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    2017 US spring forecast



    2017 US spring forecast: Winter won't quit in Northeast; Severe weather to explode across Plains


    AccuWeather Global Weather Center - February 8, 2017 - AccuWeather reports in line with Punxsutawney Phil's 2017 prognostication, forecasters are predicting winter weather will linger into spring across much of the United States.

    From coast to coast, cold air will maintain its grip across the northern tier of the country. Meanwhile, rain, thunderstorms and severe weather will threaten to kick off farther south, leading to a volatile season for many.

    2017 Spring Highlights for email

    Warmup may be delayed across the Northeast, Midwest Spring will start off on a wet note for the I-95 corridor, including Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.

    Rain and snow will fall through mid-March in most of the Northeast, holding back temperatures.

    "As far as a significant warmup goes in the Northeast, I think you have to hold off until late April and May," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

    Though the forecast aligns with Punxsutawney Phil's prediction, it's not all bad news for those eager to leave winter behind. The warmup should arrive faster than in the past couple of years, Pastelok said.

    Chilly air will also stretch westward into the Midwest.

    "It seems like all the cold and all the snow has been really piling up across that area and it's going to be no different going into the early spring," he said.

    With a significant snowpack remaining, it's difficult to judge when the cold air will retreat.

    "North and west [of Chicago] is going to be delayed because of the amount of snowpack. It will be running behind schedule, no doubt in my mind. I just don't know how far behind at this point."

    Showers and thunderstorms to dominate springtime in Southeast

    Showers and thunderstorms will dominate the springtime weather pattern across the southeastern United States.

    While the rain will be largely beneficial, too much in February and March could make it tough for farmers to get into fields early on.

    Florida may mark the only exception.

    "Florida is a tricky spot, especially the central and southern part of the peninsula," Pastelok said.

    Frequent thunderstorms and significant rainfall may dodge areas from Orlando down to Miami and Fort Myers.

    Explosive severe weather to threaten the Plains

    The Plains states may be in for an active severe weather season, thanks in part to winter's lingering pattern.

    A northern jet stream which brings cold air to the upper levels of the atmosphere may be slow to retreat, according to Pastelok.

    "If it's slow to move out, which is typical of a weak La Niña season, you're going to get more explosive systems, more severe weather and that's a good possibility in the southern Plains this year," Pastelok said.

    The active weather could kick off as early as March, so residents will want to be prepared. In the northern Plains, flooding will be of concern.

    "Fast, rapid warmups cause more river flooding in the northern Plains states. We're not expecting that right now, but we do have a lot of water that's just waiting to come down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers," he said.

    Rain, storms to continue across Northwest, northern California

    Wintry conditions will continue across the northwestern U.S in March with rain and snow frequenting the region.

    Some of this precipitation will also reach down into northern California.

    Following a winter in which Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno and Sacramento, California, each doubled their city's normal seasonal rainfall total, spring flooding cannot be ruled out.

    "Getting farther south from Fresno to Bakersfield, that area still may deal with some minor drought conditions but it's improved dramatically," Pastelok said.

    Southwest to warm up quickly as dry weather dominates

    The Southwest will be much less active than its northern counterpart.

    High pressure will allow drier- and warmer-than-normal conditions to dominate from southern California to central Texas.

    "It's not going to take too long to get those temperatures to bounce in the Southwest," Pastelok said.

    For more information, contact:
    Justin Roberti / 814.235.8756 / roberti@accuweather.com
    Or call our 24-hour press hotline:
    814-235-8710



    ooOoo


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    Art That Matters: Render Loyalty x LEWA


    Render Loyalty x LEWA


    Render Loyalty x LEWA


    Render Loyalty x LEWA


    Render Loyalty x LEWA


    Film photographer, conservationist and explorer KT Merry premiered her first-edition photographs debuting her latest project, Render Loyalty, in New York City on Thursday, 11/17. With Render Loyalty as well as her heart and soul are among the wild, KT shared art with meaning through exquisite fine art photographs benefitting some of our most threatened species.

