                           A Brand New Gulf Coast
                                                                                                           Recovery Corps
                                                                                                           The Gulf Coast Recovery Corps is a
                                                                                                           brand new Corps created to help with
                                                                                                           hurricane recovery. Under the auspices
                                                                                                           of this new Corps office in Waveland,
                                                                                                           Mississippi, the Utah Conservation
                                                                                                           Corps sent a small crew to Big Branch
                                                                                                           Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in
                                                                                                           Louisiana for five weeks last fall. Crew
                                                                                                           members lived in a bunkhouse on the
                                                                                                           refuge and paid for their own food.
                                                                                                           Refuge manager Ken Litzenberger says
                                                                                                           the crew always wanted more to do.
                                                                                                           They built a fishing pier, painted offices at
                                                                                                           Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge and
                                                                                                           cleared trails at both Big Branch Marsh
                                                                                                           Refuge and Bogue Chitto National
                                                                                                           Wildlife Refuge. They also became staff
                                                                                                           for National Wildlife Refuge Week at Big
                                                                                                           Branch Marsh Refuge.
Little Pend Orielle National Wildlife Refuge in Washington hosted 110 Corps members over a 10-week pe­
riod last summer. They thinned trees along the refuge boundary, built fencing, and helped open 2.5 miles   Matt Ferris, special projects coordinator
of access road that had been overgrown for more than 15 years. (Lisa Langelier/USFWS)                      for NASCC, is eager for other refuges
                                                                                                           to take advantage of Corps in their area.

T   he very first Civilian Conservation               The work crews at Little Pend Orielle                “The Corps model has worked with
    Corps members planted 3 billion                   Refuge came from the Northwest                       public land agencies since the 1930s,”
trees from 1933 to 1942. More than half               Youth Corps, a member of the National                says Ferris. “We can help refuges cost
a century later, the young successors to              Association of Service and Conservation              effectively use the resources they have.”
the CCC are still planting trees, many of             Corps (NASCC). Nationally, NASCC is
                                                                                                           More information, including lists of
them are on national wildlife refuges.                the umbrella for more than 100 Corps,
                                                                                                           Corps by state, is available at
                                                      which engage people, ages 16 to 25, in
Little Pend Orielle National Wildlife                                                             ◆
                                                      full-time community service, training and
Refuge in Washington hosted 110 adults                educational activities. More than half of
and teenagers over 10 weeks last summer.              NASCC’s work is focused on conservation,
“They did excellent work,” says Dan                   often on national wildlife refuges.
Brauner, prescribed fire specialist at the
refuge. He added with a laugh, “The kids              Since 2001, Brauner has arranged for
also took pride in not taking showers.”               the Northwest Youth Corps to send
The teens, 15-19, were assigned to the                crews to Little Pend Orielle Refuge.
refuge one to two weeks at a time.                    The crews live in tents on the refuge.

Pg 4 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
Whole Lot of Buzzing Going On

W      ord of rare bee species discovered
       in the Carolinas lured wildlife
biologist Sam Droege to the region,
                                                at the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S.
                                                Department of Agriculture and
                                                University of Georgia have been
where in just two days last spring              creating a bee-identification guide on
he found 56 bee species at Carolina             the Polistes Foundation’s Web site, www.
Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge.    The core of the site
Twenty of them had never before been            is a matrix that helps people identify
recorded in South Carolina.                     species by answering a set of questions.
                                                Photographs of bees are being added,
Droege, based at the U.S. Geological            and information is listed on each known
Survey in Patuxent, Maryland, isn’t             bee – about 800 on the East Coast and
stopping there. He plans to return this         4,000 nationwide.
spring to the 45,000-acre refuge – located
in McBee, of all places – to launch a year­     Unlike the honeybee and bumblebee,
long survey of native bees. He expects to       which have a hive to protect, most native
find at least 130 native bee species thriving   bees nest alone and therefore have little
among the long-leaf pine forests and native     reason to attack; even if trapped, their
wiregrass – protected and enhanced by           stingers often are too small to penetrate
controlled burns and other management           the skin. “People notice them but
practices aimed at preserving the               don’t think they’re bees,” Droege said,
endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.             explaining that the bees are about the
                                                size of a fly or smaller and range in color
The Carolina bee effort is in part a            from brown to metallic green.
precursor to a greater effort in which
Droege intends to launch a nationwide           In attempting to survey bees, Droege has
bee survey.                                     run into a few start-up challenges, notably
                                                the dearth of people trained in identifying
Over time, the survey should help               bees. Droege is advertising training
scientists determine whether bee                sessions and hopes eventually to have at
populations are on the increase, decrease       least five people on the East Coast.
or holding steady. “We know of a few
cases where bumblebee species have              At the same time, he is preparing for an
declined or disappeared,” Droege said.          April or May return to Carolina Sandhills
“But in most cases, we not only don’t           Refuge. He plans to recruit volunteers
know how many bees there are, we don’t          from the refuge’s Friends group to help
even know what bees are where.”                 him create a bee-trapping program
                                                that could be replicated on other public
Since bees are the world’s greatest             lands. The volunteers will set out bowls
pollinators, fewer bees could mean fewer        in bee-attractive colors at various spots
wildflowers, nut and fruit crops, and                                                         USGS wildlife biologist Sam Droege has identi­
                                                throughout the refuge. When the bees          fied 56 bee species at Carolina Sandhills National
seeds for other agricultural plants. In         enter the bowls, they will land on soapy      Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina, 20 of them
short, without pollination, 60 percent          water and sink. The volunteers then will      never before recorded in the state. He plans to
of all plant species in the United States       collect the bees in plastic bags for          return this spring to complete a more thorough sur­
would disappear, he said. With mites            later identification.
                                                                                              vey at the refuge before launching a nationwide bee
and other introduced diseases and pests                                                       survey. (USFWS)
besieging honeybee hives across the             Another bee team, the U.S. Department
country, understanding and encouraging          of Agriculture’s Bee Biology and
the survival of other native bees takes on      Systematics Laboratory is identifying
a greater urgency.                              and surveying bees at national parks in
                                                the west. The two groups of researchers
All We Know about Bees                          share their findings. ◆
As a first step, Droege and his partners

                                                                                           January/February 2007 | Pg 5 Refuge Update
Take a Walk! 

Hike a Trail! 

Ride a Bike!

“G      et Fit Great Falls” – a
        campaign that encourages
people to exercise by taking advantage
of public lands and waters – has
Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
in Montana as a key partner. The
campaign by the Cascade County
Physical Fitness Council also includes
the Forest Service, Montana Fish,            Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Montana is a key partner in the Cascade County Physical
Wildlife and Parks, Cascade County,          Fitness Council, which has created the “Get Fit Great Falls” campaign. Complete with its own Web site,
                                             the campaign includes opportunities for all types of hikes, including guided prairie walks in the summer
the City of Great Falls and a diverse        and snowshoe hikes in the winter.
group of educational, recreation and
health organizations.                        the hike was, ‘When are you going to do              O	 Better visibility and recognition in
                                             this again?’ It’s a great partnership with                the community. Rae says there was
The campaign’s first event was a three-      the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife                 a significant spike in interest in the
mile guided birding hike on the refuge in    Service, Showdown Montana Ski Resort,                     Refuge System and wildlife habitat
June, 2006, in conjunction with National     the Montana Wilderness Association and                    since the initial hike last June.
Trails Day. The morning dawned               a local sports store.”                                    “We’re only 10 miles north of town,
clear, cool and breezy for the 35 hikers,
                                                                                                       but many residents had never been
aged 8 to 80. The hike took the group        The Council on Aging donated vans and
                                                                                                       here or knew anything about the
through expansive native prairie and         drivers to get people to the forest. The
                                                                                                       Refuge System.”
wetland complexes. The refuge’s diverse      Council on Aging? “Absolutely,” says
migratory bird populations cooperated        Rae. “We are taking the intimidation                 Rae says working with both public and
and the participants were treated to         out of getting outside.” Healthy                     private partners as well as the local
close-up views of shorebirds, waterbirds     activity starts young and never gets                 media has been critical to the success
and waterfowl. For many hikers, it was       old, says the campaign’s Web site (www.              of Get Fit Great Falls. Local media
a first-ever visit to Benton Lake and most                               support guaranteed plenty of advance
promised to return.                                                                               publicity, and organizers even had to
                                             Building up the Refuge                               create more hikes at the last minute to
Multiple hikes were planned throughout       Rae sees many benefits to the refuge
                                                                                                  satisfy the demand.
the community so people with a variety of    from the Get Fit Great Falls campaign:
interests and abilities could participate.                                                        An AmeriCorps volunteer has been
At least one hike was planned for people     O	 Educating the public about                        assigned to the project for the past year;
with disabilities. There are already             the importance of migratory                      the volunteer happens to be a retired
plans for a spring mountain bike ride on         bird habitats.                                   Forest Service employee who was able
the Refuge Auto Tour, canceled last fall                                                          to coordinate the strategic planning for
because of an early snowstorm.               O	 Reconnecting children with nature.                the fitness campaign. Cross-agency
                                                 Benton Lake Refuge is the closest
                                                                                                  partnerships are strengthened by
Get Up and Get Moving                            public land to Great Falls, the third
                                                                                                  this campaign. ◆
Determined to uphold their New Year’s            largest community in Montana.
fitness resolutions, 80 people in January        “These children will be adults soon,
braved frigid temperatures and wind              and then many of them will be
gusts over 35 miles per hour to charge           making land-use decisions. They
out on a snowshoe hike through the               really need to learn more about the
Lewis and Clark National Forest. “It             value of wild places,” says Rae. One
happened in fabulous glory!” said Diane          focus of the Council this spring will
Rae, volunteer coordinator at Benton             be to increase outdoor opportunities
Lake Refuge. “What I heard most after            for disadvantaged children.

