Thanks to all of those visiting the Trustom Pond and Ninigret National Wildlife Refuges over the past month. During the partial government shutdown, our facilities were closed, and we were unable to provide the service and upkeep we wanted to. It was gratifying to see everyone coming to the refuges during the shutdown showing respect for the land, for your fellow visitors, and for the wildlife living there.
People carried out their trash, and the photographers helped show others how to keep a safe distance from winter wildlife while allowing folks to get a good look at the birds.
With most of our employees furloughed for 34 days, it was heartening to see the many organizations offering help to federal employees, many of whom do live paycheck to paycheck. Thank you!
The National Wildlife Refuge System, with well over 500 refuges nationwide, including five right here in Rhode Island, are your lands. Your efforts to respect and safeguard these places really shined through. Thank you!
The writer is the manager of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex.