A happy angler holds a fish at the Watershed Festival and Fishing Derby in Montana / USFWS
NEW AGREEMENT AIMS TO INCREASE INTEREST IN FISHING AND BOATING
Last Friday, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a $60 million cooperative agreement with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) to help retain and recruit recreational anglers and boaters of all ages. The five-year agreement allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and RBFF to work together to increase angler and boater numbers and engage outdoor enthusiasts in natural resource stewardship. Zinke also announced $14 million in Boating Infrastructure Grants, which support water-related outdoor recreation and tourism by improving facilities for large transient recreational boats across the country. Read more here.
Photo: A bighorn sheep at National Elk Refuge in Wyoming by Ann Hough / USFWS
NATIONAL ELK REFUGE ENCOURAGES SAFE WINTER WILDLIFE VIEWING
Wildlife viewing is a big reason why people visit national wildlife refuges. At the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming, bighorn sheep are attracting visitors. To encourage safe wildlife viewing and reduce human-wildlife interactions, the refuge installed a new electronic sign with an important message: IF SHEEP APP’CH / KEEP DRIVING SLOWLY / PREVENT LICKING.
The message addresses a concern on the refuge: bighorn sheep approaching vehicles and licking the sides of cars and trucks to ingest salt and minerals found on the surface. Read the whole story here. Find more information on how to safely view bighorn sheep here.
Did You Know?
February 26 – March 2, is National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW)
Participate in NISAW events across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues. The Department of Interior is committed to the fight against invasive species, and this week, released a progress report regarding invasive mussels.
ICYMI during the week, you can still help wildlife this weekend! Simply brush off your clothes before leaving a wildlife refuge, trail, or park! Some plants near your favorite recreation spots can be invasive species and their seeds can sneak onto your clothes, gear, hair and pets. The Service is a partner in PlayCleanGo,a campaign that asks the public to take action. You can also help while recreating on water by following the Clean, Drain, Dry mantra.
Photo: Cheatgrass, an invasive plant that’s overtaking western landscapes / USFWS