FRIENDS OF ANAHUAC REFUGE

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Check back often to see news about Anahuac NWR other refuges across the country. You can also find more news on our Facebook page.


  • 17 Feb 2015 7:49 AM | Anonymous
     U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    Obama Administration Moves to Protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Recommends Largest Ever Wilderness Designation


    President Obama’s Administration moved to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, widely considered one of the most spectacular and remote areas in the world. 


    The Department of the Interior released a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the refuge, which recommends additional protections, and President Obama announced he will make an official recommendation to Congress to designate core areas of the refuge – including its Coastal Plain – as wilderness, the highest level of protection available to public lands. If Congress chooses to act, it would be the largest ever wilderness designation since Congress passed the Wilderness Act more than 50 years ago. 


    “Designating vast areas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Wilderness reflects the significance this landscape holds for America and its wildlife,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “Just like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of our nation’s crown jewels and we have an obligation to preserve this spectacular place for generations to come.” 


    Based on the best available science and extensive public comment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s preferred alternative in the CCP recommends 12.28 million acres – including the Coastal Plain – for designation as wilderness. The Service also recommends four rivers – the Atigun, Hulahula, Kongakut, and Marsh Fork Canning – for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. 


    Currently, more than 7 million acres of the refuge are managed as wilderness, consistent with the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. Only Congress has the authority to designate Wilderness areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers. Recommendations for Wilderness or Wild and Scenic River designations require approval of the Service Director, Secretary of the Interior and the President. 


    The Service is not seeking further public comment on the revised CCP/EIS, but it will be available to the public for review for 30 days, after which, the record of decision will be published. At that point, the President will make the formal wilderness recommendation to Congress. 


    The 19.8 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to the most diverse wildlife in the arctic, including caribou, polar bears, gray wolves, and muskoxen. More than 200 species of birds, 37 land mammal species, eight marine mammal species and 42 species of fish call the vast refuge home. Lagoons, beaches, saltmarshes, tundra and forests make up the remote and undisturbed wild area that spans five distinct ecological regions. 


    For information about the CCP: http://www.fws.gov/home/arctic-ccp/

    For more stories like this visit: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/

  • 16 Feb 2015 9:02 AM | Anonymous
    Friends of Anahuac Refuge
    Mini Gator Tales
    February 2015


    Volunteer Workday

    Saturday, February 28, 9am-noon, meet near the VIS


    A volunteer workday has been scheduled for Saturday, February 28. Volunteers will be helping build bird perches to be used in the Rookery at the Skillern Tract and also doing some landscape work in and around the Butterfly Garden. Lunch will be provided to all volunteers. The Butterfly Garden is one of the first places refuge visitors see and home to native plant species on the refuge, so keeping it clean is important! Click here for more event information and to register.

    A second volunteer workday has been scheduled for Saturday, March 28. Another announcement will be sent before the event.

    Audubon Texas / FOAR Monthly Bird Survey

    Saturday, March 7, 9am-noon, meet near the VIS


    Black-bellied Plover photo taken by Colin Shields at Anahuac NWR

    The next monthly bird survey hosted by Audubon Texas and the Friends will take place on Saturday, March 7. Attendees will be helping count birds and record information to be used by refuge staff and Audubon Texas. No experience necessary. Click here for more information and to register.

    Save the Date!

    **FOAR Member Appreciation Event**

    Saturday, March 21, 2015

    FOAR will be hosting a members only event in March. It is a thank you to all of our generous members. More details will be sent out and posted soon on our website. We hope you can make it!
    Support FOAR through AmazonSmile

    When you link to Amazon through our website, FOAR receives a donation from your purchase. Start shopping here! (or click on button on left side of window)


    National Wildlife Refuge System News

    Budget Increased Proposed for USFWS in 2016


    USFWS staff leading environmental education at Anahuac NWR; USFWS

    Big news from the White House this month as the President has proposed a significant budget increase of more than $100 million for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 2016.

