The Flyer April 2017

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FROM THE PRESIDENT:

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Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for being a part of our community and family; for your passion, dedication, and commitment to protecting your National Wildlife Refuge System.

Our shared love for wildlife and beautiful places unifies us as a community. If you are a hunter, a birder, a photographer, a hiker, an angler, or just a wildlife enthusiast, we all create memories with friends and families on refuges. We treasure these special moments and the relationships we build.

The opportunities to create future memories on national wildlife refuges continue to be threatened. I would like to briefly mention a few issues that we continue to monitor. This month, President Trump signed an Executive Order asking the Secretary of the Interior to review all national monument designations since 1996 in an attempt to rescind, revoke, and make changes to those monuments. This could be detrimental to portions of the recently established Pacific Marine National Monuments and places America’s wildlife heritage in jeopardy.

As Congress continues to fight over the proposed border wall, which could result in a government shutdown, we believe that Congress will most likely negotiate a short-term Continuing Resolution, which would fund the government for an additional week as they continue to negotiate.

We will also remain vigilant on the proposed land exchange in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and the transfer of land management in Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Earlier this month, the Refuge Association rallied over 100 Friends Groups across the country to oppose two bills that would authorize a road through the Izembek NWR in Alaska and a boundary change at the Monomoy NWR in Massachusetts that would effectively cut that refuge in half.

The long-standing public-private partnership between landowners and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also at risk. Funding for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, which provides technical assistance to landowners who wish to support conservation on private lands is in jeopardy.

Despite these challenges, let’s continue to channel our energy and passion into protecting our National Wildlife Refuge System. We need your support now more than ever.

Ending on a very positive note I want to thank you all again for your support and give you an example of the wonderful kind of help we receive each month. We all just celebrated Earth Day on April 22. The Day Trip Society, a small nature and travel shop in Kennebunkport, Maine contacted us on Instagram and donated to us 10% of all their Earth Day Sales! This was unexpected and very appreciated. It is a great example of people caring about the National Wildlife Refuge System and the work we do to support it.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey L. Haskett

Acting-President

REFUGE NEWS:

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We are pleased to announce the 2017 National Wildlife Refuge System Awards to honor extraordinary individuals for their outstanding conservation management skills and volunteer leadership found throughout the Refuge System. They are an inspiration to all of us. The 2017 Awardees are:

  • Kevin Godsea: The Paul Kroegel Refuge Manager of the Year Award
  • Dale Pittman: Refuge Employee of the Year Award
  • Richard Esker: The Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Friends of Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge: The Molly Krival Friends Group of the Year Award

Learn more about the wonderful individuals who have dedicated their lives to support the National Wildlife Refuge System.

REFUGE ASSOCIATION NEWS:

The Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE) group released their Fiscal Year 2018 budget recommendations for the Administration and Congress to support the National Wildlife Refuge System. The CARE group, chaired by the Refuge Association, is a collective group of 23 conservation organizations, representing over 16 million members, who’s mission is to advocate for the operations and maintenance budget for the Refuge System. We will continue to work with Congressional leaders to ensure that your local refuges have the appropriate resources and funding to fulfill their conservation mission.

Learn More

INSIDE WASHINGTON:

Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Rule Voided

Last month, the U.S. Senate used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to permanently void the Alaska National Wildlife Rule, which had prohibited practices such as killing bear cubs and wolf pups along with their mothers in their dens. The rule codified how national wildlife refuges had been managed in Alaska for years and did not affect subsistence hunting, and only applied to lands within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The extreme predator control activities identified in the rule are part of the State of Alaska’s strategy to artificially increase the populations of popular game species by reducing the population of predator species like wolves and bears. This type of “intensive management” embraced by the State directly conflicts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) guiding principle to manage wildlife to maintain natural biodiversity on national wildlife refuges.

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Members of Congress Introduce Bills to Protect the Coastal Plain of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

In Alaska, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest intact, untouched ecosystems in the world. It provides critical habitat for caribou, wolves, muskoxen, polar bears, and more than 200 species of migratory and resident birds. 

For years, the oil and gas industry and their allies in Washington D.C. have targeted the Coastal Plain for development. Fortunately, this month, over 40 members of Congress came together to introduce bills that would designate the Coastal Plain as wilderness, protecting it from future development.

Learn More

WE NEED YOUR HELP TODAY!

Support the National Wildlife Refuge Association today with a small donation to help us fight threats in Washington D.C.

If you do not wish to make a small donation, be sure to like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to join the conversation to protect your National Wildlife Refuge System.

Permanent link to this article: http://refugeassociation.org/news/flyer/the-flyer-april-2017/