Tuesday, December 31, 2013

America the Beautiful Passes

America the Beautiful passes provide access to more than 2,000 national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, grasslands, and other federal lands.

The passes are valid at more than 2,000 Federal recreation sites where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee(s) are charged by the following agencies:

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) http://www.blm.gov

Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) http://www.usbr.gov

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) http://www.fws.gov

USDA Forest Service (USDA FS) http://www.fs.fed.us

National Park Service (NPS) http://www.nps.gov

Four passes are available:

 - free annual pass to current military members and their dependents

 - free lifetime pass for people with permanent disabilities

 - $10 lifetime senior pass for those aged 62 and over

 - $80 annual pass for the general public.

sources: Recreation.gov, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Monday, December 23, 2013

USA First Day Hikes

First Day Hikes take place all across the USA on New Year's Day. The hikes began as a way to promote America's State Parks while encouraging the public to start off the new year with a healthy, outdoor active lifestyle.

“Studies have proven that getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge the body, mind and spirit.” stated Phil McNelly, Executive Director of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). “We hope that hiking along a trail in a state park will become part of an individual’s or family’s regular exercise routine.”

First Day Hikes occur each New Year's day and some states even offer multiple hikes. First Day Hikes originated in Massachusetts 20 years ago. In the USA, all 50 state park systems sponsor First Day Hikes.

source: www.americasstateparks.org

Saturday, December 7, 2013

CWA Goose Lake Watershed Land Aquisition

At its November 2013 meeting, the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved an array of grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout the state.

Among the new projects is a $2.3 million grant to the California Waterfowl Association to acquire approximately 1,670 acres of land for the purpose of protecting wetlands and associated upland habitat areas in the Goose Lake watershed.

Located in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Goose Lake watershed supports numerous migratory birds and threatened and endangered species. Goose Lake watershed serves as an important stopover along the Pacific Flyway.

For more information about the WCB, please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

source: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

USA National Scenic Trails

The National Trails System was established by Act of Congress in 1968 (amended 2009). The Act grants the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture authority over the National Trails System.

The Act defines four types of trails. Two of these types, the National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails, can only be designated by Act of Congress.

There are 11 National Scenic Trails:

    Appalachian National Scenic Trail
    Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
    Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
    North Country National Scenic Trail
    Ice Age National Scenic Trail
    Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
    Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
    Florida National Scenic Trail
    Arizona National Scenic Trail
    New England National Scenic Trail
    Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail

source: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

2013 National Wildlife Refuge Week Events

A wide range of events will be held in national wildlife refuges across the USA during National Wildlife Refuge Week 2013 (October 13-19).

A few of the events planned include:

Saturday, October 12:

Habitat Restoration Display, Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Jameson Island Unit, MO

Ding Darling Day, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, IA

Log Cabin Day Festival, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN

14th Annual Trinity River Butterfly Count, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX

5K Run/Walk for Wildlife, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Mayville, WI

Jr. Duck Waterfowl Hike, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, WI

Volunteer Work Day, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, MO

Halloween Adventure, Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, ND

The Big Sit! St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, FL

The Big Sit! Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, MO

Sunday, October 13:

Open House, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, MO

“Go Wild,” Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, VA

Habitat Restoration Display, Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Jameson Island Unit, MO

The Big Sit! Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, MO

The Big Sit! Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX

The Big Sit! Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN

The Big Sit! John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA

Saturday, October 19

Wildlife Festival, Patuxent Research Refuge, MD

River Paddle Ride, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, MO

Open House, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, MO

Open House, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, IL

Sunday, October 20

Open House, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, MO

Sunday, October 13 through Saturday, October 19:

Open House, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN
The normally closed “waterfowl sanctuary” area will be open to walk-in visitors during Refuge Week.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

USFWS Report - 2013 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations

Although many species of North American ducks declined in numbers from 2012, populations are in good condition, according to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) study.

The preliminary estimate of total duck populations provided in the 2013 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report was 45.6 million birds.

The report provides estimated survey data from north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska. The total duck estimate excludes scoters, eiders, long-tailed ducks, mergansers and wood ducks.

Report Highlights:

mallard estimated abundance is 10.4 million birds

Blue-winged teal estimated abundance is 7.7 million

Green-winged teal estimated abundance is 3.1 million

Northern pintail estimated abundance is 3.3 million

Estimated abundance of American wigeon is 2.6 million

Combined lesser and greater scaup estimated abundance is 4.2 million

Canvasback estimated abundance is 787,000

The surveys are conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Services’ Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, sampling more than 2 million square miles of waterfowl habitat across Alaska, the north-central and northeastern United States and south-central, eastern and northern Canada. Information is not included from surveys conducted by state or provincial agencies.

The annual survey guides the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific – to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates and bag limits.

For more information about the surveyed areas, the survey methodology and the estimates, the Trends Report in Duck Breeding Populations, 1955-2013 report can be downloaded from the Service's Web site at www.fws.gov/migratorybirds.

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service