    Check out the details here

    Buy a Book About the Refuge...
    to Support the Refuge!
    The 50th anniversary books are for sale at the Visitor Center and Visitor Information Station as well as online on our book project page. The book tells the story of the Anahuac NWR's 50th year through photographs and writing all done by volunteers. Profits from book sales go back to the Friends to pay for refuge projects.
    Don't Forget to Renew Your Membership!
    Don't forget to renew your membership online via PayPal or by check in the mail. When renewing, we also encourage you to receive our full quarterly newsletter, Gator Tales, electronically. It saves trees, saves us printing costs, and gets you access to more content.

  • 06 Feb 2015 5:00 PM | Anonymous
     U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service News

    President Requests $1.6 Billion in Fiscal Year 2016 for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


    The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 discretionary budget request supports $1.6 billion in programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an increase of $135.7 million over the 2015 enacted level.


    “Investing in the conservation of our wildlife and habitat resources results in myriad health and economic benefits to U.S. communities,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Investing in the next American generation is also critical, so we are creating new ways to engage young audiences in outdoor experiences, both on wildlife refuges and partner lands. With 80 percent of the U.S. population currently residing in urban communities, helping urban dwellers to rediscover the outdoors is a priority for the Service.”


    This budget invests in the science-based conservation and restoration of land, water and native species on a landscape scale, considering the impacts of a changing climate; expansion and improvement of recreational opportunities — such as hunting, fishing and wildlife watching — for all Americans, including urban populations; increased efforts to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, which is an international crisis; and the operation and maintenance of public lands.

    America’s Great Outdoors – This initiative, a Service priority, seeks to empower all Americans to share the benefits of the outdoors, and leave a healthy, vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. In 2016, a total of $1.5 billion in current funding is proposed for the Service as part of the Administration’s initiative to reconnect Americans to the outdoors while developing a landscape level understanding of a changing climate. This includes $1.3 billion for Service operations, an increase of $119.2 million over the 2015 enacted level.


    A critical component of America’s Great Outdoors is the National Wildlife Refuge System. Funding for the operation and maintenance of the Refuge System is requested at $508.2 million, an increase of $34 million above the 2015 enacted level. Included in that increase is an additional $5 million for the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, which will extend opportunities to engage more urban youth and adults.


    The budget also requests $108.3 million for grant programs administered by the Service that support America’s Great Outdoors goals. Programs such as the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants are an important source of funds for the conservation and improvement of a range of wildlife and the landscapes on which they depend.


    Land Acquisition – The 2016 Federal Land Acquisition program builds on efforts started in 2011 to strategically invest in the highest priority conservation areas through better coordination among Department of the Interior agencies and the U.S. Forest Service. This budget includes $164.8 million for federal land acquisition, composed of $58.5 million in current funding and $106.3 million in proposed permanent funding. The budget provides an overall increase of $117.2 million above the 2015 enacted level. An emphasis on the use of these funds is to work with willing landowners to secure public access to places to recreate, hunt and fish.


    Cooperative Recovery – Species recovery is another important Service priority addressed in this budget. For 2016, the President requests a total of $10.7 million, an increase of $4.8 million over the enacted level, for cooperative recovery. The focus will be on implementing recovery actions for species nearing delisting or reclassification from endangered to threatened, and actions that are urgently needed for critically endangered species.


    Ecological Services – The budget includes $258.2 million to conserve, protect and enhance listed and at-risk wildlife and their habitats, an increase of $32.3 million compared with the 2015 enacted level. These increases include a $4 million program increase to support conservation of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem, which extends across 11 states in the intermountain West. Conservation of this vast area requires a collaborative effort unprecedented in geographic scope and magnitude. To achieve sustainable conservation success for this ecosystem, the Service has identified priority needs for basic scientific expertise, technical assistance for on-the-ground support, and internal and external coordination, and partnership building with western states, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and other partners.


    Additionally, the budget request contains a
    $4 million increase to ensure appropriate design and quick approval of important restoration projects that will be occurring in the Gulf of Mexico region in the near future. The Gulf of Mexico Watershed spans 31 states and is critical to the health and vitality of our nation’s natural and economic resources. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill dramatically increased the urgency of the Service’s work in the Gulf and our leadership responsibilities. Over the course of the next decade, billions of dollars in settlement funds, Clean Water Act penalties and Natural Resource Damage Assessment restitution will be directed toward projects to study and restore wildlife habitat in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Service is in high demand to provide technical assistance and environmental clearances for these projects, and this funding will ensure that this demand can be met.