Pg 6 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
Cooperative Conservation at Pearl Harbor National
Wildlife Refuge
By Nancy Hoffman                                     eliminate Ewa Hinahina from the                  adjacent airport so it enclosed the Ewa
                                                     southwest corner of the Naval Air                Hinahina site.
N     early a decade after the invasive
      weed sourbush threatened the
very existence of the endangered Ewa
                                                     Station Barbers Point (NASBP). The
                                                     site was home to one of only three known         Under the supervision of the Oahu
                                                                                                      National Wildlife Refuge Complex,
                                                     populations of Ewa Hinahina on Oahu. The
Hinahina on the Naval Air Station                    species is rare even in its native habitat and   Stanton and Koebele have continued to
Barbers Point in Hawaii, a community of              historic range.                                  conduct six annual community college
concerned citizens has shown just what                                                                trips. Weeds are removed by hand and
grassroots work can do. Today, nearly                Dan Moriarty of the NASBP Staff                  native Hawaiian plants, including the Ewa
half of the 37-acre Kalaeloa Unit of Pearl           and Civil Office recruited nearly 60             Hinahina, are out-planted on the site.
Harbor National Wildlife Refuge on the               faculty members, students and friends
island of Oahu is cleared of this weed and           from Leeward Community College in                Over the years, the diversity of
replenished with Ewa Hinahina, among                 February 1997 to spend a Saturday                volunteers has grown into an impressive
other native Hawaiian flora.                         uprooting the invasive marsh fleabane.           partnership. The original group
                                                     Once the invasive species was removed,           – Leeward Community College– has been
The story begins in 1997, when an                    more sunlight, moisture and nutrients            joined by multiple high schools, colleges
unusually wet winter enhanced the                    were available to the native seed bed,           and universities, scouting organizations,
invasive’s spread and threatened to                  which had been dormant for years. The            government agencies and nonprofit
                                                     area was slowly covered by such native           environmental organizations.
                                                     plants as pa‘u-o-Hi‘iaka and ‘ilima papa.        Even students from Nakamura/Gakuen
                                                     Shortly after the February trip, Moriarty        College in Japan participate as exchange
                                                     passed away, but faculty members                 students at Leeward Community College.
                                                     Frank Stanton and Bruce Koebele                  Over the past four years alone, students
                                                     decided to continue the work he started.         and other volunteers have contributed
                                                     Restoration work was facilitated by the          7,230 hours to habitat restoration for
                                                     NASBP Base Commander for the next                Ewa Hinahina.
                                                     two years. Volunteers from Leeward               There is still much work to be done. We
                                                     Community College were bused from the            must continue to restore, monitor and
                                                     NASBP gate to the restoration site.              maintain. The remaining acreage will
                                                     By late 1999, the base was preparing             be restored as funding is available. In
                                                     to close and the Oahu National Wildlife          addition to habitat restoration for Ewa
                                                     Refuge Complex agreed to take                    Hinahina, we have projects to conserve
                                                     possession of the site. The Kalaeloa Unit        native shrimp and a native damselfly.
                                                     of the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife            Our vision for this unit of the refuge
                                                     Refuge was established just months later         is to restore a functioning Hawaiian
                                                     in January 2000, with the explicit mission       ecosystem and open the area to the
                                                     to protect the Ewa Hinahina.                     public with walking trails, environmental
                                                                                                      education classes and opportunities for
                                                     Once the land was transferred,                   tourists and local visitors to enjoy a true,
                                                     concerns about public access became              native Hawaiian landscape. ◆
                                                     acute. Without fencing, the site
                                                     would be quickly invaded by foot                 Nancy Hoffman is assistant refuge
                                                     traffic and off-road vehicles, very              manager at Oahu National Wildlife
                                                     likely destroying the native flora.              Refuge Complex.
Nearly half of the 37-acre Kalaeloa of Pearl
Harbor National Wildlife Refuge on the island of     Fortunately, Donna Stovall, then Oahu
Oahu has been cleared of invasive weeds and re­      National Wildlife Refuge Complex
plenished with native Hawaiian flora like this Ewa   manager, was able to persuade the
Hinahina, thanks to the efforts of the Naval Air     Hawaii Department of Transportation
Station Barber Point and volunteers organized by
                                                     to extend new fencing surrounding the
Leeward Community College. (Gerald D. Carr)

                                                                                                  January/February 2007 | Pg 7 Refuge Update
Volunteers We Have Known

“W        hatever we’re doing, Zeeger
          is there,” says Maggie Briggs,
visitor services manager at Chesapeake
                                                20,000 miles on his car between his home
                                                in Seaford, Delaware, and Blackwater and
                                                Eastern Neck, the two refuges where he
Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge             devotes most of his time.
Complex in Maryland. Zeeger de Wilde
is a Dutch-born horticulturalist who            De Wilde has three grandchildren and
has been volunteering at refuges on             two great grandchildren; he recently
Chesapeake Bay for more than a quarter          drove his daughter home to Texas
century. Briggs calculated that he’s up         so he could go birding in Oklahoma
to about 6,000 hours of volunteer service,      with a group in which he would be the
but he’s never kept a tally.                    youngest birder!

DeWilde came to North America in 1953,          Conservation Heroes
working first as a landscaper in Canada         Veteran refuge manager Mendel
and then in Maryland. He initially came         Stewart has seen his share of
on board as a volunteer to help maintain        outstanding volunteers, people he
a butterfly garden at Blackwater Refuge.        calls “conservation heroes.” Now
Now he is perhaps best known as the             project leader of San Francisco Bay
guide who will guarantee to find eagles         National Wildlife Refuge Complex,
during Eagle Prowls in December and             Stewart writes, “When I worked at the
March. “It’s not hard to find them,” he         San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
says modestly. “Older people know what          Complex, I learned that through
the eagle stands for; you have to teach         citizen action the Tijuana Slough was
the kids now.”                                  essentially saved from becoming a large
                                                dredge-and-fill project for residential      Dutch-born horticulturalist Zeeger de Wilde has
Sometimes birdwatchers on the Eagle             and commercial development.”                 given nearly 6,000 hours of volunteer service to
Prowl get to see more than just a tiny                                                       Blackwater and Eastern Neck National Wildlife
white head in the distance. De Wilde            In the late 1960s and early 1970s,           Refuges. He is best known for his promise to find
remembers one prowl when male and               development plans were underway              eagles during his biannual Eagle Prowl. (USFWS)

female hooked talons in a mating ritual.        to convert over 1,000 acres of coastal
                                                marsh in the nation’s very southwest         national wildlife refuge. Led by Phil and
Another time, a male eagle picked up a                                                       Florence LaRiviera, they were successful
fish, carried it into the air and handed it     corner near the Mexican border into
                                                a “nautical community.” Mike McCoy           when Congress established the first
to a female.                                                                                 “urban” refuge in the National Wildlife
                                                and his wife Patricia were passionately
After thousands of volunteer hours,             opposed. Their opposition was not            Refuge System in 1974. Ralph Nobles
De Wilde still speaks enthusiastically          always appreciated; the McCoys were          led the effort to prevent commercial and
about everything that happens on the            even shot at one evening after attending     residential construction on Bair Island
refuge. “We have three kayak trails at          a community meeting. Eventually              within the Don Edwards Refuge.
Blackwater and we opened a photo blind          their work led to the creation in 1980 of    Stewart says “I may not have had the
at Eastern Neck…we did lots of marsh            Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge      chance to meet Aldo Leopold or John
restoration, including close to 800,000 plus    and its subsequent designation as a          Muir, but I feel extremely fortunate
acres of grass on an island that is part        Wetland of International Importance.         and proud to know Ralph Nobles, the
of Blackwater Refuge.” He has staffed                                                        LaRivieras and the McCoys – this
Friends exhibits at local festivals and zoos,   “I assumed citizen crusaders like these
                                                were few and far between,” Stewart           generation’s conservation heroes.” ◆
supervised children in nature crafts and
taken his turn at the information desk.         writes, “but it was not long after I moved   Mendel Stewart, project leader of San
                                                to the San Francisco Bay area that I         Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Remembering walks with his own parents          learned about other seemingly incredible     Complex, contributed to this article.
when he was a child in Holland, de Wilde’s      conservations feats.”
excitement at sharing his love of nature
with the public is palpable. “Ever since        Don Edwards San Francisco Bay
I retired, I’ve been so busy,” he laughs.       National Wildlife Refuge would probably
Last year, the 76-year old de Wilde put         not exist if it were not for a handful of
                                                individuals who petitioned for a new

Pg 8 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
STOKED and Other Education Strokes

O utreach that Stands Out
     A theatre built like a sod house, high
school students “STOKED” to teach
                                               students to a migration stewardship
                                               outreach program.
                                                                                          multiple visits during a single school
                                                                                          year. The refuge has teamed with the
                                                                                          Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival,
                                               In the fall, youngsters tag Monarch        Geologists of Jackson Hole, pARTners,
younger children, computers helping
                                               butterflies by putting a sticker on the    (a local nonprofit organization that
youngsters track butterflies, second
                                               underside wing. They check an online       helps educators use the arts across
graders using a refuge as a living field lab
                                               chart to learn where “their” butterfly     the curriculum) as well as the National
– these are all ways refuges are getting
                                               landed. In the spring, they return to      Museum of Wildlife Art and Beringia
the message to young people in an age
                                               the refuge for International Migratory     South (a local group dedicated to
of high technology, short attention spans
                                               Bird Day, playing games like Migration     improving management of natural
and dwindling enthusiasm for nature.
                                               Headache. With a few obstacles             resources through innovative research).
A Mix of 19th and 21st                         strategically placed, students learn
Century Technology                             that collisions are one of the biggest     Teton County second graders visit the
The Prairie Wetlands Learning Center           “headaches” confronting migrating birds.   refuge four times to survey wildlife and
at the Fergus Falls Wetland Management         Hula-hoops on the ground represent the     record their observations with sketches,
District in Minnesota boasts a theatre         number of birds that survive to the next   journal entries and photos. The winter
that resembles the kind of sod house built     step in the migration process.             visit includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride
by nineteenth century immigrants. There                                                   to give the children close-up views of
                                               National Elk Refuge Becomes a              elk and a trip to the feed shed for an
is grass growing on the roof (molded and
                                               Living Field Lab                           “insider’s view” of the refuge role in
reproduced from real grass) with plans to
                                               National Elk Refuge in Nevada also         supplementing winter feeding.
glue about 300 ants to the wall and hang
                                               brings children to the refuge for
a snake from the ceiling.                                                                                             continued pg 22

In addition to these bits of historic
realism, there is also a very high-tech 55­
inch plasma screen with surround sound
and a computer program that shows
four short but powerful new videos, all
possible because of grants to the Center’s                                                                     Children dress in
Friends group.                                                                                                 period costumes while
                                                                                                               visiting the Prairie
The videos and the sod house are a                                                                             Wetlands Learn­
conscious effort to focus on the land,                                                                         ing Center at the
                                                                                                               Fergus Falls Wetland
says Ken Garrahan, supervisory park
                                                                                                               Management District
ranger. “People coming to the prairie see                                                                      in Minnesota, which
this big expanse of grass and they don’t                                                                       boasts a theatre that
get it sometimes. There’s no big river or                                                                      resembles a 19th
canyon, no moose or elk. So we chose to                                                                        century sod house.
focus on the small things - the beauty of
the grasses, wetlands, waterfowl.” The
goal of all the high and low technology,
he adds, is to encourage people to get out
and explore on their own.
Migration Stewardship at Aransas
National Wildlife Refuge Complex
At Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Complex, environmental education
specialist Tonya Stinson is constantly
amazed at how many area school
children have never been to the nearby
beaches or wildlife refuges. Schools in
three rural counties are invited to bring

                                                                                      January/February 2007 | Pg 9 Refuge Update
                                                   Finding and Developing
                                                                                 . . .On Engaging the Next

                                                   the Best and the Brightest
                                                   “R      obust budgets, political
                                                           support, public trust and
                                                   supportive legislation are necessary,”
                                                                                                The series of stories explores some of
                                                                                                the many steps the Refuge System takes
                                                                                                to nurture a professional interest in
“We will equip an                                  notes the Refuge System’s vision             conservation. Before any thought can
                                                   document, Fulfilling the Promise,            be given to developing leaders, the best
entire generation to                               “but without visionary leadership            and the brightest must be made aware
meet the challenges of                             they will not result in accomplishing
                                                   the mission.” The history of the
                                                                                                that national wildlife refuges are both
                                                                                                career opportunities and vital paths to
public service.”                                   Refuge System is replete with the            conserving America’s natural heritage.
                                                   accomplishments of heroes like Paul
                                                   Kroegel, Ding Darling, Ira Gabrielson        Teachers who take professional
                                                   and J. Clark Sayler. This issue of           development courses and workshops
                                                   Refuge Update looks at how tomorrow’s        on refuges become knowledgeable
                                                   heroes are being developed today.            champions of the Refuge System.
                                                                                                Internships are paths to lifetime careers.

