Chance to Learn About Kodiak's Back Yard Over Lunch
Monday, 08 October 2012
For five days starting Tuesday, it’s National Wildlife Refuge Week.
Here on the island, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is a major landholder, and its manager, Gary Wheeler, would like residents to be aware that it has more to offer than just the relatively new visitor center near the ferry dock.
-- (Refuge 1 11 sec “You know we try and bring
the refuge into town with our visitor center, but thought it would be
worthwhile for folks to know a little bit more about the refuge.”)
Wheeler will be holding a brown-bag lunch talk on Thursday (Oct. 11),
hoping to familiarize locals with all the opportunities there are on the
refuge land, even if the only ways to get there are on foot, by boat or
airplane: As it is, the closest one can get to the refuge from the road
system is about 20 miles – and that’s not likely to change.
(Refuge 2 21 sec “Within the National Wildlife Refuge
system, we have a slogan that says ‘Wildlife First,’ and that sort of
exemplifies our mission. So definitely the refuges were set a side to
first take care of the wildlife of the nation. But also public
recreation is very important.”)
He says since there’s no gate
to keep track, it’s difficult to place an exact figure on how many
people use the refuge per year. He said hunting and fishing are popular
activities, as are fly-out bear viewing trips.
-- (Refuge 3
26 sec “We have permits that are required for commercial
enterprises; if you’re an air taxi or a guide, but if you’re just a
member of the public, doing private recreation, no permits are required.
And we do have nine cabins on the refuge that are available for the
public to rent. So that’s done through recreation.gov online.”
The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is one of 550 nationwide. It
covers nearly 2-million square miles and about two-thirds of Kodiak
Island. You’re sure to learn more from Wheeler (next) Thursday from noon
to 1 at the refuge visitor center downtown at the corner of Center and