[audubon-news] FW: AUDUBON MARKS THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF PELICAN ISLAND NWR

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <Audubon-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 15:17:51 -0500

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> Contact: John Bianchi
> jbianchi@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:jbianchi@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> 212/979-3026
> 
> AUDUBON MARKS THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF PELICAN ISLAND,
> AMERICA> '> S FIRST NATIONAL WILDLIFE RREFUGE
> 
> Audubon Celebrates its Key Role in the Founding of the National Wildlife 
> Refuge System
> 
> Florida, March 14, 2003 - Today, Audubon marks a key milestone in the history 
> of American wildlife conservation -- the 100th Anniversary of the National 
> Wildlife Refuge System.  Audubon> '> s involvement in this celebration is 
> extremely appropriate: one of the organization> '> s founders, Ornithologist 
> Frank Chapman, urged one of its members, President Theodore Roosevelt, to use 
> his executive powers to create the first National Wildlife Refuge at Pelican 
> Island on Florida> '> s East Coast.  
> 
> "> The National Wildlife Refuge System is America> '> s only network of 
> federal lands dedicated first and foremost to wildlife conservation,> ">  
> said National Audubon Society President John Flicker > "> Since the very 
> beginning, Audubon has been there to help found, foster, maintain, and 
> protect this remarkable collection of gemlike wild lands.  Through volunteer 
> refuge keeper programs and monitoring work, we have shared a steadfast 
> commitment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protecting our great 
> natural heritage.> "> 
> 
> Roosevelt founded the then-five-acre Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge 
> on March 14th, 1903.  The first employee of the National Wildlife Refuge 
> System was Paul Kroegel, a local Floridian who was at the time also working 
> as a Warden for the Audubon Society.  His salary from the Federal Government 
> was one dollar per year - paid in addition to his Audubon wages.  Roosevelt 
> would go on to create 51 more bird reservations and four big game preserves 
> during the remainder of his presidency - all of which formed the core of the 
> Refuge System.
> 
> This anniversary comes at a time when funding for Wildlife Refuges is low, 
> and many individual refuges face conservation challenges.  > "> We're going 
> to fight in Washington for real investment in our nation> '> s wildlife 
> refuges,> ">  said Audubon Senior Vice President for Public Policy Bob 
> Perciasepe.  > "> We are calling on the Congress to invest $100 million to 
> address the System's most urgent needs.> "> 
> 
> The U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System provides irreplaceable habitat for 
> birds and other wildlife.  Its refuges provide migration stopovers for more 
> then 700 species of birds, serve as the home for more than 2,000 species of 
> plants and animals, and protect virtually every major type of habitat in 
> North America.  America> '> s refuges provide a critically important string 
> of wetlands for migrating waterfowl and other birds, and provide open 
> trackways for migrating Caribou and other mammals.  In addition, National 
> Wildlife Refuges are essential for the continued survival of America> '> s 
> endangered species:  More than fifty refuges were founded specifically to 
> protect endangered species, and more than 200 endangered species can be found 
> on National Wildlife Refuges.
> 
> Many Audubon state offices and chapters will be celebrating this important 
> milestone in National Wildlife Refuges throughout the United States in the 
> coming weeks and months, and helping to raise awareness for the truly vital 
> role our refuges serve.
> 
> Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat 
> that supports them.  Our national network of community-based nature centers 
> and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of 
> areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all 
> ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.
> 
> 
> #   #   #
> 
> 

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  • » [audubon-news] FW: AUDUBON MARKS THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF PELICAN ISLAND NWR