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    Sacramento's National Wildlife Refuge Complex: "The Birds are Here"

    It is November and the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Complex) is bustling with wintering waterfowl. Some of these birds have come from as far north as Alaska and Russia to spend the winter feeding on the plentiful bounty of food of the Sacramento Valley.

    At dawn and dusk, visitors may watch the “fly-off” as thousands of ducks and geese journey on and off the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Visitors are encouraged to experience the amazing waterfowl from their vehicles on the six-mile auto tour and observe the marvel of migration from our new multi-level viewing platform. The auto tour offers visitors spectacular views of wildlife including snow, Ross’s, and white-fronted geese, northern pintail, northern shovelers, mallards, and green-winged teal. More elusive wildlife includes bald eagles, peregrine falcons, deer, coyotes, river otters, and beavers.

    While at the Sacramento NWR, stop by the visitor center to learn more about the Complex and the wildlife that call it home. The visitor center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., through February. Join a naturalist who can assist you with viewing the wonderful wildlife.  Look for the weekend program schedule on the complex’s website to see what dates and times a naturalist will be at the platform. Staff will also be offering many winter and spring programs including photography and bird tours, wetland walks, owl prowls, camouflage critters, and more. For more information about visiting the Complex and upcoming weekend programs, visit our website at <a href="http://www.fws.gov/sacramentovalleyrefuges/" target="_blank">http://www.fws.gov/sacramentovalleyrefuges/</a> or call (530) 934-2801.

    The Sacramento NWR (Refuge) is located along Interstate 5 just six miles south of the town of Willows. Currently, a pass for vehicles is required at $3 per day or $12 for a Refuge annual pass. Those who hold a Federal Duck Stamp ($15) or an America the Beautiful Interagency Annual, Senior, Access, or Volunteer Pass enter free with their pass.  The Refuge is proposing to increase the daily visitor entrance fee to $6 per vehicle in 2012 and is seeking public comment on the proposed change until mid-December 2011. This is the first increase since the fee program was established in 1998 at Sacramento NWR. Please feel free to share your comments at: <a href="mailto:[email protected]" target="_blank">[email protected]</a> or call 530/934-2801. Come visit the Complex and see all of the wildlife that calls it home!

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit <a href="http://www.fws.gov/" target="_blank">www.fws.gov</a>.

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