The Flyway

Summer 2020

brochure The Flyway - Summer 2020

The Flyway - Quarterly newsletter for Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Washington. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The Flyway Summer 2020 Quarterly newsletter for Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually and Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuges Contents The “Early Bird” and Its Kin............ 1 On the Wing ......... 3 Thank you Friends Members! ............. 3 Summer Lecture Series ................... 4 New Estuaries and Oceans ................. 6 This Ain’t My First Rodeo ................... 7 Friends President Testifies in Washington DC .... 8 New and Renewing Friends Members/ Summer Flyway 2020..................... 9 Gratitude ............ 10 The Refuge is Home to the “Early Bird” and Its Kin By Kim Dolgin thrush, and they are early in at least two senses: in many parts of the country they are among the first birds to lay eggs in the spring and they start singing earlier in the morning than most other birds. (They also tend to be one of the latest evening singers, and so they put in long days.) While they do eat worms, grubs and caterpillars, fruits and berries actually make up more of their diets. They winter The thrush family, farther north which includes American Robin photo by John Whitehead than the majorbluebirds and ity of thrushes, nightingales as well as the more clasand they live year–round in most of the sically brown/spotted thrushes, are U.S., including here at the Refuge. Interprimarily woodland–dwelling birds estingly, the individual robins we see in that can be found over most of the winter and those we see in summer are globe. Members of the family share likely not the same birds. Most robins many characteristics: they have round are short–distance migrants. Our sumheads, long thin beaks and relatively mer residents head south when it gets long legs. Their babies are spotted cold while our winter residents head and the females shoulder the work north for breeding. During the cold seaof building their open–cup nests and son robins form large flocks, especially handle brooding by solely or mostly by in the evening, whereas in summer themselves. Males are similarly colored they are more spaced out as the males to but brighter than females. Thrushes stand sentry over their territories. are ground foragers and display a Have you ever taken a close look at a characteristic “hop and pause” morobin? They are so easily identified that tion when searching for food. Many I have found that many people stop thrushes have beautiful songs. really looking after seeing their brown American Robins are the proverbial back and red breast and so never no“early bird” that catches the worm. They are North America’s largest Continued on page 2 American Robins—birds that are truly interesting—are so common and conspicuous that they are often ignored. They, together with the Varied Thrush and the Swainson’s Thrush are the three members of the (horribly named) Turdidae family readily seen or heard at the Refuge. The Hermit Thrush may also appear, but only rarely. Robins From page 1 tice robins’ other defining characteristics. Robins’ heads range from brown to jet black (males have the darker heads), and they have an incomplete white circle around their eyes. Their throats are white with black streaks; their bills are yellow with a dark tip which becomes more prominent in the winter. Their bellies and the feathers underneath their tail are a brilliant white. The “red” on their breast —it looks more orange to me!—is quite a variable color and varies by gender (females’ are paler) and region. Varied Thrush have an even more striking coloration. Their orange bellies are interrupted by a black (male) or grey (female) breast band and have orange wing bars and eye stripes. In males the head, back and tail are blueish gray, while females are browner. Because they need large patches of coniferous forest and prefer dense cover, their numbers are in deep decline. In many ways, Varied Thrush are representative of the thrush family. They are ground foragers who eat primarily insects in the summer and switch to berries in the winter. They build open cup nests and lay blue eggs. As mentioned above, the males are a little brighter than the females, they live in the woods, and their babies have spotted breasts. Robins can be found in a greater variety of habitats than any other local songbird. (Give them an A+ for adaptability!) In suburban areas they spend so much time on lawns that it is easy to forget that they prefer to live The Refuge’s third comin open woodlands and along Varied Thrush photo by Michael Schramm mon thrush, the Swainson’s forest edges. During much of the Thrush, is more typically year, you can watch robins repetitively do their familiar colored than the other two Refuge thrushes. We have “hop a few feet, pause, and cock their head” motion. the “russet–backed” variety, and as the name indicates Robins have both excellent hearing and sight, and while our birds’ backs are a reddish brown. They have pale there is no doubt that they visually hunt for worms by underparts with brown spots, and a buff–colored eye looking for their castings and the entrances to their ring. Swainson’s Thrushes are considerably smaller holes, some researchers also believe that robins can than