Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge  Past Events
Welcome YOU to Clarendon County, SC 
Home site:  www.santeerefugefriends.org
View Friends of Santee NW Refuge Future Events
 
Friends Invite You to Come to Santee NW Refuge
     "The best birding center in South Carolina and the Southeast."
       Santee NW Refuge  2125 Fort Watson Rd.  Summerton, SC 29148
       803-478-2217  West of I-95, exit 102 @ US 301/US 15, 6 miles south of Summerton, SC
Events are held often and these are some past events.
Here's some history of activities of the Friends of Santee Refuge:

August 31, 2013 Marc Epstein, Refuge Manager  803-478-2217
2013-2014 HUNTING SEASONS ANNOUNCED FOR SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Summerton, S.C....Santee National Wildlife Refuge announces the opening of the refuge for public
hunting of white-tailed deer and raccoon during the seasons listed below.
The deer hunt schedule begins with the primitive weapons hunt on Pine Island October 7th – 11th,
Monday through Friday only. Additionally, the refuge will be hosting special lottery deer hunts on the
Bluff Unit this fall. These special hunts, called “Family, Friends, and Kids Hunts” are an effort to
encourage adults to share an outdoor experience with kids by bringing a child hunting with them –
spending more time together outdoors. Additional information on how-to apply for these hunts will be
available soon and will be posted on our website along with our annual hunting brochure when final.
For the safety of all refuge visitors, refuge units that are open to public deer hunts are closed to general
public access during designated hunt periods.
Four managed hunts for white-tailed deer will be held Monday through Fridays only on the Refuge in
2013 as follows:
Bluff Unit Family, Friends, Kids; October 25, 2013
Cuddo Unit Primitive Weapons Only; October 28-November 1, 2013
Bluff Unit - Family Friendly Hunts (Quota)


Quota Hunt Application - Applications should be available on or before September 1, 2013 and MUST
be received by September 30, 2013 to be eligible.
Additional information on how-to apply for these
hunts will be available soon and will also be posted on our website
http://www.fws.gov/santee/Hunting&Fishing.html or by calling the Refuge Headquarters at the
number listed above (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.) or by written request to
Santee NWR, 2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC 29148.
Hunters are advised to study a copy of current regulations before hunting on the refuge. Any questions
regarding permitted activities and all requests for information about hunting, fishing, and other public
use programs should be directed to: Refuge Manager, Santee National Wildlife Refuge, 2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC 29148. Information may also be obtained by calling (803) 478-2217.
Hunters may also find additional information on the Refuge website at: http://www.fws.gov/santee
Hunter Education Classes: In cooperation with the South Carolina DNR, two hunter education classes will be held at the Santee
NWR Visitor Center on Saturday, September 7th and Saturday, October 5th, 2013. The South
Carolina Hunter Education Class is recommended for motivated students 12 years of age and older
with good reading and comprehension skills who have some firearm and hunting knowledge or
experience. Course materials are on a 6th-grade reading level. For additional information or to register,
please contact the SCDNR by calling 1-800-830-2268
or visit: http://www.register-ed.com/programs/42?zip=29148&distance=10
Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses approximately 13,000 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units, and has approximately 39 miles of shoreline to maintain. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 7 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301. For questions about the refuge, please contact 803-478-2217 or visit
http://www.fws.gov/santee
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to these events for all participants. Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and participate in this event should contact the Refuge Manager at 803-478-2217 or marc_epstein@fws.gov. In order to allow sufficient time to process requests, please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the event. The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is working with others to conserve, protect and
enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.  National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!

 

United States Department of the Interior,  FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Santee National Wildlife Refuge,  2125 Fort Watson Rd.,  Summerton, South Carolina  29148

Telephone:  803-478-2217    Fax: 803-478-2314

  June 18, 2013   For more information:   Marc Epstein, Refuge Manager,   803-478-2217

Fort Watson Road Repairs Planned on Santee National Wildlife Refuge

Management of Santee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) would like to inform the public that plans to resurface the mile-long Fort Watson Road, on the Bluff Unit of the Refuge, will start during late summer, probably as early as August.  Santee NWR is pleased to have recently received funding to refurbish the road surface, clear debris, improve parking, and improve the visible appearance of the road. “Our goal is to keep the “Refuge” character of the drive but maintain the integrity of the road and give the user a more enjoyable experience,” says Refuge Manager Marc Epstein.  The Federal Highway Administration and the Refuge have joined efforts to complete the project.  Better parking and protection for the Santee Indian Mound/Fort Watson has also focused on the esthetical value that the project will provide to our local community.  Access to the road will be the same as the Cuddo Unit, which is seasonally open (October 1 – February 28, 7 am to 5 pm, and March 1 – September 30, 6am to 8 pm).  The plan includes resurfacing the asphalt road, clearing some overgrown vegetation, and providing better wildlife and Lake Marion viewing opportunities. The parking areas will have a face lift, being resurfaced with crushed rock and redefined with rail fencing. Staff is very excited to be able to tackle this long-needed project.  Access to Gray Road will remain open to residents. 

The project will improve safe driving conditions, enhances community revitalization, and will preserve the unique, local, and rural characteristics the surrounding landscape.  The visible improvements, including recent upgrades to the Refuge Visitor Center, are an asset to the local  community.  Keeping the road in a state of good repair enhances the public perception of safety and encourages user confidence.   The road improvement project should be completed by the end of October. “Once the project is completed, it will be a much more enjoyable experience for all users,” stated Marc Epstein, Refuge Manager.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses approximately 13,000 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units, and has approximately 39 miles of shoreline to maintain. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 7 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit  www.fws.gov.

National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!      -FWS-

Marc Epstein, Refuge Manager

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service,  Santee National Wildlife Refuge

2125 Fort Watson Road,  Summerton, SC  29148

803-478-2217  Phone,  803--934-6016 Cell Phone,  803-478-2314  Fax

 

6th Annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival Fast Approaching 

Summerton, SC…The 6th annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival is fast approaching and registration is in full swing!  Sponsored by a variety of non-profit groups, community groups, and State and Federal agencies, as well as individual sponsors, the festival has an

abundant array of wildlife-oriented field trips and workshops running throughout the weekend – a little something for everyone to experience!  The festival celebrates the natural beauty of South Carolina by providing wildlife watching and natural history opportunities throughout the midlands and beyond.  Field trips are being offered all throughout the Santee Region and into the ACE Basin and Cape Romain regions.  From the blackwater swamps and Carolina Bays of the midlands, to the inlets and estuaries of the coast, there will be a variety of habitats to experience and explore.  Organizers of this year’s Santee Birding and Nature Festival are looking forward to sharing South Carolina’s natural wonders with you!  Registration for the festival has opened March 1, 2013.  Dates for the festival are April 26th-April 28th, 2013.

Organizers of the 6th annual festival are pleased to announce Dr. J. Drew Lanham as this year’s Keynote Speaker.  Dr. Lanham is a native of Edgefield S.C., is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and holds a B.A. and M.S. in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources (wildlife ecology) from Clemson University where he is currently a Professor.  He teaches and conducts research in the area of wildlife management, land and conservation ethics, hunting ethics/philosophy and field ornithology.  Dr. Lanham is also a co-host of a birding and nature show on South Carolina Public Radio and is a contributor to the Emmy-nominated PBS television show Expeditions with Patrick McMillan.  Dr. Lanham will appear at the festival’s Keynote Dinner on Friday, April 26 at 6:00 p.m.

In addition to all the fabulous field trips, workshops, and presentations, the winners of the 1st Annual Santee Refuge Nature Photography Contest will be announced in conjunction with festival activities.  The Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Santee Birding and Nature Festival, and the Carolina Nature Photographers’ Association teamed up in an effort to encourage South Carolina residents and visitors to get outside and photograph nature.   Winners for the following categories will be announced:  Landscape, Wildlife, Flowers and Plants, and Santee National Wildlife Refuge.  Cash prizes will be awarded to winning photographers at the festival and additionally will have their winning photographs featured on the 6th Annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival’s commemorative poster.

With all of the exciting activities that festival organizers have planned for the 6th Annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival, this will be an event you will want to attend!

The mission of the Santee Birding and Nature Festival is to increase awareness of our national and state heritage in natural areas and provide wildlife watching opportunities in midland South Carolina.  This festival is a partnership between local, state, and federal agencies and tourism groups.  Detailed information on the festival can be found at:

http://www.santeebirdingfestival.com/    -FWS-

Susan Heisey, Park Ranger, Santee National Wildlife Refuge

Summerton, SC 29148,   803-478-2217 (office),  803-478-2314 (fax),  803-410-2580 (cell)

1st Annual Santee Refuge Nature Photography Contest

Deadline Fast Approaching!!

Summerton, SC…The deadline is fast approaching for the 1st Annual Santee Refuge Nature Photography Contest.  The Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Santee Birding and Nature Festival, and the Carolina Nature Photographers’ Association (CNPA) have teamed up in an effort to encourage South Carolina residents and visitors to get outside and photograph nature and enter to win!!  Amateur and avid photographers can enter up to four entries into the contest – categories include:  Landscape, Wildlife, Flowers and Plants, and Santee National Wildlife Refuge.  Entries can be photographs taken anywhere within South Carolina, except for the Santee National Wildlife Refuge category, where photos must be taken on the refuge.  Cash prizes will be awarded for winning photographs in addition to being featured in the 6th Annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival’s commemorative poster.  Deadline for entries is February 22, 2013.

Saturday December 29 and Sunday December 30, 2012 - Palmetto Pro Birder Course - Offered by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, this weekend workshop is being led by Drew Lanham.   See the flyer HERE
Dec 22, 12  Christmas Bird Count Santee NW Refuge:  Dennis Forsythe:  843.795.3996:  Please contact me if you wish to participate in this count, if possible. We will meet at the refuge headquarters at 6:30 AM on the count day unless your party is already set and I have sent you your packet in advance. No countdown dinner is planned. Contact: Dennis Forsythe, for more information: email dennis.forsythe@gmail.com cell:  843-708-1605

Saturday November 17, 12 - Bird Walk - 7:30 am meet at refuge visitor center. Andy Harrison, field trip coordinator for the Charleston's Natural History Society and immediate past president of the organization, will be leading the walk on the refuge. Andy will start out by leading participants through the Wrights Bluff Nature Trail, a one-mile long hiking trail. Target species include blue-headed vireo, yellow-rumped warbler, black and white warbler, yellow-bellied sapsucker, American kestrel, Eastern meadowlark, merlin, and peregrine falcon. Bring binoculars, field guide, water, and snacks.

Saturday December 8, 12 - Bird Walk - 7:30 am meet at refuge visitor center. Ann Shahid will be leading the walk along the Wrights Bluff Nature Trail on the Bluff Unit of the refuge. Migratory waterfowl including gadwall, American wigeon, shovelers, and teal are possible. Sandhill cranes, white pelicans, and migratory Canada geese may also be seen. Bring binoculars, field guide, water, and snacks.

Saturday October 6 and Sunday October 7, 2012 - Palmetto Pro Birder Course - Offered by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, this weekend workshop is being led by Josh Arrants.

Fall Hunt Dates Are Out for 2012!

Monday October 8 - Saturday October 13 - Pine Island Primitive Weapons Hunt

Monday October 15 - Saturday October 20 - Cuddo Unit Archery Hunt

Monday October 29 - Saturday November 3 - Cuddo Unit Primitive Weapons Hunt

Friday October 12, Saturday October 13, Friday October 26, and Saturday October 27 - Family, Friends, and Kids Hunt (Lottery Hunt on Bluff Unit)

 

Saturday September 29, 2012 - Hunter Education Class - Hunters born after June 30, 1979 are required to have this course to hunt on the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. Register at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/education/hunted.html

Saturday August 11, 2012 - Hunter Education Class - Hunters born after June 30, 1979 are required to have this course to hunt on the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. Register at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/education/hunted.html

 

June 11, 2012                   Susan Heisey, Park Ranger               803-478-2217

Special Program Offered at Santee National Wildlife Refuge - Taxidermy in Action!

