Archive for December, 2007

Dec 31, 2007

Photo Essay of Ash Meadows NWR

On the community website Gather.com, community member Jennifer F. — whose parents have worked at various national parks — has posted a beautiful photo essay of Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which is located approximately 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas in the Amargosa Valley of southern Nye County, Nevada.
Ash Meadows NWR was established [...]

Dec 30, 2007

Sec. Kempthorne Changes Ethics Policy

The Washington Post recently reported that Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has apparently weakened the department’s new ethics policy by directing that a review panel can consider only ethics matters referred to it by the two top officials at Interior.
According to the Post:

In the summer, Kempthorne announced a 10-point plan that he said would [...]

Dec 30, 2007

Rebuilding Marsh with Recycled Xmas Trees

An article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that citizens in New Orleans will be making use of old Christmas trees to help rebuild sediment traps at Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.
According to Wynecta Fisher, director of the city’s Office of Environmental Affairs:
“I’m hoping that we get over 10,000 trees,” she said. “In [...]

Dec 28, 2007

Photo Friday: Sunrise over Pelican Island

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Sebastian, Florida was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, making it the very first national wildlife refuge.
In honor of the Refuge System Centennial Celebration in 2003, a Centennial Trail was built at Pelican Island NWR. The trail features a long boardwalk with planks for every refuge in [...]

Dec 28, 2007

Editorial Cartoons of J.N. “Ding” Darling

The University of Iowa has assembled a digital library featuring 11,000 editorial cartoons of J.N. “Ding” Darling (1876 - 1962).
“Ding” Darling — who twice won the Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartoons at the Des Moines Register — was a powerful supporter of waterfowl conservation in America, and from 1934-1935 he headed what is [...]

Dec 26, 2007

Water Demands in Texas Cause Refuge Controversy

On December 21, The Houston Chronicle reported that a controversy has now developed regarding the establishment of a 25,000-acre wildlife refuge on the upper reaches of the Neches River in Texas.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report “North Neches River National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Proposal, Environmental Assessment, Conceptual Management Plan and Land [...]

Dec 25, 2007

Fire Burns 500 Acres at Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR

On December 24, the South Texas publication The Monitor reported that a fire burned approximately 500 acres at the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge but was under control as of Monday.
The Monitor stated:

Firefighters spent three days battling the blaze on El Rincon wildlife tract, a closed federal area on the Rio Grande east [...]

Dec 24, 2007

Highly Endangered Duck Making a Comeback

The U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently reported that the most highly endangered duck species — the Laysan duck or Laysan teal — is making a comeback on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which is near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago.
According to the USGS:

In 2004 and 2005, 42 wild, [...]

Dec 22, 2007

Species Close-Up: American or Christmas Holly

The American holly — or Christmas holly — is a native evergreen in the United States and is loved by humans and wildlife alike.
The story goes that when the pilgrims landed in North America, they noticed the American holly tree, and it reminded them of English holly, which was a popular symbol of Christmas [...]

Dec 21, 2007

Photo Friday: Sleigh Rides in Elk Refuge

At the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming, sleigh rides are offered from mid December to late March. The rides are provided by Double H Bar, Inc. and offer visitors a chance to see not only thousands of elk but also eagles, bison, wolves, deer, badgers, ducks, geese, and trumpeter swans.
For more information, visit the [...]

Dec 19, 2007

Big Budget Win for the Refuge System

A big congratulations to all those who made calls to their representatives and senators regarding the recent budget negotiations. Congress is on the verge of wrapping up an omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year 2008 that President Bush is expected to sign, and in that bill is a $39 million increase for the Refuge System’s [...]

Dec 19, 2007

Loosening Gun Laws on Refuges

According to the December 18 issue of The Missoulian, Montana Democratic Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester have forwarded a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne asking that the department allow gun owners to carry loaded firearms into national parks and national wildlife refuges.
The letter, which was co-signed by 47 other senators, said

the [...]