Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Secretary Jewell Meets With Upper Mississippi River Stakeholders

Upper-Mississippi River stakeholders met with Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Representative Ron Kind (D-WI-3rd) in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Friday, August 14. More than 70 stakeholders attended the roundtable meeting at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, along with local Department of Interior employees.

Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius, Refuge Manager Sabrina Chandler, Secretary Sally Jewell, and Representative Ron Kind from Wisconsin talk with stakeholders at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Photo by Tami Heilemann/DOI.
The meeting took place in coordination with the Secretary’s announcement on Thursday, August 13 of $750,000 in grant funding to Wisconsin from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Stakeholders discussed the recent grant funding, how it promotes the purchase of public lands, the impact of outdoor recreation on local and national economies, as well as engaging new sportsmen and women.

Following the stakeholder meeting, employees from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and United States Geological Survey met with Secretary Jewell and Rep. Kind to discuss Interior Department topics and conservation issues confronting the Upper Mississippi River area. Secretary Jewell and Rep. Kind’s visit also included a boat tour showcasing conservation work accomplished by local Interior Department employees and partners.

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge was established by an Act of Congress on June 7, 1924, as a refuge and breeding place for migratory birds, fish, other wildlife, and plants. The refuge encompasses approximately 240,000 acres of Mississippi River floodplain in a stretch of 261 river-miles from near Wabasha, Minnesota, to near Rock Island, Illinois. The Service’s Midwest Region has purchased 92,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge System lands with Land and Water Conservation fund grants totaling over $91 million since 1965.