friends of laguna atascosa national wildlife refuge
altamira oriole Nicole Young
chachalaca adult with two young
September 2016 Newsletter



Friends LNG Update

The Friends of Laguna Atascosa (FOLA) recently submitted a third letter of intervention against three proposed LNG (liquefied natural gas) processing and export terminals, that if permitted, will be located at the Port of Brownsville near the Laguna Atascosa NWR (LANWR). FOLA submitted letters of intervention against Texas LNG, Annova LNG, and Rio Grande LNG.

Chief concerns by FOLA include:
1. Loss of critical wetland and rare loma habitat, which is important for a number of species, including the endangered ocelot;
2. Water quality degradation at the Bahia Grande Restoration Site due to accidental natural gas leaks, spills, and accidents;
3. Degradation of the view shed for users of the Bahia Grande Unit of the LANWR;
4. Disruption of prescribed fire management on the LANWR, which is important for maintaining habitat for the endangered Northern Aplomado Falcon;
5. Air, light, and sound pollution, which have the potential to threaten wildlife, particularly nocturnal wildlife.
We are aligned with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in its letters of concern to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding proposals to build LNG processing and export facilities on land neighboring the LANWR. For a complete text of our intervention letters, visit our website at: friendsoflagunaatascosa@gmail.com

Refuge Hunting Program Updates

Applications and permits for public hunting at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge are now being processed through Texas Parks and Wildlife's Online Public Drawn Hunts system.  For more information, click here.

Refuge to be CLOSED on Sept 7 for Feral Hog Harvest
 
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge will be closed to public access on September 7, 2016.  The refuge will be conducting a feral hog harvest to reduce the numbers of this non-native, invasive species.  Feral hogs severely damage habitat by rooting up plants and making wallows.  Refuge infrastructure, such as gravel roads and bird watering areas, have also been damaged.

The refuge will be partnering with the non-profit Trinity Oaks, who will provide volunteers to gather and process the meat, which will be donated throughout its network of faith-based service organizations in Texas and northern Mexico.

For more information contact the refuge at 956-748-3607 or visit the refuge's website www.fws.gov/refuge/laguna_atascosa or Trinity Oaks' website www.trinityoaks.org 


Every Kid in a Park - 4th Grade Passes Available Sept 1

If you have a 4th grader student, they can visit the website and get a voucher for free entrance to national public lands through August 2017. Vouchers can be exchanged for passes at participating sites including Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge starting September 1.   Click here for info.



New LIVE Wildlife Cam 


















Thanks to the generous support of the Texas Master Naturalists, Rio Grande Valley Chapter, the refuge now has a live webcam on the wildlife viewing area directly behind the visitor center.  Intern Bryan Marquardt, volunteer Jim Najver and Ranger Daniel Rivera, used their technical skills to develop the system which went live May 26.  Now you can visit the birds and other small wildlife from your home. Follow this link to see the birds.  


SMILE! The Friends of Laguna Atascosa are on AmazonSmile

Select them as your non-profit 
organization
 and every time you shop Amazon will donate 0.5% of   your  purchase price to The Friends of Laguna Atascosa- at no cost to you! 
Bookmark  www.smile.amazon.com   and  start helping ocelots today! 

Events & Announcements
Summer Hours
 
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
22688 Buena Vista Blvd., Los Fresnos, TX 78566
956-748-3607 or 3608 ext 111                               www.fws.gov/refuge/laguna_atascosa
 
Visitor Center & Friends Nature Store* 
Open 8 am - 4 pm
Thurs. - Monday (May - Sept.)
*Nature Store may have more limited days in the summer due to lack of volunteer.

Refuge open daily sunrise - sunset 
 

 
Fee Free Sunday!
FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH

Enjoy the refuge trails free of charge all day on the first Sunday of every month. Please check in at the Visitor Center to get a required vehicle pass.


Family Day at Bass Pro in Harlingen -  RGV Family Summer Adventure Challenge Awards 

4-6 pm, Saturday, September 10

Families across the RGV are invited out to a fun family day in celebration of the completion of the RGV Family Summer Adventure Challenge!  Nature sites and organizations will be on hand at Bass Pro Shops to showcase native wildlife, provide fun family activities, and provide information on upcoming programs and events across the RGV. 

The event is free! At 5:30 pm that evening, an Awards Ceremony will be held for the winning RGV-FSAC Families who completed the challenge journals. For more information, please call (956) 381-9922.

A Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Ranger will be there to inform participants about the hunting, fishing and biking opportunities we offer.


 


National Public Lands Day - Bahia Grande Clean UP

Help pick up trash at the Bahia Grande Unit (meet at the paved parking area 5 miles south of Port Isabel, on State Highway 48) from 8 - 10 am on September 24.   Trash bags, gloves and water refills will be provided. Wear sturdy shoes, hat,sunscreen and bring a water bottle. Groups please call to reserve 956-748-3607 x119.

In This Issue:

 

~ Friends LNG Update

 

~  Refuge Hunt Program Updates

 

~ September 7 Closure

 

~ Live Webcam

 

~  Every Kid in a Park Passes - Available Sept. 1 

~ National Public Lands Day

 

~ Refuge tour schedule      and information

 



Save Texas Ocelots

The last remaining ocelots  in the  Unites States are found only in Texas. You can help save these beautiful endangered cats and help spread the word about protecting Texas Ocelots by buying this specialty license plate for your vehicle for only $30.00 additional. The non-profit organization, Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge .org, will receive $22 from the sale of every Save Texas Ocelots license plate, 100% of which will go to Ocelot Conservation. Plates can be purchased at any time and fees will be prorated. We thank YOU for helping keep ocelots thriving as part of our Great Texas Natural Heritage.  To learn more go to  www.savetexasocelots.org
or to order yours now  click here.
 




Adopt an Ocelot

To learn more about the Adopt-an-Ocelot Program  click here!




Your donations help an oce-LOT!

The ocelot conservation program at Laguna Atascosa relies heavily on funds from generous donors. Here's a glimpse into what your donations could help fund

A donation of $250 is enough to fund a radio (VHF) collar.

A donation of $600 is enough to fund a trail camera.

A donation of $2,500 is enough to fund a GPS collar.

To help conserve ocelots by making a donation, visit the  donation page .