"The Land and Water Conservation Fund protects special places that people want to visit, like the Skagit River here in Washington. We make a living helping people experience these places. And visitors benefit local economies. I support full funding for the LWCF for the sake of rural communities, the tourists they draw and the nature around them."

- Rod Amundson
Wildwater River Tours, Inc.




New National Wildlife Refuge Proposed To Protect Some Of Appalachia’s Rarest Places

Thursday, June 07, 2012
In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt created the first National Wildlife Refuge to protect brown pelican breeding grounds on the east coast of Florida. The refuge system has since grown to more than 553 refuges across the nation, and now the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposes establishing a refuge to protect Southern Appalachian bogs, one of the nation’s rarest natural habitats.

“National Wildlife Refuges are lands, managed by or in partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, set aside for the conservation of fish, wildlife, and plants,” explained Rick Huffines, deputy regional chief, National Wildlife Refuge System. “Given the rarity of these bogs and their importance to plants and wildlife, creating a refuge to conserve them is a natural fit.”

The proposed refuge would eventually include approximately 23,000 acres scattered across as many as 30 sites in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Clay, Graham, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Transylvania, Wilkes, and Watauga counties, North Carolina, and Carter and Johnson counties, Tennessee. The Service would work with willing landowners to establish the proposed refuge through several methods, including fee simple purchases, conservation easements, leases, or cooperative agreements with landowners. Project funding would likely come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund which includes money collected from the sale of offshore oil and gas drilling leases.