    The Lewa Series, a collection of 21 black-and-white fine art images in partnership with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy – its vital work protecting threatened wildlife – brought to life the all-white space with never-before-seen images of threatened and endangered species in the wild.

    All of the fine art photographic prints, which are available in an array of sizes and options for framing, will continue to benefit the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a truly unique collaboration that KT hopes will further ignite conversations on how people and threatened species can coexist while also creating an active community in support of saving animals.


    ooOoo


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents.

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    A Lens on Nature Four Ace Photographers and the Wildlife Refuges They Love







    Caption: A purple sky adds drama to a morning flyout of sandhill cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Copyright Marvin De Jong



    Wait! Think before you aim that camera at a national wildlife refuge. It may be habit-forming. That’s been true for four standout nature photographers – each hooked on prowling a favorite refuge in hopes of locking eyes with a bird or fox, capturing light and color, and probing the mystery of our animal natures.

    All four photographers – April Allyson Abel at Prime Hook Refuge, Delaware; Quincey Banks at Eufala Refuge, Alabama; Marvin De Jong at Bosque del Apache Refuge, New Mexico; and Mia McPherson at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah – say photo opportunities abound on refuges.

    “Why are national wildlife refuges great places to take wildlife photos?” asks De Jong. “The obvious answer is because there’s wildlife there. There’s an emphasis on wildlife. But it’s more than that. You frequently have good access to animals and birds. You have a wildlife trail or a road. That’s the great thing about Bosque del Apache Refuge. You can stand on the road and have sandhill cranes being themselves just 15 yards away.”

    Adds McPherson, “Wildlife refuges are just amazing. That’s where the habitat is. It’s refuges’ job to manage [them]…and they do an excellent job of it.”

    National wildlife refuges, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are part of Americas’ rich natural heritage. They have been so since 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island, Florida.

    National wildlife refuges offer chances to see an almost unparalleled array of wildlife, including many of the nation’s most beloved and spectacular species. Wildlife photography brings individuals and families close to nature, which research has shown to be physically and emotionally beneficial. Find a refuge near you: www.fws.gov/refuges.

    April Allyson Abel
    If you want to see the world through April Abel’s eyes, rise early. You want to beat the sun to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge on the Delaware coast so you’re in place when the light show begins. “There are two kinds of people in this world,” laughs Abel. “There’s the kind who say, ‘You’re gonna shoot at sunrise again?’ and the kind who say, ‘Can I come with you?’”

    On a frosty March morning, she patrols the bank of a refuge impoundment in a thermal vest and jeans (no jacket, no gloves) and trains her lens on the herons and avocets feeding in the shallows. A heron snags an eel, shakes it, then downs it. “Got it,” says Abel, like a sportscaster offering color commentary on a play. “Now a little sip of water to finish it off.”

    She keeps shooting as the sun rises through the clouds, turning the indigo sky to purple and orange. The refuge, she says, “is just so beautiful, and the still water makes a mirror for the birds.”

    Abel took up digital photography at age 40 after a life change, spending a year documenting the seasons at Prime Hook marsh. She worked freelance as a writer and photographer. Her stories and photos appeared in local newspapers and magazines, and she began racking up photo prizes. Today, she works as exhibits coordinator for Delaware State Parks.

    A favorite photo she took at Prime Hook shows a heron about to close its open bill on a tiny fish, for a moment suspended in mid-air. “I watched the heron fishing for about 10, 15 minutes. It caught one fish after another, tossing them back like a kid eating popcorn. I kept shooting frame after frame, and this one showed the fish perfectly balanced mid-air, about to be eaten.”

    When it’s too cold in winter for even her to shoot, Abel knows what to do: “spend time learning about bird species and habitat. So you learn what to anticipate in the way of bird behavior and can get a better shot.”

    Quincey Banks
    Eighteen years ago, Quincey Banks was photographing his son in Eufala, Alabama, when the toddler balked. “He started saying ‘no’ when I was trying to take pictures of him running around the house. So the next best thing was to go take pictures of stuff I saw outside,” says Banks.

