October Photo Contest Winner

Cathy Allen is the winner of the October photo contest. Cathy and her teddy shared photos from her recent trip to D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and archives in Spearfish, SD. Congratulations Cathy!

  • Gift shop a fish hatchery
  • Teddy bear looking at fish
  • statue if a man and boy
  • Teddy bear in a gift shop

More than 30 years before the first national wildlife refuge was established in 1903, the first national fish hatcheries were created. Throughout 2022 the National Fish Hatchery System has been marking its 150th anniversary. 

Teddy knew hatcheries were an important part of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service history, so he was thrilled to visit the DC Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and National Fish and Aquatic Conservation Archives in Spearfish, South Dakota in October. What a fabulous day of discovery he had! Founded in 1896, this fabulous place is still carrying out its original mission, stocking more than 50,000 brown and rainbow trout in 14 reservoirs across South Dakota and Montana in 2021. Named after its first superintendent, DC Booth also preserves the historic and cultural heritage of the USFWS, with a living fisheries museum, an active archive of fisheries records and artifacts, plus interpretive and educational programming.

Teddy was surprised to learn that none of the 67 fish hatcheries have Visitor Services staff or funding. Yet, DC Booth was named “Best Place for a Family Day” in a local contest. How are they able to do take such good care of 190,000 visitors annually? Easy! Their Friends! The Booth Society manages the volunteer corps required to operate multiple educational venues on the site including historic homes, a museum, an underwater viewing area, even a replica Fisheries Railcar.  All of it – every single venue on the property – is staffed with two shifts of volunteers daily throughout the season – all managed and paid for by The Booth Society. That’s 14,000 volunteer hours!

Let’s tip our hats to the amazing board of directors and staff at The Booth Society. Executive Director Karen Holzer, Gift Shoppe Manager Nancy Cole, a volunteer board, and a scattering of interns have created a huge legacy – raising the money to pay for facilities renovations, interpretive signage, even land purchases – to build DC Booth National Fish Hatchery into the spectacular place to visit that it is today. Teddy had a great day and highly recommends taking your whole family for a fun day of exploration and learning.

Congratulation Cathy!

Continue ReadingOctober Photo Contest Winner

Wildlife Babies Signal the Arrival of Spring

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

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.

Canada Goose and six goslings
Photo Credit: Les Heiserman

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. 

Continue ReadingWildlife Babies Signal the Arrival of Spring

NEW FOR 2022 CORFA Photo Contest

2022 CORFA photo contest with monthly themes

At the end of 2021, CORFA asked Friends to post photos of your Refuge/Hatchery, with the opportunity to have your Refuge/Hatchery spotlighted. So many amazing images were posted in the private CORFA Facebook group. To continue this way to learn more about Refuge/Hatcheries and the Friends organizations supporting them, the contest is being continued this year with a little twist. Each month will have a theme and at the end of the month, the two photos with the most likes will be featured by the National Wildlife Refuge Association to have everyone vote on the winning photograph.

To entry the contest you must be a members of a Friends organization supporting a national wildlife refuge or hatchery. To submit an entry you need to be a member of the Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Facebook group. Please note that this Facebook group is only for members of the refuge/hatcheries Friends groups. Photos are to be posted in the Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Facebook group. When you post your photos – please include a short description, that it is for the contest and the name & location of your Refuge.

Download the list of monthly themes and ideas.

So, get your camera out, be creative and have fun!!

Continue ReadingNEW FOR 2022 CORFA Photo Contest

Friends Share the Marvels of your Refuge or Hatchery!

Friends members post photos of your Refuge/Hatchery (or of a Refuge/Hatchery you have visited) as often as you would like on the Coalition if Refuge Friends and Advocates (CORFA) Facebook group. When you post photos, your Refuge/Hatchery could be chosen for the monthly “spotlight”. If chosen, your Refuge/Hatchery will have a special profile on the CORFA Facebook page, website.

This program will be a great way to celebrate the wonder and beauty of the Refuge System and explore our similarities and differences. Every Refuge/Hatchery is unique – let’s share this with each other and grow awareness of these extraordinary places.

When you post a photo, please include a short description, the name of the Refuge/Hatchery, the state it is located in and your name. This opportunity if for members of Friends organizations that support refuges and hatcheries managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By posting your photo, you agree that CORFA and potentially other partners can use the photo in their social media.So, get out your camera and share what you love about your Refuge/Hatchery!

Photo of one of the older bull bison at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City, Iowa. This bison was born in 2003. Each year the new calves have a microchip implanted, blood drawn and a hair sample taken so the Refugee staff can track their age, DNA and other vital statistics.
Photo credit: Joan Van Gorp/Friends of Neal Smith NWR, IA

Continue ReadingFriends Share the Marvels of your Refuge or Hatchery!

What Are You Doing During Summer Recess?

  • Post category:Advocacy
  • Reading time:3 mins read
Photo credit: Alex Galt/USFWS

Traditionally, August is a time for members of Congress to head home and work in their district or state. This year because of the need for a fifth coronavirus relief package, those plans are in turmoil.

When your legislators are in the district or state, it is a perfect time to get them out to your refuge or hatchery to thank them for the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. The Act boosts funding to reduce the maintenance backlogs on public lands and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a tool to conserve landscapes and invest in parks and outdoor recreation.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to discuss with your board and Service staff about inviting your members of Congress to your site. It’s an opportunity for you to show them why you give your time to your refuge/hatchery and why it is an asset to your community.

If you have never requested a meeting with your members of Congress then check out the advocacy webinars created by the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends.

The second webinar in the advocacy series addresses how to make and prepare for a meeting with legislators. Friends, check out the weinar and if you have questions or need advice let us know.

Great American Outdoors Act https://bit.ly/3itPc9T

Land and Water Conservation Fund https://bit.ly/2FflNCf

Recording of webinar https://bit.ly/2DXGxxq

Continue ReadingWhat Are You Doing During Summer Recess?