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McCollum Statement Celebrating 40th Anniversary of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

November 14, 2016
Statements For the Record

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1976, this refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides vital habitat for migratory water fowl, fish and other species. The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful example of Minnesota's commitment to conservation and the environment.

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge offers a world class opportunity to experience Minnesota's natural landscape and view wildlife, starting from the heart of the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Bloomington stretching more than 70 miles along the Minnesota River to Henderson, Minnesota. More than 5,000 acres of the 14,000 acre refuge are protected as Waterfowl Production Areas. During peak migration periods, visitors are witness to exceptional bird watching as hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors are funneled into the valley along their migratory routes.

Another significant focus of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is land conservation and management of habitats ranging from wetlands, to floodplain forest, to tall grass prairie. These diverse habitats are actively managed using modern conservation techniques such as biological control, prescribed burning and invasive plant removal to benefit the resident plants and animals. Refuge staff also reaches out to private local land owners on conservation and restoration efforts to enhance wildlife habitat within the region.

Minnesotans are steadfast stewards of the beautiful and diverse natural environments that make up our great state. The refuge is a shining example of our partnership with the federal government to preserve these beautiful natural resources in the heart of our Metropolitan Region. Mr. Speaker, please join me in paying tribute to the forty years of dedicated work by the federal employees and volunteers of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service whose efforts will continue in order to protect Minnesota wildlife and habitat at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.