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Double Dose of Fun This Weekend on Refuges

Saturday, September 27 is not only National Public Lands Day, but it is also National Hunting and Fishing Day. Refuges across the country have much to celebrate!

National Public Lands Day

A group of voluntary Girl Scouts visited Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge to reforest on National Public Lands Day in 2012. They planted 100 trees! | USFWS
A group of voluntary Girl Scouts visited Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge to reforest on National Public Lands Day in 2012. They planted 100 trees! | USFWS

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the entire nation and it’s happening this Saturday, September 27.

This widespread event started in 1994 with just three sites and around 700 volunteers. It has grown immensely since then. Last year, over 170,000 volunteers and visitors celebrated NPLD all across the country at over 2,237 public land sites, including national wildlife refuges. Volunteers at these events:

  • collected around 23,000 pounds of invasive plants
  • built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails
  • planted about 100,000 trees, shrubs, and other native plants
  • removed almost 500 tons of trash
  • contributed an estimated $18 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across America.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the largest network of public lands in the United States with at least one refuge in each state. It’s incredibly important to protect these lands and keep them in pristine condition. Click here to find an event near you! Also, check out this list on Buzzfeed for some interesting facts about refuges in the northeast.

 

National Hunting and Fishing Day

A visiting fisherman stands with his catch. Steve Davis, fish biologist for USFWS, holds the bulky trout. He coordinates fishing programs at the Tech Center's outreach pond with various organizations from communities near the Center | USFWS
A visiting fisherman stands with his catch. Steve Davis, fish biologist for USFWS, holds the bulky trout. He coordinates fishing programs at the Tech Center’s outreach pond with various organizations from communities near the Center | USFWS

This Saturday, September 27 is also National Hunting and Fishing Day. In support of the conservation efforts of hunters and anglers, National Hunting and Fishing Day was first proposed on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1971. Former Sen. Thomas McIntyre, D-NH introduced Joint Resolution 117 in June of 1971 authorizing National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September. Former Rep. Bob Sikes, D-Fla. introduced an identical measure in the House. Congress unanimously passed both bills in early 1972.

The first year it occurred, national, regional, state and local organizations hosted over 3,000 hunting and fishing related events. These events provided an estimated four million Americans with a chance to experience, understand, and appreciate hunting and fishing.

Many refuges across the country offer hunting and fishing in appropriate seasons, partly as a source of recreation, but also as an effective conservation tool. Without hunting, species such as deer and certain species of fish and birds would have population explosions which could result in a collapse of the ecosystem. Hunting keeps populations in check so that other species have a chance to survive. Hunting and fishing are also solutions to invasive species such as the Asian carp. Click here to find events near you!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2014/09/double-dose-of-fun-this-weekend-on-refuges/

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