Summerton, SC…. Schools out, summer is in full swing, and wildlife is abundant at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge!  The refuge is also offering a unique program this month – Saturday June 16th, 2012 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, the refuge will host a Taxidermy Demonstration at the visitor center.  Ever wanted to learn more about this very special way of preserving wildlife?  Refuge volunteer, Don Platt, will be on hand with his equipment, tools, and materials, demonstrating taxidermy he is working on for the refuge.  Drop by the visitor center and learn about this art of mounting wildlife.  Posters and up close looks at taxidermy technique will be presented all morning.  Call 803-478-2217 for more information or driving directions.
Several recent wildlife sightings on the refuge include yellow-crowned night herons, wood storks, alligators, Prothonotary warblers, and the most sought-after painted bunting.  The Wildlife Drive on the Cuddo Unit is a great place to visit first thing in the morning (the gate opens at 6:00 am) or after dinner to look for wildlife along the 7.5 mile auto tour route.   Birds are nesting, deer are raising young, and polts (young wild turkeys) can be seen.  Let’s not forget about the butterflies, dragonflies, and the rest of the beautiful creatures that call Santee National Wildlife Refuge home.
        Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses approximately 13,000 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units, and has approximately 39 miles of shoreline to maintain. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 7 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.  
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to these events for all participants.  Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and participate in this event should contact Susan Heisey at 803-478-2217 or susan_heisey@fws.gov.  In order to allow sufficient time to process requests, please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the event.

 

May 21, 2012            Marc Epstein, Refuge Manager         803-478-2217

Public Notice on Refuge Visitor Services Plan

Summerton, SC….  The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), a national network of lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior.  The mission of the NWRS is: to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.  The Refuge Recreation Act (16 U.S.C. 460k-460k-4) -- Public Law 87-714, approved September 28, 1962, (76 Stat. 653) as amended by Public Law 89-669, approved October 14, 1966, (80 Stat. 930) and Public Law 92-534, approved October 23, 1972, (86 Stat. 1063) authorized the Secretary of the Interior to administer refuges, hatcheries and other conservation areas for recreational use, when such uses do not interfere with the area's primary purposes. The primary purpose of Santee National Wildlife Refuge is “…for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.”  16 U.S.C. 715d (Migratory Bird Conservation Act) and “…to conserve and protect migratory birds…and other species of wildlife that are listed…as endangered species or threatened species and to restore or develop adequate wildlife habitat.”  16 U.S.C. 715i (Migratory Bird Conservation Act).

The Santee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) has drafted a plan to guide the development and on-going management of the refuge’s Visitor Services Program.  In general, there are six (6) priority public uses on national wildlife refuges that are encompassed in the visitor services program: hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, and interpretation. This Visitor Services Plan is a step-down plan from the Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP), which was written and approved in 2008.  Both documents, the draft Visitor Services Plan and the Final CCP are available online at www.fws.gov/santee.  The Visitor Services Plan takes each aspect of the refuge’s visitor services program and outlines the goals and objectives and strategies to meet these goals.  There is also a proposed timeline for when each project will be completed.  This plan is based on the refuge maintaining current staffing levels which consist of one (1) Visitor Services professional.  Within the plan, the refuge offers abundant opportunity for the public to access and use the refuge for compatible fish and wildlife-dependent recreation.  The refuge endeavors to meet our primary waterfowl and migratory bird goals while balancing the opportunity for public access and use.
Within this plan there are several recommendations for the protection and continued efforts of the Santee NWR to support the primary purpose of the refuge in migratory bird conservation.  One of these measures includes the continued assessment of the refuge’s migratory bird sanctuaries.  Increasing sanctuary size and scope, incorporating “buffer zones”, and monitoring effects of public use in sensitive waterfowl areas are all included in the plan.  The refuge will continue to work with our local, state, and federal agency partners to ensure that we are providing sufficient sanctuaries (feeding, loafing, roosting sites) for overwintering migratory bird populations.  

The visitor services plan also addresses visitor access on the refuge units and types of visitor access.  Generally, the refuge is open for day use activities, although there has been a historic use of Fort Watson Road (Bluff Unit) for night fishing.  The refuge is proposing to limit access to the Bluff Unit (i.e., Fort Watson Road) to align with the hours of access to the Cuddo Unit (October 1 – February 28: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm; March 1 – September 30: 6:00 am – 8:00 pm) by installing an electric gate.  The Fort Watson Road terminates on the refuge and is not a through-road that would need to be open outside of refuge operational hours.  
The Visitor Services Plan is available for review at this time.  You can request a hard copy or electronic copy by contacting the refuge office at 803-478-2217 or email at santee@fws.gov.  The plan can also be accessed on the refuge website at www.fws.gov/santee.  
We are asking refuge users and the public to provide comment on this Visitor Services Plan.  Providing the refuge with your personal information (name, address, email, phone number) with your comment is strictly optional.  You may provide comments in these ways:
1.        Hand deliver comments to the refuge office at 2125 Fort Watson Road Summerton, SC 29148
2.        Mail comments to: Refuge Manager 2125 Fort Watson Road Summerton, SC 29148
3.        By email at: santee@fws.gov
The refuge will be accepting comments on the Visitor Services Plan and on the above planned actions until June 21, 2012.  Additional information about the Santee National Wildlife Refuge can be found at www.fws.gov/santee.

National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!   -FWS-

   5th Annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival - April 27-29, 2012

The 2012 festival will be April 27th - 29th - with over 50 field trips throughout the midlands and the lowcountry of South Carolina.  The program looks great and the committee is very excited to be offering so many new and interesting field trips this year.  Please check out the website at www.fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html   

 Friday April 27- Sunday April 29 – Santee Birding and Nature Festival
A 3-day festival with over 50 field trips, birding, butterflies, wildlife photography, and kayaking programs are all being offered on the refuge.  In addition, field trips across the midlands and lowcountry to beautiful and wildlife-rich natural areas will be taking place throughout the 3-day event.  A Keynote Dinner will be on Friday night at the Holiday Inn–Santee and will feature Bill Thompson III, editor of Birdwatcher’s Digest and author of several books.  Also, field trips lead by Bill Thompson III and Ruth Miller and Alan Davies (world-record holders for the most birds seen in one year) will be on the Bluff and Cuddo Units of the refuge.  Don’t miss this outstanding event.  Find the full schedule on our website at fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html and register today!

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses approximately 13,000 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units, and has approximately 39 miles of shoreline to maintain. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 7 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.  
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to these events for all participants.  Persons needing reasonable accommodations in order to attend and participate in this event should contact Susan Heisey at 803-478-2217 or susan_heisey@fws.gov.  In order to allow sufficient time to process requests, please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the event.

    5th Annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival - April 27 - 29, 2012

      www.fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html

April 27-29, 2012 5th Santee Birding & Nature Festival
              Santee National Wildlife Refuge, other locations and Santee: 803-478-2217

 

Summerton, S.C. – The 5th annual Santee Birding and Nature Festival is fast approaching!  With an abundant array of wildlife-oriented field trips and workshops running throughout the weekend, there is a little something for everyone.  The Santee Birding and Nature Festival celebrates the natural beauty of South Carolina by providing wildlife watching and natural history opportunities throughout the midlands…and beyond!  This year, the festival has expanded in scope and will be offering field trips into the ACE Basin and Cape Romain regions, as well as the Santee Region.  From the blackwater swamps and Carolina Bays of the midlands, to the inlets and estuaries of the coast, there will be a variety of habitats to experience and explore.  Organizers of this year’s Santee Birding and Nature Festival are looking forward to sharing South Carolina’s natural wonders with you!

 

Interested in refining those bird watching and butterfly identification skills?  Or are you looking to learn more about a vast array of reptiles and amphibians?  The festival has that, and more!   Come satisfy your curiosity about the wealth of fossil treasures hidden in the soils of South Carolina.  Or come learn more about plantation life and the amazing life of one of South Carolina’s Revolutionary War Patriots, General Francis Marion (The “Swamp Fox”).  In addition to the wide array of birding and nature-related field trips, the festival is offering Wildlife Photography Workshops and Backyard Habitat Workshops.  No matter what your interests are, there is sure to be a weekend full of fun in the field.

The keynote speaker for this year’s festival is Bill Thompson, III, editor and co-publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest, America's longest-running magazine for birders.  Mr. Thompson is the author of numerous books on birds, including Bird Watching For Dummies, Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Bird Identification Challenges, Identifying & Feeding Birds, and the forthcoming Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America.  He writes a weekly blog, “Bill of the Birds” (billofthebirds.blogspot.com) and hosts a podcast called This Birding Life.  Mr. Thompson regularly speaks, guides, and performs at birding festivals across North America and consults internationally on ecotourism marketing.  The keynote banquet will be held on Friday, April 27th at the Holiday Inn in Santee.  Reservations for the banquet must be made in advance.  Full registration for the festival opens March 1st.

The Santee Birding and Nature Festival is sponsored by a variety of non-profit groups, community groups, and State and Federal agencies, as well as individual sponsors.  For more information about the Santee Birding and Nature Festival and for registration information, visit:

 

http://www.fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html
 

      Registration

    Registration will open up on March 1, 2012. Listed below are the field trips scheduled for the 2012 Santee Birding and Nature Festival. A registration fee will be charged for each person registering for the festival, some of the field trips require an additional fee. The fees are: $25/adult; $5 for children (15 and under); and $20 for seniors (65 and over).

  The Santee Birding and Nature Festival will be accepting registration in the spring..  
  This year, the festival registration will be handled electronically and can be accessed through the following website...
   http://www.fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html
  Please join us the weekend of April 27th - 29th, 2012 as we celebrate and explore the many natural areas in central South Carolina!
     Field Trip Itinerary          2012 Schedule                       * denotes new field trip

ID

Name

Focus

Time

Leader(s)

Cost

1*

 

Refuge at Night – Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Clarendon Co.

Nocturnal birds and anurans

Thursday April 26
7:30pm - 9:00pm

Susie Heisey

Free

2

Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest
Dorchester Co.

Birding and more

Friday
6:15am - 11:00am

Robert Cromer

$7

3

Santee Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Orangeburg Co.

Birdwatching

Friday
7:00am - 11:30am

Thad Raymond

Free

4

Bulls Island Nature Walk
Charleston Co.

Birding and more

Friday
10:00am -3:00pm

Coastal Expeditions

$40
20 min
40 person max

5

Brosnan Forest
Dorchester Co.

Birding and Butterflies

Friday
7:00am - 11:00am

Dennis Forsythe

Free

6*

Birding with Bill Thompson III- Santee National Wildlife Refuge Bluff Unit
Clarendon Co.

Birding

Friday 
7:30am – 11:30am

Bill Thompson III

Free

7

Cuddo Unit – Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Clarendon Co.

Birdwatching

Friday
7:00am -11:30am

David Stone

Free

8*

Old Santee Canal State Park
Berkeley Co.

Natural and Cultural History

Friday
10:00am-12:00pm

Brad Sale and Mary Bell

Free

9*

Reptiles and Amphibians –
Bluff Unit
Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Clarendon Co.

Herpetofauna

Friday 
8:00am - 12:00pm

Steve Bennett and Wade Kalinowsky

Free

10*

Advanced Wildlife Photography – Cuddo Unit Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Clarendon Co.

Photography

Friday
8:30am –11:30am

Steve Kilpatrick

Free

11*

ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge – Grove Unit
Charleston Co.

Birding and more

Friday 
6:30am - 11:00am

Larry Hartis

Free

12*

Cypress Gardens Boat Tour
Berkeley Co.

Nature Viewing

Friday
2:00 pm– 4:00 pm

Dwight Williams

$15
30 person
 
max.

13*

Santee Canal Guided Canoe Trip
Berkeley Co.

Natural and Cultural History

Friday PM
1:30pm - 3:30pm

Brad Sale

Free

14

Fisheagle Swamp/Lake Tour
Clarendon Co.

Birdwatching

Friday 
1:30pm - 3:30pm

Tim O’Connor

$26
28 person max.

