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.



Bridgestone Donates 6,000-Acre Tract Near Sparta, Tn., To The Nature Conservancy

Bridgestone has donated a 6,000-acre tract in White County, Tn., to the The Nature Conservancy. The property is near Sparta about 80 miles east of Nashville. The tract will be called the Bridgestone Nature Reserve at Chestnut Mountain.  It represents the largest donation received by The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. The donation will offset some of the carbon ... (click for more)

Reflection Riding Holds Spring Native Plant Sale This Weekend

Reflection Riding is holding its Spring Native Plant Sale selling the region's best selection of trees, shrubs, and perennials.  Here is the schedule: Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale and Earth Day Festival.  Native plants, grown for a variety of garden conditions, are beautiful, sustainable, and contribute ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Arrest Robbery Suspects Within Hours Of Holdup; Citizen Takes Quick Photo Of Suspect Vehicle

Chattanooga Police officers arrested two suspects involved in an armed robbery within hours of the incident. Officers responded to an armed robbery call at 5966 Brainerd Road  at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The victim told police she was exiting her vehicle when she was approached by a white male pointing a handgun at her demanding her purse and cell phone. The victim ... (click for more)

WACKER-Charleston Taking Initial Steps To Restart Polysilicon Production After Explosion Shut Facility Last September

WACKER-Charleston announced Thursday it has resumed operations for the production of polysilicon. Using a phase-in approach, WACKER has begun the initial start-up of the site, beginning with distillation. The initial production of polysilicon is targeted to begin in the next few weeks. WACKER anticipates the Charleston site will reach full capacity in the fourth quarter ... (click for more)

Keep The Gifted Program In The Hamilton County Schools - And Response (2)

I currently have a daughter in fourth grade at Lookout Valley Elementary and a daughter in the eighth grade at Lookout Valley Middle High School. Both of my daughters are very good students, as well as being very good people. I am writing today with a concern. I was made aware that the Hamilton County Department of Education is considering cutting the gifted program ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Remarkable Diane Black

As I was introduced to Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Diane Black on Thursday afternoon, I told her that one of my favorite stories is about her when she was a young, single mother in Baltimore. Her nursing job required her to sign on no later than 6:30 a.m. for work in the emergency room each day but … she had to bathe, dress, and feed her three infants and get each to a different ... (click for more)