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Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Reveals Special Bear Statue

Workers install the Kodiak bear statue outside of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center | Photo Credit: Lisa Hupp, USFWS
Workers install the Kodiak bear statue outside of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center | Photo Credit: Lisa Hupp, USFWS

76 years ago, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was established in Alaska. A group of concerned guides, hunters, and anglers came together to petition the protection of the Kodiak brown bear. In honor of Charlie Madsen, who championed the guiding and trophy hunting industry around Kodiak, a fiberglass statue, known as the “Madsen Bear” was erected outside of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center this past weekend.

The Madsen Bear symbolizes the importance and rich history of brown bears, coexisting with the people of Kodiak. In its honor last year, the Refuge Association provided a financial contribution to support this special project.

The relatives of Kodiak's first bear guide, Charles Madsen, in front of bear statue | Photo Credit: Lisa Hupp, USFWS
The relatives of Kodiak’s first bear guide, Charles Madsen, in front of bear statue | Photo Credit: Lisa Hupp, USFWS

“We congratulate the people of Kodiak on their dedication of the new Kodiak bear statue,” said Refuge Association President, Geoffrey Haskett. “I have wonderful memories of Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and the people of Kodiak. We are grateful that the people of Kodiak honored the refuge by placing this exceptional artwork at the visitor center for all to see.” Geoffrey Haskett was the Alaska Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 2008-2016.

This extraordinary event was well attended by over 200 people, including community leaders, the Alutiiq people, locals, and conservationists. Distinguished guests spoke about the importance of the project and what is means for the local economy, community, and wildlife heritage of Alaska.

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, which contains the world’s most dense population of brown bears, attracts 65,000 people a year. The reveal of the bear statue reflects the importance and appreciation of the wonderful conservation partnership between the Kodiak community and local, state and federal governments. Congratulation to everyone who was involved in the project.

Permanent link to this article: http://refugeassociation.org/2017/08/kodiak-national-wildlife-refuge-reveals-special-bear-statue/

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