                                                   Growing Leaders from Within
                                                                                                Program (ALDP) is a vital component
                                                                                                of the Service’s overall leadership
                                                                                                succession planning.
                                                                                                The 11-month training program, which
                                                                                                targets GS-13 and GS-14 employees,
                                                                                                focuses on self, team and organization.
                                                                                                Participants are required to fulfill a 30­
                                                                                                day job swap and a 60-day developmental
                                                                                                assignment to explore leadership in
                                                                                                different Service environments. The
                                                                                                program is designed to keep participants
                                                                                                fully aware of how others view them
                                                                                                as leaders.
                                                                                                The sixth ALDP class is now underway.
                                                                                                Chief of Refuge Law Enforcement Mark
                                                                                                Chase, who participated in ALDP training
                                                                                                as a member of Cohort III, is serving as
                                                                                                a coach for Cohort VI. The coach, along
                                                                                                with a supervisor and the entire cohort,
Leadership is the catalyst that turns resources
into accomplishments, in the words of Fulfilling
the Promise. One key leadership catalyst is the
                                                   L    eadership is the catalyst that turns
                                                        resources into accomplishments,
                                                   in the words of Fulfilling the Promise.
                                                                                                support each participant’s efforts to learn,
                                                                                                change behaviors, increase knowledge and
                                                                                                expand awareness.
Advanced Leadership Development Program, a
                                                   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
vital component of the Service’s overall leader­
                                                   offers a variety of opportunities to “grow
                                                                                                Learning about Self to Lead Others
ship succession planning. (USFWS)
                                                                                                Chase believes the ALDP training
                                                   leaders” through employee development.
                                                                                                provides an outstanding opportunity for
                                                   The Advanced Leadership Development
                                                                                                employees to learn about themselves.

Pg 10 Refuge Update | January/February 2007

 People who were introduced to national
 wildlife refuges through the Youth
 Conservation Corps are now full-time
 employees who generate ideas and
 programs. The Advanced Leadership
 Development Program has given
 employees a chance to be groomed
 as leaders.
 “It is your obligation to move forward
 in a way that does not denigrate, dilute
 or diminish in the slightest degree that
 which came before you,” said former U.S.
 Fish and Wildlife Service Director Lynn
 Greenwalt, “because many thousands of
 men and women gave their careers, and
 some even gave their lives, for what you       “Look forward. Turn what has been done into a better path. If you’re a leader, think about the impact of

 are working toward – saving dirt.” ◆                                   your decisions on seven generations in the future.” 

                                                                                     Chief Wilma Mankiller.

 “Participants get insights into why we        my hope that I am a better husband, dad,              “She posed another question, venturing
 behave in the ways we do and what effect      son, friend and so on.”                               into more personal territory. He
 those behaviors have on those around                                                                answered with a little hesitation, but
 us,” Chase explains. “Armed with this         The Human Element                                     again with sincerity. Her final question
 knowledge, employees are empowered            Doug Vandegraft, chief cartographer                   must have hit home because the man
 to choose behaviors and actions that          for the Refuge System, agreed that the                seemed to be on the verge of tears. I
 foster relationships, increase efficiencies   ALDP program goes far beyond on-the­                  remember thinking, ‘I hope she doesn’t
 and make us all better stewards of the        job training. A 20-year veteran of the                pick me.’ But, in fact, no one is left out.”
 Service’s conservation in the context of      Service, Vandegraft completed ALDP
 public service.”                              in 2006.                                              The Human Element is important,
                                                                                                     continues Vandegraft, because it forces
 The program involves sacrifice.               “Whenever several of us grads get                     leaders to confront themselves. “The
 Participants are gone from home and           together, we often swap stories about                 exercises help us focus on and capitalize
 duty stations for four months out of          our experiences with a portion of the                 on our strengths. They also help us
 11. Families, staffs and co-workers           program called The Human Element.                     be aware of our weaknesses. This can
 are forced to adjust. “With this cost,        “It’s all about learning how other people             be quite enlightening to strong and
 along with the financial investment of        perceive you,” recalls Vandegraft. “Once              experienced leaders, as well as to the
 public funds, there is a great deal of        you gain this insight, you have a much                somewhat reluctant leader.”
 responsibility placed on the participants,”   better idea about how your actions as a
 Chase observes. “Others have                  leader are interpreted by others.”                    Chase decided to serve as an ALDP
 been greatly inconvenienced for the                                                                 coach because he believes so strongly
                                               Vandegraft said he quickly discovered                 in the program. “I truly believe if
 participant’s developmental opportunity.      the instructor has “a talent -- a gift
 The participant has the personal                                                                    participants are honest with themselves,
                                               maybe-- of being able to see past a                   they will emerge a better person at the
 responsibility to ensure that these           persona into the real person. After one
 sacrifices are not made in vain.”                                                                   end of the year. Eventually, we will equip
                                               man introduced himself and gave some                  an entire next generation to be better
 The lessons learned apply to all areas        very typical data – where he was from,                prepared to meet the challenges of public
 of life and every relationship. Chase         why he was glad to be here – she focused              service.” ◆
 says it is his hope that the training has     on something minute he had said, and
 made him a “better Service employee,          replied, ‘Why did you say it that way?’
 supervisor and public servant. It is also     His response sounded truthful, but the
                                               instructor was not satisfied.

                                                                                               January/February 2007 | Pg 11 Refuge Update
                                        FOCUSCareer Experience Program
                                        The Student
                                                                       . . .On Engaging the Next

                                        B    ruce Butler graduated from
                                             Florida A & M University in 2005
                                        with a degree in criminal justice. During
                                                                                     provides work experience that is directly
                                                                                     related to the student’s academic
                                                                                     program and career goals. SCEP
                                        a 2004 internship on Capitol Hill, the       students can get term, career or career-
                                        Student Career Experience Program            conditional appointments after they’ve
                                        (SCEP) became his gateway to the U.S.        completed academic and work experience
                                        Fish and Wildlife Service, where he is       requirements.
                                        now a game warden in the Southeast
                                        Region Office of Law Enforcement.            For managers, SCEP can be a good
                                                                                     tool to “grow your own” workforce and
                                        Now, says Butler, “I absolutely love it. I   address future agency needs. Hiring
                                        learn something new everyday. I work at      under SCEP is an effective way for a
                                        the most beautiful places in the country     refuge manager to:
                                        and I’m having a blast.”
                                                                                     O 	 ring students into the Service in
                                        SCEP provides federal government                  targeted positions for workforce and
                                        employment to degree-seeking students             succession planning,
                                        taking at least a half-time academic,
                                        technical or vocational course load in         e
                                                                                     O 	 valuate a student’s performance in
                                        an accredited high school, technical              real work situations, and
                                        or vocational school, two- or four-
                                        year college or university, graduate           p
                                                                                     O 	 ermanently place successful
                                        or professional school. The program               students after they have completed

                                        Youth Conservation Corps:
                                        A Launch Pad
                                        S   arah Dawsey was 15 years old
                                            when she had her first Youth
                                        Conservation Corps summer job at
                                        Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
                                        in South Carolina. She did office work
                                        and turtle work, but it was the turtle
                                        work that hooked her. “I knew it’s what I
                                        wanted to do with my life,” said Dawsey.
                                        She came back to Cape Romain Refuge
                                        for three more summers before going to
                                        college. And then, she really came back.
                                        After graduating from Charleston             Sarah Dawsey first worked with loggerhead sea
                                                                                     turtles at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
                                        Southern University with a major in          in South Carolina as a Youth Conservation Corps
                                        biology, Dawsey initially could only get     crew member in 1986. She has been working at
                                        temporary employment at the refuge,          the refuge ever since and is now the refuge wildlife
                                        but her talents and work ethic were          biologist. (USFWS)
                                        well known when a permanent position
                                        opened in 1997. Twenty years after that      Still fascinated by loggerhead sea
                                        first YCC summer, today she is a wildlife    turtles, Dawsey notes, “They are
                                        biologist at Cape Romain Refuge.             mysterious animals.” For six months

Pg 12 Refuge Update | January/February 2007

Promoting Conservation and Diversity

     coursework leading to a diploma, 

     certificate or degree and at least 640 

     hours of work experience.

 Butler’s SCEP experience included tasks 

 in a regional administrative office, such 

 as working on the uniform crime report, 

 as well as work in various field stations 

 where he saw law enforcement up close. 

 He easily moved into his current position 

 on the Manatee Zone Enforcement 

 Squad, monitoring speed boats in Florida 

 waters where manatees live.

 Building Awareness
 In addition to exposing students to the 

 idea of a public service career, SCEP 

 may also provide an opportunity to 

 promote diversity and equal opportunity. 

 Evan Hirsche, president of the National 
       The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) encourages young people to consider careers in biol­
 Wildlife Refuge Association, wrote in the 
     ogy, fishery and wildlife biology and conservation. Bruce Butler was a 2005 SCEP student who is now a
 fall 2006 issue of Wildlife Refuge
             law enforcement officer in the Southeast. (USFWS)

                          — continued on pg 27

 each year, she directs a labor-intensive        group was filling. In 2006, Arctic                  Handy came to work full-time for
 program to protect sea turtle nests,            National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska                  the refuge in 1997 and is now a fire
 bringing to the refuge about 50                 hosted its first native village YCC crew.           dispatcher. She remembers the first
 volunteers who donate more than 3,600           The refuge and the local tribal council             time she dispatched a helicopter while
 hours of service.                               jointly funded local YCC members, who               she was managing communications
                                                 restored a trail leading to a science               on two radios and a telephone. “My
 Working Outdoors Since 1970                     camp on the refuge.                                 part is minute but what I do makes a
 The Youth Conservation Corps, started                                                               difference. Firefighters’ lives are on the
 in 1970 by the U.S. Departments of              Manager Elaine Johnson at Deer Flat                 line and my knowledge helps keep
 Interior and Agriculture, is a summer           National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho, which            them safe.”
 employment program for people ages              recruits a five-member crew every
 15-18. Administered by the Forest               summer to care for wildlife habitat, said           A 2005 accomplishment report from the
 Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service         she was impressed by the level of “crew             Great Lakes Region said several students
 and the National Park Service, YCC              cooperation in getting the job done, no             had expressed interest in pursuing
 provides minimum wage jobs to teens             matter the task.”                                   careers in the Service or conservation. In
 to do conservation work on public lands.                                                            short, the YCC had enabled the region to
 During summer 2005, 503 YCC enrollees           From YCC crew to fire dispatcher                    create “54 new ambassadors for the Fish
 worked on national wildlife refuges.            Leticia Handy began her career with                 and Wildlife Service. ◆
                                                 the Service as a YCC crew member on
 At Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife            Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in
 Refuge in Massachusetts, a YCC crew             Texas. Her high school biology teacher
 built a new observation platform and            suggested YCC as a summer job back
 fixed erosion problems on a popular             in the 1970s. She remembers cleaning
 trail. A crew in the Great Lakes                a trail to make it accessible to visitors
 Region rescued a white-tailed deer              with disabilities and she is pleased that
 fawn that had fallen into a hole the            part of that trail still exists.

