Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative Will Connect Millions To Conservation

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday announced a multi-faceted Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative to make its programs reflect the diverse perspectives, values and cultures of America. The initiative strives to make the Service’s programs far more relevant to millions of Americans — 80 percent of whom live in big and small cities — giving them myriad ways to participate in wildlife conservation and recreation.

The Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative will provide economic benefits to hundreds of communities as new generations of city dwellers learn wildlife-dependent recreation, such as birding, fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing and so much more,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Too many Americans have grown up without a real connection to wildlife. This initiative gives us the chance to change that.”

The Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative grows out of the Service’s Conserving the Future process, which set a strategic path for the National Wildlife Refuge System for the next decade and beyond. To stay engaged and informed visit: http://americaswildlife.org/

The initiative is built on four major elements:

·         “Standards of Excellence for Urban National Wildlife Refuges” to help national wildlife refuges engage urban Americans in new and more effective ways. The standards are aimed at national wildlife refuges within 25 miles of urban areas with 250,000 people or more, but also can benefit refuges serving more rural communities.

·         Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships in geographically-dispersed communities to expand the Service’s conservation programs. Eight partnerships were established in 2013 and more will be established by 2015.

·         A Director’s Order that authorizes and encourages all Service programs to conduct cooperative fish and wildlife conservation, education and outreach in urban communities. These areas are partnership-based lands, not managed by the Service, where people can enjoy outdoor experiences that foster connections with fish and wildlife resources and promote active engagement of people in the natural world.

·         A first-ever Urban Academy for staff and partners at the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia on Sept. 23-25. The purpose is to train staff on cultural diversity, how to overcome barriers to outdoor recreation, and create partnerships that engage new audiences in order to foster a new conservation constituency.

“We believe these unique Urban Partnerships can inspire the imagination and create a connected conservation constituency of people who are aware, understand and support fish and wildlife conservation,” said Director Ashe. 

The National Wildlife Refuge System has scores of wildlife refuges in urban areas, including Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit and Boston, among other cities. More than 47 million people annually visit national wildlife refuges.



Fort Loudoun State Park Veterans Hunt Is Successful

The first Fort Loudoun State Park, Disabled Veterans Hunt took place on Monday. Six veterans from the Disabled American Veterans, a nonprofit charity that provides support for veterans and their families, joined staff and volunteers before sunrise for breakfast and a quick briefing before heading to their hunting blinds.       Joe Pike, Monroe County ... (click for more)

2017-18 TWRA Winter Trout Stocking Schedule Set

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced its 2017-18 winter trout stocking schedule. TWRA plans to release approximately 90,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March. The program provides numerous close to home trout fishing opportunities for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce children ... (click for more)

Hixson Burglary Suspect Tries To Swim Away; Deputies Catch Him In Borrowed Boat

A Hixson burglary suspect on Wednesday tried to swim away from deputies, but to no avail.   The proprietor of Chattanooga Fish and Fun was notified when his camera system was triggered by an individual attempting to break into his business. The owner immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office and drove to the business location.   As deputies arrived on scene, ... (click for more)

5 Disinherited Adopted Children Of Dr. J. Don Brock May Share In Rich Estate After All

Five disinherited adopted children of the late Chattanooga businessman J. Don Brock may share in his large estate after all. After losing at the trial court and appeals court level, the plaintiffs won a victory at the Tennessee Supreme Court. Justice Cornelia Clark ruled in favor of the adopted children and remanded the case to the trial court for settlement of the estate. ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful

You would think that after 40 years of publishing an annual list of things for which I am thankful, I’d be getting to the bottom of it, but it seems the older I get I have found I appreciate so much more around me. I take absolute delight in planting a flower, feeding the birds and throwing a ball for my dog. I find that the more people who I come to know the more who I come to ... (click for more)