15

Plantation Island
Canoe/Kayak Trip (Bring your own Boat)
Santee National Wildlife Refuge Cuddo Unit
Clarendon Co.

Natural and Cultural History

Friday 
1:30pm - 5:00 pm

Kathy Scarbro

Free

16*

Carolina bays - Wildlife and Conservation
Clarendon Co.

Natural History

Friday 
1:00pm – 4:00pm

Josh Castleberry

Free

17*

Exploring Bear Island Wildlife Management Area
Colleton Co.

Birding and more

Friday
1:30pm - 5:00pm

TBA

Free

Keynote Dinner – Speaker Bill Thompson III
Holiday Inn, Santee

 

Friday 6:30 -9:00pm

 

$40

18

Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest
Dorchester Co.

Birding and more

Saturday 
6:15am - 11:00am

Robert Cromer

Free

19*

McAlhaney Nature Preserve
Dorchester Co.

Birding

Saturday 
7:00am – 11:30am

Andy Harrison

Free

20*

Spires Landing Guided Kayak Trip (Bring your own Boat)
Berkeley Co.

Birding

Saturday 
8:00am – 11:00am

Archie Thompson

Free

21*

Happy Herpetologists
Berkeley Co.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Saturday 
10:00am-11:30am

Brad Sale

Free

22

Pine Island/
Dingle Pond – Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Clarendon Co.

Birdwatching

Saturday 
7:30am-11:30am

David Stone

Free

23*

Birding with Bill Thompson III- Santee National Wildlife Refuge Bluff Unit
Clarendon Co.

Birding

Saturday 
7:30am – 11:30am

Bill Thompson III

Free

24*

Exploring Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
Colleton Co.

Birds, Herpetofauna, and Plants

Saturday
6:30am – 11:30am

Eran Kilpatrick

Free

25

Sparkleberry Swamp Canoe/Kayak 
Sumter Co.

Birdwatching

Saturday 
8:00am – 12:00pm

Nature Adventures
Outfitters

$20

26

Butterfly Walk at Albermarle Corporation
Orangeburg Co.

Butterflies

Saturday 
9:30am - 12:00pm

Marty and Dave Kastner

Free

27*

Birding with Alan and Ruth

Birdwatching

Saturday 
AM

Alan Davies and 
Ruth Miller

Free

28*

Wambaw Creek Kayak Tour
Charleston Co.

History and Nature

Saturday
10:00am - 2:00 pm

Coastal Expeditions

$58
6 person minimum

29*

Birding Botany Bay WMA
Charleston Co.

Birdwatching

Saturday
8:00am - 12:00pm

Bess Kellett

Free

30*

Longleaf Pine Savannah Flora and Fauna
Berkeley Co.

Birding and more

Saturday
8:00am – 12:00pm

Mark Danaher

Free

31

SSSSnakes!!
Santee State Park
Orangeburg Co.

Snake Exhibit

Saturday
10:00am - 11:30am

Daryll Linder

Free

32

SSSSnakes!!
Santee State Park
Orangeburg Co.

Snake Exhibit

Saturday
1:00pm - 2:30pm

Daryll Linder

Free

33*

Santee Canal Guided Canoe Trip
Berkeley Co.

Natural and Cultural History

Saturday 
1:30pm - 3:30pm

Brad Sale

Free

34

Santee State Park
Orangeburg Co.

TBA

Saturday 
2:30pm - 3:30pm

Laura Kirk

Free

35

Hoot!Hoot! Hooray
Orangeburg Co.

Owl Program

Saturday
4:00pm - 5:00pm

Stacey Jensen

Free

36

Santee National Wildlife Refuge Bluff Unit
Clarendon Co.

Birding and Butterflies

Saturday
1:30pm - 5:00pm

TBA

Free

37*

Stumphole Swamp Kayak
(Bring your own Boat)
Calhoun Co.

Birding and more

Saturday
1:00pm - 5:00pm

Pat and Jerry Bright

Free

38

Sparkleberry Swamp Canoe/Kayak 
Sumter Co.

Birdwatching

Saturday 
1:30pm - 5:00pm

Nature Adventures
Outfitters

$20

39*

Snake Ecology at Chehaw-Combahee Plantation
Colleton Co.

Herpetofauna

Saturday
1:30pm - 5:00pm

Jayme Waldron/
Jennifer Fill

Free

40

Backyard Wildlife Habitats 
Cultural Arts Center

Wildlife

Saturday
1:00pm-3:00pm

Sara Green

$5

40*

ACE Basin – 
A Plantation Perspective
Colleton Co.

Natural and Cultural History

Saturday
1:00pm-4:00pm

Travis Folk

Free

41*

Combahee River 
Canoe/Kayak
Colleton Co.

Natural and Cultural History

Saturday
3:30pm – 6:00pm

Beaufort Kayak Tours

$40

42*

Santee Cultural Arts Center
Orangeburg Co.

Birding – An International Perspective

Saturday
3:30pm - 5:30pm

Alan Davies and 
Ruth Miller

Free

Birding Social/Countdown
Santee State Park 
Village Round

Saturday 6:30pm - 8:30pm

 

Free

43

Manchester State Forest and Poinsett State Park
Sumter Co.

Birdwatching

Sunday
5:30am – 12:00pm

Dennis Forsythe

Free

44

Giant Cement Quarry Fossil Trip
Dorchester Co.

Fossils

Sunday
8:30am - 11:30am

John Metz

Free

45*

Old Santee Canal State Park Guided Tour
Berkeley Co.

Natural and Cultural History

Sunday
10:00am - 12:00pm

Brad Sale

Free

46*

Key Inlet Estuary Tour
Charleston Co.

Birding and more

Sunday
11:00am - 4:00pm

Coastal Expeditions

$45
20 min/
40 max

47

Birding Congaree National Park
Richland Co.

Birdwatching

Sunday 
8:00am - 11:30am

Kathleen O’Grady/
John Grego

Free

48

Francis Marion History Tour
Clarendon Co.

History

Sunday
9:00am - 12:00pm

Bob Barrett

Free

49

Butterfly Tour – Santee NWR
Clarendon Co.

Butterflies

Sunday
10:30am - 1:30pm

Marty and Dave Kastner

Free

50

Congaree National Park  Canoe Trip
Richland Co.

Birdwatching

Sunday
12:30pm – 3:30pm

Kathleen O’Grady/ John Galbary

Free

51

Giant Cement Quarry Fossil Trip
Dorchester Co.

Fossils

Sunday
2:00pm – 5:00pm

John Metz

Free

52*

Wildlife of the MeadWestvaco Nature Trail
Colleton Co.

Birding, Herpetofauna, and Plants

Sunday
2:00 – 5:00pm

Eran Kilpatrick

Free

                 

 

National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!     -FWS-

Susan Heisey, Park Ranger  Santee National Wildlife Refuge
2125 Fort Watson Road   Summerton, SC 29148
office: 803-478-2217   cell: 803-410-2580   fax: 803-478-2314

April 1, 15 & 22, 2012 Guided Nature Hike: Wrights Bluff Nature Trail: Santee NWR: 1PM: 803-478-2217

  from  Susan Heisey, Park Ranger      803-478-2217

Spring has Sprung at Santee National Wildlife Refuge   April Program Schedule

Summerton, SC….  A beautiful time of year, April is full of exciting events taking place at the refuge.  Please come join us on a Saturday this month during our Spring Program Series!  All programs and events are free and no registration is required.  For questions, call 803-478-2217 or visit www.fws.gov/santee

Please Come Join Us!!!

Saturday April 7, 14, 21, 2012
9:00 am Recycled Paper Making. Discover how to create your own handmade paper from recycled and natural sources. This fun, slightly messy, hands-on workshop is great for all ages! All materials will be provided and each participant will get to go home with several pieces of handmade paper.  Meet at the refuge Visitor Center.

11:00 am Wrights Bluff Hike. This guided nature hike will take participants on the Wrights Bluff Nature Trail, a one-mile hiking trail located adjacent to the Santee Indian Mound. Discover the many wonders of spring on this guided exploration of the refuge. Meet at the refuge Visitor Center.

1:00 pm "Signs" of Wildlife. While some animals may be taking an early afternoon nap, participants of this program will learn about how to become a wildlife detective and find evidence that animals leave behind.  Learn how to identify common tracks, feathers, nests, and about the natural history of our most common residents.  

January 27, 2012              Susan Heisey, Park Ranger          803-478-2217

Refuge to Conduct Prescribed Burns

Summerton, SC…  Santee National Wildlife Refuge may plan to conduct several controlled burns during the next several weeks.  Due to difficulties in predicting weather, the refuge is not able to notify the public of the exact day burns will be conducted.  Landowners adjacent to the burn areas and local fire departments are notified prior to igniting the fire.  The goal of controlled burning is to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of wildfires on the refuge.
Burns are timed so they minimize impacts on wildlife and people and units are burned in small blocks to reduce smoke impacts.    The refuge burn plan addresses a wide range of factors such as safety, weather, fuel conditions, smoke impacts and also resources needed to conduct the burns. These burn treatments restore grassland areas, control brush in bottomland hardwood forests, control invasive woody vegetation, and increase the diversity of native plants and wildlife. Other benefits include protection of communities and adjacent landowners by reducing fuels and thus the potential threats of wildfire.
Controlled burns are planned and carried out by trained firefighters operating under strict conditions, known as prescriptions.  These prescriptions spell out the number of qualified firefighters, and types and number of equipment that must be present to burn.  The weather conditions, including wind speed and direction, humidity, fuel moisture, and other factors described in the plan must be within a prescribed range.  If the weather conditions don’t match the prescription, the fire is not started.  Smoke from the fires is a concern, and plans call for specific winds to minimize public impact on roads and communities.  
On the days when a controlled burn will take place, portions of the refuge may be closed to public access.  Please adhere to all signs, road closures, and instructions about closed areas provided by refuge and fire personnel.  Questions about the controlled burns can be answered by calling the refuge office at (803) 478-2217.

Saturday March  24, 2012   1 pm – Alligator Tour on the Cuddo Unit Wildlife Drive.  Meet at entrance to Cuddo Unit. 803-478-2217
 Wednesday March  21 & 28, 2012
 7 pm – Night Hike.  Join refuge staff for a walk along the Wrights Bluff Nature Trail, learning about the nocturnal creatures of the refuge including owls and frogs.  Meet at refuge Visitor Center.  803-478-2217
 Saturday March 17, 2012  9 am – Trash pick-up along Scott’s Lake.  Meet at Refuge Visitor Center.  (Refuge & Santee Riverkeeper) 803-478-2217
 
Feb 18, 2012 Bird Walk w/Great Backyard Bird Count: Santee NW Refuge: 803-478-2217
  Bird Walk scheduled at Santee National Wildlife Refuge
  Summerton, SC….As part of a winter series of guided bird walks being offered at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, don’t miss the last bird walk of the winter will take place on Saturday February 18th.   Plan to meet at the refuge Visitor Center at 7:30 am with Andy Harrison and Susie Heisey to visit at least two of the refuge units in search of overwintering and migratory birds – such notable species as white pelicans, LeConte’s sparrow, sandhill crane, tundra swan, and a variety of waterfowl species may be seen.  Participants should plan for the weather and bring binoculars, snacks and drinks and be ready for a walking tour.  All programs and events are free and no registration is required.  For questions: Contact Susan Heisey at 803-478-2217 or susan_heisey@fws.gov
  National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!    -FWS-

                    February 7, 2012              Susan Heisey, Park Ranger               803-478-2217

Santee National Wildlife Refuge is “Flush with Ducks”

Summerton, SC….  Established in 1941 to provide and protect habitat for migratory birds, in particular wintering waterfowl, the Santee National Wildlife Refuge habitat restoration projects are paying off big time.  Managing a variety of habitats, the refuge uses many different management practices to provide food, habitat for resting, and sanctuary to migratory waterfowl during the winter months.  

Over the past several years, the refuge has ambitiously been rehabilitating and enhancing migratory bird habitat on the interior impoundments and greentree reservoirs.   As a result of replacing of antiquated pumping systems, water control structures, clearing water delivery systems, restoring dikes, and planting food crops, the refuge is seeing bountiful benefits with flocks of ducks, geese, and other species using the wetlands and adjacent sanctuary areas.  