Robins. The russet–backs differ from the more hear worms and other insects moving underground. widespread “olive–backs” in that they winter in Central, Their relatives, the Varied Thrush, are much more rather than South America. persnickety in their choice of habitat. We in the South Swainson’s Thrushes also behave a little differently Sound region are among the lucky few who get to see than American Robins or Varied Thrushes. While they, the birds at all. They reside only in and around the colike the others, do most of their foraging on the ground, niferous forests along the Pacific Coast and among the they also forage up in the foliage. They walk along even fewer who get to see them year–round. (They do, branches to search for insects and they sometimes however, tend to leave the Refuge itself in the summer.) even take flying insects. You probably won’t see these Somewhat slimmer but about the same size as robins, behaviors, however, since Swainson’s Thrushes are shy, and they are more likely to be seen than heard. Published quarterly by the Friends of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Phone: 360.753.9467 Fax: 360.534.9302 Volume 12, Number 2 Editor: Susie Hayes Editorial Advisors: David Clark, Jennifer Cutillo, David True Graphic design: Lee Miller Save trees, think green. To receive The Flyway electronically, email 2 Fortunately, each of the Refuge’s three thrushes has a distinctive song. The Robin can be heard loudly singing “cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up”. They are tireless singers who repeat and repeat and repeat their rising and falling, sing–song melody. Varied Thrushes produce an extremely simple, haunting, rather buzzy whistle on a single pitch. They sing the same note repetitively, with a lengthy pause in between vocalizations. Swainson’s Thrushes are known for their beautiful, spiraling, ascending song which speeds up towards the end. Because their syrinx (voice organ in birds) is split, they can produce two notes at the same time, creating, in effect, a self–harmony. You can readily find examples of each of these easy–to–learn songs on the internet. If you do, and if you keep your eyes out, you will shortly realize that we are surrounded by thrushes! The Flyway On the Wing Glynnis Nakai At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic I thought the Refuge would not only be a refuge for wildlife, but a refuge for people to get fresh air in the outdoors. But as parks closed in early March we observed crowded conditions here at the Refuge that were not conducive to social distancing and slowing the spread. With the pandemic progressing into other communities, a difficult decision was made to suspend Refuge access and operations in support of the Governor’s “stay-at-home” order, particularly at the infancy of the outbreak. It was also very important to protect the health and safety of the staff and volunteers. The impacts were realized when we postponed the annual Volunteer Banquet and the Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival—two important celebrations that bring us together. Work at the Refuge did not stop when the gate closed. The staff kept the pace despite the limitations of a make-shift home office space. Today’s technology helped us navigate the separation of staff. It kept us connected with each other and our partners enabling amazing creativity to adapt projects to the current condition of remote communication. For the first time since its inception in 1993, the judging for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest was a virtual experience for all states to select their Best of Show for the national virtual judging. This same process was used to judge the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival Poster Contest despite the festival cancellation. The education staff developed virtual lessons to continue the shorebird curriculum for classes in Grays Harbor and virtual field trips for teachers who were scheduled to visit Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR. Suspension of the Washington Conservation Corps crews in March meant some projects were on hold but other maintenance projects could be completed in the absence of staff and visitors. The biological program was condensed and shorebird surveys were cancelled; however, more attention could be directed to water level monitoring and initiating a monitoring plan for American Bullfrogs in the Black River Unit for future control efforts. It has been inspiring to see the Refuge staff rise to the challenge and continue our mission during this pandemic. What has been most obvious throughout this period is the absence of volunteers, and it really emphasizes how essential they are for all the Refuge programs. We would not be able to provide or accomplish as much without their passion, dedication, and contributions. We look forward to the volunteers returning when it’s safe to interact with visitors who come from different communities. The uncertainty of this virus and what the “new normal” will look like is difficult to predict. We can only plan with the information that is available. After eleven weeks, the Refuge reopened access on June 8, 2020. This initiated a phased approach for re-staffing the office and reopening facilities. Initially, Refuge staff will alternate telework with work in the office and gradually move to full