Refuge Friends are the most powerful voices on behalf of their local refuges and the Refuge System in communities and with decision-makers in Washington. NWRA provides Friends with the tools and training to be compelling spokespeople. By speaking out, Friends have made significant contributions to the Refuge System, playing a crucial role in the establishment and growth of refuges, halting harmful activities on and adjacent to refuges, and helping create visitor facilities like boardwalks and visitor centers.
We depend on our growing Action Team, comprising Refuge Friends Groups and thousands of other citizens who want to make a difference for wildlife and refuges, when we advocate for action in support of refuges. Action Team members receive alerts when action is needed and assistance in communicating their views directly to decision-makers.
Since 2001 NWRA has generated more than 30,000 communications from Refuge Friends Groups and private citizens to decision- makers. These communications range from supporting conservation program funding to protecting the Arctic from oil drilling to creating new habitat for endangered species with the Everglades headwaters project.
Refuge Friends on Capitol Hill
NWRA encourages Friends to visit Washington, D.C., annually to meet with their elected officials in support their local refuges and the Refuge System. In 2002, NWRA led hundreds of Friends from around the country to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the Refuge System as a group for the first time.
These Friends met with more than 245 U.S. Representatives and Senators, as well as key Congressional staffers, to advocate for increased funding for the Refuge System, increased funding for land acquisition and for support for the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.
Since that first trek to Capitol Hill, NWRA has led thousands more to the halls of Congress and helped make their voices heard on behalf of the National Wildlife Refuge System.