    To learn more about the President’s FY 2016 budget request for the Department of the Interior, visit: www.doi.gov/budget.


    Read more information from the National Wildlife Refuge Association.


    Photo courtesy of USFWS

    For more stories like this, visit https://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/

  • 20 Nov 2014 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Friends of Anahuac Refuge
    Mini Gator Tales
    November 2014

    Attention beginner and expert birding enthusiasts!

    Birding Workshop at Anahuac NWR
    Monday, December 15

    Ibis at Anahuac NWR photo by Danni Hill Previte
    A FREE birding workshop is scheduled for 9am on Monday, December 15 at the Anahuac NWR Visitor Center on FM 563. The workshop is presented as a result of an exciting new partnership between Audubon Coastal Texas and the Friends of Anahuac Refuge. The goals of this partnership are to conduct monthly free workshops to train volunteers to identify waterbirds along the upper Texas coast including Anahuac NWR and other good birding locations in this coastal area. The waterbird monitoring project is needed to first establish a baseline of numbers of birds and secondly to use the information to manage waterbird populations by species.


    Outreach Accomplished

    Darlene Prescott and John Kemp at the FOAR booth at Buffalo Bayou Day in Houston
    FOAR completed a sweep of outreach events this fall finishing with Kid's Day at Buffalo Bayou Day and Baytown's Nurture Nature Festival. Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped at our booth! The events allow us to talk to thousands of people about National Wildlife Refuges in the Houston area.



    Inventory and Monitoring along the Gulf Coast
    Check out the first edition of The Gulf Gazette! It is a newsletter from USFWS Inventory & Monitoring biologists working in the Gulf Coast Zone, including Anahuac NWR.

    Topics include:
    -What is the Gulf Coast Zone?
    -Sea-level rise
    -Wintering waterfowl habitat studies
    -Upcoming projects and research
    Click here to check it out!

    Winter Gator Tales Coming Soon!
    Check your mailboxes beginning in December for the winter issue of our full Gator Tales newsletter. Topics include: hunting on the refuge, winter birding, preview of 2015, and more.


    National Wildlife Refuge System News

    Wildfire at McFaddin NWR
    Have you seen smoke coming up from the refuge before? That smoke is likely caused by a wildfire on the refuge. To reduce the risk of wildfires, USFWS firefighters regularly conduct prescribed burns to help restore wildlife habitat. While working on wildfires and prescribed fires, several terms are used.


    Save the Date!
    FOAR Annual Membership Meeting
    Saturday, January 24th, 2015
    Our Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, January 24th in Anahuac. All members are invited to attend to here about our accomplishments from this year, plans for 2015, and receive Friends volunteer recognition awards.
    More details coming soon...


    Buy a Book About the Refuge...
    to Support the Refuge!


    The 50th anniversary books are for sale at the Visitor Center and Visitor Information Station as well as online on our book project page. The book tells the story of the Anahuac NWR's 50th year through photographs and writing all done by volunteers. Profits from book sales go back to the Friends to pay for refuge projects.
    The perfect gift for the nature lover in your life!


    Don't Forget to Renew Your Membership!
    Don't forget to renew your membership online via PayPal or by check in the mail. When renewing, we also encourage you to receive our full quarterly newsletter, Gator Tales, electronically. It saves trees, saves us printing costs, and gets you access to more content.

  • 18 Nov 2014 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    The Gulf Gazette
    USFWS Inventory & Monitoring-Gulf Coast Zone
    November 2014 Newsletter

    Check out the first edition of The Gulf Gazette! It is a newsletter from USFWS Inventory & Monitoring biologists working in the Gulf Coast Zone, including Anahuac NWR.


    Topics include:

    • What is the Gulf Coast Zone?
    • Sea-level rise
    • Wintering waterfowl habitat studies
    • Upcoming projects and research

  • 18 Nov 2014 9:30 AM | Anonymous

    Attention beginner and expert birding enthusiasts!! 


    A FREE birding workshop is scheduled for December 15, 2014.  The workshop is presented as a result of an exciting new partnership between Audubon Coastal Texas and The Friends of Anahuac Refuge (FOAR).  The goals of this partnership are to conduct monthly free workshops to train volunteers to identify waterbirds along the upper Texas coast including Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and other good birding locations in this coastal area. The waterbird monitoring project is needed to first establish a baseline of numbers of birds and secondly to use the information to manage waterbird populations by species.

