Shape the Future of the National Wildlife Refuge System
The National Wildlife Refuge System is unique in that there is a Refuge within an hour’s drive of most major U.S. cities in every state, all set aside specifically to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants. In fact, the system’s 553 refuges and 150 million acres are recognized as the world’s premier network of wildlife habitats, protecting more than 750 animal and plant species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is crafting a new “vision” for the National Wildlife Refuge System and they need bold ideas for the future of wildlife conservation. FWS is teaming up with the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA), an independent non-profit organization, to spearhead a 21st century public engagement effort to shape this process.
A draft “vision document” was released earlier this year to outline the problems facing the Refuge System and to explore the possible solutions to those problems. After public input and revisions, the vision document will be adopted at a July 2011 conference in Madison, WI. National Wildlife Federation is playing an important role to give feedback to administration officials and NWRA, but we need your ideas and creativity in order to tackle the challenges facing wildlife in the coming decades.
There are a few ways you can participate in the feedback process, but one innovative way is commenting on the draft vision and sharing ideas on the americaswildlife.org website, set up by FWS and NWRA. It doesn’t just have to be technical comments; photos, video, stories and insight are all encouraged as part of the conversation.
Important challenges that are important to consider: how can refuges play a role in helping facilitate the movement and adaptation of plants and animals in a warming world? How can the refuge system reconnect people with the nature and nurture the next generation of conservationists by getting children outside? Are there certain refuges that are threatened by special circumstances, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that warrants special attention and protection?
Join the conversation to help National Wildlife Federation and our partners develop a bold vision and a stronger National Wildlife Refuge System.