                                                                                               January/February 2007 | Pg 13 Refuge Update
                                        FOCUSthe Refuge
                                        Scholars on
                                                                        . . .On Engaging the Next

                                        Y    oung scholars come to national
                                             wildlife refuges to conduct research
                                        that contributes both to graduate and
                                        undergraduate degrees and refuge habitat
                                        management techniques. The scholars
                                        come from a range of backgrounds and are
                                        supported by an array of scholarships that
                                        introduce them to national wildlife refuges.
                                        In honor of the 2003 Refuge System
                                        Centennial, The Walt Disney Company,
                                        U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the
                                        National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
                                        created the Centennial Scholarship
                                        Program to support students whose
                                        research contributes to improved
                                        management and understanding of
                                        refuge resources. Disney scholars Angie
                                        Battazzo and David Jachowski worked
“I was privileged to                    at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife
                                        Refuge in Montana.
work alongside federal
                                        Kassandra Cerveny, a student at the            Disney scholar Angie Battazzo, a student
and state natural                       University of Puerto Rico, received a
                                                                                       in wildlife biology and management at the
                                                                                       University of Montana, researched female sage-
resource managers,                                        .F.
                                        Governor Tause P Sunia Memorial
                                        Coral Reef Conservation Summer
                                                                                       grouse winter ecology and habitat use at Charles
                                                                                       M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. (Erick
academicians and                        Internship Award. The late Governor            Green/USFWS)
                                        Sunia of the Territory of American
private landowners.”                    Samoa was an eloquent and passionate
                                        advocate for coral reef protection and
                                                                                       Studying the Sage
                                        management. In his honor, two students         Grouse at Charles
                                        are selected each year from Guam,
                                        the Commonwealth of the Northern               M. Russell National
                                        Mariana Islands, Hawaii, American
                                        Samoa, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin
                                                                                       Wildlife Refuge
                                        Islands to receive a three-month summer        By Disney Scholar Angie Battazzo
                                        internship to develop professional coral
                                        reef management skills.                        As a master’s degree student in
                                                                                       wildlife biology and management at the
                                        For additional information on 2007             University of Montana in Missoula, I
                                        National Wildlife Refuge System                have focused my research on population
                                        Centennial Scholarship Program,                demography – how weather and habitat
                                        contact Kevin Kilcullen at Kevin_              affect population dynamics. My research
                               or 703-358-2029.             specifically targets female sage grouse
                                        Applications are due by April 13,              winter ecology and habitat use on Charles
                                        2007. For additional information on            M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.
                                        the 2007 Sunia Scholarships, contact           I am taking a hard look at long-time
                                        Beth Dieveney at beth.dieveney@noaa.           assumptions about age-specific winter
                                        gov or 301-713-3155 x129 or visit www.         survival rates and the weather and habitat
                               Applications are due            factors that affect those rates.
                                        February 16, 2007.
                                                                                       I pursued the Disney scholarship to
                                                                                       support testing an additional hypothesis

Pg 14 Refuge Update | January/February 2007

 about winter habitat selection patterns,      even as I contemplate a PhD in natural             one of the original recovery sites for
 provide assistance with graduate school       resource economics or policy.                      black-footed ferrets. Reintroductions
 book costs and fees, and subsidize travel                                                        began at CMR in 1994. Since then, over
 expenses to the 13th Annual Wildlife                                                             200 captive-born kits have been released
 Society Meeting in Anchorage, where I                                                            and at least 200 kits have been born in
 presented my research findings.               Black-footed Ferrets:                              the wild. Despite this influx, the CMR
 My work completes a long-term study           Fascinating since                                  ferret population has not grown to more
                                                                                                  than about 20 individuals, a situation
 of female sage-grouse survival and
 production on the refuge. I will be           Childhood                                          that I am studying as I work for the
                                                                                                  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National
 providing Charles M. Russell Refuge with      By Disney Scholar David Jachowski                  Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program.
 information about specific sage grouse                                                           CMR continues to rely on the release of
 winter habitat areas on and off the refuge    As a child in the 1980s, I spent summers
                                               on a cattle ranch near Cody, Wyoming,              captive-born animals.
 as well as specific habitat characteristics
 that the local flocks seem to be selecting    with my uncle. Just a few miles away               Greater hope for the restoration of
 during mild winter months.                    at Meeteetse, black-footed ferrets had             ferrets comes from a site in the Conata
                                               been rediscovered. Hearing about this              Basin of southwestern South Dakota.
 During my research, I was privileged to       improbable and important rediscovery               Ferret reintroductions began there
 work alongside federal and state natural      and growing up in a family of biologists           in 1995 but were halted in 2000 when
 resource managers, academicians and           fed my curiosity about this animal.                ferrets became self-sustaining at a
 private landowners. I learned how                                                                population around 200 individuals.
 important it is to make the information       Now, as a biologist, I am attracted to
 accessible to many audiences, and             ferrets for the conservation challenge they        In 2004, I began working for the Black-
 to integrate applied science and              present. The black-footed ferret is among          footed Ferret Recovery Program, based
 management with the economic and              the most rare of mammal species. We need           in Colorado, while I pursued a master’s
 social values of the communities in which     to make ferret recovery succeed here in            degree at the University of Missouri. I
 I work.                                       the richest country in the world if we are to      am investigating why ferret recovery
                                               be justified in talking to Indonesians about       has generally failed at CMR while it has
 More Than Wildlife Alone                      tiger conservation or Peruvians about              succeeded at the South Dakota site. It
 My graduate experience has taught me          saving the giant river otter.                      is generally known that ferret recovery
 that wildlife conservation is more than                                                          is hindered by the scarcity of large-scale
 just understanding how populations            As a 1999 college graduate, I worked
                                               as a technician at Charles M. Russell              prairie dog colonies, yet the specific
 of animals change, but also how the                                                              habitat requirements of ferrets are
 surrounding human communities value,          National Wildlife Refuge in Montana,
                                                                                                  poorly understood.
 utilize and protect resources. I enjoyed
 building working relationships with                                                              With support from the Disney Centennial
 local landowners as much as I enjoyed                                                            Refuge Scholarship Program in 2006, I
 learning about wildlife ecology.                                                                 am testing the hypothesis that prairie
                                                                                                  dogs exist in distinct high-density patches
 I have tailored my education to include                                                          within colonies and that ferrets select
 courses in federal public land and                                                               and compete for these patches. Findings
 resource law, as well as economics,                                                              to date suggest that changes are needed
 statistics and population dynamics. This                                                         in current techniques that assess ferret
 kind of integrated education prepares                                                            habitat by estimating total acreage and
 me for the multi-faceted approach that                                                           average density of burrows in prairie dog
 natural resource professionals need to                                                           colonies. Methods that more accurately
 address issues regarding public land and                                                         reflect habitat values might enable us
 resource conservation.                                                                           to make better choices in selecting and
 I expect to present my findings to staff                                                         managing sites for ferret recovery.
 at the Charles M. Russell Refuge in                                                                                      — continued on pg 16
 the early spring and receive my degree
 in May 2007. I am at a crossroads             Disney Centennial Refuge Scholar David
 in my professional journey, seeking           Jachowski worked on recovery of the black-footed
 employment that will allow me to work         ferret at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife
 at the interface of science and policy,       Refuge in Montana.

                                                                                              January/February 2007 | Pg 15 Refuge Update
                                               FOCUS Come with Energy
                                               Summer Interns
                                                                                . . .On Engaging the Next

                                               and Enthusiasm
                                               O    pportunities for internships on
                                                    units of the National Wildlife
                                               Refuge System occur throughout
                                                                                               SCEP (Student Career Experience
                                                                                               Program) trainee at Great Swamp
                                                                                               National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey
                                               the country. Interns may find jobs              (see more on SCEP on page 12). Ponce
                                               on their own or through partnerships            expects to become a full-time wildlife
                                               with colleges, universities and private         biologist for the Service.
                                               organizations. They may assist with
“We grabbed a pair of                          ongoing surveys or mapping projects, and        Ponce advises interns to “take the lead
                                                                                               role in projects you are assigned.” ECO
binoculars and headed                          they sometimes come with ideas of their
                                               own and the energy to implement them.           intern Sara Ford came to Montezuma
out to the wildlife drive,                     Environmental Careers Organization
                                                                                               National Wildlife Refuge in New York
                                                                                               prepared to do just that.
and for the first time in                      (ECO) is one national, nonprofit

my life, I saw a
                                               organization that develops professionals
                                               through paid internships. Erin Loury,
                                                                                               Finding Common Ground
bald eagle.”                                   an ECO intern, says she spent 12 weeks          for City Dweller and
                                               as an interpretive intern at Parker River
                                               National Wildlife Refuge in northern            Nature Lover
                                               Massachusetts, where she made a                 By Sara Ford
                                               “detailed and interactive study of a
                                               most intriguing species - the summer            My first working day in New York was
                                               refuge visitor.” She enjoyed knowing            blistering hot and Andrea Stewart,
                                               that she “had an impact, however small,         my supervisor at Montezuma National
                                               on shaping the way hundreds of visitors         Wildlife Refuge, saw to it that it would
                                               view the conservation of their local            not be my first day of real work. We
                                               natural treasures.”                             grabbed a pair of binoculars and headed
                                                                                               out to the wildlife drive, and for the first
                                               Susi Ponce was an ECO intern at                 time in my life, I saw a bald eagle.
                                               Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland
                                               and then became a biological science            I had no experience with wildlife and I
                                                                                               was not a very good scientist. In fact,

                                               Scholars on the Refuge — continued from pg 15

                                               Coral Reef Conservation                         The experiential learning process was
                                                                                               hugely beneficial. Throughout my years
                                               at Navassa Island Refuge                        at the University of Puerto Rico, I have
                                                                                               known the importance of pairing science
                                               By Governor Sunia Coral Scholar                 with policy. I have earned a bachelor’s
                                               Kassandra Cerveny                               degree in environmental science paired
                                               Summer 2005 was an interesting jaunt into       with a minor in natural resource
                                               the world of federal level marine science and   policy and ethics as well as a master’s
                                               policy for me as the Governor Tauese P .  .F    in marine science with a graduate
Governor Sunia Coral Scholars Kassandra        Sunia Memorial Coral Reef Conservation          certificate in environmental policy and
Cerveny and Tiffany Robinson meet with Susan
                                               Summer Scholar. The scholarship was             management. That’s when I discovered
White, former deputy refuge manager at Ding
                                               the chance of a lifetime to step out of the     the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force summer
Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.                                                   scholarship program.
Cerveny contributed to a management plan for   academic roles of science and policy and
Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge in     learn how it is all practically applied.
Puerto Rico. (USFWS)