    These workshops will teach volunteers how to collect information by waterbird monitoring at the coastal locations such as Anahuac refuge and other sites. This workshop will be approximately one hour and will be paired with a 1-2 hour field trip which will help volunteers become comfortable with identifying waterbirds and filling out the census form. Beginner and experienced birders are all welcome to participate.

    The first workshop will begin at 9:00 am until approximately 10:00 am December 15, 2014 at the USFWS Chenier Plains NWR Complex Headquarters (ANWR Visitor Center) on FM563 about 2 miles south of I-10 and 4 miles north of Anahuac.  Then there will be a 1-2 hour bird survey in the field ending by 12pmBring your binoculars and favorite field guide, Audubon will bring extras for those who have none. Also, bring a bottle water and a light snack for this event and wear weather appropriate clothing including walking shoes/hiking boots. 

    For additional information contact Travis Lovelace, 409 277-9112 or 409 252-3454 or email at atl3454@windstream.net .

    Ibis photo by Danni Hill Previte

  • 11 Nov 2014 12:00 PM | Anonymous


















    Prescribed Fire and Other Heated Language

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service firefighters regularly reduce wildfire risk and help restore wildlife habitat by conducting prescribed burns at national wildlife refuges. When they do so, they use technical talk that can be confusing. Here’s a primer of some commonly used terms:


    Wildland fire: Any fire burning in a natural area, either a prescribed fire or a wildfire.


    Prescribed fire: A planned wildland fire started and managed by professional firefighters in accordance with an approved prescribed fire burn plan, which specifies allowable conditions for burning and desired results. Also called a prescribed burn. Sometimes called a controlled burn.


    Drip torch: Hand-held steel canister with a spout commonly used by wildland fire specialists to ignite prescribed fires or fight wildfires by dispensing flaming liquid – a mixture of diesel and gasoline – onto burnable vegetation. Related tools include: flame thrower (aka Terra Torch ®), usually mounted on a truck, trailer or off-road vehicle, used to shoot a horizontal stream of gelled gasoline; helitorch, hung from or mounted on a helicopter to disperse ignited lumps of gelled gasoline from the air; and ping pong balls, plastic balls filled with flammable chemicals that are dropped from a helicopter and ignite after hitting the ground.


    Fuels: Live or dead vegetation – such as grass, overgrown brush, trees or logging slash – that could fuel a wildfire. Also called hazardous fuels when referring to conditions creating high risk of wildfire.


    Fuels management: The practice of reducing wildfire risk through planned and approved actions to thin or remove vegetation that could fuel a wildfire. Fuels treatments can also improve wildlife habitat and commonly are done on a rotating schedule using prescribed fire, mechanical removal with chainsaws or heavy equipment, and chemical treatment with herbicides. Also called hazardous fuels reduction when referring to conditions creating high risk of wildfire.


    Control line: An inclusive term for constructed or natural barriers used to stop the spread of a wildland fire. The part scraped or dug to mineral soil is called a fireline.


    Spot fire: A new fire start ignited outside of control lines by blowing or falling embers from the main fire. Wildland firefighters must routinely monitor for spot fires, which can occur miles away, depending on weather conditions.


    Smoke management: Decisions and actions taken by wildland firefighters, land managers and air quality regulators, especially during prescribed fire, to minimize or divert smoke from settling into populated or high-traffic areas. This prevents health and safety hazards, such as poor air quality or impaired visibility. Managing smoke is more difficult during wildfires. It sometimes involves scientific monitoring of particulate levels and public notice of air quality.


    Cohesive Strategy:  An initiative of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture in which governmental and non-governmental organizations collaborate to manage wildland fire by responding to individual wildfires, supporting fire-adapted communities, and restoring and maintaining fire-resilient lands. It is officially known as the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.