staffing. The Refuge gate will open to the public at sunrise daily and close at sunset. Parking will be limited to the designated parking stalls only, in attempt to mitigate overcrowding at the Refuge. The Norm Dicks Visitor Center, public restrooms, and Environmental Education Center will remain closed until it’s safe to resume full operations. There are challenges every step of the way but together we can be successful in defining and adapting to what our future holds. On behalf of the Refuge staff, I hope this finds you and your loved ones staying healthy and staying safe. Thank you Friends Members! Our Annual Appeal raised over $5000 for Environmental Education! Our first annual appeal was sent to active Friends of Nisqually NWRC members this past holiday season. We want to offer up a huge thank you to our members for donating over five thousand dollars in response to our appeal! This funding goes a long way to educating the public about the habitats and wildlife of the Refuge while keeping the promise of this refuge to be an inviolate sanctuary for migratory birds. Your donations will keep our Environmental Education programs for local school children active and growing. This means more kids will continue to have opportunities to visit the Refuge and connect with nature. The past school year Summer 2020 a nine-year-old wrote us, “I will always remember that the first real live owl I ever saw was at Nisqually.” We believe that offering kids a chance to form memories like those makes space in their hearts for wild creatures and wild places. This is a long-term investment. In the words of renowned Environmental Educator David Soebel, “If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” Thank you to all who participated in this year’s annual appeal, your contributions go directly towards affording children experiences where the can learn to love the earth. 3 2020 Summer Lecture Series The 33rd Annual Summer Lecture Series at Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR will be held entirely virtually! All you need to do to register is visit the Friends of Nisqually NWR Complex website. All lectures are free and will take place Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. for July and August. Thanks to Friends of Nisqually NWR Complex for their support of the summer lecture series. July 8 The Biggest, the Smallest, the Only, and the Rarest: New Zealand’s Unique Bird Life Kim Adelson is on the Board of our Local Black Hills Audubon Society and frequently gives talks about birds, their vulnerability to climate change, and their place in the ecosystem. Many of New Zealand’s birds are strange: they evolved in profound isolation, in a land without mammals and with few flying insects. Facing little competition and predation pressure, they slowly changed. As a result, they include the largest…, the smallest…, the heaviest…, the rarest…, the most ancient…, the most mammalian, and the only… species of many types of birds. New Zealand has penguins and parrots and kiwis and wattlebirds, and 80% of its land birds can’t be found anywhere else. Come hear a discussion about the fascinating birds, both living and extinct, that roam (or roamed) New Zealand. July 15 Tahoma and Its People, a Natural History of Mount Rainier National Park Did you know that Native Americans have traveled to Mount Rainier for over 9,000 years, to gather resources unavailable near their lowland villages? Did you know that the effects of climate change extend far beyond the mountain’s retreating glaciers? Join Jeff Antonelis-Lapp, Emeritus Faculty at The Evergreen State College, to learn more about these and other stories from Tahoma and Its People, his natural history of Mount Rainier National Park, published this spring by Washington State University Press. After graduating from college, Jeff Antonelis-Lapp worked two summers at Mount Rainier National Park, igniting a connection to the mountain that endures today. He has summited the mountain, hiked all of its mapped trails, and completed the 93-mile Wonderland Trail five times. Jeff began writing Tahoma and Its People after being unable to find a current natural history for a course he planned to teach at The Evergreen State College. He conducted over 250 days of fieldwork for the book, 4 many of them in the company of park archaeologists, biologists, and geologists. While at Evergreen, he taught Native American Studies, natural history, environmental education, and served as the Library Dean before retiring in 2015. July 22 Garbage Guts, a children’s book reading Heidi J Auman, PhD (Adjunct Lecturer, IMAS) has studied human impacts on seabirds for most of the past thirty years. A pioneer on the research of plastics ingestion, she lived on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge from 1993–2000, studying the effects of marine debris and contaminants on Laysan albatross. Heidi has also explored plastic ingestion in sub Antarctic and Tasmanian seabirds, chemical pollutants in Great Lakes birds, and the effects of junk food on urban gulls. She has demonstrated that our ecological footprint has reached the farthest corners of the earth, often with disturbing consequences. Armed with this hands–on experience—and a passion for sharing her scientific knowledge with a wider audience, including young people—she has now written a book for children on the