    He began taking his camera when he went hunting. Then, to get close-ups of wood ducks, he built a floating blind of Styrofoam covered with brush. Launching it before dawn, he waited beneath it, wet and shivering with cold.

    The discomfort paid off. “You go from spooking the birds to having them within 30 or 40 feet. And for a wildlife photographer, to get a wild animal such as a wood duck within 30 feet, that’s nirvana. I mean that’s just crazy. From that point on, I was hooked. … I didn’t care about anything except photographing those birds.”

    For Bank, nature photography is about “being outside and seeing what God made. Every time I go out and do nature photography, there’s always something different to see.”

    He likes Eufala National Wildlife Refuge for its wide range of habitats and species, from wading birds to bobcats. “The refuge has so many different land types within that 19,000-acre area that I can photograph almost any type of animal that I might see in Alabama.”

    He tells beginning photographers: “Learn as much about the animal you’re trying to photograph as you possibly can. A good nature photographer is also a good naturalist. …If you know how the animal is gonna act, or where it’s gonna be, it’s easier to be prepared to get that photograph when it happens.”

    Marvin De Jong
    What does Marvin De Jong like most about wildlife photography?

    “It’s satisfying. It’s challenging. Birds are especially challenging because they don’t just sit and look at you. It’s a lot more exciting than wedding photography.”

    “My first priority is to get an animal in [a photo],” he says. “I like a photo to tell a story. It’s good if there’s some action. If I can get a green heron catching a minnow that tells you a little story about the bird. If I can get the bird singing with its mouth open, taking off, landing,” he says, that heightens a viewer’s interest.

    De Jong turned to photography in retirement. He and his wife were already volunteering at wildlife refuges such as Santa Ana in Texas and Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. “I like the outdoors. I like birds. They sort of came together.”

    Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is his favorite refuge for wildlife photography. “I like things to be in the air. Flying birds are better than birds standing out in the water. And New Mexico is a great place for some of best sunrises and sunsets I’ve ever seen. The cranes fly out in the morning and fly back in the evening, so that’s when you’re going to be out there.”

    Quick thinking helped him snag a favorite refuge shot. He’d just stepped out of the car when suddenly “there was this bobcat. Unfortunately, the camera’s in the car. So I opened the car door and of course immediately you get the noise alerting you the keys are in the ignition…I grabbed the camera, and I had it on the bobcat, but he was going away, so I was gonna get a butt shot. And so I said, ‘Hey, cat.’ He turned and looked at me, and that’s when I got the shot.”

    “You’ve got to get the eyes of the animal. If you don’t have the eyes, you don’t have a photo.”

    Mia McPherson
    Utah resident Mia McPherson took up bird and nature photography in 2004 to heal from a personal loss and illness. Snapping nature photos was a natural extension of activities she loved.

    “I like to be out in nature, listen to the birds, be exposed to different types of habitats,” says McPherson. “It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. I just relax and enjoy myself.” She honed her skill enough that two of her photos were chosen for a National Geographic pocket guide to birds of North America.

    Nature photography isn’t easy. “You have to have a lot of patience,” says McPherson. “You can sit for an hour or two waiting for a particular bird behavior. Thirty seconds one way or another could make the different between a good shot and a great shot. Dealing with the elements is an issue, too. In summer, it gets very hot and buggy. In the winter, it gets extremely cold. Making sure you don’t get stuck in a snowbank: that’s a challenge, too.”

    Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, an hour and a half from her home, is among her favorite places to shoot.

    “They have a spectacular auto tour route where you can drive around water impoundment area and see all kinds of birds from short eared owls and northern harriers to waterfowl and shorebirds.

    “In summer it’s inundated with nesting shorebirds. One of the most spectacular sights is watching American white pelicans feed. In winter, the calls of thousands and thousands of tundra swans echo all over the place. It’s a magical sound.”

    A favorite shot of hers shows two western grebes skating across water at Bear River Refuge. “That’s called rushing and that’s their courtship display.” The birds go through a preliminary ritual “so you can say, okay, okay, there’s going to be a rush now. But it’s definitely a challenge to get the photo because this routine they go through doesn’t always end in rushing. So you have to wait and wait and wait. And hopefully they will rush, but they don’t always. A car might come by or a raptor fly over, and that ends it for them.”

