The Evolution of the National Wildlife Refuge System: One Manager’s Perspective

Imagining “wild” spaces in and around a busy metropolitan area like Fairfax County might feel like an exercise in futility, but we are actually have several wildlife refuges within driving distance: Mason Neck and Patuxent Research Refuge, for example.

How did these areas become protected and what’s next for the National Wildlife Refuge System that cares for them?

On May 11, at the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s Green Breakfast in Fairfax, Patuxent Wildlife Refuge Manager Brad Knudsen discussed the evolution of the National Wildlife Refuge System. He told stories about the important wildlife resources the NWRS conserves, how the NWRS has grown in its 116 years, and how legislation and public involvement have impacted the direction of the system.

He closed with a glimpse at what the future holds, including decisions driven by science and a mission to take the refuges to the people. Luckily, he’s allowed us to post his slides so that folks who couldn’t come, can still get a sense of what he talked about, and work to preserve our natural national heritage.

 

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