    Photo: USFWS Fire Crew working on wildfire on McFaddin NWR, 2013


    For more stories like this visit: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/

  • 21 Oct 2014 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    FOAR Partnering with Audubon Texas for Waterbird Surveys, Volunteers Needed


    The Friends of Anahuac Refuge (FOAR) is partnering with Audubon’s Texas Estuarine Resource Network (T.E.R.N.). TERN supports the Texas coastal areas, including 177 coastal islands. The goals of this partnership are to conduct monthly free workshops to train volunteers to identify waterbirds on or near Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and to provide free guided field trips. This waterbird monitoring project is needed to first establish a baseline of numbers of birds and secondly to use the information to manage waterbird populations by species. Collected information will be shared with wildlife professionals such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (including the Anahuac NWR) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

    The program is designed to train individuals to conduct monitoring with a group or independently. These activities will then support continuing education so new birders are learning to identify waterbirds better, and experienced birders are sharing their knowledge with new or intermediate birders.

    One of the first workshops will be the T.E.R.N. monitoring workshop to teach volunteers how to collect information on waterbird monitoring at the refuge and other sites. The workshop will be approximately two hours and will be paired with a 1-2 hours field trip to become comfortable with identifying birds and filling out the census form. Each survey takes 20 minutes to conduct and more than one location could be visited.

    The second workshop will focus on identification of colonial waterbirds such as egrets, herons, Black Skimmers, cormorants, pelicans, ibis, etc. and how to identify these birds in breeding and winter plumage, or as juveniles. The workshop will be followed by a 1-2 hour field trip. This workshop was recently conducted in Galveston County and was a huge success with 30 people attending.

    We need your help to get started on this exciting and important project. Come join novice and experienced birders to observe waterbirds and record theirs numbers and behaviors. I’m looking forward to all of us gaining experience and knowledge and to learn of new areas for birding.

    For more information about volunteering for this project on the refuge,
    please contact Travis Lovelace at (409) 252-3454 or (409) 277-9112 or atl3454@windstream.net.

  • 15 Oct 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous
    Friends of Anahuac Refuge
    Mini Gator Tales
    October 2014









    National Wildlife Refuge System News
    National Wildlife Refuge Week
    October 12-18, 2014
    Last month, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to mark this week as a week to celebrate our National Wildlife Refuges. It is a good time to talk to family and friends about them and bring them out to one. Remember...the majority of first-time refuge visitors were directly referred by family and friends!
    Read USFWS Press Release
    Photo credit: USFWS



    Local and Urban Outreach
    FOAR setup booths at Anahuac's Gatorfest in September and Winnie's Rice Festival in Winnie earlier this month again this year. Volunteers spoke to visitors about the importance of the refuge and public use opportunities. We also raffled off one of our 50th anniversary books at each event as a fundraiser. Thanks to who stopped by and to the volunteers!
    We will be at it again this Saturday, October 18th near downtown Houston at

    Kid's Day Buffalo Bayou Day. The event is an excellent urban outreach opportunity to promote the refuges to city dwellers. We are partnering with other Friends groups in the area to talk about refuges in the Houston area.
    We will also have a booth at the Baytown Nurture Nature Festival on Saturday, November 1. It will be at the Baytown Nature Center. We hope you can come check out the event!




    Refuge Volunteer Work Day
    About 20 volunteers helped clean the Butterfly Garden on Saturday, September 27. Several native plant species have been planted in the garden over the years that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other wildlife. Unfortunately, weeds also grow in the garden which limit the growth of the desired plants. The best way to remove the weeds is by hand with the help of volunteers. Everybody got some hands-on experience with habitat management followed by lunch courtesy of FOAR. A BIG thank you to our great volunteers!









    A History of Hurricanes Along the Upper Texas Coast
    The Texas coast is no stranger to hurricanes, but it was not until the 20th century when they became mainstream in society. Beginning with destruction of Galveston by the 1900 hurricane to Hurricane Ike in 2008, find out how some of the largest storms left their legacy on the landscape and human development.




    Save the Date!
    FOAR Annual Membership Meeting
    Saturday, January 24th, 2015
    Our Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, January 24th in Anahuac. All members are invited to attend to here about our accomplishments from this year, plans for 2015, and receive Friends volunteer recognition awards.
    More details coming soon...