    Video: https://youtu.be/bcUaUfWAo78 A Lens on Nature: April Abel Photographs National Wildlife Refuges

    Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/sets/72157656107514654 A Lens on Nature: Four ace photographers and the national wildlife refuges they love.

    Tips on wildlife photography: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/photography/

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.


    ooOoo


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com.



    Eight Wild Facts about Wild Turkeys

    #6. That Funny-Looking Bird is Faster Than You



    Wild turkeys strut and display at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA. Photo: Copyright Bill Buchanan. Used with permission.



    So you thought there was nothing to know about turkeys except whether you liked drumsticks or white meat. Think again.

    Enough with gobble, gobble. Turkeys also cluck http://bit.ly/1sfVooH and purr http://bit.ly/1sfVooH.

    Turkey droppings tell a bird’s sex and age. Male droppings are j-shaped; female droppings are spiral-shaped. The larger the diameter, the older the bird.

    Feather-hanger: An adult turkey has 5,000 to 6,000 feathers – count them! – on its body.

    Tom turkeys aren’t the only ones that swagger and fan their tail feathers to woo mates and ward off rivals. Some hens strut, too.

    Crunchy treats. Young turkeys – poults – scarf down insects like candy. They develop more of a taste for plants after they're four weeks old.

    They may look off-kilter – tilting their heads and staring at the sky --yet but they’re fast. Turkeys can clock more than 12 miles per hour.

    Move over, American bald eagle. Ben Franklin called the wild turkey a “bird of courage” and thought it would make a better national symbol.

    Wild turkeys are not hard to find. National wildlife refuges are great places to look —while you enjoy a stroll in nature and emerge looking less like a butterball yourself. Here are some favorite turkey hideouts:

    FLORIDA
    St Marks National Wildlife Refuge
    To boost your chances of seeing turkeys, get out of your car and walk. “Turkeys are sensitive to the movement of vehicles,” says Ranger David Moody. Wearing camo colors might help, too. The refuge permits bow hunting the first two weeks in November. Then it closes to hunting until December 13. Almost 50 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail go through the refuge. Turkeys like the open terrain of the longleaf pine sandhill ecosystem along the trail. $5 entrance fee.

    GEORGIA
    Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge
    Look for turkeys along 50 miles of gravel road, including five-mile-long Wildlife Drive. You might also see them off Round Oak Juliette Road, a scenic (and paved) byway. Or try one of the refuge’s five hiking trails. No entrance fee. (Note: the refuge is closed for a deer hunt Saturday, Nov. 22.)

    ILLINOIS
    Wild Turkey Trail — Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
    Easy to moderate 1.7- mile trail leads through woods and offers a fine chance of seeing wild turkeys. For more of a challenge, take the connecting 2.2-mile Rocky Bluff Trail. Entrance fee: $2 per vehicle.

    MASSACHUSETTS
    Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
    Several short foot trails give you a chance to glimpse wild turkeys. You might also spy some along Wildlife Drive. Entrance fee: $5 per vehicle.

    MINNESOTA
    Hillside Trail and Long Meadow Lake Trail— Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
    From the Bloomington visitor center, the half-mile Hillside trail connects to the Long Meadow Lake Trail. Follow it around the floodplain wetland, keeping your eyes out for wild turkeys. No entrance fee.

    Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
    The refuge has a “healthy population” of the skittish wild birds, says deputy manager Greg Dehmer. Look for them along 7.5-mile Wildlife Drive, two refuge hiking trails, and in prairie fields beside county roads that run through the refuge. No entrance fee.

    NEW MEXICO
    Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
    The North Auto Tour Loop is a good place to spot some of the hundreds of Rio Grande turkeys found here. An even better place is the Intermittent Auto Tour Road, open Thanksgiving weekend from noon Nov. 28, through noon Dec. 1. (The route will also be open Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 16-19, 2015.) Or try your luck on any of nine refuge foot trails. Entrance fee: $5 per vehicle.

