Together for Wildlife Refuge Conservation

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:1 mins read

Ever wonder about the partnership between the Coalition of Refuge Friends and the National Wildlife Refuge Association? We have created a brochure to explain our partnership in support of the Friends community and the refuge and hatchery systems.

Check out and share the brochure.

Photo credit: Joan Van Gorp

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The Link — Winter/Spring 2024 Newsletter

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:8 mins read

The Link is a quarterly newsletter produced in coordination between Friends, the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates.

From the Editor

Dear Friend,

Mother Nature refreshes herself every spring, and this year The Link is also showing off a new look. To attract new readers and tempt those already on our mailing list to open, read, and learn, we are focusing more on photos and less on text—but with links to more information for those who are interested. So please read on, click as desired, share this message with Friends—and ENJOY!

Innovative—and successful—Friends outreach events:

New opportunities for Friends:

Read All Of The Stories!

Happy Spring!

Sue Hix
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN


The Spring 2024 version of The Link has been a coordinated effort between the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates.  

To receive the next issue of The Link, complete the form at the bottom of this page And please add to the safe list for your email account.  

You’re invited to join the CORFA Facebook group, a place to connect with other amazing members of the Friends community to share information, insights, and experiences concerning nonprofit governance, management, and advocacy. Go to and request to join this private group.

  •  Sue Hix (Editor) – Friends of Sherburne NWR
  • Joan Patterson (Co-editor)—Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates
  • Eden Taylor (designer)— Refuge Association Communications Manager
  • Friends Editorial Staff:
    • Cheryl Hart—Refuge Association Board, Board member of Friends of Tualatin River NWR
    • Kathy Woodward—Former Refuge Association Board Member, Board member of Friends of Great Swamp NWR
    • Lisa Jansen-Rees—Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Board, Board member for Friends of the Wichitas NWR

Continue ReadingThe Link — Winter/Spring 2024 Newsletter

“Save the Florida Panther Day” Helps Raise Awareness of Panther Conservation

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:4 mins read

By Becca Bryan, Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge

Children are great, whether you call them kids or kittens.
The endangered Florida panther is the official state animal, as voted by Florida schoolchildren in 1982. Those bright, caring young individuals had a few choices but chose the elusive, gorgeous Florida panther.  Eight years later, in 1990, the Florida Legislature designated the third Saturday of March as Save the Florida Panther Day and cemented it into the state statutes. This special day in the state is a call to renew Florida’s commitment to the conservation of Florida panthers and their habitat. This year, Save the Florida Panther Day is on March 18.

Florida Panther Background
Florida panthers used to range across the southeastern U.S. but are now confined to a single breeding population in southwest Florida. It is estimated that there are 120 to 230 adult and subadult Florida panthers in southwest Florida, primarily in Collier, Lee, and Hendry counties. 

Florida Population Keeps Increasing
As of February 2024, the state’s population is almost 23 million, and it is projected to rise to almost 25 million by 2029.  Collier County’s population is nearly 398,000, Lee County’s is over 822,000, and Hendry County’s population is 39,000. More residents mean more habitat loss to land development. More vehicle kills (the number one killer of panthers) due to more roads being built and more vehicles using them. You can see where this is leading and why Save the Florida Panther Day is a call to renew panther conservation activities.

Panther Partners Gather on Save the Florida Panther Day
Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge and our many conservation partners gather to inform and educate the public about our stunning, silent, and usually intrepid Florida panthers. We extoll their habitat, like the Florida Panther NWR, and remind visitors what they can do to advocate for the state cat. We remind them what the threats are, including vehicle strikes, habitat loss, and fragmentation from greatly increasing land development. Fortunately, the state passed the Florida Wildlife Corridor last year, which covers 18 million acres, with 10 million protected federal, state, local, and conservation lands – more space for Florida panthers to roam northward.

Everyone Can Be a Panther Advocate
Many children, people, clubs, homeowner associations, and companies ask the Friends to speak or send information about what they can do to raise awareness of the Florida panther and its threats. We oblige them with an abundance of source materials and often relay the story of the Refuge’s popular female and model mom, “Broketail.”

“Broketail” was born and raised in the Refuge. She has mated and birthed several litters of kittens there. She’s taught her kittens how to traverse the Refuge and has spent a great deal of time convincing them that it is okay to walk through a wildlife underpass. With each new litter, she reminds those of us who treasure our state animals that we can still do more to protect and conserve them.  

Everyone can participate in Save the Florida Panther Day activities by speaking up for the endangered Florida panther population, no matter where you are. The more voices there are, the louder the message will be.  Kids are especially encouraged, even those with decades of life experience.

Continue Reading“Save the Florida Panther Day” Helps Raise Awareness of Panther Conservation

2024 Nominations NWWildlife Refuge Awards

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:2 mins read


Call for nomination for NWRA's 2024 Refuge Awards

Since 1994, the National Wildlife Refuge Association has presented the Wildlife Refuge Awards to honor the outstanding contributions of Refuge employees, friends, and volunteers. The event celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of awardees in five categories: the Paul Kroegel Refuge Manager of the Year, the Refuge Employee of the Year, the Refuge Volunteer of the Year, the Molly Krival Refuge Friends Group of the Year, and the Refuge Advocate. This year marks a remarkable milestone – the 30th anniversary of NWRA’s Awards program! 

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to protect and conserve national wildlife refuges? A dedicated manager, a tireless employee, a passionate volunteer, a supportive Refuge Friends group, or a vocal advocate? This is your chance to honor their contributions by nominating them for a Wildlife Refuge Award!

Nominations are open and the deadline to submit your nomination is Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Award recipients will be announced in May 2024 and will celebrated during the 2024 Wildlife Refuge Awards ceremony and celebration on Wednesday, September 18, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

Join in the tradition of honoring 30 years of refuge conservation and recognizing the individuals who make it possible. Nominate someone deserving today and show your appreciation for the heroes of our National Wildlife Refuge System!

Continue Reading2024 Nominations NWWildlife Refuge Awards