Friends' Jeopardy Quiz
Member(s) that live the farthest from the Refuges
Who are Heidi and Mark Sterk from Belgium?
Number of U.S. States with LS&CKNWR Friends members
What is 28 U.S. States?
International Countries with LW&CKNWR Friends members
What are Belgium and Canada?
How did the Sterks happen upon our Refuges you ask? They came to the Nature Coast lured by the nature. They were fortunate enough to meet Friends members Richard and Anne Herman and go boating with them, Another Friends member, Mark Gluckman provided kayaking information about the Refuge and the nearby wild areas. They also were intrigued by the tracking of Suwannee, the swallow-tailed kite, that Friends sponsored.
Like the Sterks from Belgium, several members from Canada make up our international contingency. On U.S. shores, 28 states are represented.
Friends members come from far and wide to marvel at the Refuges’ diverse wildlife, hike the trails, kayak the waters, tour the islands, fish and hunt in the waters and woods, and learn the ways of the ancient ones who came before us. Many come solely to help protect all that is precious on these remote lands and waters.
Working the Friends table at the Cedar Key Chamber’s Welcome Center, it quickly becomes apparent to the volunteers that visitors to the area are unaware of the geographic range of the Refuge lands surrounding them. These one-on-one conversations with visitors and even locals, is one of the best ways to get word out about the important activities and accomplishments that the Friends contribute to the Refuges. But that’s not the only way – the Friends website, word of mouth, participation in regional festivals, and annual meetings also help to spread the word and promote new members, which is the life blood of the organization.
So please consider joining!
The Refuge has scheduled 2 more Open Houses at Seahorse Key for 2022.
Open Houses are free once you arrive at the Refuge island. However, visitors must arrange their own transportation. Shuttles are provided for a fee by tour companies in Cedar Key, or visitors can arrive by private boat.
Seahorse Key is an island almost 3 miles from Cedar Key. Access is only by boat. There are no amenities, such as food or water on the island. Rest room facilities are limited.
Should there be a medical or other emergency requiring professional assistance or evacuation, response times could be lengthy.
Please plan with this in mind.
Friends members Scott and Beth Wright, like so many other Friends members, are also active in Cedar Keys Audubon. The interests and goals of our two organizations often parallel each other. Scott and Beth will give a lecture for Audubon about their manatee research. The talk is at the Cedar Key Community Center at 5 p.m. on Monday Feb. 28. The Audubon announcement is below.
After a pause of two years in presentations due to Covid, Cedar Keys Audubon is pleased to announce the first in new talks this February. On Monday, February 28, the local Audubon chapter will be presenting “Manatees – a Species on the Brink” by manatee researchers Scott and Beth Wright. It will be held at the Cedar Key Community Center at 5pm.
Scott and Beth both have had years of professional experience working with manatees. Scott worked as a research scientist and director of the Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory for the state of Florida. Then he moved to Madison, Wisconsin as Chief of Disease Investigation at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. Beth, whose early background was in wildlife biology, spent 17 years in the field monitoring manatees for the state of Florida and developed improved techniques for tagging manatees.
Now in retirement, Scott and Beth, as volunteers for local manatee monitoring, are again applying their deep backgrounds. Their talk will explore the current work they’re doing to photo-identify individual manatees at Manatee and Fanning Springs State Parks as well as presenting interesting characteristics of general manatee biology. There will also be a discussion of the plight of the Florida east coast sub-population.
Cedar Keys Audubon does ask, that if you decide to attend, that you be fully vaccinated and wear a mask.
Hunters with hogs
Operation Outdoor Freedom, led by the Florida Forest Service, hosted a Special Refuge Wild Hog Hunt on the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge in Dixie County on January 18-21st. This event provided recreational and rehabilitative opportunities to wounded veterans throughout Florida. Participation in the Operation Outdoor Freedom Program requires veterans to either have a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or greater from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, or be a Purple Heart recipient. There were three participants in this year's guided event. All the hunters were successful, with a total of 5 hogs taken. The Refuge is grateful to be a part of Operation Outdoor Freedom, and thankful for the Florida Forest Service staff, guides, and others that make this event successful each year.