Monday, January 10, 2011

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Backroads Information- US Fish and Wildlife Service

The US Fish and Wildlife Service, founded in 1940, is the last of large federal agencies managing natural resource lands.  The Federal Duck Stamp program jump started the agency by generating monies  for protection of duck habitat.  For a long time, the agency was known as the duck hunting folks.

They have gone well beyond just providing duck habitat.  Their 7,960 employees manage an annual budget of 2.32 billion dollars.  They manage 96.2 million acres of federal land, which is more than the National Park Service!!  A large portion of these acres are in Alaska and you need to join Sarah Palin on her float plane adventures to access much of it.

Way back in the Nixon administration, a little law passed called the Endangered Species Act.  Here's a trivial pursuit question for you.  What US President signed into law almost all the significant environmental legislation in the 20th century?  Answer...That would be Richard M. Nixon.

It took a few years for the US Fish and Wildlife Service to catch on to their new responsibilities.  Way back in the early 1980's while preparing Forest Plans for the National Forests we called the Fish and Wildlife Service and said, "Hey, under Federal law we need to talk to you about Grizzly Bear management".  Well, they were too busy to show up and talk to us.

Here is the US Fish and Wildlife Service link.  On the left side, click on the Recreation link.  Quickly they send you the the Reserve America reservation service.  Wow, how's that for bad public service!!  Well, as they said it get worse.  Click under Refuges on the left side.  Nice map of the United States.  Click on Washington, then click on the Columbia Wildlife Refuge.  Quickly by-pass the National write-up and go the the local site: Columbia National Wildlife Refuge .  See anything on campgrounds or recreation?? Not so much.

Well, you can always click on usbackroads:  usbackroads Columbia Wildlife Refuge.  Finally some information on the Wildlife Refuge.

Keep the US Fish and Wildlife Service on your list of federal lands to explore.  There are some really neat spots.  However, their lack of public information and rules and regulations really hamper public use.  In fact, keep your eyes peeled for this wonderful Fish and Wildlife Service sign.  Yes, it does say NO PUBLIC ENTRY!!. 

There are some great Fish and Wildlife lands, but good luck finding them.  However, they are well worth searching out, because when you do find them it is highly likely you will NOT have much company. 

I have always been partial to swamps and the US Fish and Wildlife Service has more than their fair share.   Follow the state birding trails.  Many of these include the Fish and Wildlife sites and can provide additional information on these areas.

If a US Fish and Wildlife area requires a admission fee remember you can use your Duck Stamp to get in without paying the fee.

Keep your eyes open for US Fish and Wildlife sites.  They are worth seeking out, even if it is difficult or next to impossible to get public information on them.


Anonymous said...

good luck vlad - keep in touch!


Linda said...

Plus, when you follow the link to Reserve America you get no US Fish & Wildlife entries so even that is a waste of time. I keep trying to find a way in, though. So far, you've been my best source. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us the places you know.

Vladimir Steblina said...

The Little Pend'Oreille National Wildlife Refuge north of Spokane allows dispersed camping for seven days in spring and summer. They took over management from the state and the camping got grandfathered.

Nice area with good fly fishing on a couple of lakes.

Price is right. Free.

Here is the link:

Dellaster said...

Thanks for the illuminating posts, Vladimir. I've enjoyed them and learned a lot.

It's a shame that our government so often provides frustratingly dispersed information on dispersed camping, but I guess that does make finding nice spots more of an adventure and perhaps more rewarding when they're found.