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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 97 14:55:44 MST
From: RICH_GREENWOOD@mail.fws.gov
To: cratza@glc.org


It's a birthday party and you're invited to join a truly wild
celebration.  On Friday, March 14, 1997, the National Wildlife
Refuge System will be 94 years old.  To mark the day, exciting
wildlife-related activities are taking place at refuges
nationwide.  Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the
National Wildlife Refuge System is the oldest and largest system
of protected lands for wildlife in the world.

"Each national wildlife refuge is a link in a chain of habitat
stretching from Alaska to the Caribbean and New England to the
South Pacific," said John Rogers, acting director of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service.  "We're issuing an open invitation to
families across America to visit and enjoy our national wildlife

The first national wildlife refuge, Florida's Pelican Island, was
established by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1903 to protect fast-
disappearing wading birds.  National wildlife refuges that
followed were established to manage and protect habitat for big
game, migratory birds, and endangered species.  Today, the
National Wildlife Refuge System has grown to 509 refuges with
more than 92 million acres of land and waters dedicated to
wildlife conservation.  There is at least one national wildlife
refuge in every state and within a short drive of most major

To celebrate this year's birthday, refuges around the Nation are
sponsoring a variety of activities to educate local communities
about the importance of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 
Here are a few examples of this year's National Wildlife Refuge
Birthday events:

Sunday, March 9

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Sebastian, Florida.  The
National Wildlife Refuge System Birthday begins with a Wild
Outdoor Festival.  Activities will include wildlife exhibits and
programs, wildlife poetry, poster and photography contests, and a
birthday cake.

Friday, March 14

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Mayville, Wisconsin.  The home
of tens of thousands of Canada geese will feature visitor center
programs and a "Hike the Dike" nature walk. 

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Newark, California. 
Special programs will introduce children to endangered species
from around the world, including displays, talks, skits, and
songs to teach visitors what they can do to make a difference.

Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, Laurel, Maryland.  Live
musical entertainment by Magpie (a local folk music group);
wildlife discovery hikes; children's activities; electric tram
tours through woods, fields, and wetlands; will be held at the
National Wildlife Visitor Center. 

Saturday, March 15

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Alamo, Texas.  Join refuge
staff and volunteers to kick off the refuge's 1997 Hawkwatch
Program.  Opportunities include migrating bird-of-prey census
counts, video programs about raptors and songbirds, and refuge
tram tours to observe the many Mexican birds that visit this
subtropical wildlife refuge.

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Austwell, Texas.  "Springtime
at Aransas" will feature bird tours; butterfly/wildflower walks;
programs about whooping cranes, shorebirds, herons, and egrets;
as well as fun for kids in the "Curious Kids Activity Area."

Other activities include an environmental education teacher
workshop at Turnbull NWR (Washington), wildlife/wildflower tours
at Stone Lake NWR (California) and Buenos Aires NWR (Arizona),
wildlife surveys at Balcones Canyon NWR (Texas), the "Hava-Salsa
Festival" at Havasu NWR (Arizona/California), and tree planting
at Trinity River NWR (Texas).  

Want to know more about your national wildlife refuges or get
involved?  Call 1-800-344-WILD for a free brochure, visit the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service home page at http://www.fws.gov,
or better yet, visit some of the 500-plus national wildlife
refuges across the country!

March 7, 1997                            Gary Stolz  202-219-3861

News releases are also available on the World Wide Web at 
http://www.fws.gov/~r9extaff/pubaff.html  They can be reviewed in
chronological order or searched by keyword.

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contact. General comments or observations concerning the 
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Rieben (craig_rieben@mail.fws.gov) in the Office of Public 

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