subject. In her book, dramatically illustrated by Romanian artist Luminita Cosareanu, Heidi has Aria, a female Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), travesl away from her island home to find out where all the plastic items she and her albatross friends have been regurgitating are coming from. The take–home message is that marine pollution is derived from the land and that children can help and become involved by joining beach clean–ups. July 29 A Place in the Sun— Joshua Tree National Park Cindy Von Halle retired from the National Park Service in 2015 after a rewarding career that allowed her to live in seven national park sites across the country. She lives with her husband and dog near Joshua Tree National Park, where she worked for 13 years. Her last park was Klondike Goldrush National Historical Park in Skagway, Alaska, where she served as Chief of Interpretation and Education. She enjoys volunteering at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, known for exceptional bird habitat. During the Covid 19 pandemic, she keeps busy reading, walking and gardening. The Flyway The California Desert is one of the harshest environments on earth. Long periods of drought and searing hot summers make it challenging, yet the variety and abundance of life is amazing. Join former Park Ranger Cindy Von Halle as she shares nature’s hidden secrets for survival among the Joshua Trees. August 5 Osmia Propinqua: Orchard Mason Bee or Blue Orchard Bee Jim Ullrich was the President of Wild Birds Unlimited, Gig Harbor, WA ’93–2015. He is a retired Naval Officer, has a Master’s Degree from University of Puget Sound, and appeared on Ed Hume, Cisco Morris, and Scott Conner Garden Shows. Jim has been a contributing writer for West Sound Home & Garden Magazine for the past seven years and the President of Kitsap Audubon and Past board member for 10 years. Jim’s recent speaking engagements include: Vashon Garden Tour, Tacoma Home & Garden Show, Kitsap Home & Garden Show, and numerous talks to various clubs throughout Puget Sound for the past 23 years. Jim has given over 114 specific talks on Orchard Mason Bees, since 1993. This presentation will be a live open discussion on summer maintenance for our Native Orchard Mason Bees. Join Jim Ullrich, President of Knox Cellars Mason Bees, to learn about what to do now and into the fall to maintain a healthy and productive family of Mason Bees in one’s own backyard. Current issues will be discussed and what to expect next year when our bees hatch in March 2021. Jim has been a frequent lecturer around the entire region and a part of our Summer Lecture series in the past….. asked to come back by popular demand. August 12 The Way of Whales Cindy Hansen was born in Indiana and grew up in Alberta before moving to Washington, so being inland her entire childhood she naturally developed an affinity for whales. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from the University of Washington and has worked as a whale watch naturalist, Education Curator at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, and currently as the Education and Events Coordinator for Orca Network. She has { also spent 19 winters migrating with the gray whales to San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja Mexico where she works as a naturalist/guide for Baja Discovery. The Salish Sea is an amazing habitat full of marine wildlife. Many species of whales make the Salish Sea their home for part or all of the year. Some are just passing through while others remain for longer periods of time. Some, like the humpback whale, have recovered from near extinction and are an incredible success story. Others, like the Southern Resident orcas, are critically endangered and need our help. Learn about the fascinating ways of whales and what you can do to help protect them. August 19 The Fight to Save the Nisqually Delta Janine Gates, an Olympia–based freelance journalist and photographer, is writing a book about past proposals to industrialize the Delta and current environmental threats to its ecosystem. Gates created Little Hollywood Media LLC, and has written over 500 articles in ten years for her news blog, Little Hollywood, at www. Janine is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. How did the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Natural Wildlife Refuge (BFJNNWR) come to be? For decades, serious proposals put forth by the State of Washington, Port of Olympia, Port of Tacoma, Thurston County, Pierce County, and the City of DuPont threatened to industrialize the Delta. Gates will speak about these modern–day threats and the citizen efforts to oppose those proposals by Margaret McKinney, Flo Brodie, and others with the Nisqually Delta Association, a nonprofit organization celebrating the 50th anniversary of its incorporation. America’s estuaries are being restored and at the same time they are facing multiple threats including water quality and water quantity, growth, and climate change. Perhaps the most important question to be asked is, who will step up to help protect the Delta in the future? August 26 To be announced… The Refuge will not host the summer guided walks due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of staff, volunteers, and visitors. Following CDC guidelines, we want to avoid large gatherings and minimize interactions between