Pg 16 Refuge Update | January/February 2007

 Montezuma Refuge seemed to be the                                                                walking and arabesques. I thought,
 only opportunity on the Environmental                                                            “This is exactly what I wanted.”
 Careers’ Web site that didn’t outwardly
 require scientific knowledge - simply a                                                          The dancers were set against a true
 good attitude.                                                                                   backdrop of the great outdoors, surrounded
                                                                                                  by trees with a blanket of grass under their
 Bringing the City to the Refuge                                                                  bare feet. As the first movement began,
 The refuge staff made it a personal                                                              one of the dancers slipped upon nature’s
 priority to create a friendly and                                                                unpredictability. The first umbrella popped
 welcoming environment for me to learn,                                                           open and soon enough, everyone in the
 grow and discover. The more I began to                                                           audience opened one.
 understand nature and the importance
 of wetlands, the more I wanted to expose                                                         The rain poured, but no one left. ◆
 other city dwellers to my discoveries.                                                           Sara Ford is a sophomore at the
 When Andrea asked me to put together                                                             University of St. Thomas in Minnesota,
 a public program, my main goal was to                                                            where she is planning to major in art
 find a way to unite people who already                                                           history or theatre/dance.
 appreciated nature and city dwellers who
 cherished the arts.
 Over the next few weeks, I called
 every dance company within 30 miles,
 hoping just one would be interested in
 collaborating on a project to connect
 the urban experience with nature
 through modern dance. After several
 telemarketer-like phone calls, Sean
 McLeod and The Kaleidoscope Dance
 Theatre agreed to help.
  The planning leading up to the event
 was intense. As I watched one rehearsal,      Sara Ford was an intern at Montezuma National
                                               Wildlife Refuge in New York, where she produced
 I saw one musician playing an Indian-
                                               a public dance program to “unite people who
 inspired number on an acoustic guitar         already appreciated nature and city dwellers who
 and the dancers dissolve in very slow         cherished the arts.”(Benjamin Chapman)

 I was tasked with drafting a white            Beyond working on my Navassa                       skill set on which I can build a career.
 paper on the history, threats and             project, I was included in briefings               The Sunia scholarship program not only
 management plan for Navassa Island            for agency heads and members of                    enables students to work on very real
 National Wildlife Refuge. Navassa             Congress, attended Congressional                   projects but it also provides positive
 Island Refuge is currently going through      subcommittee hearings and cooperative              role models and such fantastic mentors
 a process of collaborative conservation       management meetings and worked with                as Andrew Gude, NWRS Marine
 strategy process with other stakeholder       nongovernmental organizations. I spent             Program Coordinator, all while letting
 agencies and organizations. Working with      a week in the field at J.N. “Ding Darling”         the student feel like part of the team,
 knowledgeable federal employees as well       National Wildlife Refuge in Florida and            not “just” an intern.
 as researching the National Archives is       shadowed then Chief of Refuges Bill
 an experience that university students        Hartwig.                                           This was a phenomenal opportunity to
 rarely have, especially students in the                                                          work on marine issues in the National
 island states and territories. These          Never “Just” an Intern                             Wildlife Refuge System. The scholarship
 everyday interactions have helped             For the first time I was able to put to            has made me realize that there are
 solidify my desires to pursue federal level   use my combined science and policy                 so many opportunities within federal
 environmental policy work.                    background. It turned all my theoretical           agencies to work in the conservation
                                               plans and hopes into a very real, concrete         world. ◆

                                                                                             January/February 2007 | Pg 17 Refuge Update
                                                   FOCUS the Teachers
                                                   Start by Teaching
                                                                                    . . .On Engaging the Next

                                                   A    biology teacher suggests that
                                                        a student try working for the
                                                   Youth Conservation Corps in the
                                                                                                   physical education, music, art and
                                                                                                   environmental education.

                                                   summer. An elementary school teacher            Erika Scarborough, education specialist
                                                   brings children to a refuge to write            at John Heinz at Tinicum National
                                                   poetry. Another conveys math concepts           Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia,
                                                   by asking students to calculate how             concluded that training teachers would
                                                   many acres need to be planted to feed           give them ownership over their field
                                                   migratory birds on a specific refuge.           trips. Scarborough offers “pre-field
                                                                                                   trip orientations” one Saturday a month
                                                   Engaging the next generation means              so that teachers can return with their
                                                   not only encouraging young people to            students and lead their own activities.
                                                   think of conservation careers but also
                                                   educating them to become knowledgeable          Heinz Refuge also offers a wide variety
                                                   citizens enthusiastic about conservation.       of other courses and workshops for
                                                   That often starts with teachers.                teachers of all grade levels throughout
                                                                                                   the school year, covering everything
                                                   Many refuges offer a variety of                 from wetlands, biodiversity, energy,
                                                   professional development programs for           trees and songbirds. A nominal fee
                                                   teachers. They are often created by             is charged and participants earn
                                                   private nonprofit organizations. Many of        continuing education credits.
                                                   these programs are being correlated to
                                                   new public school curriculum standards.         The workshops build confidence and
                                                                                                   knowledge among teachers, who are
                                                   A Project Wild course created by the            often as unfamiliar with green spaces as
                                                   nonprofit Council for Environmental             their students. Scarborough remembers
                                                   Education, for example, is regularly            one teacher involved in a hands-on
                                                   offered at Patuxent National Wildlife           activity who said she had “never seen a
                                                   Research Refuge in Maryland.                    real live frog.” One student who came to
                                                   Teachers leave the workshop with an             the refuge said it was the “first time she
                                                   interdisciplinary curriculum guide              ever planted something that wasn’t in a
                                                   covering science, math, social studies,         paper cup.”

                                                   A Career in the                                 I didn’t start on this career path entirely
                                                                                                   deliberately. During winter break of my

                                                   Fish and Wildlife                               junior year in college, I started working
                                                                                                   for the Young Adult Conservation

                                                   Service                                         Corps (YACC) at the Water and Power
                                                                                                   Resources Service in Provo, Utah, where I
                                                                                                   read and transcribed thermograph tapes.
One of Becky Halbe’s many projects was her         By Rebecca Halbe                                My last reinstatement with YACC led to
work on the America the Beautiful National

Parks and Federal Recreational Lands                      ith an English degree from               my first permanent job with the federal
Pass. It replaces the Golden Eagle, Golden                Carleton College, I’ve now worked        government and the Service.
Age and Golden Access Passports as well as         for 24 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife    I worked at the Animal Damage Control
the National Parks Pass and went on sale in        Service, including time at two field offices,
January 2007. The new pass covers public                                                           office outside Salt Lake City and operated
                                                   a Regional Office and 13 years in the           a Hewlitt-Packard card-reading computer
lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wild­
life Service, Bureau of Land Management,
                                                   Refuge System Headquarters in Arlington,        system -- high tech in those days. My
National Park Service, Bureau of Reclama­          Virginia. I am responsible for the Refuge       Realty career started in June 1985,
tion and the Forest Service. The annual pass       System’s recreation fee and concessions         when I was hired as a realty specialist
costs $80 and is available at federal recreation   programs, visitor satisfaction surveys, and     at the Wetlands Office in Fergus Falls,
sites, online and from select third-party ven­     various E-government initiatives, among         Minnesota, which led to a move to the
dors. More information is available at www.        other programs.

Pg 18 Refuge Update | January/February 2007

                                                                                                        Focusing on the Singular
                                                                                                        Farther west, new professional
                                                                                                        development projects for teachers
                                                                                                        focus on a single location or a single
                                                                                                        species. The Matagorda Island Teacher
                                                                                                        Workshop Cooperative Initiative, which
                                                                                                        involves staff and Friends of Aransas and
                                                                                                        Matagorda Island at Aransas National
                                                                                                        Wildlife Refuge, has created an annual
                                                                                                        two-day workshop that shows teachers
                                                                                                        an array of learning opportunities on
                                                                                                        Matagorda Island.
                                                                                                        Twelve teachers attended the first
                                                                                                        workshop in November 2006, sleeping in
                                                                                                        a bunkhouse on the island and spending
                                                                                                        two days with naturalists from the refuge
                                                                                                        and local partner organizations. They
                                                                                                        tried their hand at birding, observing
                                                                                                        the ecology of beaches and marshes,
                                                                                                        stargazing and photography. Teachers
                                                                                                        earned continuing education credits
                                                                                                        and received curriculum guides that
                                                                                                        enable them to meet Texas public school
                                                                                                        requirements to educate middle and high
                                                                                                        school students about coastal resources.
                                                                                                        Tonya Stinson, environmental education
                                                                                                        specialist at Aransas National Wildlife
                                                                                                        Refuge, was the prime mover behind the
                                                                                                        teacher initiative. The Friends organization
 Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico created a curriculum guide about the endangered
                                                                                                        provided financial and administrative
 Mexican gray wolf. In this activity, students are asked to match a message with the way wolves         support. Stinson believes it’s important
 communicate that message. Answers on page 27. (USFWS)                                                                           — continued on pg 27

 Regional Office in the Twin Cities and             O 	 Network, network, network. Earlier                K
                                                                                                        O 	 eep training and learning. Budget
 later to Arlington.                                       in my career, I was ready to take                training, for example, is great for
                                                           a part-time Realty job with the                  anyone in government work. The
 Having worked for nearly a quarter of a
                                                           General Services Administration                  Government Affairs Institute offers
 century with the federal government, I
                                                           just to move to the Twin Cities.                 a week of training right on Capitol
 have a few recommendations:
                                                           Turns out, my supervisor knew of                 Hill, with members of the House and
 O 	 lways accept a “detail” or job swap                   some Service Realty folks in the                 Senate as speakers. It’s a real life
     when you can, taking the opportunity                  Twin Cities who wanted to move,                  civics course.
     to gain a new perspective. When I                     and within a few months, I was in
                                                           the Twin Cities.                             The people I most respect are those who
     was a Realty specialist, I took a detail
                                                                                                        take responsibility for their actions – good
     into Headquarters for a jam-packed
                                                    O Volunteer. Speak at schools during
                                                      	                                                 as well as bad. As Mark Twain said,
     month, writing briefing statements for
                                                         a Career Day. Staff a table at a               “Always do right. This will gratify some
     the confirmation hearings of Service
                                                         local festival to educate the public           people and astonish the rest.” ◆
     Director John Rogers and Assistant
                                                         about the Service. Work a booth for
     Director, Fish and Wildlife and Parks                                                              Rebecca Halbe is a program analyst in
                                                         International Migratory Bird Day.
     Constance Harriman. It was amazing                                                                 the Refuge System Division of Visitor
                                                         The Service one year even staffed a
     how much of that month’s reading file                                                              Services and Communications.
                                                         table at the Smithsonian Institution’s
     included my work.
                                                         Folklife Festival on the National Mall.