    NEW YORK
    Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
    Feeder Road takes you on a scenic 3.5-mile drive into the refuge, passing fields and grasslands that are favorite turkey hangouts. Double back to exit. Hikers can walk the road or sample five other hiking trails. No entrance fee.

    SOUTH CAROLINA
    Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
    The 9-mile Wildlife Drive passes many woods and fields where you might spot turkeys, especially in mornings and late afternoons. Or lose the wheels and walk any of seven hiking trails along the drive. No entrance fee.

    TEXAS
    Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
    Look out for wild turkeys crossing Refuge Road as you drive in the main entrance. Pick from five refuge hiking trails: Raasch Trail is a good bet for seeing wild turkeys. There’s also a Wildlife Drive of about three miles. No entrance fee.

    Refuge trails are open sunrise to sunset daily, even on Thanksgiving Day when refuge visitor centers will be closed. Free trail maps are available outside the visitor center or at a refuge entrance kiosk. For details on Refuge System trails, visit http://go.usa.gov/w9O.

    CAPTION: Wild turkeys strut and display at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA. Photo: Copyright Bill Buchanan. Used with permission.

    Contact:
    Vanessa Kauffman
    703- 358-2138
    Vanessa_kauffman@fws.gov

    The National Wildlife Refuge System protects wildlife and wildlife habitat on more than 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the Pacific, Maine to Alaska. Refuges also improve human health, provide outdoor recreation and support local economies. Visit our home pageat www.fws.gov/refuges. Follow us on Facebookand Twitter.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.


    ooOoo


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com.



    Monarch Butterflies are in Trouble. What Can You Do?

    - Plant Milkweed, Say Experts. Here’s How -


    Monarch Butterflies are in Trouble

    A milkweed pod opens in fall at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV, to reveal its silk and seeds. Collecting and planting the seeds can help monarch butterflies. Credit: Marvin DeJong


    Monarch butterflies are struggling. Counts of the familiar orange-and-black insects, admired for their flights of up to 5,000 miles a year, are trending down so sharply that their migration is now under threat. That means fewer monarchs to pollinate crops, spread seeds and feed birds.

    So how can you help? One simple way is to follow the lead of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa and consider collecting and sowing milkweed seed.

    But don’t delay. In much of the country, milkweed pods are ripe for picking in early fall.

    Why milkweed? Milkweed is the host plant for monarchs—the lone plant on which the butterflies lay their eggs in spring and the only food source for monarch larvae. One reason monarchs are failing is that milkweed is disappearing from the American landscape. Scientists blame land-use practices such as farming with crops genetically modified to resist herbicides. The herbicides kill plants such as milkweed that grow around farm fields and have no such protection. Urban sprawl and development have also chewed up monarch habitat.

    While conservationists weigh broad-scale rescue options, individual efforts can make a difference. “Every little bit helps,” says wildlife biologist Karen Viste-Sparkman at Neal Smith Refuge. “It doesn’t take a huge number of plants in any one place to help monarchs, especially during migration.”

    At Neal Smith Refuge, school groups and volunteers have begun scouring fields for milkweed, as they do each fall, helping refuge staff collect browning pods for processing and planting.

    Here’s a primer on how to do it.

    How do I recognize milkweed?

    The Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has photos of many varieties of milkweed in various stages of growth here: http://1.usa.gov/1maS5yq

    How do I collect seed?

    Wear gloves and avoid touching your face; milkweed sap can injure your eyes. Seek permission before harvesting seed on private, federal or state property. “Collect only the gray seed pods, not the green ones,” says Wedge Watkins, wildlife biologist at Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Missouri. “If you squeeze the pod and it pops open, it's ready to pick.” When gathering pods in any one spot, leave a few behind on each plant. Don’t collect seeds unless you plan to sow them.

    The University of Kansas’s MonarchWatch offers more guidance: http://bit.ly/1u81tS2

    What do I do with the seed pods I’ve collected?

    You can send the pods to MonarchWatch (Monarch Watch, University of Kansas, 2021 Constant Ave, Lawrence, KS 66047 for processing and planting. Or you can process and plant seeds yourself.

