Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the launch of an extensive public service radio campaign urging Americans to connect with nature and visit a National Wildlife Refuge.
“Americans can take pride in the tremendous beauty and diversity of refuge lands dedicated to the protection of wildlife habitat,” Salazar said. “By visiting these places and encouraging their children to forge a connection with nature, they can help ensure vital wildlife conservation efforts will continue for generations to come.”
The public service radio campaign consists of eight professionally recorded 60-second spots extolling the sights and sounds of refuges and their efforts to preserve some of these species. Over 3,500 radio stations will receive the first four of these educational messages in November.
“This is another National Wildlife Refuge minute,” begins each segment, before moving to one of these four locales:
- “Every winter, thousands of sandhill cranes fly to Merced National Wildlife Refuge in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Thousands of acres of wetlands provide these cranes with a natural source for food and shelter. Maintaining these wetlands is crucial for their survival.”
- “Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida is home to a myriad of species, but there’s one in particular for which it’s known: the West Indian manatee. Manatees inhabit these sheltered waters year-round, and Crystal River Refuge was created specifically for their protection.”
- The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is one of the biggest and most remote stretches of wildlife in the country, but that doesn’t stop the Fish and Wildlife Service’s research vessel Tiglax from exploring the refuge’s cold waters to count and monitor sea otters.”
- “In Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge in northern New Jersey that hammering sound could be only one thing: the pileated woodpecker in search of a meal. And maintaining healthy forests in the wildlife refuge helps the beat go on.”
Comprising hundreds of thousands of miles and landscapes ranging from southwest desert to Alaskan tundra and nearly every conceivable ecosystem in between, the Refuge System represents the last best hope for survival for many endangered and threatened species. These include the ocelot, manatee, spotted owl, California jewelflower and polar bear.
There are 550 refuges – one within an hour’s drive of most major cities – offering people a welcoming, safe and accessible place to nourish their spirits and reconnect with the land.