2021 Newsletter

Art Auction Event

Good food, good live music and some fine quality art works. The event sold 12 of the 25 art pieces we had available; generating $6,430.00, for the Friends; and the unsold items will remain on our website.
Photo by Stacey Hayden

President’s Message:
Chase Fulcher

Things have really come together in the past few weeks for the Friends of Green River National Wildlife Refuge, group. The Officers and Board Members have met several times in 2021, and we held one public “Art Auction event” “under the tent” on October 7th. This event was a great success, we had good food, good live music and some fine quality art works available for sale; and, it was attended by about 80 people. A big tip of the hat goes to local artist Jule McClellan for acting as the Arts Chair for the committee and using her art knowledge and many contacts within the art community to make this event a success! The event sold 12 of the 25 art pieces we had available; generating $6,430.00, for the Friends; and the unsold items will remain on our website: friendsgreenriver.org Additionally, we will be having artists submit replacement art works for those items sold on our website in 2022.

Also, at this event we had the opportunity to recognized three Friends of Green River National Wildlife who have paid out their Lifetime Sponsorships, and we want to thank them greatly! They are: Connie and Mike Morton; Gian and Scott Miller, and Chase Fulcher. Their donations served as the seed monies so the group could operate and get the word out about the Refuge and the Friends group. Since the Art Auction event in October, we have had two other Friends make their Lifetime Sponsorship contributions to the group; and we want to thank them also. They are: Tommy Dempewolf and Colette Loehrlein. These people recognize the needs and potential strengths of this refuge and the impact the Friends organization can have to the local community, in the future.

Looking ahead, the Friends of Green River National Wildlife Refuge is going to make significant upgrades to our websites to make them more visible and hopefully more active in the community in 2022. This is also a time that you can get involved; as part of the community you need to take ownership with the Friends group. As a member and part of our community you need to tell us what you want to see happen with this refuge and what activities you want the Friends group to be involved with. Please send your thoughts to Mike Morton, Secretary at: mmorton1982@hotmail.com Also, you can help us by being a voice of the Friends group. Please tell your family, friends, neighbors, and others you know who may be interested in this important organization and development for the community. It may take many years to finally unfold but success begins with involvement at the grassroots level, early in the process. This could become a destination location and a huge feather in our outdoor caps for future generations.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service report:
Michael Johnson, Refuge Manager

Three tracts totaling 659 acres have been purchased to date, (12-1-21). One of the tracts is adjacent to Audubon State Park in the Bluff Unit and the two others are in the Horseshoe Bend unit. The latest tract purchased, is approximately 212 acres. The property is restored wetlands under a USDA Wetlands Reserve Easement (WRE) that encumbers all of the property except approximately 1.0. Approximately 130 acres on the north portion of the property are wooded in bottomland hardwood forest. The remainder of the property was farmed prior to conveyance of the WRE easement in 2018. This portion of the property was reforested around 2018 as part of the WRE enrollment process.

Purchase agreements have been received on 3 additional tracts and the Service is expecting two additional agreements to be signed in the upcoming weeks. Total acreage for these five tracts will be approximately 171 acres. If these properties are successfully acquired, two structures will be acquired along with the lands. One of these structures will provide a home base and serve as the refuge Headquarters.

Lands in refuge ownership have yet to be marked with refuge signs as the Service continues to wait on the contractor who is assigned the work. Once marked, the lands will be open to the public for wildlife dependent recreation such as hiking, wildlife observation, etc. Hunting will not be included as a use until refuge personnel complete the required planning documents. The current timeline for completion of these documents is fall of 2022.

Progress to this point has been slower than desired due to general governmental processes but those assigned to the Green River NWR project continue to work diligently to move things forward. Acquiring lands and getting approval for on-site personnel are currently the highest priorities.

Michael Johnson
Refuge Manager, Clarks River and Green River NWRs
P.O. Box 89
Benton, KY 42025
PH: 270-527-5770, ext. 205

Secretary’s Report:
Mike Morton

The Friends of Green River National Wildlife Refuge have had a good 2021 and we hope for a better one in 2022. None of this would be possible without the support of the “Friends” individual members and sponsors. We thank you very much for your interest and support. You will find enclosed a membership application as the last page of this newsletter. I thank you if you renewed your membership during in 2021 and hope that you will renew your membership for 2022. Also, I ask you to share this with anyone who you feel would be interested in supporting our “Friends” group and their work. It is with the strength of numbers of members and sponsors that will determine how successful this group can become. A Friends membership might make a good Christmas Gift??
Have a good holiday season!

Mike Morton, Secretary,
14501 US HWY 41-S
Robards, KY 42452
PH: 270-748-1493
E-mail: mmorton1982@hotmail.com
Friends of Green River National Wildlife Refuge