Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Week, noticed this 12 months on October Eight-14, celebrates the world-class recreation delivered to Individuals by the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System, the nation’s largest community of public lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There isn’t a higher time to rediscover the rivers and trails that put nationwide wildlife refuges on the “should go to” listing for hundreds of thousands of Individuals.

Nationwide wildlife refuges have been a part of America’s proud pure heritage because the first refuge was established in 1903. Refuges present important habitat for 1000’s of species and entry to world-class recreation, from fishing, searching and mountaineering to nature watching, pictures and environmental training. You could find no less than one refuge in each state and each U.S. territory.

“Individuals are lucky to have entry to an unparalleled community of nationwide wildlife refuges near the place they dwell,” stated U.S. Secretary of the Inside Ryan Zinke, who kicked off Refuge Week early right now whereas visiting with workers and touring Okefenokee Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. “Whether or not you might be searching, fishing or simply having fun with the good outside, I encourage everybody to get out and go to a refuge close to you. One in every of my prime priorities is to open up entry wherever attainable for the general public to get pleasure from these lands in order that extra households have the chance to cross down that heritage as I’ve with my kids.”

In 2016 alone, searching, fishing and different outside actions contributed greater than $156.three billion in financial exercise throughout america, in accordance with the Service’s Nationwide Survey of Fishing, Looking and Wildlife-Related Recreation, revealed each 5 years. Greater than 101.6 million Individuals, or 40 % of america’ inhabitants 16 and older, pursued wildlife-related recreation.

“For hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers, photographers and hikers, the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System is the jewel of our nation’s public lands,” stated Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “Refuge Week is an efficient time to remind ourselves of what America can be like with out entry to those wonderful locations.”

Individuals dwelling in many of the nation’s largest communities can discover a nationwide wildlife refuge inside an hour’s drive. Looking, inside specified limits, is at present permitted on 372 wildlife refuges. Fishing is at present permitted on 309 wildlife refuges.

This 12 months’s Refuge Week launches a year-long celebration of America’s rivers and trails in partnership with federal companies and non-profit organizations, main as much as the 50th anniversaries of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and Nationwide Trails System Act on October 2, 2018. Take the chance to #FindYourWay to nationwide wildlife refuges: stroll, hike, bike, float, paddle, serve and study alongside our nation’s wild and majestic birds, mammals and fish that decision these distinctive locations residence. There are greater than 340,000 miles of river that move by way of refuges to #MakeYourSplash, in addition to greater than 2,100 miles of land trails on refuges throughout the nation.

The Refuge System contains 566 nationwide wildlife refuges and 38 wetland administration districts masking over 150 million acres of lands. Greater than 50 million Individuals go to refuges yearly. Refuges help regional economies to the tune of $2.four billion per 12 months and greater than 35,000 jobs.

Throughout Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Week, held yearly through the second full week of October, you could find particular occasions, festivals, excursions and even possibilities to volunteer to assist wildlife. Whilst you’re there, find out how refuges defend inexperienced areas and enhance life for you and your group.

Be taught extra about this 12 months’s celebration by visiting:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to preserve, defend and improve fish, wildlife, crops and their habitats for the persevering with advantage of the American folks. For extra data, go to, or join with us by way of any of those social media channels: Fb, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.