                                                                                                    January/February 2007 | Pg 19 Refuge Update
                                                                                                       the Refuge
   Preserve America                                 unexpected benefits for other species.
   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service               The discovery of two pink sand verbena
   has been honored for its new Preserve            plants at Leadbetter Point at Willapa

   America Grants Program. The                      National Wildlife Refuge stunned
   Chairman of the Advisory Council                 refuge biologist Kirsten Brennan,
   on Historic Preservation praised                 who has been tracking western snowy
   the National Wildlife Refuge                     plovers in the area following habitat
   System and the National Fish and                 restoration work. Beach grass had
   Wildlife Foundation for promoting                been scraped away and oyster shells
                                                                                                     who volunteers with the Wyoming K-9
   partnerships to preserve historic                spread over the sand to recreate
                                                                                                     Search and Rescue program. About
   resources on refuges. The Preserve               historic conditions and provide nesting
                                                                                                     40 people attended Soliday’s program,
   America program offers competitive               habitat for the small snowy plovers.
                                                                                                     during which she described how her
   grants of $10,000 to $15,000 to fund
                                                    Once widespread along the Washington             dogs Haley and Roscoe are trained
   interpretive and educational projects
                                                    and Oregon coasts, both the snowy                and certified for different levels of
   focused on history and historic sites
                                                    plover and the pink sand verbena                 searching, from water and wilderness
   on refuges. Ideal proposals include
                                                    dwindled as the sand dunes were                  to avalanches and buildings. Soliday
   national, state or local partnerships as
                                                    overtaken by invasive European beach             says the youngsters in her audience
   well programs that blend conservation
                                                    grass. The discovery of the plant and            were all eager to hide so the dogs could
   with historical themes. The first year’s
                                                    the renewed breeding of the streaked             find them. She also gave the children
   grant selections will be announced in
                                                    horn lark are proof that the restored            strategies in case they become lost in
   early 2007.
                                                    dunes are reawakening.                           the woods.
   Washington                                       Wyoming                                          Colorado, Michigan
   The recent surprise discovery of a plant
                                                    Search and rescue dogs were the                     Rocky Mountain Arsenal National
   not seen in the state of Washington for
                                                    highlight of a special program offered              Wildlife Refuge, located about 10 miles
   about 65 years is proof that restoring
                                                    at National Elk Refuge by refuge                    from Denver, grew from 5,000 to 12,000
   habitat for one species can have
                                                    maintenance worker Amanda Soliday,                  acres last fall, following the successful
                                                                                                                                 cleanup and
                                                                                                                                 transfer of land
                                                                                                                                 from the U.S.
                                                                                                                                 Army to the U.S.
                                                                                                                                 Fish and Wildlife
                                                                                                                                 Service. The
                                                                                                                                 of chemical
                                                                                                                                 weapons on the
                                                                                                                                 site was stopped
                                                                                                                                 in the early 1980s
                                                                                                                                 and it became an
                                                                                                                                 EPA Superfund
                                                                                                                                 site in 1987.
                                                                                                                                 The first 5,000
                                                                                                                                 acres were clean
                                                                                                                                 by 2004, when
                                                                                                                                 the refuge was
                                                                                                                                 established. The
                                                                                                                                 EPA recently
                                                                                                                                 removing 7,000
                                                                                                                                 acres from the
                                                                                                                                 Superfund list,
    Maintenance Worker Amanda Soliday shows off the skills of her search and rescue dogs to children at National Elk Refuge
    in Wyoming. She gave them strategies in case they become lost in the woods. (USFWS)                                          allowing this

Pg 20 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
newest acreage to be added to the         Georgia                                           Duck Stamp Winner
refuge. When the cleanup is completed     There is a little bit more of Okefenokee          Wildlife artist Richard Clifton of
in 2011, another 2,500 acres will be      National Wildlife Refuge in the                   Milford, Delaware, won the 2006
added to the Refuge System.               National Conservation Training Center             Federal Duck Stamp Art contest with
                                          (NCTC) archive. Motion picture                    his depiction of a pair of swimming
In Michigan, The Nature Conservancy
                                          footage of turn-of-the-century logging            ring-necked ducks. He has entered the
helped double the size of the Detroit
                                          in south Georgia, recordings of a                 competition numerous times over the
River International Wildlife Refuge.
                                          1951 government radio show about                  years, and his art is seen on many other
The Refuge System entered into a
                                          the refuge and the original journal of            wildlife stamps. This is the first time
cooperative agreement with TNC
                                          first refuge manager John Hopkins,                he has won the Federal Duck Stamp
to permit management of the 2,217­
                                          chronicling 1900 to 1945, have now                Competition. Clifton’s painting was
acre Erie Marsh Preserve as part of
                                          been transferred to NCTC. “The                    selected from 297 entries representing
the refuge. Erie Marsh is one of the
                                          NCTC archive is able to preserve                  49 states. This year’s competition was
largest marshes in Lake Erie. TNC
                                          the collection in ways we can’t in our            co-hosted by Ducks Unlimited, the
will retain ownership rights, while
                                          lock-up room in Folkston,” says Refuge            Greater Memphis Arts Council and the
the refuge will manage the land.
                                          Ranger Sally Gentry. Gentry returned              Memphis College of Art. Duck Stamps
Since 2001, the Refuge System’s only
                                          to Georgia with replacement digital               bearing this year’s winning design will
international wildlife refuge has grown
                                          scans of documents and photographs                go on sale in late June.
from 304 acres to 4,211 acres.
                                          that will permit their continued use in
Maryland                                  refuge programs.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
                                          The NCTC museum and archive are not
has been selected as a 2007 Rand
                                          open to the public on a regular basis, but
McNalley Best of the Road ™ Editor’s
                                          NCTC students and other researchers
Pick. The editors annually choose
                                          may contact Service Historian Mark
five trips in the United States and
                                          Madison for a tour or access to
Canada that feature interesting stops.
                                          specific items in the collection. (Mark_
Blackwater Refuge is a featured
                                , 304-876-7276)
stop along a route from Ocean City
to Baltimore. The route will be
highlighted in the 2007 Rand McNalley
Road Atlas™ and on the Atlas Web site.
In other news affecting Blackwater
Refuge, the state of Maryland has
decided to permanently protect
land near the refuge that was to be
developed as a resort. The state will
buy 70 percent of the farmland that
had been slated for construction. The
developer will be permitted to build
homes on the remaining land but
there will be no golf course, hotel or
conference center. Blackwater Refuge
Manager Glenn Carowan had testified
at public zoning hearings that the
construction posed serious concerns
for the refuge, the Little Blackwater
River watershed and, eventually, the
Chesapeake Bay.

                                          Wildlife artist Richard Clifton of Milford, Delaware, won the 2006 Federal Duck Stamp Art contest
                                          with his depiction of a pair of swimming ring-necked ducks.

                                                                                        January/February 2007 | Pg 21 Refuge Update
Honors in the Planning Process — continued from pg 1
group, either from within or outside the      of the site to the Service will occur when        Outstanding Planning Staff
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in support    the Environmental Protection Agency,              Barry Brady, refuge program supervisor
of refuge planning. Nominees are              with concurrence from the Colorado                in the Northeast Region, received the
judged on the basis of quality, creativity,   Department of Public Health and                   Outstanding Planning Staff award
teamwork and outreach.                        Environment, certifies that the cleanup           in recognition of his outstanding
                                              and closure have been completed by the            contributions to comprehensive
Outstanding Plan                              Department of Energy.                             conservation planning. Considered by
Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
                                                                                                his colleagues to be the “conscience”
in Colorado won the Outstanding               Rocky Flats Refuge is the only national
                                                                                                of the Northeast Region’s Division
Plan Award for its Comprehensive              wildlife refuge that supports the
                                                                                                of Conservation Planning and Policy,
Conservation Plan. Planning began in          threatened Preble’s meadow jumping
                                                                                                he reviews each CCP in its entirety.
2002, nearly three years before the CCP       mouse. The refuge also contains over
                                                                                                Barry challenges planners to resolve
was completed in June 2005. The Rocky         1,500 acres of xeric tallgrass grassland,
                                                                                                difficult issues, even those that have
Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act of         the largest example of this ecosystem
                                                                                                been put off for years. He is tireless in
2001 allowed the Service only three           remaining in Colorado and perhaps
                                                                                                ensuring that CCPs include compatibility
years to complete the CCP required            North America.
                                                                                                determinations that are based on good
even before the refuge was formally
                                              The planning team was composed of                 science and sound judgment and conform
established. The tight time frame,
                                              Service employees, private contractors,           to policy. Often the decisions in the
coupled with the level of complexity,
                                              the Department of Energy and the State            compatibility determinations involve the
made the planning process particularly
                                              of Colorado. The Service, which created           most contentious public issues affecting
challenging. Nevertheless, the deadlines
                                              an interactive Web site as one means of           a CCP  .
were met.
                                              public outreach for the CCP received
                                                                                                Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers
Within Rocky Flats’ 380-acre industrial       more than 5,000 comments.
                                                                                                reviews developed under Brady’s
area, thousands of women and men built
                                              The award recognizes a planning team for          leadership are used as national models.
nuclear components for nearly 50 years.
                                              development of a high quality CCP Land
                                                                                  ,             Brady is particularly adept at simplifying
In 2001, Congress decreed that most of
                                              Protection Plan, or landscape-level plan. All     complex planning issues, a talent honed
the 6,240-acre Rocky Flats site would
                                              members of a core planning team, including        during his years managing several
become a national wildlife refuge after
                                              Service and non-Service employees, are            national wildlife refuges. ◆
cleanup and closure of the industrial
site. The Department of Energy, which         eligible. The criteria for judging are quality,
owned Rocky Flats, embarked on an             problem solving, presentation, public
unprecedented cleanup in 1996. Transfer       participation and teamwork.

