National Wildlife Refuge System

Comment Now on Refuge System Communications Plan

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staffers conduct an annual seabird census over Puale Bay at Becharof National Wildlife Refuge, AK.
Credit: Julia Pinnix/USFWS

Nine teams of National Wildlife Refuge System employees along with interested stakeholders and partners are busily at work implementing the recommendations outlined in Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation, thevision developed after last summer’s national conference in Madison, WI.

The Communications implementation team has put forward a five-year strategic plan that seeks first to reach key audiences where they live; then increases online and in-person visits to wildlife refuges; and ultimately builds the next generation of Refuge System supporters. The plan details a host of tactics – from marketing partnerships that engage the National Basketball Association, among other non-traditional partners, to traveling Refuge Live! activity centers and a Champions Academy for high school students. 

The draft plan was developed only after stakeholder interviews, some with individuals who work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others who knew about wildlife refuges but never worked on one. The team also worked with a consultant who conducted four small focus groups in major cities in which participants gave their reactions to the messages and images included in the plan. The plan seeks not only to increase awareness about the Refugee System, but also to increase the number of people who volunteer for the Service or join a Friends organization and to strengthen brand recognition.

Send your comments about the plan by January 16, 2013, to

Other teams and products will be online in coming weeks. Continue to follow Conserving the Future progress at, where you can also join the social network and groups that reflect your areas of interest.

Last updated: January 14, 2013