Local waterfowl groups have joined efforts with the refuge for projects large and small to perform on-the-ground construction and waterfowl research projects.  With more wetland productivity and wildlife use than it has seen in many years, the benefits of hard work and planning are beginning to show at the refuge.  Refuge Manager Marc Epstein stated, “Much of the credit goes to our conservation partners, such as Santee Cooper, Ducks Unlimited, SC Ducks, and Delta Waterfowl, who have contributed graciously to the restoration of habitats at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge.”  

Key projects were completed during in the summer of 2011 with funding from ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) but continuing drought conditions and low lake levels hampered fall waterfowl management on the refuge.  Over the past month, however, water levels in Lake Marion have been restored and the refuge began flooding their new systems.  The results have been astonishing with several thousand migratory ducks finding and flocking to the newly restored areas and refuge sanctuaries and several 1000 more in just the past few weeks. This response is very exciting and encouraging to refuge staff.

Additionally, the migratory bird sanctuaries on the Bluff, Pine Island and Cuddo units are some of the most productive and least expensive means of providing habitat and space for wintering waterfowl within the refuge boundary.   By providing habitat, food, and areas undisturbed by human activity, the birds have a chance to feed and rest before starting the long migration north to their summer breeding grounds. Having areas where they can fulfill their life-cycle and nutritional needs is critical to their survival and being able to successfully make long migrations to breeding grounds and return each year to their preferred wintering areas in South Carolina.

 

“In the past few weeks, people have also been flocking in to see the white pelicans and sandhill cranes that are mingling in with the large flocks of true migratory Canada geese, green-winged teal, pintail, wild mallards, widgeon, gadwall, and northern shovelers, that are using the sanctuary areas,” said Park Ranger Susan Heisey.  As many as 55 white pelicans have been seen in the Bluff Unit sanctuary.

Santee NWR also harbors the last remaining migratory Canada goose flock in South Carolina and is the southerly most migratory point for the Canada geese in the Atlantic Flyway.  These geese are different from our local geese.  They actually breed in the Southern James Bay and Hudson Bay areas of Canada and migrate to South Carolina.  There are also over a dozen species of ducks that overwinter on the refuge including northern pintail, mergansers, scaup, northern shoveler, wild mallards, ring-necked ducks and many more.  Santee National Wildlife Refuge represents the best public waterfowl area in midland South Carolina.  The habitats are critical to the state, the southeast region, and to the Atlantic flyway population of migratory waterfowl.  Numerous other migratory species are also observed in the refuge including hawks, owls, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, nesting great blue herons and a wide range of songbirds.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses approximately 13,000 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units, and has approximately 39 miles of shoreline to maintain. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 7 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.  For questions about the refuge, please contact 803-478-2217 or visit http://www.fws.gov/santee
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!     -FWS-

   Thursday, Dec 22, 2011 Santee Christmas Bird Count

December 1, 2011          Susan Heisey, Park Ranger          803-478-2217

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT ON SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Summerton, S. C.......The Santee Christmas Bird Count will be conducted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 beginning at 6:30 am, meeting at Santee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, located 8 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.  From dawn until dusk, participants will identify and record birds seen and/or heard within the designated count area.  Participants will cover the area by vehicle and on foot with special emphasis on several wetland and open water areas, mixed pine and hardwood areas, thickets, hardwood stands, and open fields.  The Santee count area includes all four units of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Santee State Park, the entire town of Santee, and half of Summerton.  
Backyard birdwatchers…we need your help!  If you live within the Santee Christmas Bird Count area and have bird feeders in your backyard, you can participate as well!  Feeder-watching is an increasingly important part of the Christmas Bird Count, contact Susan Heisey at 803-478-2217 for details.
Birdwatchers can look forward to a very enjoyable day in the field and expect to observe a variety of bird life.  Highlights from previous counts include an average of 130+ species including Le Conte's sparrows, greater white-fronted and Ross's geese, 20+ species of waterfowl, snow geese, tundra swan, Sandhill crane, and eleven bird of prey species including numerous bald eagle sightings and occasional peregrine falcons.
From December 14th, 2011 through January 5th, 2012 tens of thousands of volunteers through the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations.  For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season.  The data collected through this annual survey is compiled by the National Audubon Society and is used by researchers, scientists, and conservation biologists to assess the long-term health and status of bird species throughout North America.  
Novice birders and expert birders alike can participate as part of this national bird count.  Grab your binoculars and your field guide and plan to spend a peaceful day outdoors to wind down after the hectic holiday season.  To sign up to participate in the Santee Christmas Bird Count, individuals should contact the compiler, Dennis Forsythe, via telephone at  843-708-1605 or email at dennis.forsythe@gmail.com.  For information on participating and any fees that may be involved, the Audubon Society ask that you visit this website http://www.audubon.org/Bird/cbc/ to learn more about the Christmas Bird Count or contact Dennis Forsythe for details.
Susan Heisey, Park Ranger  Santee National Wildlife Refuge
2125 Fort Watson Road  Summerton, SC 29148    office: 803-478-2217   cell: 803-410-2580

      Fall Events 2011:

Sept 1-30, 2011   Lottery Hunt Applications: Santee NW Refuge: 803-478-2217

Sept 17     23rd Annual  Beach Sweep/River Sweep - Santee NW Refuge: 9 am - 12 pm to clean up Scott's Lake Beach

Sept 24 SC Hunter Education Class @ Santee NW Refuge:  803-478-2217:  PRE-REGISTER: 9-4 PM

             Register at http://my.register-ed.com/event/studentchooseevent/92011

Sept 24        National Public Lands Day

            8:00 a.m. – Guided Hike, Wrights Bluff Nature Trail

            9:00 a.m. – Trail Workday/Palmetto Trail (pre-registration required)

            10:00 a.m. - Water Quality Monitoring Demonstration

            1:00 p.m. - Guided Hike, Wrights Bluff Nature Trail

Sept 30        Lottery Hunt Applications must be received by this date.

 

Oct 7, 2011          9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Project Learning Tree Educators’ Workshop. Registration Required

Oct 9-15    National Wildlife Refuge System Week (Celebrating the 553 refuges throughout the country)

Oct 14, 15, 21, 22Bluff Unit Lottery Hunt (Family, Friends and Kids Hunt)  803-478-2217

Oct 10-15  Pine Island Hunt (Primitive Weapons)  803-478-2217

Oct 17-22  Cuddo Unit Hunt (Archery)  803-478-2217

 

Nov 1, 2011                  Migratory Bird Sanctuaries Closed

Nov 7-12   Cuddo Unit Hunt (Primitive Weapons)

2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC  29148  --  803/478-2217

September 26, 2011                                       Susan Heisey, Park Ranger                   803-478-2217

 2011-2012 HUNTING SEASONS ANNOUNCED FOR
SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Summerton, S.C....Santee National Wildlife Refuge announces the opening of the refuge for public hunting of white-tailed deer and raccoon during the seasons listed below.
The deer hunt schedule begins with the primitive weapons hunt on Pine Island October 10-15th. Additionally, the Refuge will be hosting lottery deer hunts on the Bluff Unit this fall. These special hunts, called “Family, Friends, and Kids Hunts” are an effort to encourage adults to share an outdoor experience with kids by bringing a child hunting with them.
Refuge visitors should also note that for the protection of all visitors, Refuge units that are open to public deer hunts are closed to general public access during designated hunt periods.
Four managed hunts for white-tailed deer will be held on the Refuge in 2011 as follows:  
Bluff Unit Family, Friends, Kids; October 14-15, 2011
Bluff Unit Family, Friends, Kids; October 21-22, 2011
Pine Island Unit Primitive Weapons Only; October 10-15, 2011
Cuddo Unit Archery Only; October 17-22-2011
Cuddo Unit Primitive Weapons Only; November 7-12, 2011
Bluff Unit - Family Friendly Hunts (Quota)
Quota Hunt Application - Applications will be available beginning September 1, 2011 and MUST be received by September 30, 2011 to be eligible. Applications can be received by fax, email, mail, or in person at the Refuge Visitor Center. Send applications to:
Santee National Wildlife Refuge   Attention: Refuge Hunt Coordinator
2125 Fort Watson Road    Summerton, SC 29148
Fax: 803-478-2314     Phone: 803-478-2217   Email: susan_heisey@fws.gov

Forms and instructions are available online at:
http://www.fws.gov/santee/Hunting&Fishing.html or by calling the Refuge Headquarters at the number listed above (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.) or by written request to Santee NWR, 2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC 29148.
There is no bag limit for the deer hunts and either sex may be taken. Antlerless deer tags will be furnished by the refuge at each check station. Hunters may legally harvest feral hogs as an incidental take while hunting for deer. Feral hogs are an exotic species and the refuge is allowing this harvest as an effort to minimize potential habitat degradation. All deer and hogs killed on the refuge must be checked at the check station prior to removing the animal from the refuge.
Hunters under age 17 years old are reminded that they must complete a state approved hunter education course before they are allowed to hunt on any National Wildlife Refuge. This requirement applies to all refuge hunts. Evidence of successful completion of such a course will be required. In addition, all youth hunters (under age 16) must be supervised by an adult at least 21 years of age.
To be eligible for the Family, Friends, and Kids hunts, applicants must be at least 10 years and no more than 17 years of age and must possess a valid hunter education certificate.  Eligible youths and adults can hunt. Stands and access will be provided by the Refuge during the Bluff Unit Special Hunts. Please obtain detailed rules and instructions about these hunts from our brochure or the Refuge webpage.
The Refuge will also host a raccoon and opossum hunt from 6:00 p.m. on March 1, 2012 through 6:00 a.m. on March 15, 2012. No hunting will be permitted on Sunday, March 4, 2012 and Sunday March 11, 2012. Night hunting only is permitted and special State regulations on night hunting apply. Raccoons and opossums may be taken with a shotgun using non-toxic shot size no larger than #4's or a .22 caliber rimfire rifle.
All hunts, except Family, Friends, & Kids-Adult/Child quota hunts on the Bluff Unit, are open to anyone who wishes to participate. A permit is required for all hunts. A free refuge permit allowing participation in all hunts is included on the lower front portion of the hunting regulations brochure. A special refuge permit, signed by the hunter, along with a valid State hunting license, and photo identification (such as a driver’s license) are required and must be in your possession while hunting.
Camping, overnight parking, ATV’s and open fires are not permitted during any of the hunts. Dogs may be used only for raccoon and opossum hunting. Man-drives, stalk hunting and dog drives are prohibited. Special regulations and/or restrictions apply to all refuge hunts.
Scouting on the Pine Island Unit is allowed during periods when it is open to general public access. Hunter access for Pine Island roads will be opened only during each deer hunt and on the Friday and Saturday prior to each hunt to allow hunters to place their stands on the area. Stands may be placed on respective hunt areas on the Friday and Saturday immediately prior to each hunt (from 8 am until 5 pm) and must be removed by 8:30 pm on the last day of each hunt. Weapons and dogs are not allowed during scouting.
Refuge gates for hunting areas will be open from 5:00 am until 8:30 pm during designated hunt periods. All other access (i.e., scouting and stand placement) will be limited to the refuge's normal hours of operation (April - September: 7:00 am until 7:00 pm; October - March: 8:00 am until 5:00 pm). Hunters are limited to one stand per person regardless of type, including tree stands, ground blinds, and ladder stands. Deer stands on the refuge must be clearly marked with the owner's name and telephone number. Hunters are reminded that littering is a serious problem on the refuge. Regulations against littering will be enforced.
Since refuge hunting regulations often include changes from years past, hunters are advised to study a copy of current regulations before hunting on the refuge. Any questions regarding permitted activities and all requests for information about hunting, fishing, and other public use programs should be directed to: Santee National Wildlife Refuge, 2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC 29148. Information may also be obtained by telephoning (803) 478-2217. Hunters may also find information on the Refuge website at: http://www.fws.gov/santee/
Santee National Wildlife Refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which includes 553 different refuges and protects over 150 million acres.  Part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the mission is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.  


