|Photo courtesy of
|The National Wildlife Refuge System is a national network of
public lands set aside specifically to protect wild animals and
plants. Found in all 50 states and five U.S. territories and
encompassing 95 million acres, 560 refuges currently exist.
National Wildlife Refuges are special places with significant
natural resources where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
acquires land and/or conservation easements.
The National Wildlife Refuge System was created in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt with Florida’s 5.5 acre Pelican Island named the first refuge.
Wildlife Refuges in the United States are visited 34 million times a year, by birdwatchers, photographers, educators and researchers, hunters, fishers, and hikers. These visitors are an important source of revenue for the local economy. Refuges also enhance the quality of life for local residents, both preserving the region's aesthetic beauty and affording numerous recreational and educational opportunities.
|To learn about National Wildlife Refuges, their beautiful visitor centers, recreational activities, education programs and their community partnerships visit another “urban refuge’” - Minnesota Valley NWR.|
|For additional information visit US Fish & Wildlife Service|