STOKED and Other Education Strokes — continued from pg 9
At the end of the year, each child takes      One student leader interested in dance            learning outcomes of kids teaching kids.
home a hardbound book of all these            translated animal movements into                  Besides, says Danley, “The partnership
personal observations.                        human form. The children duplicated               with local schools has broadened
                                              the movements in an educational and               awareness that the refuge really is
Getting STOKED at Lee Metcalf                 very entertaining activity that didn’t            ‘the outdoor classroom’ in the greater
National Wildlife Refuge                      require anyone to sit still. Other                Bitterroot Valley community.” ◆
A bit farther north at Lee Metcalf            STOKED presentations covered aquatic
National Wildlife Refuge in Montana,          invertebrates, mammals, trees and
STOKED returns every spring, much             fish migration.
like the migratory birds for which the
refuge was created. Pairs of advanced         Some of the first elementary students
placement high school students prepare        who participated in STOKED a decade
30-minute presentations on ecological         ago have now become student teachers.
issues for elementary school students.        Refuge Outdoor Recreation Planner Bob
They are STOKED – Students Teaching           Danley says the refuge has embraced
Other Kids Ecological Dynamics.               STOKED because of the powerful

Pg 22 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
Protecting the Light-footed Clapper Rail on a Naval Base

S    eal Beach National Wildlife Refuge
     in California has one employee
– Refuge Manager Kirk Gilligan. But
thanks to a strong partnership with the
U.S. Navy, a vibrant and hardworking
Friends organization, a pair of virtually
full-time volunteers and 200 more helpers
who showed up on National Public Lands
Day, restoration of the refuge’s Hog
Island for the endangered clapper rail is
well underway.
Hog Island earned its name when early
settlers used the island as a holding area
for livestock. Those settlers also brought
in such invasive species as fennel, malta
starthistle and very thick black mustard
– a bad combination for the endangered
light-footed clapper rails that nest on
the refuge. The restoration of native
vegetation on Hog Island is one of
several refuge projects to improve and
expand habitat for the clapper rail.
It all started when the refuge began
using GPS technology to map the               Volunteers of all ages are helping to restore Hog Island on Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge in
invasives on the island. Volunteer            California, removing invasives and covering the island with native vegetation to provide nesting cover
Mark Beaty, a glass contractor in             for the endangered clapper rail. (Bob Schallmann, U.S. Navy)
nearby Westminster, learned to use the
equipment and then taught others.             some surrounding Hog Island. The 85                   the refuge as well as vans and drivers
                                              platforms rise and fall with the tide so              to shuttle the volunteers. “We have
Beaty and his mother Shirley are almost       clapper rail nests are not washed away.               an outstanding relationship,” says
full-time volunteers at Seal Beach                                                                  Bob Schallmann, Navy biologist and
Refuge. They started by helping to turn       At first, the platforms had only                      conservation program manager. “It is
an area behind the visitor center into        vegetation cover; when that failed to keep            truly a partnership in conservation.”
a native plant garden. What may have          predators away, small huts with spiked
been a parking lot for tanks now features     roofs were added. Gilligan says the                   Gilligan has been impressed with the
trails and flowering plants even in winter.   huts have been extremely successful in                community’s willingness to contribute.
                                              providing safe nesting areas for the rails.           Toyota Motor Corporation, for example,
“There’s been a tremendous increase in        The platforms will be complemented by                 is a sponsor and has brought employee
birds in the garden area,” says Beaty. “If    the restoration of native vegetation.                 volunteers as well as food, gloves and
it works in the garden, it should work                                                              t-shirts. “We planted most of an island
on Hog Island.” Gilligan agrees that a        On National Public Lands Day in 2006,                 in just one morning,” said the pleased
restored Hog Island will provide better       more than 200 volunteers showed up to                 manager, “and everyone is eager to see
habitat for many migratory birds as well      cut weeds, dig holes for 600 marsh plants             what the island looks like come spring.” ◆
as good cover for clapper rails.              representing 15 species, and put down
                                              mulch to slow the return of the invasive
Nesting huts and safe cover                   weeds. The U.S. Navy used funds from a
Great blue herons, peregrine falcons          legacy grant to buy the plants, the mulch
and other raptors prey on clapper rails,      and an irrigation supplement.
especially during exceptionally high
tides when there is no place for the          Seal Beach Refuge is located entirely
rails to hide. Wooden platforms were          within the Naval Weapons Station Seal
placed around the refuge, including           Beach. The Navy provided access to

                                                                                              January/February 2007 | Pg 23 Refuge Update
Wilderness Training: Learning the Importance of Saving
All the Pieces
                                                                                                   hunting and related wildlife-dependent
Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the                                   recreational experiences.
artifact called civilization. . . .Wilderness has the power to console,
                                                                                                   The Okefenokee wilderness, the
and there’s a lot of consolation needed in this world. Another of the                              largest Refuge System wilderness
principal values of wilderness, both as a concept and as a real place, is                          in the Southeast Region, might not
its ability to inspire.                                                                            even exist without its designation as
                                                                                                   a protected wilderness. This vast
                                                  Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949        wilderness, measuring about 38 miles
                                                                                                   long and 25 miles wide, provides a rich
                                                                                                   diversity of habitat types that support
By Sam D. Hamilton                                    National Wilderness Stewardship              numerous species of wildlife and plants,
                                                      course. Our experiential learning            including the red-cockaded woodpecker,
A     s I lay awake listening to the
      sounds of a Montana summer
night in the Scapegoat Wilderness Area
                                                      included a day on the trail discussing
                                                      wilderness stewardship and making
                                                                                                   American bald eagle and the wood
                                                                                                   stork – all endangered species. The
                                                      camp for the night in a local wilderness     refuge staff works to conserve these and
last June, I was struck by the truth of               area. I entered this training with an        other species and preserve the area’s
Aldo Leopold’s thoughts. The retreat                  appreciation for wilderness. I walked        wilderness character.
from the frenetic pace of daily life offered          out with a strengthened commitment to
by wilderness puts the mind at peace; and             wilderness in the Refuge System.             The naturalist John Muir once said,
a mind at peace can see new possibilities                                                          “When we try to pick out anything
for meeting the challenges of life back in            The 106-million-acre National Wilderness     by itself, we find it hitched to
“civilization.”                                       Preservation System is managed               everything else in the universe.” That
                                                      by the Service, the Bureau of Land           interconnectedness of all life is a theme
Along with others from the U.S.                       Management, the National Park Service        running through the National Wilderness
Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest                 and the Forest Service. These four           Stewardship course.
Service, and the U.S. Air Force, I was                agencies established the Carhart Center
taking part in the Arthur Carhart                     on the campus of the University of           Course offers information
Wilderness Training Center’s annual                   Montana in Missoula in 1993.                 and inspiration
                                                                                                   The course is a wonderful source of
                                                      Promoting Diversity and Recreation           information, consolation and inspiration.
                                                      in the Wilderness                            It offers a rare opportunity to untether
                                                      Wilderness areas contribute significantly    ourselves from daily technology and
                                                      to the biological integrity, diversity and   reconnect with nature at its wildest.
                                                      environmental health of the Refuge
                                                      System. Surveys show that the public         It is also an opportunity to meet
                                                      values wilderness areas as sources of        wilderness managers from across
                                                      clean air and water, havens for wildlife,    the country who are all striving to
                                                      places for primitive types of recreation     understand how wilderness preservation
                                                      in wide-open spaces, and places that         is integrated with our other stewardship
                                                      preserve our natural heritage.               responsibilities. After my experience in
                                                                                                   Montana, I’m convinced that the road
                                                      It also became clear on this training        home for the human race runs through
                                                      trip that our outfitter has been able to     the wilderness.
                                                      manage a highly successful hunting
                                                      guide operation in the Scapegoat,            The next wilderness training will be held
                                                      in a large part due to its wilderness        June 24–29. For more information, check
Surveys show that the public values wilderness
areas as sources of clean air and water, havens for   status. The more time I spent with our       out; to register,
wildlife, places for primitive types of recreation    outfitter, the more convinced I became       contact Karen Lindsey, 406-243-4627. ◆
in wide-open spaces and places that preserve
                                                      that thoughtful wilderness stewardship       Sam Hamilton is regional director for
our natural heritage. Regional Director Sam
Hamilton last year experienced the Scapegoat          practices can result in outstanding          the Southeast Region of the U.S. Fish
Wilderness Area in Montana. (USFWS)                   opportunities for quality wilderness         and Wildlife Service.

Pg 24 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
Meet Charles Rodgers
Aviation Mechanic at Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge
                                             After that, I worked as a laborer              I had to replace both water rudder
                                             building houses, until I heard on              assemblies on our Cessna 206. The
                                             the radio that a local air carrier was         aircraft got pushed up on a tidal bank
                                             hiring an aircraft mechanic’s helper. I        and damaged both water rudders. I had
                                             was hired on the spot. I started as a          to come in the night before and take the
                                             mechanic’s helper and stayed for 16            parts off another aircraft that was in
                                             years. I left as director of maintenance.      the hangar for inspection, so we could
                                             It was a great experience. I got               get the damaged one back up ASAP It  .
                                             to travel all over the Yukon Delta,            was extremely critical to get this plane
                                             repairing aircraft and supervising major       repaired fast and make it safe for the
                                             and minor repairs and inspections on a         bird banding mission it was on. I even
                                             wide range of aircraft from small Cessna       helped band birds!
                                             172s to large transport category aircraft
                                             like Casa 212s.                                What do you enjoy doing when you’re
                                                                                            not on the job?
                                             And from there you came to Yukon
                                             Delta National Wildlife Refuge?                Spending time with my family is my top
                                                                                            priority. We just got back from a family
                                             I started working for the Service in           camping trip. We took our boat from
                                             February of 2005. I heard on the radio         Bethel to about 30 miles below the city of
                                             they were looking for a local aircraft         McGrath on the Kuskokwin River. My
                                             mechanic.                                      GPS odometer says in the eight to nine
                                                                                            days we were gone, we covered about
                                             What are some of your more                     900 miles.
                                             challenging days like?
                                                                                            Tell us a little bit about your family.
                                             The first one I recall, I had to inspect
                                             an aircraft that “nosed up” on a lake          I was born in Bethel. My family is
                                             in Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. It         Alaskan Eskimo. I have two brothers in
                                             was winter; the aircraft had a propeller       Bethel and one in Anchorage. I have a

H    ow did you become an airplane
                                             strike, which means the propeller
                                             hits something while turning. When
                                                                                            sister still in Bethel and three sisters in
                                                                                            Anchorage, Utah and Washington. My
I grew up in Bethel and Upper Kalskag,       an aircraft is down and in a remote            wife and I have three daughters and a
a village about 68 air miles up the          location, there are no roads, no               son, 7 years to 15. The time just goes by
Kuskokwim River from Bethel, Alaska.         airports, absolutely nothing for support       way too fast with kids.
When I was in the ninth grade, I moved       equipment. I had to think of every
                                             possible piece of equipment needed to do       At work, the Service is a very big family
to Kalskag to go to flight school. They                                                     of people who are quality individuals who
had a program that was free to students.     the job and get as much information as
                                             possible about the repairs needed. We          love what they do. I am just glad to be
My father agreed to let me go. He said it                                                   part of the team. ◆
was a good way to get a pilot license.       flew out from Bethel with all my tools and
                                             equipment to the job.
I never got the pilot’s license. I really
wanted to learn how to fix airplanes. I      Lots of support parts were waiting
always enjoyed taking things apart           for me at the lake after they had been
and working on snow machines, four           shipped to Dillingham and flown to
wheelers, outboard motors and all sorts      the lake by Togiak Refuge pilots. The
of engines. I guess you could say I          weather was beautiful. I inspected the
migrated from wanting to fly to wanting      engine and replaced the prop. Then we
to work on planes in high school. I stayed   ferried the aircraft back to Bethel with
in Kalskag, living with my grandfather,      no problems. That was a really fun job.
Steven Nicholi, an Eskimo elder, until I     Another challenging job was at the
graduated high school in 1989.               remote field camps at Kanagiak when

