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image from National Elk Refuge website
National Elk Refuge: NER to Celebrate the National Wildlife Refuge System
The National Elk Refuge is pleased to offer an opportunity this month to celebrate several significant dates in the history of the National Wildlife Refuge System. From Friday, March 14 through Sunday, March 23, displays and naturalist presentations at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center will focus on the conservation efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The events listed below will run daily throughout the ten–day celebration and are free of charge. The Visitor Center is located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
President Theodore Roosevelt established the nation’s first wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903 at Pelican Island National Bird Reservation in Florida. Since then, the National Wildlife Refuge System has grown into a vast network of habitats that benefits wildlife, provides outstanding outdoor experiences, and protects a healthy environment. To show how large the national wildlife refuge system has grown, National Elk Refuge naturalists will display a large U.S. map in the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, showing the location of all the refuges (over 560) throughout the country. Visitors will be asked to place a pin on the national wildlife refuge closest to their home. On March 24, the refuge receiving the most pins will be announced on Facebook and Twitter.
Guests can learn more about the establishment of the National Wildlife Refuge System through two displays set up in the small theater located on the top level of the Visitor Center. The first exhibit will be a time line showing significant dates throughout the history of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with a brief description of each event. The second display will highlight the 80 year history of the Federal Duck Stamp program. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, popularly known as the Duck Stamp Act, on March 16, 1934. Originally created as a license required for hunting migratory waterfowl, Duck Stamps have a much larger purpose today. They serve as a vital tool for wetland conservation, with 98 cents out of every dollar generated by the sales going directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The sale of stamps is not restricted to hunters; many non–hunters collect the beautiful stamps and purchase them to support wildlife conservation. Refuge naturalists will share images of some of the previous Duck Stamps from throughout the years.
Visitor center staff will run a video entitled “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. Ding Darling” continuously during the celebration to honor the conservation achievements of the man that designed the first Federal Duck Stamp. In addition to his Duck Stamp art, Darling authored two books and twice won the Pulitzer Prize for cartooning, in 1923 and again in 1942. He used his satirical pen to promote issues of conservation and to bring national attention to environmental concerns. On Sunday, March 16, naturalists will set up a table with art supplies and reference books outside of the theater, allowing children and adults to design their own Duck Stamp.
More information on the National Wildlife Refuge System can be found at www.fws.gov/refuges/about/index.html. To inquire about the Visitor Center events, please call 307.739.9322.
National Park: Youth Conservation Program Recruits Wanted!
Grand Teton National Park Recruits for 2014 Youth Conservation Program
MOOSE, WY —Grand Teton National Park is recruiting participants for the 2014 Youth Conservation Program (YCP). Funding for this youth employment opportunity comes from the Grand Teton National Park Foundation through generous contributions by their donors. Applications must be postmarked by March 14, 2014
The YCP is a summer program for high school students, ages 16 to 19. The 2014 program will span ten weeks from June 16 through August 21. This marks the ninth year that Grand Teton has conducted the program, and trail supervisors hope to enroll 15-25 short-term positions during this recruitment period.
Participants must be at least 16 years of age by June 16, and live locally as housing is not provided. Applicants must also be United States citizens and students in good standing. Other qualifications include good team skills, a willingness to learn about Grand Teton National Park and its trail system, and the ability to work at a physically demanding job which may involve lifting 30-40 pounds. Wages for participants in the YCP program are set at approximately $11.00 per hour.
YCP enrollees develop an understanding of National Park Service (NPS) conservation ethics as they assist with critically-needed maintenance and rehabilitation on park trails and pathways. Participants work alongside NPS crew leaders and become familiar with NPS stewardship goals, while learning essential trail maintenance skills. YCP participants will work 30-50% of their time with several of the other park divisions (i.e. Science and Resource Management, Interagency Fire, Interpretation, and Visitor and Resource Protection). Students will also meet experts in all aspects of public lands conservation.
During the course of their day, YCP participants may answer basic visitor questions and serve as ambassadors for the park as they complete project work on some of the most visible, and most impacted, park trails. Most of the work will be focused on projects dealing with rehabilitation of trails and backcountry areas through activities such as brushing, hazard tree removal, and construction of water bars and drainage swales. In addition to the project work, environmental education programs and several recreational opportunities are also offered.
As an extension of their mission to support innovative projects that add value to Grand Teton National Park, the Foundation provides funding for salaries, work boots, work pants, tee-shirts, and free transportation to and from Jackson for YCP participants. For more information about this youth program and how to contribute to future YCP activities, or other Foundation programs, contact Leslie Mattson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 307.732.0629.
To obtain an application or get further information about the 2014 YCP, please call Stacy Myers in Grand Teton National Park at 307.739.3379, or write to YCP Program, GTNP, Drawer 170, Moose, WY 83012. Applications are also available online at http://www.nps.gov/grte/supportyourpark/ycp.htm