National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!

 


Santee is also proud to announce an addition to the hiking trails at the Dingle Pond Unit of the refuge.  During the summer of 2010, a 15 foot high observation tower was constructed along the current hiking trail at Dingle Pond to provide visitors a “tree-top” view of a Carolina Bay, a unique wetland that provides habitat for a diversity of plants and animals.  The refuge also completed the first phase of an elevated boardwalk, which will increase the trail’s length by over a quarter mile.  This addition will include over 500 feet of boardwalk through flooded cypress-tupelo swamp when completed.  Other projects completed by local contractors this summer include 2 road projects and 3 waterfowl habitat projects.  The habitat projects marked a significant improvement for waterfowl and wetland species of the refuge.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses approximately 13,000 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units, and has approximately 39 miles of shoreline to maintain. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 7 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!

Events 2011:

Sept 1-30   Lottery Hunt Applications: Santee NW Refuge: 803-478-2217

Sept 17      Beach Sweep/River Sweep - Santee NW Refuge: 9 am - 12 pm to clean up Scott's Lake Beach

Sept 24      SC Hunter Education Class @ Santee NW Refuge: PRE-REGISTER: 803-478-2217:   9-4 PM

October 9 - 15     National Wildlife Refuge System Week: 553 refuges US-wide

October 10-15     Pine Island Hunt (Primitive Weapons): Santee NW Refuge: 803-478-2217

October 14, 15, 21, 22   Bluff Unit Lottery Hunt (Family, Friends, and Kids Hunt): Santee NW Refuge: 803-478-2217
October 17-22      Cuddo Unit Hunt (Archery): Santee NW Refuge: 803-478-2217

Refuge  May Events:
Come out and connect with nature at Santee National Wildlife Refuge this month.  May is a beautiful time of year to bring your family or enjoy the solitude you can find on one of the refuge’s hiking trails or along the Wildlife Drive.  The Visitor Center is a great place to start and find out information about what’s being seen around the refuge, including the best places to view such beautiful songbirds as the Painted Bunting and Prothonotary Warblers or for a possible glimpse of an American Alligator or many of the refuge’s other reptilian residents.  

To celebrate International Migratory Bird Day, the refuge is planning bird walks to help visitors learn about bird-watching in South Carolina and the refuge.  Participants should meet at the refuge visitor center located off of Ft. Watson Road, 7 miles south of Summerton off Hwy 15/301.  The tours will begin at 7:00 am and will last approximately 2 hours.  Please contact refuge Park Ranger, Susan Heisey at 803-478-2217 for information or directions on where to meet.  The bird walks are scheduled for:
Tuesday May 17th and Wednesday May 18th
Tuesday May 24th and Wednesday 25th

National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!
April 29-May 1, 2011 4th Santee Birding & Nature Festival
              Santee National Wildlife Refuge, other locations and Santee: 803-478-2217
                   http://www.fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html
The Santee Birding and Nature Festival is now accepting registration!  
This year, the festival registration will be handled electronically and can be accessed through the following website...
   http://www.fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html
Please join us the weekend of April 29th - May 1st, 2011 as we celebrate and explore the many natural areas in central South Carolina!
     Field Trip Itinerary
       Friday April 29th
  Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest:   6:15 am – 11:00 am Cost: $7/person
  Hickory Top Waterfowl Management Area:  6:30 am – 12:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Birding the Bluff Unit – Santee NWR:   7:00 am – 12:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Fisheagle Swamp/Lake Tour: 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm Cost: $26/person
  Plantation Island (Nelson’s Cut) Canoe/Kayak Trip:  1:30 pm – 5:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Banquet and Keynote Speaker Patrick McMillan:  7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Cost: $25/person
       Saturday April 30th
  Manchester State Forest:  5:30 am – 12:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Audubon Center at Beidler Forest w/ Patrick McMillan:  6:15 am – 11:00 am Cost: $7/person
  Brosnan Forest:  6:15 am – 11:00 am Cost: FREE
  Cuddo Unit – Santee NWR:  7:00 am – 12:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Sparkleberry Swamp Canoe/Kayak Trip:  8:00 am – 12:00 pm Cost: $20/person
  Butterfly Walk at Albermarle Corporation:  9:00 am – 1:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Commemorative Battle at Fort Watson:  10:00 am – 10:45 Cost: FREE
  Leaf Casting w/ the “Leaf Ladies”:  10:00 am – 12:00 pm Cost: $30/person
  SSSSSSnakes! – Santee State Park:  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Birds, Butterflies, and More!! – Santee NWR:  1:30 pm – 5:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Sparkleberry Swamp Canoe/Kayak Trip:  1:30 am – 5:00 pm Cost: $20/person
  Leaf Casting w/ the “Leaf Ladies”:  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Cost: $30/person
  Secret Life of Ponds – Santee State Park:  3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Cost: FREE
  Festival Social/Birding Countdown:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Cost: FREE
  In the Park after Dark:  8:00 pm – 9:30 pm Cost: FREE
      Sunday May 1st
  Birding by Ear:  7:00 am – 11:00 pm Cost: $12/person
  Congaree National Park:  8:00 am – 11:30 am Cost: FREE
  Fisheagle Swamp/Lake Tour:  10:00 am – 12:30 pm Cost: $26/person
  Butterfly Tour – Santee NWR:  10:00 am – 1:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Congaree National Park Canoe Trip:  12:30 pm – 3:30 pm Cost: FREE
  Giant Cement Quarry Fossil Trip:  1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Cost: FREE
  Big Alligator Tour – Cuddo Unit NWR:  2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Cost: FREE

  To register, visit   http://www.fws.gov/santee/bird_fest.html     
   or  Send info to Santee NWE Refuge  2125 Fort Watson Rd.  Summerton, SC 29148
South Carolina’s Locals…Alligator Tours being offered by the Refuge - Want to see Alligators - Come to Cuddo.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge invites the public to participate in Alligator Tours during the month of April.  Saturday April 2nd and April 16th and Monday April 4th and April 18th, participants will be lead through the refuge’s Cuddo Unit in search of these prehistoric giants.  The Cuddo Unit is home to the popular “Alligator Alley” and although not as long as the more famous alley found in Florida, visitors are sure to be impressed with what the refuge has to offer.

The refuge program will focus on the natural history of alligators, importance of alligators, and alligator safety.  The tour will meet at 11:00 am at the Cuddo Unit’s entrance, located off of Log Jam Road near Summerton.  This program will be conducted rain or shine, and participants are encouraged to bring binoculars and a camera.  For driving directions or for more information about the program, please visit www.fws.gov/santee or call 803-478-2217.  

The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is made up of four units along the northern shore of Lake Marion.  Each unit of the refuge provides visitor opportunities for hiking, bicycling, wildlife observation and wildlife photography.  Come out and visit your national wildlife refuge today!

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.  

Susan Heisey, Park Ranger  -  Santee National Wildlife Refuge
  Come to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge!!  Call 803-478-2217   Come see alligators.

The Santee Birding and Nature Festival Donates to Worthy Cause April 2011

Summerton, SC…. The Santee Birding and Nature Festival celebrates the natural wonders of midlands South Carolina each April.  Over 150 individuals participated last weekend in one or many of the over 35 field trips and workshops offered as part of this 3-day event.  Participants came from 10 different states including South Carolina and over 1/3 of the total participation included individuals from out of town.  One of the highlights of the event is the Birding Social on Saturday evening at the Santee State Park.  An informal gathering of participants, trip leaders, and festival committee members, this lively event allows folks to share stories from their trips and identify everything that has been seen during the weekend.  
Santee Birding Fest shorebird carving was donated and won 2011
Patrick Campbell, festival attendee and resident of Isle of Palms, donated a shorebird carving to the festival which was raffled off during this event.  The carving, an antique-style pair of dowitchers, was carved of basswood and painted with acrylics.  The birds are mounted on a piece of driftwood exposed at the Campbell’s lake home in Eutawville a few years ago.  Campbell says of his donation to the festival “My contribution was made because I value the festival which highlights our good fortune in South Carolina and I hope that this may become an added attraction for our visitors.”  Not until after the festival raised over $200 in ticket sales, the shorebird carving was won by Mrs. Nancy Swan of Mt. Pleasant, SC.  

The festival planning committee is donating the proceeds to the South Carolina Nature-Based Tourism Association Richard Mikell Scholarship Fund.  This scholarship, which will be awarded later this year, is named for the “Papa Bear” of paddlesports.  Kathie Livingston, President of SC Nature-Based Tourism Association and Chair of the South Carolina Paddlesports Industry Association says this of Mikell “His gentle spirit and kind heart led us all.  He gave to us by sharing his love for the outdoors, the rivers, the woods, the lakes and he wanted all of us to enjoy it as he did. If ever there was a man for all of us to look up to it was Richard”.

The Santee Birding and Nature Festival planning committee is already thinking about the next year’s festival.  This community event is planned by many organizations including; Audubon South Carolina, National Park Service, Santee Cooper Country, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Nature-Based Tourism Association, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Santee State Park, and Tri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

  Photo Caption: Carver Patrick Campbell pictured with winner of the carving, Nancy Swan
April 7th, 2011         Winthrop University Lends a Helping Hand to Santee NWR  Winthrop students working at Santee NW Refuge

Last month, while most college students were sleeping in on Saturday morning, 15 Winthrop University students arrived at Santee National Wildlife Refuge in Summerton, SC to begin what would be a day filled with learning…and working.  Professor of Sociology, Dr. April Gordon, stated “I am hoping to introduce my students to the natural world and an area that I love…and give back at the same time”.   The day began with a presentation by Refuge Manager, Marc Epstein.  Students learned of the history of the Santee River, the Santee Cooper project that created the lake system, how the refuge was established by Congress in 1941, and many landscape changes that will be influencing wildlife and their habitats in the future.  

Next, the students were assigned to a variety of projects that included painting, installing split rail fence, landscaping, and cleaning up the shoreline of the refuge.  Although some students were afraid of the wolf spiders and earthworms in the mulch, everyone was in awe at the sighting of a Bald Eagle. “So many things were accomplished today thanks to these students and Dr. Gordon.  They jumped right in while listening to the instructions given by staff.  It was a great day and a great accomplishment for everyone involved” says Refuge Manager Marc Epstein.  “The refuge is hoping this will be a long-lasting relationship with Winthrop University”.  These students represent a large segment of our future and the investment with them now will be well worth it years from now.

The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is made up of four units along the northern shore of Lake Marion.  Each unit of the refuge provides visitor opportunities for hiking, bicycling, wildlife observation and wildlife photography.  For more information about Santee National Wildlife Refuge, call 803-478-2217 or email susan_heisey@fws.gov  from Susan Heisey, Park Ranger.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge in Summerton, SC is proud to announce that one of our own will be recognized
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region!!!   March 29, 2011      by Susan Heisey, Park Ranger

Santee National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Recognized by the Southeast Region

 The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is proud to announce that one of their own will be recognized by the Southeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a recipient of the 2010 Regional Director’s Award for Volunteer Service.  This prestigious volunteer recognition is awarded annually to individuals that demonstrate exemplary work as a volunteer for the Service.  

The first time Mr. John “Ed” Sprouse came to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Park Ranger, Susan Heisey was impressed.   “He said he made 10 bluebird boxes the day before.  This is exactly the type of person we are looking for in a volunteer!”  Ed single-handedly made over 100 blue bird boxes for the refuge and helped install them on 3 of the refuge units to establish a blue bird nest box monitoring program, and comes to the refuge each week to monitor 25 of the boxes himself.  Not stopping there, Helping out wherever needed – mowing, carpentry, sign maintenance…Ed does it all!

Marc Epstein, Refuge Manager, recognized what a superb volunteer Ed was and when the opportunity arose to nominate him for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director’s Award, there was no hesitation.  “Ed does a great job each and every time he comes to the refuge.  He has become a part of our refuge family and is very deserving of this recognition”, states Epstein.  

