Hi all. Many of you already know me but for the rest of you my name is Kurt Snyder. At this time I am (still) Chairman for the Grays Harbor Chapter of the Washington Waterfowl Association. www.waduck.org I have been visiting and hunting on the Nisqually NWR for seemingly a lifetime. What has prompted me to write this was that a fellow hunter recently asked about "the refuge". He heard that the hunting there was at an all time low. This got me to thinking that I should ask around and see if this was indeed true. Turns out it is. So I thought some information sharing was in order. I'll start this series with an article written by the now manager of the Nisqually NWR, Glynnis Nakai. Her statement in this article gives a pretty good view of the refuge. She does leave out a few items but in her defense she was limited to just one page. Feel free to comment but please leave the vulgarities out. Keep your statements as factual and truthful as best as you can. Thanks. I have italicized, underlined and emboldened a few things I thought were important. On the Wing By Glynnis Nakai. Why is hunting allowed on refuges? A question we hear frequently at this time of year when waterfowl season is open in the Nisqually River Delta. This may seem inconsistent with the term “refuge” as a safe haven; however, the refuge’s mission is not only to protect and enhance habitat for wildlife but also to provide wildlife-dependent opportunities for the public. Hunting is one of the six priority uses on refuges as defined by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, and is given equal consideration as wildlife observation, wildlife photography, fishing, education, and interpretation, as long as the activity is compatible and an appropriate use on the refuge. The decision to permit hunting is determined on a refuge-by-refuge basis and is dependent on a number of factors, including: biological integrity, diversity, environmental health, and effects on other refuge programs. Hunting can be a wildlife management tool to maintain a healthy, sustainable population without impacting the habitat they rely upon (e.g., over-browsing). Harvesting of wildlife on refuges is carefully evaluated and regulated to ensure there is a balance between population levels and wildlife habitat. Hunting is also a traditional recreation in America’s heritage that still gets passed down through the generations. Funds from hunting licenses, Federal duck stamps, and excise taxes on hunting equipment and ammunition help purchase and set aside millions of acres for wildlife. For example, Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR was established in 1974 primarily with revenue generated from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. In addition, appropriations were authorized by the Wetlands Loan Act, from import duties collected on arms and ammunition for hunting, and receipts from the sale of refuge admission permits. The 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (USFWS, August 2017) reported 11.5 million hunters throughout the country with expenditures totaling $25.6 billion. These revenues support wildlife and habitat conservation efforts in every state and U.S. Territory. Recent Secretarial Orders (SO3347, SO 3356) focus on providing and enhancing opportunities for Americans to hunt and fish on public lands, where feasible, which in the end, supports conservation and the addition of lands into the National Wildlife Refuge System.