volunteers and visitors. We look forward to the time when we can continue the interpretive programs for our visitors. Be safe and stay healthy. Summer 2020 { 5 New Estuaries and Oceans that celebrate life. I have watched Living in Washington, children learn we are bludgeoned how to use binover the head with the oculars, fished life cycle of the anadcreatures from romous salmon: the our freshwater egg hatches in freshponds with a dip water, alevins and fry net, watched over move downstream a thousand geese towards the ocean, take off in flight they adjust to salinity at once, drawn at and pH in the estuleast 30 benthic ary, they move out to macroinvertethe ocean where they brates for educabecome big, strong tion materials adults. The adults (two of which years later swim back became tempoupstream to their rary tattoos!), ancestral breeding gone inside a ground, lay eggs and giant inflatable the cycle begins anew. salmon, learned Maybe it is because I how to make grew up in the Pacific cookies shaped Northwest and have like owls and so heard this story so much more that it Grace DeMeo and Julia Fregonara. Photo by Davy Clark many times that I fills my heart just could probably recite it to think about. I got in my sleep, but I have always thought of life as a conto experience life! Being alive! That’s amazing! tinuous version of this cycle. There are periods in my I am leaving behind so many people who are still “fightlife where I am brand new at something, being swept ing the good fight,” and you are all heroes to me. I’m down a river with water rushing 80 miles an hour trying not to say these words lightly, because I really around me, just trying to get a grasp of what is going mean them! Thank you for welcoming me into your on. Other times I feel like I’m in control, times where I circles and community as a peer, thank you for guidget to be the big fish riding kahunas created by people ing me, listening to me and when needed, correcting supporting me. me. Thank you for so many amazing stories that I can If I haven’t had a chance to meet you in the two years now pass on as I head to graduate school (I promise I’ve spent at the Refuge as the Nisqually AmeriCorps to spread my love of muskrats there too). In the fall I Education Coordinator: nice to meet you, and sorry for will attend Antioch University of New England in New talking about fish so much—you are probably a little Hampshire, to expand my world even further with a confused. My name is Grace DeMeo and I have thormaster’s degree in Environmental Education. My area oughly enjoyed two years of coordinating a part of the of focus will be public lands and the ways they can be Environmental Education Program by managing field utilized to foster connections with people in nature. trips and more. That entails getting to know the Refuge Thank you for that too! habitat, the students who learn from it, the staff who Anadromous fish always return to their ancestral homes protect it, the volunteers that share their knowledge, using their sense of smell to locate the spot within meters passion and kindness, and all of the people who are of where they were spawned. They bring with them nuconnected to it. It is fitting then, that the estuary is trients that help sustain entire forests upon their return. not only a watershed place for salmon to grow, but for Unfortunately, I don’t have as good a sense of smell as myself as well. them, but I do intend to return to the Pacific Northwest someday. So this isn’t really goodbye—this is me promisTrying to fit two years of paradigm shifting growth into ing to travel to new estuaries and oceans my whole life, a short article leaves out so much. Through field trips to learn and grow even more before starting the process with students, classroom lessons, festivals and more, I have been welcomed into a complex nexus of people anew. I hope you all can promise to do the same! By Grace DeMeo 6 The Flyway This Ain’t My First Rodeo By Julia Fregonara An AmeriCorps member doing a second term as the Education Coordinator for Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is apparently uncommon. As the proud holder of both the 2019 and 2020 title of “Shorebird Lady,” I can’t imagine why. Doing two years allowed me to grow and polish my skills in ways that one year never could have. I was able to learn from mistakes I made last year, develop deeper relationships with volunteers and teachers, and finally nail the high notes in all the songs I sing on the way out to Hoquiam. Below I have outlined some of the ways I’ve seen my skills and experience grow: Scenario 1: The shorebird presentation won’t load on the teacher’s computer, and there’s no way to plug in your own! First year me is sweating, plugging and unplugging cords, and whipping out flash drives like confetti. Second year me points the document camera at the laptop screen. Is it blurry? A little. Does it work? Yes. Scenario 2: It’s time to talk about the differences between the shorebird and the falcon. Can you remember them all? First year me is developing little tricks to memorize the list and trying to make sure I don’t repeat or omit any of them. Second year me pretty much just opens my mouth and the list plops out; I’ve given the same spiel over 200 times by this point. Scenario 3: Some students in the front are trying to quietly elbow each other during the drawing lesson without you noticing, and it’s distracting the students behind them. First year me tries to plow forward, not wanting to cause a scene. Second year me says, “Y’all in the front need to get it together. I have eyes like the falcon.” Doing a second year isn’t all happy learning and positive growth though. In fact, there were some significant drawbacks to staying in the same position: 1. I got good enough at drawing a shorebird to know that my drawing could use some work. 2. I developed a fondness for the kestrel who sits on the powerline along Route 12 and feel sad when he isn’t there. 