The National Wildlife Refuge Services Improvement Act expressly states that wildlife conservation is the priority of system lands and that the Secretary of Interior shall ensure that the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge lands are maintained. The first priority of each refuge is to conserve, manage, and if needed, restore fish and wildlife populations and habitats.
In keeping with this mandate the Friends have been able to support four interns each year. This is made possible in large part by generous donations from Dr. Ed and Hilda Carney.
The interns, under the supervision of Refuge biologists, work on a broad range of wildlife conservation activities and projects, including:
Protection of the endangered Eastern Flatwoods Frosted Salamanders
Preservation of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers
Surveying invasive plant species.
Two other significant conservation projects are on-going: