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AETN spotlights wildlife refuges | Urban Wildlife

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AETN spotlights wildlife refuges
Urban Wildlife
AETN spotlights wildlife refuges

CONWAY, Ark. (AETN) —“Arkansas’s National Wildlife Refuges,” a special edition of “Exploring Arkansas,” will premiere on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) on Sunday, March 6, at 4:30 p.m.

“National Wildlife Refuges are the best of what ‘wild America’ has to offer,” host Chuck Dovish said. “There aren't any better places for children and adults alike to learn about the natural world.”

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants. Since its inception in 1903, the system has grown to more than 150 million acres, 553 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System, plus 38 wetland management districts. National Wildlife Refuges are specifically managed for wildlife and ecology, but the land is also for people to enjoy and is often referred to as “America’s Best Kept Secret.”

“National Wildlife Refuges are wild places, and I guess that word ‘wild’ doesn’t appeal to the masses,” Amanda Wilkinson, public use specialist at Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, said. “The Fish and Wildlife Service is taking a great initiative to try and change that.

“We’re currently trying to connect people with nature and make any effort we can to appeal not only to the hunters and the fisherman, but also the birdwatcher, wildlife enthusiasts and hikers.”

In this “Exploring Arkansas” special edition, Dovish visits the following National Wildlife Refuges:

+Bald Knob, established in 1993 to protect and provide feeding and resting areas for migrating waterfowl.

+Big Lake, located near Manila, established in 1915 to provide habitat and protection for migrating and wintering birds and is recognized as an important link in the Mississippi migration corridor.

+Holla Bend, located near Dardanelle, established in 1957 to preserve habitat for wintering ducks, geese and bald eagles.

+Overflow, located near Parkdale, established in 1980 to protect one of the remaining bottomland hardwood forests considered vital for mallard, wood duck and other waterfowl populations in the Mississippi Flyway.

+Pond Creek, located near Lockesburg, established in 1994 to protect one of the remaining bottomland hardwood tracts in the Red River Basin and provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl such as Mallards, gadwall, American wigeon, northern shoveler and blue and green-winged teal

+White River, located near St. Charles, established in 1935 for the protection of neotropical migratory songbirds that use the refuge as a stopping point on their journey to and from Central and South America and features one of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi River Valley.

“Arkansas’s National Wildlife Refuges” will be available on DVD as a thank-you gift for a $60 donation to the AETN Foundation. Donations to the AETN Foundation may be made by calling 800-662-2386 or visiting http://www.aetnfoundation.org/.

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