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Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge biologist to speak at the University of Maine at Fort Kent

October 8, 2004

NR04194

Dawn Washington, head wildlife biologist at the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone, will give a presentation on wildlife related projects that are currently taking place at the refuge on Friday, October 15, at 12:00 noon in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room.

Washington, who now lives in Caribou, has been the head biologist at the wildlife refuge since 2003.

She is originally from Pennsylvania and attended West Virginia University where she earned two bachelors degrees, one in forest resource management and the other in wildlife science.

While working towards her bachelor degrees at West Virginia University, Washington worked at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in Errol, New Hampshire during the summer months.

She returned to West Virginia University where she received her master's degree in forestry in September 2003.

Washington also worked at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia while working towards her master's degree.

Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Northern Maine National Wildlife Refuge Complex headquartered at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.

Congress established the Moosehorn refuge in 1937 to protect migratory birds. It is the setting for an intensive research and management program for American woodcock. Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1998 to protect diverse habitats for wildlife, particularly waterfowl and neotropical migratory birds. Both refuges provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, such as wildlife observation and photography.

The Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is located on part of the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. It was established in 1998, when 4,700 acres were transferred from the United States Air Force to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Refuge protects valuable wildlife habitat in a landscape dominated by agricultural crops such as potatoes and broccoli. The variety of habitat types attracts a diversity of wildlife species.

Included on the refuge are valuable wetlands and forested habitat for declining populations of the American woodcock, several important species of waterfowl including the American Black Duck, and many species of migratory birds and resident wildlife.

The primary emphasis of the refuge is forest and grassland management. The refuge has an aggressive habitat restoration program, including restoring several wetland types such as a 2.1 mile stream restoration project with the U.S. Air Force.

The refuge conducts several baseline inventories for nesting birds, frogs and toads, vernal pools and more that will guide the refuge in management and public use decisions.

Establishment of the refuge had become the cornerstone of the community's base reuse plan. Partnerships have been formed with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Farm Services Agency, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to provide technical assistance to landowners to improve habitat for fish and wildlife on over 2,000 acres of conservation easements already established in the area.