    Buy a Book About the Refuge...to Support the Refuge!
    The 50th anniversary books are for sale at the Visitor Center and Visitor Information Station as well as online on our book project page. The book tells the story of the Anahuac NWR's 50th year through photographs and writing all done by volunteers. Profits from book sales go back to the Friends to pay for refuge projects.
    Check out an article from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about the book here.





    Don't Forget to Renew Your Membership!
    Don't forget to renew your membership online via PayPal or by check in the mail. When renewing, we also encourage you to receive our full quarterly newsletter, Gator Tales, electronically. It saves trees, saves us printing costs, and gets you access to more content.

    Friends of Anahuac Refuge
    P.O. Box 1348
    Anahuac, TX 77514


    Osprey at Anahuac NWR
    Photo by Norman Welsh



    Thank you for supporting YOUR
    National Wildlife Refuge!


  • 04 Sep 2014 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    Refuge Rangers Fight Myths about Creepy Crawlies and Other Wildlife

    It’s not just snakes. Other wild creatures inspire exaggerated fears, too: bats; spiders; birds; fish – yes, fish.


    In the course of greeting tens of thousands of visitors a year, rangers on national wildlife refuges bump up against many such bugbears. They know which natural–world denizens invariably make some people flinch or go ewww.


    One thing they’ve noticed: Whether it’s because today’s visitors tend to live more indoor lives than past generations or watch too many TV survival shows, fears of nature are flourishing -- in all ages.


    “We’re seeing more kids sheltered and afraid,” says Ashley Inslee, a biologist at Bosque del Apache Refuge in New Mexico. “Even college kids interested in conservation haven’t been out hunting, fishing, hiking. They’ve seen TV shows or National Geographic and think being outdoors is cool, but it can be uncomfortable at first.”


    Different tactics are called for at Florida’s J.N. “Ding” Darling Refuge, where gators are star attractions. “There should be a natural fear we have of them, and they of us; it’s a good thing to be fearful of a large predator like an alligator,” says supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland. But she puts visitors’ fears in perspective. “We tell them we’re not going to have alligators jumping out of bushes. It’s safe. But it’s only safe because we respect wild animals and don’t feed them.”


    Some visitors want to beat back old fears. Mary Stumpp signed on this winter as a volunteer at crane-filled Bosque del Apache Refuge undefined an odd choice for someone with a lifelong fear of birds. Her task: using a tractor to mow corn for feeding sandhill cranes. Slowly, she grew accustomed to seeing flocks overhead. Writes Stumpp, “I began to see the cranes not as a threat but as beautiful creatures. To my surprise, I began to care about them…”


    To help anxious visitors, refuge staffers share some proven tactics:


    Admit fears of their own. Visitors may be surprised to hear refuge staffers aren’t all fearless. Bosque del Apache Refuge’s deputy manager Aaron Mize owns up to a fear of heights and snakes.


    Find out what they know. At Patuxent Refuge, staff meets students on familiar turf before a refuge visit, and throws softball questions: “Do you spend any time outside? What’s your favorite animal?” Staff also invites students to confide fears in writing so they are not embarrassed in front of classmates.


    Don’t dissemble. To a child nervous about snakes, you might try: ‘There are snakes here, but we almost never see any. That’s because they’re shy, and they can feel the ground tremble, and they go and hide when they hear people coming.’


    Educate about feeding a wild animal. Remind people that wildlife loses their fear of humans if regularly fed by visitors.  And tell them never to challenge wildlife.   


    Let kids adjust at their own pace. Let young people decide if they want to touch a live frog or snake. Respect youngsters’ rights to say “no”.  Some refuge staff appoint an anxious young visitor to become their assistant for a day.   


    Show enthusiasm. Students see that you’re not afraid and they respond.  When a youngster sees salamanders and turtles and responds, ‘Oh gross,’ that’s your chance to say, ‘No, they’re so cool,” and explain why. 


    Caption:

    These kids at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, AZ, are none too sure that they want to get near that snake, harmless as it is.  Photo by Andrea Brophy. 


    For more stories like this, visit: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/



The Friends of Anahuac Refuge was established in 1997 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Anahuac, TX.

For questions, call the refuge office at 409-267-3337.

Email: FriendsofAnahuacRefuge@gmail.com


Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1348

Anahuac, TX 77514

Refuge Office Address:

4017 FM 563, Anahuac, TX 77514

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