    To separate seeds from milkweed silk – the white fluff inside a milkweed pod to which seeds attach – place a few coins in a clean, empty plastic container. Add the contents of the milkweed pod and close the container tightly. Now, shake the container until the seeds fall to the bottom and the fluff forms a ball on top. Unscrew the lid and remove the ball of silk fluff.

    Either sow the seeds outdoors on bare soil before the first snow, or place them in a labeled, rodent-proof container that has air flow and store them in a cool, dry, ventilated area.

    If Viste-Sparkman is saving seeds for starting indoors or in the greenhouse, she lets them dry completely to prevent mold. Then, she puts the seed in moistened sand in a sealed plastic bag with a few holes in it and stores the bag in the refrigerator. In early spring, she starts to germinate the seed indoors in potting soil (with the seed planted just below the surface). She plants the seedlings outdoors after danger of frost has passed. She plants seedlings near nectar-bearing plants that monarchs also need, such as asters and blazing star.

    More tips on seed handling:
    http://bit.ly/1teGMpy
    http://bit.ly/1uH54Ii

    Where can I learn more about monarchs and milkweed?
    http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/
    www.monarchjointventure.org
    http://www.fws.gov/pollinators/



    The National Wildlife Refuge System protects wildlife and wildlife habitat on more than 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the Pacific, Maine to Alaska. Refuges also improve human health, provide outdoor recreation and support local economies. Visit our home page at www.fws.gov/refuges. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr.


    ooOoo


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. BlackRefer.com does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents. Use at your own risk.

    No Implied Endorsement:
    BlackRefer.com does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to BlackRefer.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of BlackRefer.com.



    National Wildlife Refuge Week is October 12-18

    - Passage of Senate Resolution Commemorates the Occasion -

     National Wildlife Refuge Week
    Children jump for joy on the banks of the Selawik River in Alaska, waving towels that show the blue goose, symbol of the Refuge System. National Wildlife Refuge Week is October 12 – 18. Credit: Susan Georgette/USFWS




    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites America to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 12-18, 2014) with a visit to a national wildlife refuge. While you are enjoying the fishing or hiking or just the tranquility, learn how wildlife refuges conserve your wildlife heritage and enrich your life.

    National wildlife refuges help conserve wildlife, protect against erosion and flooding, and purify our air and water. They also support regional economies, teach children about nature, and offer protected places to be outdoors. Find a refuge near you: www.fws.gov/refuges.

    “National wildlife refuges include some of America’s most treasured places, from the coastal islands of Maine to the deserts of the Southwest to Alaskan mountain ranges,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “National Wildlife Refuge Week is a perfect time to discover everything that refuges have to offer.”

    “Americans cherish their natural heritage,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Since President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island, Florida, in 1903, we’ve learned that this precious legacy can’t be taken for granted. I hope that citizens across the country will use this occasion to visit to a wildlife refuge, enjoy the festivities and learn more about conservation.”

    U.S. Senator Chris Coons led a resolution to commemorate the week of October 12th as National Wildlife Refuge Week to raise awareness about the importance of the Refuge System to wildlife conservation and the recreational opportunities available in our wildlife refuges. Cosponsors of the resolution included: U.S. Senators Jeff Sessions (AL), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Mazie Hirono (HI), Mary Landrieu (LA), Edward Markey (MA), Benjamin Cardin (MD), Barbara Mikulski (MD), Susan Collins (ME), Carl Levin (MI), Tom Udall (NM), Jeff Merkley (OR), Ron Wyden (OR), Tim Kaine (VA), Mark Warner (VA), Maria Cantwell (WA) and Patty Murray (WA).

    “Wildlife refuges bring people together from all walks of life for hunting, birding, fishing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors,” Senator Coons said. “Delaware is fortunate to have two wonderful refuges – Bombay Hook and Prime Hook – that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and help support our local economy. National Wildlife Refuge Week is a great opportunity to celebrate our nation’s extraordinary Refuge System and commit to preserving these resources for generations to come.”

    Since 1995, refuges across the country have celebrated National Wildlife Refuge Week in early October with festivals, educational programs, guided tours and other events. Many state and local governments proclaim the week every year, and for the past four years Congress has officially recognized it.

    Nationwide, refuges support more than 35,000 jobs and pump $2.4 billion into local communities, according to a Service report issued last year. More than 47 million people visited a refuge last year. “Nowhere else do I feel such a deep sense of connection with the land, the plants, and the wildlife,” offered one visitor.

    The National Wildlife Refuge System, which turned 111 years old this year, is the nation’s premier habitat conservation network, encompassing more than 150 million acres in 562 refuges and 38 wetland management districts. Every state has at least one national wildlife refuge. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major cities.

    Refuges also offer world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and wildlife observation along 2,500 miles of land and water trails to photography and environmental education.

    National Wildlife Refuge Week Highlights
    Check the special events calendar for Refuge Week events. Among events planned:

    Friday, October 10:
    Wild Weekend
    In celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, IL, will offer guided canoe tours to Eagle Pond and highlight ancient cypress trees and wetland wildlife. Reservations are required: 618-634-2231.

    Saturday, October 11
    HawkWatch
    The Marquette, IA, unit of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will host HawkWatch events. These include capturing and banding raptors and waterfowl, live raptor presentations and kids’ activities.

    5K Run/Walk for Wildlife, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Mayville, WI
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Celebrate Refuge Week with a race on the refuge auto tour route. Register at 9 a.m. Event starts at 10 a.m. Pre-register at www.fws.gov/refuges. http://www.fonddulacrunningclub.com Family activities and Native Landscaping Day volunteer workday activities will follow the morning run/walk.

    Log Cabin Day Festival, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN
    11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Enjoy a festival at Myers Cabin, sponsored by Muscatatuck Wildlife Society, featuring a free ham-and-bean dinner, old-time crafts, music, wildlife exhibits and children's activities. From Sunday through the following Saturday, a normally “closed” area of the refuge will be open to walk-in visitors for bird viewing.

    The Big Sit! Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, MO
    Sunrise to sunset, or any segment of time in between. Description is the same as for Sunday events that follow.

    Sunday, October 12
    The Big Sit!, Form a team or join an existing team to count and report bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle. Refuges participating include:

    Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX
    7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Champion Lake pier

    St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, FL
    7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lighthouse observation deck

    Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, MO
    Sunrise to sunset, Observation deck

    Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN
    Sunrise to sunset, Endicott Observation structure

    John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA
    7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Observation tower

    Saturday, October 18

    Wildlife Festival, Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    National Wildlife Visitor Center. Free. Enjoy live animals, children’s crafts, tram tours, scientific demonstrations and behind-the-scenes research tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center located on the refuge. See where endangered whooping cranes and sea ducks are raised and studied.

    Bertrand Museum Collection Special Talks/Tours, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, IA
    11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Special museum events coincide with Refuge Week, Iowa Archeology Month and International Archaeology Day. The collection consists of artifacts from the 19th-century steamship Bertrand, which sank in the Missouri River en route to the silver mines of Montana. The day’s program is one of several planned to mark the 150th anniversary of the Bertrand sinking on April 1, 1865.

    Saturday, October 25
    River Paddle Ride, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, MO
    8 a.m. to noon
    Enjoy a guided paddle ride down the Mingo River. Some canoes and kayaks will be available for use. Participants are also welcome to bring their own canoe or kayak. Pre-registration is required: 573-222-3589, peter_rea@fws.gov

    Ding Darling Days, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL
    Sunday, October 19 - Saturday, October 25
    A week-long celebration in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week features live animals, tram tours, sea life cruises, kayak tours, nature talks and more.

    The National Wildlife Refuge System protects wildlife and wildlife habitat on more than 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the Pacific, Maine to Alaska. Refuges also improve human health, provide outdoor recreation and support local economies. Visit our homepage at www.fws.gov/refuges. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page. -FWS-


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- BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICANS AND NATURE -
     



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  5. This Land Is Ours...
    African Americans should claim their place in the great outdoors.

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