The Biden administration has released the FY2023 Budget Request, with increases for National Wildlife Refuge System funding. Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, will join us to discuss what’s in the budget for national wildlife refuges and how Refuge Friends can engage in the annual budget process.
The April Photo Contest winner was a photo by Les Heiserman of a Canada Goose and six goslings. Les captured the amazing image at the D.C Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives in Spearfish, South Dakota. Nancy Cole, Booth Society Friends Gift Shop Manager and Assistant Director submitted this winning photo. The pair of geese have been nesting on the island for at least the last 9 years. Visitors to the Hatchery eagerly await their arrival.
Established in 1896, D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives, formerly Spearfish National Fish Hatchery, is one of the oldest operating hatcheries in the country dedicated to fish culture and resource management. The Hatchery is located within the town Spearfish, South Dakota.
In partnership with the USFWS, the Booth Society Friends group manages visitor services, the volunteer program, educational and outreach programs, coordinates special events and community outreach, manages retail sales, advocates for the hatchery, coordinates rentals in Ruby’s Garden, and supports Friends Groups nationally. As a non-profit, citizen-based group, the Society relies on donations, sales, and City subsidy funding to promote, preserve, and enhance the educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities at the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery for our 190,000 plus visitors each year. Founded in 1989 the Booth Society staff of two relies heavily on our seasonal volunteers to help staff the historical venues. In 2021 we celebrated 125 years of the rich history the hatchery has established throughout the community and region. With our dedicated partners we are committed to sharing the treasured D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives for generations to come.
MISSION STATEMENT: Promoting, preserving and enhancing the educational, cultural and recreational opportunities at D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.
The Link is a quarterly newsletter produced in coordination between Friends, the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates.
Spring is taking its time getting to Central Minnesota this year. For several days in mid-March, warm, sunny days got our hopes up, but those hopes were soon dashed by bone-chilling winds, persistent gray clouds, below-normal temperatures, and s-n-o-w—that we’re still experiencing in mid-April. Despite the weather, though, the distinctive sounds of sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, and red-winged blackbirds in the wetlands have assured us that Mother Nature is still on schedule; and once the ice goes out and we see loons on the lakes, we’ll know for sure that it’s time to start checking ourselves and our pets for ticks. Ah, spring!
The definition of “spring” varies with location, so we’ve asked some Friends from across the country to send us photos of springtime on their refuges and tell us what special activities are in store for people visiting those refuges in the next couple of months. For example, here at Sherburne, there will be the opening of the Wildlife Drive, a couple of bird hikes, a Spring Celebration, and visits from Partner School students as we cautiously proceed to greet visitors in person after the long COVID-19 hiatus.
We at The Link hope that you’ll enjoy this issue with photos of spring and other features geared to the interests of Friends everywhere.
There is a winner! Bob Glennon is the winner of the March Photo Contest whose theme was the “Refuge System’s Birthday. Friends were encouraged to show what makes their refuge unique.
Bob shared with us captivating photos of the early bloomers at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. These early bloomers will produce the berries the black bears that reside on the refuge. Bob, also captured a great photo of the black bear.
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a 160,000-acre refuge on the mainland of Dare County in northeastern North Carolina. It was established in 1984 under the authority of the Emergency Wetland Conservation Act. The refuge is underlain by hydric (wetland) soils, most of which are deep organic (muck and peat) soils. The refuge was established to protect those wetlands and the pocosin plant community that exists there. The refuge is home to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s trust species migratory birds (waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and songbirds) and endangered species (red wolves). Black bears are a resident species and are a notable attraction to refuge visitors for wildlife observation and photography. The peninsula on which the refuge is located has the largest population density of black bears in North Carolina. The pocosin habitat has a dense understory of shrubs that produce an abundance of berries. Male bears (boars) can be seen year-round. Female bears (sows) bring their cubs out into open fields in May and they can be seen throughout the summer and fall.
The Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society manages 4 refuge stores at different refuges and coordinates 200 volunteers who donate an average of 25,000 hours of service every year on the area’s 9 refuges. The Society employs a full time store manager and volunteer coordinator. Volunteers staff the visitor centers and refuge stores; maintain buildings, grounds, and equipment; lead tours, and conduct programs.
Do you and your Board wonder about what kinds of insurance you need and how to assess your risks? Want to know what the Friends Partnership Agreement means by “Indemnifying the Department of Interior”? Some of the most frequently asked questions to NWRA and CORFA are about Friends insurance needs. Below are links to the recording and other materials from and mentioned during the webinar.