The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is extremely proud that Ed Sprouse has been recognized for his service as a volunteer and is so grateful for the work that Ed and all of the volunteers do for the refuge.  If you are interested in becoming a refuge volunteer, please contact Susan Heisey at 803-478-2217 or email susan_heisey@fws.gov.       National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!

December 8, 2010  Santee National Wildlife Refuge will plan to conduct several controlled burns during the coming fall and winter months.  The goal of control burning is to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of wildfires on the Refuge.

The 2010 Annual Control Burn Plan includes 1,060 acres targeted for burning on the Cuddo, Bluff, and Pine Island units.  The units involved in the burn plan include fallow fields, upland pine forests, and waterfowl impoundments.  Burns are timed so they minimize impacts on wildlife and people and units are burned in small blocks to reduce smoke impacts.    The burn plan addresses a wide range of factors such as safety, weather, fuel conditions, smoke impacts and also resources needed to conduct the burns. These burn treatments restore grassland areas, control brush in bottomland hardwood forests, control invasive woody vegetation, and increase the diversity of native plants and wildlife. Other benefits include protection of communities and adjacent landowners by reducing fuels and thus the potential threats of wildfire.

Controlled burns are planned and carried out by trained firefighters operating under strict conditions, known as prescriptions.  These plans spell out the number of qualified firefighters, and types and number of equipment that must be present to burn.  The weather conditions, including wind speed and direction, humidity, fuel moisture, and other factors described in the plan must be within a prescribed range.  If the weather conditions don’t match the prescription, the fire is not started.  Smoke from the fires is a concern, and plans call for specific winds to minimize public impact on roads and communities.  

Controlled burns are considered a good tool by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for managing wildlife habitat and reducing the risk of serious wildfires.  Due to difficulties in predicting weather, the refuge is not able to notify the public of the exact day burns will be conducted.  Landowners adjacent to the burn areas and local fire departments are notified prior to igniting the fire.  Questions about the controlled burns can be answered by calling the Refuge office at (803) 478-2217.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.  

National Wildlife Refuges…Where Wildlife Comes Naturally!

Susan Heisey, Park Ranger,  Santee National Wildlife Refuge,  2125 Fort Watson Road
Summerton, SC 29148,  office: 803-478-2217,  cell: 803-410-2580,  fax: 803-478-2314
Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week  -  OCTOBER 10-16, 2010
Visit Your Local Refuge Today!    Come celebrate with us and tickle your sense of wonder as you experience the bald eagles, alligators, and great blue herons of Santee National Wildlife Refuge.    

Santee National Wildlife Refuge belongs to a nationwide network of federal lands dedicated to the protection of wildlife habitat and wildlife species.  The nation’s 552 national wildlife refuges not only protect the nation’s natural resources, but also offer a range of wildlife-dependent recreation.  
Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a migratory bird sanctuary.  Located along the northern banks of Lake Marion, the refuge protects 39 miles of shoreline and an abundance of habitat for wildlife.  Visitors can observe wildlife from the refuge’s Wildlife Drive or enjoy a scenic view from atop the Santee Indian Mound historic site.  Here’s what we have planned to help you celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with us:
1.        The Big Sit! Bird count on October 10th
2.        Mounds and Swampfox: History and Archaeology at Santee – October 13th at 2:00PM
3.        Primitive Weapons deer hunt (Pine Island Unit) - October 11 – 16
Oct 10: What is the Big Sit? Some people call it a tailgate party for birders. The Big Sit! is an annual international birding event hosted by Bird Watcher's Digest. This non-competitive, stationary, one-day birding event is great for individuals of all ages and expert and novice birders alike.
Oct 13: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Archaeologist, Rick Kanaski, will be giving a presentation entitled “Mounds and Swampfox: History and Archaeology at Santee” on October 13th at 2:00 pm.  This program will be a brief synopsis of the area’s history, focusing on the Mississippian period Native Americans, Revolutionary War history, and the 19th century occupation prior to the creation of Lake Marion.  Weather permitting, this program will take place at the Santee Indian Mound at the end of Fort Watson Road on October 13th at 2:00 pm.  In the case of inclement weather, the program will be moved to the refuge’s Visitor Center.  
For more information on these programs and events, please contact the refuge Visitor Center at 803-478-2217 or email susan_heisey@fws.gov.    

National Wildlife Refuges across the country will be holding events for National Wildlife Refuge Week.  National Wildlife Refuges offer a variety of outdoor activities:  fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and interpretive activities.  Many wildlife refuges also offer nature hikes, bird watching tours, wildlife drives and trails, and other adventures.  Each year, about 42 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge.  There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities.  For more information about National Wildlife Refuges, visit  www.fws.gov/refuges.   Susan Heisey, Park Ranger  -  Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge has public hunting of white-tailed deer & dove during the special seasons listed below.
 These special hunts encourage adults to share an outdoor experience with kids by bringing a child hunting with them.
Refuge visitors should also note that for the protection of all visitors,
Refuge units that are open to public deer hunts are closed to general public access during designated hunt periods.

Oct 1, 2, 8, 9, 22, & 23, 2010  Lottery Deer Hunts (Bluff Unit), Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Oct 4 - 9, 2010 - Archery Hunt (Cuddo Unit), Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Oct 11 - 16, 2010 - Primitive Weapons Hunt (Pine Island), Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Oct 18 - 23, 2010 - Primitive Weapons Hunt (Cuddo Unit), Santee National Wildlife Refuge

Nov 1  Migratory Bird Sanctuaries Closed,  Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Nov 8 - 13, 2010 - Primitive Weapons Hunt (Cuddo Unit), Santee National Wildlife Refuge
You're invited to come to Santee Refuge by the Friends for
  "Volunteer a Saturday morning" - June 5, 2010 9 AM. Meet at the Visitors Center.
  Some trails have great new signs.
  We'd like to clean-up/pick-up along the Refuge road, shore & trails on Bluff Unit.
  Bring your gloves & other tools you like.
  Be a Friend, bring a Friend.
Summerton, SC… The Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge would like to invite you to come and help the refuge clean up the shoreline, Saturday June 5th at 9:00 am.  Located along the northern shore of Lake Marion, this winter’s high water levels left behind an abundance of debris and trash littering the scenic and undeveloped shoreline. 
Friends, volunteers, and refuge staff will be gathering at the Visitor Center located off of Fort Watson Road at 9:00 am.  The trash pickup will focus its efforts on the shoreline between the refuge Visitor Center and the Santee Indian Mound, about one mile of shoreline. 
“Donating your time is a wonderful way to give back to the community that you call home.” says Lead Park Ranger, Susan Heisey. 

July 22, 2010   Recovery Act Funds Wetlands Restoration and Road Improvements at Santee National Wildlife Refuge
 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service —  Region 4, Santee NWR, Southeast Region
Contact: Phil Kloer, (404) 679-7125, philip_kloer@fws.gov

Summerton, S.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded contracts for major wetlands restoration and road repairs at Santee National Wildlife Refuge totaling more than $1.8 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

One contract, for $1,105,742, is awarded to Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. of Alpharetta, Ga., for repairs to public roads in the refuge. The second contract, for $724,377, is awarded to Ducks Unlimited for improvements to the refuge’s impoundment system that will help it to better manage waterfowl.
“These stimulus-funded improvements will provide needed construction jobs in the area and help boost the region’s economy,” Salazar said. “In addition, the public, including duck hunters, will see the benefits of better roads and better wildlife management.”

Ducks Unlimited is working with refuge staff to design the extensive wetland habitat rehabilitation projects. “This joint venture with Ducks Unlimited brings a second element of wetland management expertise and engineering to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge,” said refuge manager Marc Epstein. “There is a whole community of wildlife that is enhanced when we restore these wetlands.”
When these projects are completed, the refuge will be able to provide improved habitat conditions for numerous species of waterfowl and migratory birds that utilize the refuge as a wintering area, a stop-over point, or as summer nesting grounds. In turn, visitors will have increased opportunities to view these migratory birds undisturbed in their native landscape.

“Ducks Unlimited is happy to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on ARRA projects like this one, because it is a win-win-win situation,” said Dr. Scott C. Yaich, Director of Conservation Operations for Ducks Unlimited. “First, these ARRA funds are being used to address priority needs on national wildlife refuges, and studies have also documented that refuges are significant economic generators for local communities across the country. Second, these projects contribute significantly to meeting the conservation needs of waterfowl and many other wildlife species. And finally, this project puts people to work and directly benefits the local economy, just as ARRA intended. As in all Ducks Unlimited projects, our organization is committed to using local workers and companies as much as possible.”
On the refuge’s Cuddo Unit, the 125-acre Timber Island Field waterfowl habitat improvements includes redesigning the interior dikes, constructing 7,419 feet of new dikes, and rehabilitating 6,469 feet of existing perimeter dike. New water control structures will also be installed to enhance water delivery and management to the restored wetland complex. This project will allow impoundments and adjacent reservoirs to be managed more effectively for migratory bird populations. Additionally, a pumping system and engine will be replaced to allow proper drainage of the impoundment complex.
The refuge’s Bluff Unit is the most heavily used waterfowl area on the refuge. This unit consists of three primary wetland impoundments. The ARRA project will create a fourth impoundment and purchase a mobile pump to help service this system. In concert with the DU/ARRA projects, the refuge staff will be improving water delivery and drainage to these systems including installation of a planned six new water control structures. The road improvement projects awarded to Shaw will include repairs on the Cuddo and Pine Island units. The roads, which are badly eroded, will be resurfaced and drainage will be enhanced. These roads are used by hunters during hunting season, as well as by the general public, including bicycles and pedestrian hikers.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in 2009 gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.
The ARRA funds represent an important component of the President’s plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century. Under ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America’s timeless treasures – our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage – while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.
“With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come,” Salazar said.
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery.
Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior’s Inspector General to ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For questions, comments or concerns email us at recoveryact@fws.gov. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
May 19th, 2010                  Marc Epstein, Refuge Manager              803-478-2217
Summerton, SC….The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is pleased to announce several important habitat management and restoration projects beginning this spring and continuing through the summer months.  The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) has provided additional support to Santee NWR to rehabilitate and enhance migratory bird habitat on the Cuddo and the Bluff Unit’s impoundments.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service began rehabilitating these systems in 2008 with replacement of antiquated pumping systems, water control structures, clearing water delivery systems, and restoring dikes.  With ARRA funding, the refuge will contract Ducks Unlimited (DU) to perform most of the on-the-ground construction.  DU is working together with refuge staff to design the extensive wetland habitat rehabilitation projects.  Refuge Manager Marc Epstein stated, “This joint venture with Ducks Unlimited brings a second element of wetland management expertise and engineering to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge.” 

On the Cuddo Unit, the 125 acre Timber Island Field waterfowl habitat improvements includes redesigning the interior dikes, constructing 7,419 feet of new dikes, and rehabilitating 6,469 feet of existing perimeter dike.  New water control structures will also be installed to enhance water delivery and management to the restored wetland complex.  This project will allow impoundments and adjacent greentree reservoirs to be managed more effectively for migratory bird populations.  Additionally, a pumping system and engine will be replaced to allow proper drainage of the impoundment complex.
The Bluff Unit is the most heavily used waterfowl area on the refuge.  This unit consists of 3 primary wetland impoundments.  The ARRA project will create a fourth impoundment and purchase a well needed mobile pump to help service this system.  In concert with the DU/ARRA projects, the refuge staff will be improving water delivery and drainage to these systems to include installing about 6 new water control structures. 
When these two rehabilitation projects are completed, the refuge will be able to provide improved habitat conditions for numerous species of waterfowl and migratory birds that utilize the refuge as a wintering area, a stop-over point, or as summer nesting grounds.  In turn, visitors will have increased opportunities to view these migratory bird species, undisturbed, in their native landscape.  Additional ARRA projects to start this spring include road repair projects on the Cuddo and Pine Island Unit. 

