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Public Statements

National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Act of 2003

Location: Washington, DC

NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE VOLUNTEER ACT OF 2003 -- (House of Representatives - March 23, 2004)


Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I rise in enthusiastic support of H.R. 2408, "The National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Act."
Since the first refuge was established in my home state in 1912, the Wisconsin refuge system has become an integral part of life for our citizens. Our five wildlife refuges and two wetlands management districts attract nearly 2 million visitors each year. They provide critical habitat for our state's world-renowned wildlife resources, as well as opportunities for recreation and groundbreaking research.

Thankfully, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has help in meeting President Teddy Roosevelt's commitment of protecting our country's diverse wildlife heritage for future generations. Volunteers like my constituent John Wetzel, and the "Friends of the Upper Mississippi River Refuges," work constantly to improve our local refuges and serve as advocates at the national level.

John Wetzel is only one of over 45,000 individuals across the country who provide support for our refuge system. These "Friends of the Refuge" do whatever is needed-whether it is raising funds, guiding tours, battling invasive species or restoring wetlands. As noted anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said, "Never doubt that a small thoughtful group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

I am proud to support the National Fish and Wildlife Service in its vital mission, and I'm pleased this legislation will provide these dedicated activists the tools and information necessary to help them in their efforts on behalf of us all.

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