Dear Friends and Supporters:
2016 presented many challenges to the National Wildlife Refuge System, yet despite these challenges terrific victories arose, galvanizing Refuge System supporters like you and the conservation community at-large like never before.
The Refuge System and public lands community demonstrated immense courage and resiliency during the armed militant occupation at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last January.
Then in the spring, over 120 Friends Groups, in addition to faith-based organizations, Hispanic organizations, conservation organizations, and community leaders, came together to stop the removal of 3000 acres from Vieques National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico.
In 2016, the National Wildlife Refuge System became the largest protected area system on the planet with the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Pacific. If the National Wildlife Refuge System were a country, it would overtake India as the 7th largest country in the world.
We advocated for nearly a billion dollars worth of conservation funding for the Refuge System and associated programs in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service including Refuge System operations & maintenance, wetlands conservation and restoration, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, land acquisition through the Land and Water Conservation Fund such as migratory bird habitat in the Dakotas, acquisitions in the Connecticut River watershed in New England; Everglades conservation; endangered honeycreeper forest acquisition on the island of Hawaii; protection of sea turtles; and prevention of wildlife trafficking of tigers, rhinos, and elephants.
The Refuge System and the Refuge Association continue to grow and thrive thanks to your support. From all of us at the Refuge Association, we wish you a very special new year. We can’t wait to work with all of you in 2017.
National Wildlife Refuge Association