ACE-EPIC Director Shane Barrow and ACE’s newly hired U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Program Director, Kevin Sloan paid a recent visit to Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada to meet with Project Leader Christy Smith. Kevin enjoyed a 30-year career with the FWS and recently retired before taking his new position with ACE-EPIC in Salt Lake City.
Kevin and Shane traveled 100 miles north of Las Vegas to visit the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), one of the refuges in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This particular refuge has special significance for Kevin because, in the late 1990’s, he served as Pahranagat’s Refuge Manager.
Kevin and Shane met with Pahranagat NWR Manager Rob Vinson to learn of the many habitats and infrastructure improvements that have been made at Pahranagat. These improvements include hydrologic restoration in Black Canyon and a new visitor center, which highlights the importance of the Pahranagat Valley to the Native American Tribes in the area as well as the importance of refuge habitats to migratory and resident birds including southwestern willow flycatcher and Sandhill crane. Pahranagat NWR, the “place of many waters,” has supported human habitation for thousands of years and is one of a string of desert wetland “pearls,” providing critical habitat in this transition area of the Mojave and Great Basin deserts.
This was a significant journey of exploration for ACE-EPIC. Kevin’s career experience in the FWS and his vast network of FWS contacts allow a very high level of immersion into FWS culture with a highlight on field-level conservation needs. This level of knowledge will enable ACE-EPIC to adapt to meet the future needs of the FWS as well as the needs of aspiring young talent seeking careers in conservation.
Our congratulations to both Christy and Rob on a job well done! We look forward to providing many highly-qualified interns through our ongoing partnership with FWS to protect and enhance wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of all Americans but mainly for the benefit of younger generations of conservation stewards.