Guidance for Volunteers and Friends during Shutdown

  • Post category:Management
  • Reading time:1 mins read
Volunteer removing blackberry vines

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed guidance for Volunteers and Friends should there be a partial shutdown of the Federal government due to the lack of appropriations. The Service has shared this guidance with CORFA and we want to make sure you have a copy.

2023 Guidance for Volunteers and Friends

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Impending Federal Government Shutdown

  • Post category:Management
  • Reading time:3 mins read
sign stating a refuge is closed

Yesterday federal workers were notified that a partial shutdown of the U.S. government is impending. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has posted their Contingency Plan for a Potential Lapse in Appropriations. The plan includes what employees will continue to work, the closing of facilities, and law enforcement.

We suggest that you prepare for all facilities being closed and programs conducted by USFWS staff canceled. Friends, if your office supplies and other materials are on the refuge or hatchery site we suggest you make plans to get them off site before the close of business, Saturday, September 30th

    What you can do now to prepare for the shutdown:

    • Secure your equipment and materials in a location you can access.
    • If your mail is sent to the Service-site, have it forwarded to an officer of your organization or make arrangements to pick it up at the post office.
    • Develop alternative plans for any programs or activities you were planning to hold on a Service-managed site.
    • Discourage your membership from visiting a closed site in order to protect the health and safety of the visitors, wildlife and the natural resources.
    • Call your members of Congress and encourage them not to shutdown the federal government and if it happens urge them to resolve the budget stalemate quickly. Tell them the impact the shutdown is having on you, your organization, the site, and your community.

    If you need assistance please message us at and we will try to get answers. We will provide updates on the shutdown as we get them on our Facebook group.

    Continue ReadingImpending Federal Government Shutdown

    Succession Planning: Leading by Sharing Power

    Webinar: Wednesday, September 20th from 2 to 3:30pm eastern

    bird in flight

    Friends groups have a long-term mission to support their local wildlife refuge or hatchery. Are you preparing your organization for the long haul? Do you have a leadership succession plan? If you’re not identifying and training the next generation of leaders, who will carry on? In this workshop, we’ll discuss:

    • How organizations grow and change over time – and how leadership needs change as nonprofits grow
    • Why “just doing it yourself” is seldom the best choice
    • Tangible tips for training and empowering others to lead 

    Sign Up Now!


    Andy Robinson, ( provides training and consulting for nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies. Over the past 27 years, Andy has worked with clients in 47 US states and across Canada. 

    Since the pandemic began in March 2020, he has designed and facilitated nearly 150 online meetings, webinars, and remote workshops covering a variety of topics, including fundraising, board development, marketing, leadership development, facilitation, planning, change management, and train-the-trainer programs.

    Andy is the author of six books, including Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money, His latest is What Every Board Member Needs to Know, Do, and Avoid. He lives in Plainfield, Vermont.

    Continue ReadingSuccession Planning: Leading by Sharing Power

    Be a Voice for Wildlife!

    • Post category:Advocacy
    • Reading time:4 mins read
    two bobcats

    The National Wildlife Refuge System and National Fish Hatchery System are responsible for administering a national network of lands and waters for the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. The Congress and the President are responsible for providing sufficient funds so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the capacity to manage these sites.

    If you believe your national refuge or hatchery is adequately funded then read no further. However, if you are like most Friends groups and know that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff is struggling to manage your site then keep reading. To prevent this situation from getting worse, all of us need to urge members of Congress to protect the National Wildlife Refuge System and National Fish Hatchery System from any proposed reduction to their current budget. These programs simply cannot tolerate any funding cuts.

    We always need to advocate for the needs of these national programs and in this case we also need to lobby. Yes, lobby! Friends groups and all 501(c)(3) organizations can lobby. Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence the actions, policies or decisions of government officials, whether through direct contact or through the general public.

    Do you have questions about what lobbying is? Thankfully Matthew Emmer (Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges), with advice from CORFA, created a flowchart for lobbying. Thanks Matthew! This one-page infographic provides you with simple but useful information on what lobbying is, where you can lobby and tracking your lobbying.


    If you are planning on contacting your member of Congress, the National Wildlife Refuge Association has created talking points and an outline for a meeting. This document was created for the Virtual Hill Days this past July and the information is still applicable. Should you have questions about the talking points you can contact Libby Marking at the Refuge Association.

    Photo Credit: Margaret Coley

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    Breaking Barriers, Building Bonds: A DEI Journey in Refuges and Hatcheries

    • Post category:Management
    • Reading time:3 mins read

    Webinar recording and slides now available in the Resource Center.

    DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) training is a journey, not a destination. We all have a role to play in creating a more open environment for everyone to connect with our refuges and hatcheries. In this webinar we discussed how to “find your starting point” and ways to make progress as a Friends group, both as independent organizations and as individual ambassadors for our public lands.

    You will also have an had opportunity to learn about how to participate in DEI video-training from Traliant. This is being offered to Friends by the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

    Webinar Recording and Slides (8/16/23)


    • Matthew Emmer, President, Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges
    • Marco Aguilar, Chief Operating Officer, National Wildlife Refuge Association
    Continue ReadingBreaking Barriers, Building Bonds: A DEI Journey in Refuges and Hatcheries