Happy Thanksgiving! Among the many things we’re thankful for, America’s public lands are near the top of the list. From sea to shining sea, we’re grateful for gorgeous mountains, pristine waters, enchanting forests, sublime deserts, fascinating history, wonderful wildlife and endless opportunities for recreation and connecting with the outdoors. From everyone on Interior’s hardworking team, have a safe and fun Thanksgiving. Photo from Yellowstone National Park by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
Random acts of kindness. Simple gestures. Your kind actions go a long way. #WorldKindnessDay gives us all a reason to celebrate.
These affectionate island foxes live on six of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of southern California – and are found nowhere else on Earth. As a subspecies of the gray fox, they are the smallest foxes in North America, but the largest native predator on these islands. The story of the island fox is a conservation success story, where many groups worked together to ensure their survival – it continues to be an amazing example of recovery. Photo at Channel Islands National Park courtesy of Chris Brinkman.
Watch out! A baby horned lizard found at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California may be tiny and cute, but it has a secret weapon. When threatened, they intimidate attackers by squirting blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism. It’s not only confusing to predators, but it can also taste terrible. That’s just one thing you won’t be able to forget this National Reptile Awareness Day. Photo courtesy of John Martin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Have you ever been to Alaska? Officially transferred from Russia to the United States on this day in 1867, Alaska is a vast land of epic natural beauty, incredible human history and some of the best wildlife viewing on Earth. Brown bears swipe salmon from pristine rivers, huge herds of caribou roam across the tundra and cute sea otters float together off endless stretches of gorgeous coastline. Some of the best places to enjoy Alaska are on public lands, like Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges. They’re otterly fun! Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fall is a wonderful time of year. It’s the season for crisp mornings, colorful leaves, football and pumpkin spice everything. Autumn also reminds us of school pictures. You’d dress up nice, line up with your class, strike a thoughtful pose and try not to look goofy in front of a random background. This young fox at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska knows what we’re talking about. Photo by Kristine Sowl, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Happy Labor Day! Thanks to all of the hard workers, especially our Interior employees, who make our country the amazing place it is. We hope you find a special place to relax and get some rest – like this manatee at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Photo courtesy of David Schrichte.
A playful young desert kit fox learns valuable lessons from both parents at Death Valley National Park in California. For about a week, photographer Christopher Brinkman observed their adorable time together. These cat-sized foxes have many adaptations to help them survive the harsh weather in the desert. Fluffy feet provide insulation from the scalding ground, and big ears help radiate heat from their blood, keeping them cool. The desert kit fox rarely drinks water getting most of their hydration from the food they eat. Primarily active at night spending most of the day lounging in their below-ground dens. As with most fox species, both parents play an active role in raising the young. Photos courtesy Christopher Brinkman.
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina is a popular family spot – for black bears! Spotting not two or three, but FOUR cubs is a special treat. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has what is believed to be one of the largest concentrations of black bear found in the southeastern United States. It’s not uncommon for visitors to see dozens of bears on a one-hour drive through the refuge. These tiny bear cubs were spotted at the end of May in an area on the refuge that grows crops for waterfowl. Feasting on blueberries and switch cane stems through the summer, the bears are majestic to watch. Please remember to be respectful of these wild animals and follow refuge signs and rules. Photo courtesy of Richard Thigpen.
You deserve a smile today. Here’s a momma sea otter floating with her pup at Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Marc Webber, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.