Although not part of ARRA, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also planning to replace the antiquated water pumping system on the Pine Island Unit this year.  Refuge Manager Marc Epstein noted that … “We appreciate the great comments from our community on the recent improvements to the refuge.  The Santee NWR has been receiving a lot of attention over the past few years, with upgrading the wildlife drive on the Cuddo Unit, new hiking and kayak trails, observation towers, and the rehabilitated Visitors Center … just to mention a few projects.” 
If you have specific questions about these projects or about the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, please contact the Refuge Manager at 803-478-2217 or visit www.fws.gov/santee. 
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  Santee NWR is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the Service, which includes more than 150 million acres and 550 national wildlife refuges. The agency oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.
April 23-25, 2010 3rd Santee Birding & Nature Festival
          Santee National Wildlife Refuge and Santee: 803-478-2217
   Event Time Friday, April 23rd   Send Adult/Youth Total  
       (For registration form:  www.fws.gov/santee)        http://www.fws.gov/santee/pdf/Santee-birding-festival-2010.pdf
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration - Santee Cultural Arts Center
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Santee NWR – Bluff Unit - FREE
12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Audubon Center at Beidler Forest - FREE
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Santee State Park – Fisheagle Swamp Tours $25
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee Lakes Sampler - FREE
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee NWR – Bluff Unit; Birding 101 - FREE
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee NWR - Bluff Unit; Butterflies and Birds Tour - FREE
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Santee State Park – SSSSnakes!! - FREE
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker Event & Dinner, Holiday Inn, Santee $25
    Saturday, April 24th
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration - Santee Cultural Arts Center
5:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Manchester State Forest & Poinsett State Park - FREE
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Brosnan Forest - FREE
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Nature Illustration Workshop - FREE
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Santee NWR – Bluff Unit - FREE
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Santee NWR – Cuddo Unit - FREE
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Sparkleberry Swamp Canoe & Kayak Tour $20 adult/$12 youth (ages 12 and under)
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Wannamaker Preserve Audubon Sanctuary - FREE
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wildlife Photography Workshop with Ted Borg (morning – workshop; afternoon – field trip) $10
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Santee State Park – SSSSnakes!! - FREE
12:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Giant Cement Quarry Fossil Trip - FREE
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee NWR – Cuddo Unit; Butterfly Tour - FREE
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee State Park – Pine Needle Basket Making - FREE
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Santee State Park – Birding Countdown - FREE
8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Santee State Park – Owl Prowl - FREE
    Sunday, April 25th
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration - Santee Cultural Arts Center
5:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Manchester State Forest & Poinsett State Park – FREE
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Audubon Center at Beidler Forest – FREE
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Santee NWR – Bluff Unit; Birding 101 – FREE
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Santee NWR – Bluff Unit; Wetland Plant ID – FREE
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Santee State Park – Spring Wildflowers - FREE
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Santee State Park – Fisheagle Swamp Tours $25
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Congaree National Park - FREE
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wildlife Photography Workshop with Ted Borg (morning – workshop; afternoon – field trip) $10
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Congaree National Park Canoe Trip - FREE

 2010 Santee Birding & Nature Festival Sponsored By:
Audubon South Carolina
Carolina Bird Club
Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Holiday Inn—Santee
National Park Service
Nature Adventures Outfitters
Santee Cooper Country
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
South Carolina State Parks
South Carolina Forestry Commission
Town of Santee
Tri-county Regional Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Santee
Santee National Wildlife Refuge To Participate in National Bird Count
The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is proud to announce our participation in the 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count from February 12th – 15th, 2010. This annual bird count is organized by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a way for people of all ages and level of bird-watching experience to participate in observing birds in their backyard, off their balcony, or at their local refuge! Each year, tens of thousands of people throughout the U.S. and Canada take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Each checklist will contribute valuable information for conservation, by submitting the data online at www.birdcount.org. The information gathered through this bird count will help scientists understand how the distributions of birds are changing over time.  
The refuge will host an early morning bird walk on Saturday February 13th starting at 7:30 am as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count. Refuge staff hopes to observe wintering sandhill cranes as well as snow geese from the trail’s observation tower to add to the count tally. Ducks, geese, and a variety of wintering songbirds may also be seen. Interested participants should meet at the visitor center.
We are also encouraging visitors to the refuge to observe and keep track of all birds seen during the 4-day count period. Individuals interested in participating can pick up a bird check list at the refuge’s visitor center or information kiosk at the Cuddo Unit and start counting. Not only is the count keeping track of different species seen but also numbers of each of those species. Once a person has completed their hike, drive, or bicycle ride around the refuge, they can return their checklist to the refuge visitor center, where staff will compile the sightings of all participants. Individuals must return their checklist to the visitor center no later than February 15th for their count to be included, and if the visitor center is not open when you come by, the refuge will have a box on the front porch for folks to leave their checklists. Please make sure that participant names and contact information is included.
Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The refuge encompasses just over 12,400 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 8 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.
Santee NWR is one of 550 national wildlife refuges across the country that make up over 150 million acres of land and water for fish and wildlife conservation. The refuge system offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation and photography. Each year, about 40 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge. There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities.
For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count and visitor opportunities at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, contact Susan Heisey, Park Ranger, at 803-478-2217 or susan_heisey@fws.gov
Cuddo Wildlife Drive re-opening on the Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge to visitors.
December 11, 2009.

Santee National Wildlife Refuge Cuddo Unit to Re-Open To Visitors
Summerton, S. C....... Santee National Wildlife Refuge is excited to announce the reopening of the Cuddo Unit
for visitation beginning December 11, 2009. Cuddo has been closed for five months to complete the well
needed Wildlife Drive rehabilitation project. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
the 7.5 mile Wildlife Drive was completely resurfaced, adding new parking areas and water control structures,
cleaning drainages, and adding numbered trail markers to the Drive. The project was a partnership between the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Highway Administration.
A new Wildlife Drive Interpretive Guide will soon be available both at the Cuddo Unit information kiosk and at
the refuge’s Visitor Center. The interpretive guide will direct visitors around the Wildlife Drive loop, having
directional and interpretive information about the area that coincides with the numbered markers. In addition to
the existing 3 miles of hiking trails, new trails have been established including a canoe/kayak trail that will also
be outlined on this interpretive guide.
A wide diversity of habitats can be observed on Cuddo’s Wildlife Drive with open fields, forest, forested
bottomland hardwood wetlands, cypress swamps, and greentree habitats making this area a great place to view
wildlife in their natural surroundings. Alligators, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey are often easily viewed
from the Drive with a segment aptly named “Alligator Alley”. Please remember that feeding wild animals is
illegal and littering is strictly prohibited.
This area is renowned among bird watchers for the diversity of waterbirds and song birds present including
nesting painted bunting during the summer months. Cuddo has been touted as one of the best inland birding
areas east of the Mississippi during the winter months.
The Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge is the largest of the refuge’s four units, and offers an
abundance of recreational opportunities for individuals who enjoy being outdoors. We encourage checking in at
the refuge’s Visitor Center for the most up-to-date trail information before your visit. Also, the western portion
of Cuddo is closed to all hiking, bicycling, and water access from Nov 1 – Mar 1 each year as a migratory bird
sanctuary area. All points west of the Wildlife Drive will re-open for hiking and bicycling on March 1, 2010.
The Cuddo Unit is open to visitation from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily from Oct 1 – Mar 31 and 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
April 1- Sept 30.
Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The
refuge encompasses just over 12,400 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate
units. The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located
on the Bluff Unit, 8 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301.
Santee National Wildlife Refuge is one of 550 national wildlife refuges across the country that make
up over 150 million acres of land and water for fish and wildlife conservation. The refuge system also
offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife
observation and photography. Each year, about 40 million Americans discover the wonders of nature
by visiting a wildlife refuge.
Santee National Wildlife Refuge Celebrates National Wildlife Refuge Week in October 2009

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds.  The refuge encompasses just over 15,000 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units.  The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 8 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301. 

This year, Refuge Week also focuses on the health of the world’s birds − especially those that depend on refuge lands and waters for nesting, foraging, wintering or rest stops on their migration routes. Last spring a national report by the Department of the Interior credited conservation efforts over the past four decades with saving some species from extinction. The bald eagle and peregrine falcon are among them. However, the “State of the Birds” report noted major population drops for several other bird species, particularly along the coasts, in Hawaii and in the North, where 38 percent of Arctic nesting birds are thought to be in decline. Threats to birds include climate change, loss of habitat and disease.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans enjoying birding as a hobby is on the rise. More than 40 million Americans feed wild birds at home or travel to see them. National Wildlife Refuges − many of which were first established as bird sanctuaries − are finding new ways to encourage and support birding.

“Birds are key indicators of our nation’s environmental health,” says U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Sam Hamilton. “Their ability to survive is a measure of the quality of our air and water, the fertility of our soil, the abundance of our natural resources − factors on which human health also depend. National Wildlife Refuge Week is a perfect time to remember how interdependent all species are.”

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds.  The refuge encompasses just over 12,400 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units, and has approximately 18 miles of shoreline to maintain.  The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 8 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301. 
Santee NWR is one of 550 national wildlife refuges across the country that make up over 150 million acres of land and water for fish and wildlife conservation.  The refuge system also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation and photography.  Many wildlife refuges offer nature hikes, bird watching tours, wildlife drives and trails, and other adventures.  Each year, about 40 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge.  There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities.
There are 550 national wildlife refuges across the country that make up over 150 million acres of land and water for fish and wildlife conservation.  The refuge system also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation and photography.  Many wildlife refuges offer nature hikes, bird watching tours, wildlife drives and trails, and other adventures.  Each year, about 40 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge.  There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities.
 
2009-2010 HUNTING SEASONS ANNOUNCED FOR SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
(Rules for 2010-2011 nearly the same, see schedule at  Santee NW Refuge Future Events.)
Santee National Wildlife Refuge announces opening of the refuge for public hunting of white-tailed deer and raccoon during the special seasons listed below. Please note that non-toxic shot is required when hunting with shotguns.

The deer hunt schedule begins with the special Youth Hunt on the Bluff Unit. As announced during May and June, there will not be deer hunting on the Cuddo Unit this year due to extensive road repairs. A week long primitive weapons hunt on Pine Island will start October 5th and end October 10th. Additionally, the Refuge is will be hosting two special quota deer hunts on the Bluff Unit this fall. These special hunts, called “Family, Friends, and Kids” are an effort to encourage adults to share an outdoor experience with kids by bringing a child hunting with them.

Refuge visitors should also note that for the protection of all visitors, Refuge units that are open to public deer hunts are closed to general public access during designated hunt periods.

Four managed hunts for white-tailed deer will be held on the Refuge in 2009 as follows:

Bluff Unit Youth Hunt; Quota Hunt September 25-26, 2009
Pine Island Unit Primitive Weapons Only October 5-10, 2009
Bluff Unit Family, Friends, Kids; Quota October 2-3, 2009
Bluff Unit Family, Friends, Kids; Quota October 16-17, 2009

For the Pine Island hunt, long, recurved, or compound bows and muzzle loading (black powder) rifles only are permitted. All other weapons including handguns and crossbows are prohibited.
For the Bluff Unit Special Hunts, only shotgun slug or muzzle loading black powder rifle are allowed.

For the Special Bluff Unit Hunts, Youth or Family, Friends and Kids Hunts, a completed application form must be returned to Refuge Headquarters by September 15, 2009. These forms and instructions are available on line at: http://www.fws.gov/santee/pdf/09SanteeBluffUnitHuntsInstructions.pdf
or by calling the Refuge Headquarters office at 803-478-2217(Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.) or by written request to Santee NWR, 2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC 29148.

There is no bag limit for the deer hunts and either sex may be taken. Antlerless deer tags will be furnished by the refuge at each check station. Hunters may legally harvest feral hogs as an incidental take while hunting for deer. Feral hogs are an exotic species and the refuge is allowing this harvest as an effort to minimize potential habitat degradation. All deer and hogs killed on the refuge must be checked at the check station prior to removing the animal from the refuge.

