Promoting the stewardship of Alaska's unique national wildlife refuges through education, support, and advocacy
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Greetings Friends!


Spring is here (or almost here) in much of Alaska! The birds are beginning to arrive and the Friends are gearing up for a busy summer of supporting Alaska's 16 National Wildlife Refuges. Our AWESOME Volunteer Coordinator has just posted a variety volunteer opportunities. Check out the details below.

Join us for this month's Membership Meetings on Tuesday, April 18- Guest Speaker TBD. This will be our last Membership Meeting before we break for summer, with meetings resuming in September.  Many refuges are offering the opportunity to attend via teleconferencing, including Anchorage and Yukon Flats- check with the Refuge near you.  

Our biggest event of the year, Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival is less than a month away. Many events are filling fast, so make plans to attend today.  Want to get involved? We have many volunteer opportunities, just get in touch to find out how you can help.


“Like us, animals feel love, joy, fear and pain, but they cannot grasp the spoken word. It is our obligation to speak on their behalf ensuring their well-being and lives are respected and protected.” 
-Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears

(Photo: Red fox. Credit: L. Hupp/USFWS - Kodiak)

Join, Renew, or Gift a Friends Membership
Monthly Membership Meeting: 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 5pm
 
GUEST SPEAKER- TBA
*We will update you next week!
 
 
Volunteer with the Friends!

Alaska’s 16 National Wildlife Refuges Need You! 

As a Friends member, you can volunteer for education, outreach, advocacy, biology and maintenance projects happening around the state throughout the year. We match your time and talents with the needs of Alaska’s refuges.

Our volunteers have led bird walks in Kotzebue, worked with Native Alaskan students in Arctic Village, staffed an education table at Oceanfest in Anchorage, pulled noxious weeds along the Dalton Highway, and compiled photography exhibits celebrating the 100th anniversaries of Yukon Delta and Alaska Maritime Refuges.

Other members write letters to decision makers on Refuge issues, assist with fundraising efforts, and serve on a Committee or the Board of Directors. 
 
Learn about our upcoming 2017 Volunteer Opportunities and make plans to get involved! 
 
Volunteer with the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival


Our festival is just around the corner! There are still lots of opportunities to volunteer at the Viewing Stations- you'll help participants with scopes and species identification. Sign-up at Islands and Ocean in Homer or email the Festival Coordinator.
Volunteers will receive a 25th Anniversary lapel pin and your choice of a 2017 Festival Art Poster (see below) or a complimentary ticket to Keynote Address of your choice. If you work 5 or more hours, your name will be entered into a drawing for 1lb of locally roasted coffee, provided by Captain's Coffee of Homer.
Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Sends Teens to the 2017 Alaska Forum on the Environment

Kodiak sophomore Nia Pristas and 2016 high school graduate Joshua Barnes to travel to Anchorage and participate in the Forum. Their presentation was about Kodiak Refuge Salmon Camp and Pop-Up Salmon Camp.  To help prepare youth for their presentations, AFE created a weekend of leadership and public speaking development for participating teens from all over Alaska. (Read more...)
Plan Your Trip Today: 2017 Program Available & Registration is Open!

Tell Congress to Protect Izembek NWR

Lawmakers need to pass spending legislation for the rest of Fiscal Year 2017 to keep the government functioning before funding runs out on April 28th.  As usual, some in Congress are attempting to attach damaging riders targeting the Refuge System to this must-pass legislation. 

Included among the list of potential riders is a provision to force a land exchange at Alaska’s Izembek NWR to construct a road through its congressionally designated wilderness and “Wetland of International Importance.”

The road would cause irreversible damage to the refuge’s wildlife and environment, negatively impact Alaska natives’ subsistence way of life, waste millions of taxpayer dollars, undermine our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, and set a dangerous precedent for the entire National Wildlife Refuge System and all wilderness lands.

National News:

FAQs – The Repeal of the
Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Rule


(Report from the National Wildlife Refuge Association) 


(Kodiak bear cubs on Kodiak NWR, AK | Lisa Hupp/USFWS)
 

On March 21, 2017, the U.S. Senate followed the House in voting (52-47) to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to permanently void the Alaska National Wildlife Rule, which had prohibited some hunting practices to specifically reduce predator populations on national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

While we are profoundly disappointed in the vote, we wanted to provide Refuge System advocates with some information about what it means for the management of refuges in Alaska and nationwide. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers.

Q. How does the repeal of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Rule (Predator Rule) change the way refuges are managed in Alaska

A. It doesn’t. The rule created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) just codified and simplified existing laws – it didn’t create new law, as the Executive Branch can’t do that. In creating the rule, the Service sought to clarify certain hunting regulations on Alaskan national wildlife refuges. Specifically, the rule would have prohibited:

  • the hunting of bear cubs or sows with cubs (with an exception for customary and traditional use activities under state regulations);
  • baiting of brown bears;
  • trapping and snaring bears;
  • hunting of wolves and coyotes during the denning season and when the pelts have no economic value (from May 1 to August 9); and
  • airborne or same day airborne hunting of bears*

*The Federal Airborne Hunting Act prohibits literally shooting an animal from an airplane. “Same day airborne” AK state law prohibits spotting game from the air, landing nearby and shooting it. AK state law says you can’t hunt or help someone else take big game until 3am the day after the day you have flown. 

(READ MORE HERE...)

Alaska's 16 National Wildlife Refuges cover 76.8 million acres of land- over half of Refuge land in the entire country.

Refuges are the wildest of wild places, ranging in size from the 303,094 acre Izembek Refuge at the end of the Alaska Peninsula, to the 19.6 million acre Arctic Refuge stretching from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Oc
ean. 
Copyright ©2017 Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, All rights reserved.

Contact Information:
Mailing Address: PO BOX 2617, Homer, AK 99603
Email: info@akrefugefriends.og
http://www.alaskarefugefriends.org

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Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges · 2440 E. Tudor Road, PMB 283 · Anchorage, AK 99507-1185 · USA

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