Amateur Radio operators will be on the air October 14-20 to let the public know about the National Wildlife Refuge System by operating from refuges around the US during National Wildlife Refuge Week. They will be highlighting refuge features, wildlife, and geography while contacting other stations across the US and North America. The goal for participants is to combine their communication skills with their enjoyment of the outdoors to help others learn about the National Wildlife Refuge System. Authorized, safe, responsible access to refuges is sanctioned by this event. As of 2013, hams also may operate from wildlife refuges, areas or preserves managed by any state, territory, or Canadian province.
Due to the partial US Government shutdown in 2013, NWR Week event coordinators suspended rules that normally confine NWR Week stations operations within the boundaries of national wildlife refuges and wildlife areas. Stations were allowed to operate from any location for the 2013 event.
Members of the KP1-5 Project team announced earlier this year that the US Fish and Wildlife Service had agreed to allow an Amateur Radio operation from Navassa National Wildlife Refuge (KP1). “The operation will occur within the next 18 months and will be coordinated with the USFWS work flow,” the August announcement said. The KP1-5 Project has operated from National Wildlife Refuges since 1993, when Bob Allphin, K4UEE, operated from the Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge. Mike Thomas, NA5U, has operated from Tishomingo NWR, Wichita Mountains NWR, Hagerman NWR, Balcones Canyonlands NWR, Aransas NWR, Caddo Lake NWR, and, in 2009, as part of the K5D DXpedition to Desecheo Island NWR (KP5).
A list of National Wildlife Refuge sites by state is available. Those still planning to operate from a National Wildlife Refuge must obtain permission from the refuge manager and submit an operating plan to have their operation listed on the website. Hams experienced in operating from refuges are available to answer questions. Contact the NWR Week Amateur Radio coordinator.