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.


TFWC September Meeting To Be Held In Nashville

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will take action on changes in the commercial fishing proclamation among its agenda at its Sept. 18-19 meeting. The commission will hold its September meeting at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. on Sept. 18, while formal session is Sept. 19, beginning at 9 ... (click for more)

Hunting Seasons Starting Soon: Hunters Urged To Stock Up On Non-Lead Bullets/Shot

American Bird Conservancy, on Thursday urged hunters who are beginning to plan for the many different fall and winter hunting seasons—some of which start in September—to protect the environment and non-target wildlife by voluntarily switching to non-lead ammunition. “Hunters have historically strong outdoor ethics, and as more and more of them are learning how lead bullet fragments ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)