Saturday, February 13, 2016
What you can do to help Malheur (and other refuges): A cut-and-paste post
SIX THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP MALHEUR REFUGE
Thanks for your concern and support for our beloved Malheur!
With the armed hostage-taking of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, our nation's wildlife refuges have been thrust into the spotlight. This illegal seizure has stripped us of our rights as American citizens to make memories at this wildlife refuge. Such threats to our federal lands need to stop. National wildlife refuges belong to ALL Americans and we want Malheur back. It's apparent that few are aware of the incredible benefits wildlife refuges provide to communities and the local economy.
For every $1 Congress appropriates to run the Refuge System, nearly $5 is returned to local economies in jobs, sales, income and tax revenue. And that's on average. In many areas, wildlife refuges provide an even greater boost to the economy. Malheur is one such economic engine, returning over $7 for every $1 appropriated by Congress. Ironically, in spite of their economic value, our refuges are tragically underfunded and understaffed because of actions by actions of our elected representatives.
National wildlife refuges are special places. These lands consist of the rivers where veterans fly fish to assist in the healing process from PTSD, marshes where a parent takes their child hunting for the first time, open grasslands that become a child's first memory of an outdoor classroom and the lands where ranchers teach their children about the history of responsible land stewardship.
This incident has tragically kept refuge employees from doing their jobs, done damage to refuge grounds and facilities, insulted and distressed the Wadatika Burns Paiute Tribe, caused much emotional stress in the local and national community, and threatened Malheur’s ability to meet the Fish and Wildlife Services mission for Refuges: “working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.”
Because of this threat to Malheur, we have had many people wanting to help through donations and membership, as well as hundreds of people offering to volunteer to help get Malheur back to normal. Please stand with Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to show your solidarity with Malheur Refuge and the National Wildlife System.
Here are some options to show your support and help keep refuges free and healthy. Please consider as many as you are willing:
1. Join and or contribute to Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge: http://malheurfriends.org/ Our members receive regular eNews updates about refuge events, news, and volunteer opportunities.
2. Join and or contribute to the National Wildlife Refuge Association the national nonprofit focused on promoting and protecting the National Wildlife Refuge System: http://refugeassociation.org
3. Join or contribute to your local Refuge Friends Groups, where they occur. The Refuge Association has links to Friends Affiliates at: http://refugeassociation.org/friends-commu…/friends-groups/… ; you can also contact your local refuge’s to ask how you can help. You can find your local refuges here:
4. Write your senators and congressmen and urge them to support increased funding and staffing for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Sign up with the National Wildlife Refuge Association for Action Alerts: http://refugeassociation.org/action. Ask your legislators at all levels to support keeping public lands public for all Americans to enjoy.
5. Volunteer: Check out malheurfriends.org page for scheduled volunteer work parties and other opportunities. If you can’t come to Malheur, please offer to help at a local refuge.
6. Take your family, your children and grandchildren, your friends and neighbors and their children, to a refuge so they can learn and enjoy the great outdoors. Work to get kids outdoors, out in nature, so they connect and learn to build a future generation of supporters of nature and wild places.
Thanks to all of you for your support of National Wildlife Refuges!
Gary Ivey, President
Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge