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Spotlight: National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 14 – 20, 2012

Spotlight: National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 14 – 20, 2012

Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week on a refuge near you!

refugeweek Sandhill Cranes at Sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. US Fish and Wildlife Service Photo

What to Expect

Our National Wildlife Refuges are the world’s premier habitat conservation system, encompassing more than 150 million acres of plant and animal habitat in 556 refuges and 38 wetland management districts. Visitors thrill to see natural spectacles such as hundreds of snow geese and sandhill cranes erupting in simultaneous flight or elk bugling to attract mates.

Anytime is a great time to visit national wildlife refuges, but if you visit during National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 14 -20, 2012, you can also enjoy special guided canoe trips and hikes, behind-the-scenes nature tours with refuge staff, see live birds of prey up close or tag a monarch butterfly, and much more. See for yourself how refuges conserve some of our nation’s most cherished natural treasures.

Refuges offer outstanding recreational opportunities, from wildlife photography to fishing, hiking, and birding, to paddling or snowshoeing.

Getting There

Every state has at least one national wildlife refuge. There’s a refuge within an hour’s drive of most major cities. Find your refuge with a quick zip code or state search at http://www.fws.gov/refuges/.

Get Started!

Check out some of the many events planned for National Wildlife Refuge Week here. Look for added events on our calendar.

Below are just a few examples of the Refuge Week events planned for Saturday, October 13:

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Visit Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland, just outside Washington D.C., and enjoy live animals, kids’ crafts, tram tours, scientific demonstrations, and behind-the-scenes research tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Here is a unique opportunity to see where endangered whooping cranes and sea ducks are raised and studied.

8 a.m. to 8 p.m.: See live birds of prey at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Sherman, Texas. Enjoy family events including guided hikes, fishing and a hands-on nature program for youth.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Meet your “wild” neighbors at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, just outside Denver, Colorado. Enjoy a variety of wildlife activities, demos, crafts and nature films. Preview the new 9-mile Wildlife Drive, a self-guided auto tour route.

Don’t Forget

To help plan a refuge adventure, explore:
The interactive fishing guide to find the best fishing opportunities on refuges.
The interactive hunting guide to find the best hunting opportunities on refuges.
The trails guide to find the best hiking and walking trails on refuges.
The birding page.
The “fun on refuges” page for other fun activities on refuges.

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