                                                                                        January/February 2007 | Pg 25 Refuge Update
Saving Rain for Sunny Days in South Texas

By Monica Monk                                    In fall 2006, staff at Lower Rio Grande             our knowledge and capacity to restore
                                                  Valley Refuge in Texas used the                     habitat has improved and increased, but
A    n innovative nursery and “green”
     water delivery system is playing a
key role in what is shaping up to be one
                                                  nursery’s products as they worked with
                                                  neighboring farmers and volunteers
                                                                                                      our facilities were old and cramped,”
                                                                                                      recalled Ken Merritt, project leader of
                                                  to transplant thousands of plants,                  South Texas Refuge Complex. “The new
of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National           including several species of fast-growing           nursery allows staff to complete growing
Wildlife Refuge’s most productive                 acacias, characteristic of the Tamaulipan           tasks year round and in any weather.”
re-vegetation seasons in years. It all            thornscrub ecosystem found only in
began with construction in 2004 of a new          extreme south Texas, and Texas ebony,               Let It Rain
nursery that includes a state-of-the-art          mesquite, tepeguaje, huisache, blackbrush,          The roof of the new re-vegetation office
24,000-gallon rainwater collection and            retama and tenaza. They created wildlife            and work building serves as the rain
delivery system.                                  habitat across hundreds of acres.                   catchment area “Being able to catch
                                                                                                      rain is like money in the bank,” noted
The rainwater irrigation method now               More than 95 percent of the valley’s                Merritt, who pointed out that an eight-
used by the refuge either replaces or             original native brush land has been                 inch rain completely fills all of the
supplements the chlorinated, slightly             cleared or altered for agriculture and              nursery’s storage tanks. With rainfall
saline local water supply that had                urban development. Lower Rio Grande                 averaging about 24 inches per year, the
been used exclusively to germinate                Valley Refuge, is home to some of the last          refuge hopes to collect of 60,000 to 70,00
seeds and grow plants. For nearly                 parcels of subtropical thorn forests in the         gallons of rain annually.
30 years, the refuge has worked to                United States.
create a subtropical, riparian woodland                                                               In the semiarid Lower Rio Grande Valley,
corridor along the last 275 miles of the               So, when the re-vegetation program             rain, drought and reservoir levels are
Rio Grande. The refuge has restored                    outgrew its space at Santa Ana National        always hot topics of conversation. Ask
thousands of acres of former agricultural              Wildlife Refuge, construction of a new         any gardener or farmer, and they will
fields through the re-vegetation program.              – and very different – nursery began in        probably agree that rainwater is far
                                                       2004 on the Marinoff Tract of the Lower        superior to other sources of water for
                                                                               Rio Grande Valley      growing plants. “It is definitely a key
                                                                               Refuge. After 18       component to the success of many native
                                                                               months, the new        species in the valley,” forestry technician
                                                                               building, pole barn    Noreen Mastascusa reports.
                                                                               and nursery were
                                                                               complete, with         The nursery used rainwater almost
                                                                               most of the work       exclusively in its first five months. Staff
                                                                               done by the refuge     noticed improved seed germination and
                                                                               maintenance staff.     survival rates as well as increased plant
                                                                               Chris Best, now        vigor and growth. Indeed, last year,
                                                                               a botanist with        refuge forestry technicians produced a
                                                                               Ecological Services    whopping 98 percent of an aggressive
                                                                               in Austin, and I       goal of 270,000 seedlings of 72 native
                                                                               did most of the        plant species.
                                                                               nursery design.        “The staff that works to restore native
                                                                               The old nursery        habitat is skilled and resourceful and has
                                                                               had too little         produced very good results in the past
                                                                               space. The nursery     under less-than-ideal conditions,” said
                                                                               components were        Merritt. “It’s great to see everyone’s
                                                                               fragmented,            vision and hard work producing results
                                                                               creating inefficient   like these so soon.” ◆
                                                                               distances between
                                                                               the office, the        Monica Monk, formerly refuge
Forestry Technicians Noreen Mastascusa and Tino Caldera check plants in                               operations specialist at Lower Rio
the new nursery at Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.         plant beds and
The new nursery includes a state-of-the-art 24,000-gallon rainwater collec­    the pole barn.         Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge
tion and delivery system that is helping the refuge achieve one of its most    “Over the years,       in Texas, is now with the Natural
productive re-vegetation seasons in years. (Michael Carlo/USFWS)                                      Resources Conservation Service in Iowa.

Pg 26 Refuge Update | January/February 2007
The Student Career Experience Program
Promoting Conservation and Diversity — continued from pg 13
magazine that, despite the increasing            “Students don’t realize all the things         Human Resources are eager to work with
diversity of the American population,            the Service does with migratory                refuge managers to find qualified
the conservation community remains               birds, refuges, ecological services, law       SCEP students.
“stubbornly white.”                              enforcement and wildlife inspectors,”
                                                 says Butler.                                   In addition to addressing the huge void
Butler believes that is in large part                                                           that is going to be created as large
because young people are simply                  Human resources personnel in the               numbers of baby boomers begin to
not aware of career opportunities                Service are increasingly promoting             retire, “SCEP makes an investment
in conservation in general or the                SCEP early in a student’s high school          in the future,” says Butler, who sees
Service in particular. As a member of            or college career so the program can           opportunities to move into administration
the Minorities in Natural Resources              be tailored to a student’s interests           and beyond. “The sky is the limit for
Committee of the Southeast Association           and abilities. For a refuge, SCEP can          me. There is room at the top. You feel
of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Butler            offer an opportunity to staff hard-to-fill     encouraged.” ◆
attends career fairs to drum up interest         positions or increase staff diversity. The
in conservation careers and in SCEP   .          offices of Diversity and Civil Rights and

Start by Teaching the Teachers — continued from pg 18
for successful professional development          who teach in public, tribal and parochial      visitor services professional at Sevilleta
initiatives to fill a need that hasn’t already   schools to those who provide home              Refuge. “While the Mexican gray
been met and take advantage of as many           schooling. Last year, the refuge’s             wolves are still searching to find their
local partners as possible.                      wolf outreach program reached more             place in the southwest,” says King-
                                                 than 650 students and 100 teachers,            Wrenn, “wolf education has found a
At Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge            according to Kimberly King-Wrenn,              home at Sevilleta Refuge. ◆
in New Mexico an effort to provide
educators with accurate and unbiased
information about the endangered                                                                                      John Heinz at Tinicum
                                                                                                                      National Wildlife
Mexican gray wolf led to design of an
                                                                                                                      Refuge Environmental
education outreach program focused                                                                                    Education Specialist
on the wolf. In 2005, several retired                                                                                 Erika Scarborough
teachers volunteered to help the refuge                                                                               teaches a Project
create an educator’s guide. The guide                                                                                 WILD workshop to
                                                                                                                      local teachers on the
includes activities for pre-school through
                                                                                                                      deck of the Cusano
twelfth grade and will eventually be                                                                                  Environmental
available online.                                                                                                     Education Center.
                                                                                                                      The center opened to
In the “Build a Wolf ” lesson, for example,                                                                           the public in January
elementary students learn about wolf                                                                                  2001. (Bill Buchanan/
adaptations as they dress up in a costume                                                                             USFWS)
that includes large teeth, ears, feet and
a fluffy tail. Middle school students play
a hunting game to learn about predator/
prey relationships. High school students
become members of a fictitious “Wolf
Reintroduction Team;” they must decide                              ANSWERS TO WOLF COMMUNICATIONS
where and how to reintroduce Mexican                   See if you did as well as the youngsters who took the “messages” activity
gray wolves and then defend their                     as part of the educational program about Mexican gray wolves at Sevilleta
recommendations.                                                        National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.
More than 150 guides have been                             A. I won’t fight…, B. Hello, C. This is my territory, D. Stay away
distributed to educators, from those                                E. I won’t fight, F. I’m the leader, G. Let’s play

                                                                                            January/February 2007 | Pg 27 Refuge Update
Chief’s Corner — continued from pg 2          Bird Call
program. A record 9.4 million acres were
burned in 2006, up from 8.7 acres a year
earlier. The accumulation of fuels often      R    are bird nestings provided a
                                                   thrill last summer in Alaska.
                                              Birder Stacy Studebaker was collecting
outpaces our ability to reduce them, but
we will continue to control fuels – quite     and photographing plants on Kodiak
literally fighting fire with fire.            National Wildlife Refuge when she
                                              found the nest of the rare Kittlitz’s
Second, we need to realize that the           murrelet on a 3,000-foot-high bare
fire community is being relied upon to        granite ridge. It is the first record of
respond to risks other than fire, including                                               Birder Stacy Studebaker photographed a rare
                                              a Kittlitz’s murrelet nesting on Kodiak     Kittlitz’s murrelet nest on Kodiak Island in
hurricanes and other natural disasters.       Island and one of the few nests ever        Alaska.
The demands on our firefighting force are     found in Alaska. “As an avid Alaska
enormous, and funding has to keep pace.       birder,” said Studebaker, “this discovery   canyon along the Canning River. They
                                              was like finding the Holy Grail.”           were nesting in a cliff swallow nest, a
Finally, we have to increase public
awareness. Since 2005, the Service has                                                    mud-domed structure on a cliff face. It
                                              Even farther north, field scientist Paul
partnered with The Nature Conservancy                                                     is the first time gray-headed chickadees
                                              Sykes, with the U.S. Geological Survey,
to work with stakeholders to apply fire                                                   have been known to use cliff swallow
                                              joined a Wilderness Birding Adventure
and other management tools to restore                                                     nests and the first time they have been
                                              along the north slope of the Brooks
and maintain landscapes. These partners                                                   documented nesting so high. They were
                                              Range in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
help minimize the threat of wildfire and                                                  up 200 feet. ◆
                                              to search for the gray-headed chickadee.
maximize benefits to both people and          A pair of chickadees, only rarely seen in   “Bird Call” will appear periodically
biological communities. We will continue      Alaska, was found nesting on the edge of    as a column in this newsletter. If
to seek more of these partnerships.           the tundra and forest. Sykes and others     you’ve recently seen a rare, unusual
                                              on the trip had never seen the species      or particularly interesting bird on a
The quality of our fire program honors
                                              in North America. The chickadees            national wildlife refuge, let us know at
all firefighters, including the five Forest
                                              were spotted in a small willow-filled box
Service firefighters who sacrificed their
lives last summer in fighting a blaze that
appears to have been set. Ultimately,
public safety is our first concern as         Send Us Your Comments
we squarely face the trends that drive        Letters to the Editor or suggestions about Refuge Update can be e-mailed to
demand for fire management.          or mailed to Refuge Update, USFWS-NWRS,
                                              4401 North Fairfax Dr., Room 634C, Arlington, VA 22203-1610.

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