How the Amateur Radio Observation of NWR Week Got Started


Members of the KP1-5 Project team have operated from National Wildlife Refuges since 1993, when Bob Allphin, K4UEE operated from Howland Island NWR. This was followed by operation from Palmyra Island and Kingman Reef in 2000, just prior to their becoming a NWR.



Then in 2005, Mike Thomas, NA5U operated from Tishomingo NWR. He has subsequently operated from Wichita Mountains NWR, Hagerman NWR, Balcones Canyonlands NWR, Aransas NWR, Caddo Lake NWR and Desecheo Island NWR, with more being planned.


Night operations from Tishomingo NWR









Then, in 2005, John Forslin KC8ULE of Marquette, Michigan activated a National Wildlife Refuge to mark the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge Week. Since that time, the KP1-5 Project has promoted and supported this important activity provided by the Service to promote and raise awareness of the nationís National Wildlife Refuge System worldwide.

"I like to do special events that feature the upper peninsula of Michigan. I was at the Seney NWR a few years ago and happened to be there during National Wildlife Refuge Week. I had never heard of NWR Week. Up here, October is the end of the season, and the Refuge doesn't put on any special public events. I worked with the refuge manager to run a radio event from their location the following year. I was lucky - he has relatives who are ham operators and he understood the concept of a special event. Since it was a national recognition week, it seemed a natural extension to try to get a few more refuges activated so I put ham ads in QST for two months and got some expressions of interest that way. Operating at Seney is tough. We set up on snow two years, and some of our signage blew away in a storm in 2008. Our tent is usually pretty well buttoned up - it's a treat to be able to raise the sides. Refuge staff appreciate the operation and are always helpful." - John KC8ULE


Photo Copyright © John Forslin KC8ULE. All rights reserved.


Photo Copyright © John Forslin KC8ULE. All rights reserved.

Photos Copyright © John Forslin KC8ULE. All rights reserved.

Photo Credits

Seney NWR collage shown on web site masthead: Rick Denomme - loon, eagle, swans (prints are available for purchase in the Seney NWR Visitor Center Bookstore); Ron St. Germain - chipmunk - 1999 Photo Contest Winner; Lynn Murphy - monarch caterpillar - 1999 Photo Contest Winner; John Kafer - LeConte's sparrow - 1999 Photo Contest Entry; "Bo" Queen - Refuge Manager Tracy Casselman presents award to participant in Children's Fishing Day.