U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Midwest

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Students enjoy first mentored pheasant hunt at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:00
Lauren Geistkemper is a sophomore studying Dietetics at Iowa State University (ISU). Her life revolves around classes and work, but recently Lauren has been focused on hunting. Things changed when fellow classmate and ISU Pheasants Forever Chapter President Alison Fenske offered to guide her on a pheasant hunt. On December 9th, Lauren, along with 18 other ISU students, participated in the first mentored pheasant hunt at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. She was one of ten first-time hunters paired with experienced peer mentors.

Purple cat’s paw pounces back

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:00
Not long ago, purple cat’s paw pearlymussels were thought to be functionally extinct. When the species was listed as endangered in 1990, only a few individuals could be found, and they were too old to reproduce. Then, in 1994, a small population of the species was discovered in Killbuck Creek in Ohio.

Weekly Wrap-up: December 1 - December 7, 2017

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features snowy owl sightings, tough turtles, merganser movements and more!

Partners program reaches a milestone: 30 years of working with others

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 08:00
Tick, tock – time flies. Thirty years of service marks a milestone in a biologist’s career, but what happens when a program reaches that same 30-year milestone? As the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program closes out its 30th year we can look with pride at our accomplishments – habitats improved, wildlife returned, partnerships formed, and dollars leveraged. We can reflect on how we have been strategic yet flexible in our delivery of conservation, and able to respond to shifting initiatives, priorities and funding sources. The bottom line, however, is that the Partners Program is about relationships among people -- our staffs and the landowners and partners they have touched. It is in the start of the Service mission, working with others, that we’ve built the strength and legacy of our program. Finding common ground with others has allowed us to voluntarily conserve and improve habitat on private lands for 30 years.

Weekly Wrap-up: November 24 - November 30, 2017

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features babies on board, owl calls, antler growth and more!

Restoring native habitat for waterfowl in lower Green Bay

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 08:00
Historically, thousands of waterfowl, gulls, terns, shorebirds and passerines migrated through Point au Sable, a prominent wetland area located on the east shore of lower Green Bay. Point au Sable, owned by the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, provides valuable habitat for waterfowl such as mallards, a focal species for our Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program’s Great Lakes Coastal Focus Area. Unfortunately, low water levels in the early 2000’s led to the invasion of non-native phragmites, which greatly reduced native vegetation growth and the area’s wildlife habitat value. Wild rice was last seen in lower Green Bay in the 1950’s.

New research vessel honors U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fish biologist

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 08:00
Dr. Stanford H. Smith dedicated his professional career to understanding the fisheries of the Great Lakes. His published peer reviewed work from the 1960s and 1970s illuminated why at the time the Great Lakes were suffering from degraded native fish communities and damaged freshwater ecosystems. His research went on to inspire decades of Great Lakes restoration work that continues to this day. In recognition of Smith’s contributions to the Great Lakes fisheries community, his name and his legacy are now forever honored on the bow of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s newest vessel in the Great Lakes fleet, the R/V Stanford H. Smith. The 57 foot vessel will be used by the Service to assess the success of lake trout and other native species restoration work within the Great Lakes.

Weekly Wrap-up: November 17 - November 23, 2017

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features bald eagle sightings, late fall flowers, a playful baby bison and more!

Service helps coastal habitat enhancement of Illinois' Spring Bluff Preserve

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 08:00
Thanks to funding from the Great Lakes Coastal Program in 2014, work is finishing up on a large-scale project to enhance coastal habitats at the Lake County Forest Preserve District’s Spring Bluff Preserve in Illinois near Chicago.

Record waterfowl count along Mississippi Flyway

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:00
Ducks love national wildlife refuges. Refuges provide the perfect place for migrating waterfowl to rest and feed as they head south for the winter. Right now, one of the best places to spot record breaking numbers of waterfowl is Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri and Illinois.

Service supports Iowa plan to recruit, retain and reactivate outdoor recreationists

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:00
Midwestern states are part of a national movement to recruit, retain and reactivate (R3) hunters, trappers, anglers, recreational shooters and other outdoor recreationists. R3 activities seek to make it easier for people interested in hunting and angling to get involved and stay involved. Across the region conservationists are working to step down the National Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Plan. We have been engaged in this process from the beginning by attending state R3 planning workshops and encouraging hunter education, angler education, and R3 coordinators to be innovative and work across state lines. We have ensured states have the tools and information needed to understand the use of federal funds for Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs grants that support R3 projects.

Weekly Wrap-up: November 10 - November 16, 2017

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:00
Check out our best stories from around the web and social media. This week features a baby bison, hunting hawk, thousands of cranes and more!

Service Awards $1.47 million for Fish and Wildlife Restoration in the Great Lakes Basin

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:00
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that $1.47 million in federal funding has been awarded under the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act grant program to restore sustainable populations of fish and wildlife resources, and their habitats, in the Great Lakes Basin. One regional project and seven research and restoration grant projects funded will provide $362,095 in non-federal partner match contributions.

Spotting sandhill cranes at Sherburne

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:00
Sandhill cranes are one of the oldest birds on the planet. Fossil records from Nebraska show that these cranes have been around for more than nine million years! Did you know that one of the best places to see them in the country is in Minnesota? From dawn until dusk, you can watch and listen these graceful birds at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Zimmerman, Minnesota.

2017 was another very good year for Great Lakes piping plovers

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 08:00
Despite stormy weather and predators, 2017 proved to be a record year for endangered Great Lakes piping plovers. Biologists and plover monitors once again fanned out throughout the Great Lakes Basin, searching likely habitat for incoming piping plovers in April and May. The overall pair count was excellent, with 76 breeding pairs located throughout the Great Lakes, a record number of pairs since the population was listed in 1985.

Honoring veterans in the midwest region

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:00
In honor of Veterans Day, we’re highlighting a some exceptional employees. These are just a few of the veterans who have gone above and beyond in their everyday duties. We honor and thank you all for your bravery and commitment to protect our freedom and the opportunity to fulfill our mission of conserving fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Tribal trust partnership includes watercraft operations safety training

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:00
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We take the “working with others” part of our mission seriously especially when it comes to working with our tribal partners and providing support that helps them to better manage their fish and wildlife resources.

Growing hunting and fishing access in the midwest

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 08:00
You love to hunt and fish on refuge lands across the midwest and now you have even more opportunities to get out and explore. We have a long history of supporting hunting and fishing on more than 40 national wildlife refuges and 12 wetland management districts across the region and starting this winter you’ll have 22,000 more acres to find rewarding hunting opportunities and another 255 acres to fish.

Beeing a good neighbor

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 08:00
Building one bee house on every block throughout the Twin Cities is the goal for a St. Paul fourteen year-old. More than 170 bee houses have been created since Nikolas Liepins founded Bee Kind MN in 2015. Bee Kind MN was awarded the 2017 Pollinator Advocate Award for the USA from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign.

Five years of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge - Celebrating the future and appreciating the past

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:00
One of the midwest’s newest national wildlife refuges is celebrating its fifth anniversary today! Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2012 to connect and restore a large landscape that includes blocks of grasslands, wet prairies and natural stream natural streams interspersed with cities and towns. Help us mark the occasion by learning a little about what makes this young refuge so special.