3. My nightmares morphed from zombie apocalypses to showing up at a lesson without my box of materials. 4. I’ve started saying, “Beautiful day for a drive!” unironically. All drawbacks aside, these two years were an amazing, transformative experience. I especially want to thank each volunteer I met while serving here: you are a huge part of what makes this place so special. Thanks for the knowledge, time, and passion you shared with me, and an extra special thank-you goes to anyone who sat in the car with me for hours listening to my Road Trip playlist. For those of you who may be fearing you’ve seen the last of me, I’m happy to report that I accepted a job with the Nisqually River Foundation: I’m going to be the Nisqually River Education Project Program Coordinator! I’m excited to see what this new job will bring for me, and I’m sure I will see you around on the trails. Grace and Julia bringing an artistic touch. Summer 2020 7 Friends President Testifies in Washington DC By Justin Hall On February 6th I was honored to represent the Friends of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriation Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. I was there to provide testimony on behalf of the National Wildlife Refuge System about the fiscal year 2021 appropriation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge Association helped put together the session, and they asked us to contribute to the testimony. In testifying I first painted a picture of our amazing two Refuges and one Unit, talking about some of the unique features of each area: the restored estuary at Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually, the critical habitat for the federallythreatened Oregon Spotted Frog at the Black River Unit, and the over one hundred thousand shorebirds that stopover during the spring migration at Grays Harbor. I also spoke to some of the challenges each area faces. Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Refuge welcomes over 220,000 people each year with all the associated pluses and minuses. The Black River Unit lacks the resources to increase monitoring, control of invasive species, and expand habitat management. Grays Harbor Refuge still lacks the promised Interpretive Center. I talked about the Friends of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex, our history and what we bring to our Refuges, including over $60,000 a year to support programs at the Refuges, especially the environmental education program. Support we couldn’t provide without our Nature Shop customers, our donors, and our volunteers. I also talked about the many partnerships that our Refuge Complex participates in and how those partnerships have been critical in helping our Refuge Complex meet their goals. The original Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge was formed out of a community desire to see the Nisqually Watershed protected. That same desire led to the creation of the Nisqually River Council, which is a coordinating council of 23 federal, state, 8 local, and tribal governments, including the Refuge Complex along with motivated stakeholders that work to preserve, protect, and promote the Nisqually Watershed. The restoration of the Nisqually estuary is a great example of how partnerships have helped the Refuge Complex. Plans for the restoration were presented by the Refuge Complex to the Nisqually River Council. The Nisqually Indian Tribe piloted the restoration techniques on lands it had acquired in the estuary, Ducks Unlimited managed the construction work and Nisqually River Council member agencies were tapped to help with the funding of the project. My testimony then moved to the challenges we face at the Nisqually Complex. The biggest challenge is adequate funding for staff. Currently, seven permanent employees manage over 11,000 acres of widely dispersed lands. The Complex has one maintenance worker to maintain the infrastructure and assist with habitat management. Ideally, the Complex needs twice the staff (15) to achieve the full purpose of the Refuges, not only to benefit fish and wildlife, but also to provide quality, safe outdoor opportunities for the public. Law enforcement is another significant issue at the Nisqually Complex. Currently we have ¼ of a Refuge Law Enforcement Officer who is based two hours away. Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Refuge, located directly off Interstate 5. This close proximity and easy exit and entrance onto the highway may be the reason why there is higher crime at this refuge, particularly car prowls. Trespassing into closed areas set aside for wildlife and engaging in non-wildlife dependent activities are also big problems despite miles of trails throughout t

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