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Tamarac Nat'l Wildlife Refuge--Wayne Brininger

As told by Wayne Brininger
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota

Story Narrative:

This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded for the Be Here: Main Street project, a collaboration with the MuseWeb Foundation to record stories from rural America. 

"Wayne Brininger here, a wildlife biologist at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. So here in Tamarac, we've been monitoring water-quality conditions for almost ten years now, and we've been utlizing not just refuge staff but volunteers. It's really quite intriguing to me the high degree of satisfaction that our volunteers get, not only from being out on the refuge but enjoying the refuge and the water conditions that we have. Over a third of refuge is wetland or water-type habitat with over 32 lakes and 15 miles of river. So, when they're involved in water-quality monitoring there's a high degree of pride that comes along with it, and they tend to be your ambassadors out there in the landscape and promoting those good water quality conditions and helping promote good water and a good environment, habitat.

It's really kind of fun to watch them collect the data, help interpret the data and then in turn help translate that information to the people. .  Like many of them, we find our special places in Tamarac from a water stand point. Going back to the happiness theme, there's a special place for me on the refuge. There's a little bridge that goes across the Otter Tail River. The river comes along at a pretty good clip. It's kind of a like a babbling brook. It feels like you're way out in pristine nature, in a wilderness area, and you have this babbling brook coming through and it's very soothing. You can hear the birds chirping in the background. It also brings me back to the perspective on why we're really here on natural wildlife refuges, and that's provide habitat conditions for wildlife. And, knowing that we have good pristine conditions or we're trying to restore conditions to pristine habitats makes us feel like we're actually contributing and giving back to that wildlife that's on the landscape."

Asset ID #3913

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