National Wildlife Refuge Week, Oct. 11-17, is a great way to celebrate the outdoors this year after spending months at home because of COVID-19 precautions.
National Wildlife Refuge Week celebrates all the ways to discover hunting, fishing, biking and paddling to trail running, photography, walking and virtual nature programs.
Founded by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, national wildlife refuges offer access to outdoor activities while providing vital habitat for thousands of wildlife species. Nearly 60 million people visit refuges each year.
Special events traditionally mark National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed each year during the second full week of October.
Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service permits hunting and fishing along with four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation, and interpretation, when these activities are compatible with an individual refuge’s purpose and mission. There are new opportunities for hunting and fishing on national wildlife refuges from coast to coast.
National wildlife refuges pump $3.2 billion per year into local economies and support more than 41,000 jobs, according to the Service’s report Banking on Nature.