Will there be a Kids Crane Festival at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge on October 19 or a picnic for friends and neighbors at the Alamosa Refuge on October 13? No one knows as of this writing, although it appears that compromise and common sense may prevail in Washington, a little late.
Usually at this time of the year, I enjoy writing about the popular Kids Crane Festival, but the kiddies in Congress have been playing a game of Who-Blinks-First. Several unprintable words about Congress come to mind, but this is National Wildlife Refuge Week, so I want to talk about our refuges.
It is a privilege for me to write about our refuges and the people who work there. The staff and the refuge volunteers are my friends, whom I admire very much, and theirs is an outstanding example of a beneficial federal government program.
It may surprise readers to learn that, with 329 refuges, our National Wildlife Refuges have twice the acreage countrywide as in all our national parks combined. Our own San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of three refuges — Alamosa (11,169 acres), Monte Vista (14,834 acres), and Baca (85,502 acres). Mike Blenden is the project manager of the refuge complex, assisted by Ron Garcia as manager at the Baca and Suzanne Beauchaine at the Monte Vista and Alamosa refuges.
During the furlough, we became very concerned about refuge employees with mortgages or rents to pay, food to buy, perhaps kids in college, and the effects trickled down to many activities and businesses. Refuge programs are not superfluous activities, as some congressmen seem to believe they are.
For the complete article see the 10-15-2013 issue.
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