Hunters under age 17 years old are reminded that they must complete a state approved hunter education course before they are allowed to hunt on any National Wildlife Refuge. This requirement applies to all refuge hunts. Evidence of successful completion of such a course will be required. In addition, all youth hunters (under age 16) must be supervised by an adult at least 21 years of age.
To be eligible for Youth Deer hunts, applicants must be at least 10 years and no more than 17 years of age and must possess a valid hunter education certificate. For the Family, Friends, and Kids hunts, eligible youths and adults can hunt. Stands and access will be provided by the Refuge during the Bluff Unit Special Hunts. Please obtain detailed rules and instructions about these hunts from our brochure or the Refuge webpage.

The refuge will also host a raccoon and opossum hunt from 6:00 p.m. on March 1, 2010 through 6:00 a.m. on March 13, 2010. No hunting will be permitted on Sunday, March 7, 2009. Night hunting only is permitted and special State regulations on night hunting apply. Raccoons and opossums may be taken with a shotgun using non-toxic shot size no larger than #4's or a .22 caliber rimfire rifle.

All hunts, except special Youth Only quota hunts on the Bluff Unit, are open to anyone who wishes to participate. A permit is required for all hunts. A free refuge permit allowing participation in all hunts is included on the lower front portion of the hunting regulations brochure. A special refuge permit, signed by the hunter, along with a valid State hunting license, and photo identification (such as a driver’s license) are required and must be in your possession while hunting.

Camping, overnight parking, ATV’s and open fires are not permitted during any of the hunts. Dogs may be used only for raccoon and opossum hunting. Man-drives, stalk hunting and dog drives are prohibited. Special regulations and/or restrictions apply to all refuge hunts.

Scouting on the Pine Island Unit is allowed during periods when it is open to general public access. Hunter access for Pine Island roads will be opened only during each deer hunt and on the Friday and Saturday prior to each hunt to allow hunters to place their stands on the area. Stands may be placed on respective hunt areas on the Friday and Saturday immediately prior to each hunt (from 8 am until 5 pm) and must be removed by 8:30 pm on the last day of each hunt. Weapons and dogs are not allowed during scouting.

Refuge gates for hunting areas will be open from 5:00 am until 8:30 pm during designated hunt periods. All other access (i.e., scouting and stand placement) will be limited to the refuge's normal hours of operation (April - September: 7:00 am until 7:00 pm; October - March: 8:00 am until 5:00 pm).

Hunters are limited to one stand per person regardless of type, including tree stands, ground blinds, and ladder stands. Deer stands on the refuge must be clearly marked with the owner's name and telephone number.

Hunters are reminded that littering is a serious problem on the refuge. Regulations against littering will be enforced.

Since refuge hunting regulations often include changes from years past, hunters are advised to study a copy of current regulations before hunting on the refuge. Any questions regarding permitted activities and all requests for information about hunting, fishing, and other public use programs should be directed to: Santee National Wildlife Refuge, 2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC 29148. Information may also be obtained by telephoning (803) 478-2217. Hunters may also find information on the Refuge website at: http://www.fws.gov/santee/

NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY SPONSORS CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
ON SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Summerton, S. C.......The 28th Annual Santee Christmas Bird Count will be conducted on Saturday, December 26, 2009 beginning at 6:30 a.m, meeting at Santee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, located 8 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301. From dawn until dusk, participants will identify and record birds seen and/or heard within the designated count area. Counters will cover the area by vehicle and on foot with special emphasis on several wetland and open water areas, mixed pine and hardwood areas, thickets, hardwood stands, and open fields. The Santee count area includes all four units of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Santee State Park, the entire town of Santee, and half of Summerton.
Novice birders and expert birders alike can participate in the count.
To sign up to participate in the Santee Christmas Bird Count, individuals should contact the compiler, Dennis Forsythe, via telephone at 843-795-3996 or email at dennis.forsythe@gmail.com. This year, Dr. Forsythe is especially interested in recruiting folks in the local area who are interested in “feeder watching” in their own backyard during the event.
Birders can look forward to a very enjoyable day in the field and expect to see and hear a variety of bird life. Highlights from previous counts include an average of 130+ species including Le Conte's sparrows, greater white-fronted and Ross's geese, 20+ species of waterfowl, snow geese, tundra swan, Sandhill crane, and eleven bird of prey species including numerous bald eagle sightings and occasional peregrine falcons.
From December 14th, 2009 through January 5th, 2010 tens of thousands of volunteers will be busy identifying and counting bird species as part of the Christmas Bird Count across the country. The data collected through this annual survey is compiled by the National Audubon Society and is used by researchers, scientists, and conservation biologists to assess the long-term health and status of bird species throughout North America. This data was instrumental in the analysis entitled “Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change”, where the Audubon Society was able to site a range shift in migratory bird species over the past 40 years.
Grab your binoculars and your field guide and plan to spend a peaceful day outdoors to wind down after the hectic holiday season. For information on participating and any fees that may be involved, the Audubon Society ask that you visit this website http://www.audubon.org/Bird/cbc/ to learn more about the Christmas Bird Count or contact Dennis Forsythe for details.
 
Refuge to Host Free Programs
Summerton, SC… The Santee National Wildlife Refuge would like to invite you to attend any one of the free events being held on the refuge during the month of November, 2009.
The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, so why not come out to the refuge and enjoy all that we have to offer and learn about some of our local residents. 

•    November 14th at 8:00 am -  “Birds of the refuge”.  Walk through the forested areas along the banks of Lake Marion and observe migratory and resident birds present this time of year.  The walk is approximately one mile long and takes you through a forested wetland as well as providing great viewing opportunities into Cantey Bay and the refuge’s Bluff Unit. 

•    November 19th at 10:00 am, join refuge staff for a trash pick up along Fort Watson Road and the banks of Lake Marion.  Last month, with the assistance of 4 volunteers from the local area, refuge staff were able to remove a truckload of trash from the refuge which could be harmful to wildlife. 

•    November 23rd at 1:00 pm - “Santee’s WILD Visitors”.  Learn what animals live on the refuge, how to identify signs of different resident species, and get an up close look at wildlife artifacts.

All activities are free of charge and open to all ages, and will meet at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and Office at the designated time. 

Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for migratory birds.  The refuge encompasses just over 12,400 acres of habitat along the banks of Lake Marion in four separate units.  The refuge visitor center as well as the Santee Indian Mound and site of Fort Watson are located on the Bluff Unit, 8 miles south of Summerton on Hwy 15/301. 

There are 550 national wildlife refuges across the country that make up over 150 million acres of land and water for fish and wildlife conservation.  The refuge system also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation and photography.  Many wildlife refuges offer nature hikes, bird watching tours, wildlife drives and trails, and other adventures.  Each year, about 40 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge.  There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities. For more information about programs at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, contact the refuge office at 803-478-2217 or email Susan_Heisey@fws.gov .  Come and be a part of the activities the refuge has to celebrate this annual event.
Summerton, SC…Fall has arrived, the days are cooler, the birds are migrating, and the Santee National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week.  Come and be a part of the activities the refuge has to celebrate this annual event.
•    Sunday October 11, 2009, the refuge will participate in the Big Sit! birding event at the refuge visitor center.  This nationwide event is a great opportunity for new birders and seasoned birders alike.
•    Tuesday October 13 at 10:00 am, refuge staff will lead a guided walk along the Wrights Bluff Nature Trail (approximately 1 mile) talking about native flora and fauna.Painted Buntings are seen on Santee NW Refuge
•    Friday and Saturday October 16 and 17 the refuge is hosting the Family, Friends, and Kids hunt on the Bluff Unit of the refuge.  Spaces are still available; call the refuge office at 803-478-2217 for information.
•    Friday October 16 at 9:00 am the refuge will conclude the refuge week activities with a clean up of the Bluff Unit along Fort Watson Road and the banks of Lake Marion.

Common to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, refuge staff hope to observe a painted bunting during the Big Sit! birding event at the Visitor Center on Sunday October 11, 2009. 


Individuals interested in attending any of these events should contact the refuge office at 803-478-2217 or email Susan_Heisey@fws.gov to register. 
Santee Birding Festival 2008
2nd Santee Birding Festival
April 24-26, 2009

Santee National Wildlife Refuge
803-478-2217
Summerton, SC
Santee Cultural Arts Center
Santee, SC
Click on date for Link to details.
REGISTRATION FORMS ONLINE

http://www.fws.gov/santee/images/SanteeBirdingNatureFestival.pdf
  2009 Santee Birding and Nature Festival:
Event Times & Fees:   Friday, April 24th
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration - Santee Cultural Arts Center
7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Santee NWR (Bluff Unit) & Dingle Pond $15
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Audubon Center at Beidler Forest Canoe & Kayak Trip $20 adult / $12 child
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Audubon Center at Beidler Forest Boardwalk & Trail Tour $10
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Fish Eagle Boat Tours $25
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Santee NWR Archeology Field Trip $10
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Santee Lakes Sampler $10
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee NWR (Cuddo Unit) $10
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee NWR (Pine Island Unit) $10
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker Event & Dinner, Holiday Inn, Santee $30
       Saturday, April 25th
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration - Santee Cultural Arts Center
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Birding with Pete Dunne – Santee NWR (Cuddo Unit) $65
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Santee Swamp Canoe & Kayak Excursion $20 adult/$12 child
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Wannamaker Preserve Audubon Sanctuary $10
7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Audubon Center at Beidler Forest & Brosnan Forest $15
7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Manchester State Forest & Poinsett State Park $15
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Santee NWR - Wildlife Management & Research $5
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Wildlife Photography Workshop with Len Rue $75
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Commemorative Battle of Fort Watson FREE
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. The Art of Pishing with Pete Dunne – book & CD included $45
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Santee NWR - Kid’s Nature Walk FREE
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Santee NWR - Butterfly Walk $10
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Giant Cement Quarry Fossil Walk with Rudy Mancke $30
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Countdown (Finger Foods provided) FREE
      Sunday, April 26th
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration - Santee Cultural Arts Center
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Santee NWR (Bluff Unit) $10
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Santee NWR (Cuddo Unit) $10
7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Santee State Park $10
7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Congaree National Park FREE

7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Manchester State Forest & Poinsett State Park $15
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Fish Eagle Boat Tours $25
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Wildlife Photography Workshop with Len Rue $75
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Congaree National Park Canoe & Kayak Trip FREE
Event totals & Participant Name(s), Etc.:

  2009 Sponsors Santee Birding Festival:
     Audubon of South Carolina           The Beach Company - Cantey Bay Plantation              
     Carolina Bird Club                        Holiday Inn—Santee                    
     National Park Service                    Nature Adventure Outfitters
     Santee Cooper Country                 Santee Cooper Public Service Authority
     South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
     South Carolina State Parks            South Carolina Forestry Commission
     Town of Santee                             Tricounty Regional Chamber of Commerce
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service        Woodley’s Garden Center
NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY SPONSORS
CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT AT SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
The 27th Annual Santee National Wildlife Refuge Christmas Bird Count was conducted on Saturday, December 27, 2008
Summerton, S. C.  Another Great event.
.... The 26th Annual Santee National Wildlife Refuge Christmas Bird Count was conducted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 began at 6:30 a.m.  This count was initiated in 1982 to help provide a more accurate census of the numbers and species of birds present during winter months.

Persons interested in joining this year’s count should contact the compiler, Robin Carter via telephone at 803-782-8820 or 803-466-2237 before December 15th.   After December 15, please contact Santee National Wildlife Refuge by telephone at 803-478-2217 or email to kay_mccutcheon@fws.gov.   Again this year, birding groups for the ten areas censused within this count will be organized prior to the day of the count.  Leaders for each of the ten birding groups will contact individual birders assigned to their group to convey information on the group's meeting location and time.  A $5 fee helps defer the costs of publishing results in the Christmas Bird Count issue of National Audubon Society Field Notes.

From dawn until dusk, participants will identify and record birds seen and/or heard within the designated count area.  Counters will cover the area by vehicle and on foot with special emphasis on several wetland and open water areas, mixed pine and hardwood areas, thickets, hardwood stands, and open fields.  Birders can look forward to a very enjoyable day in the field and expect to see and hear a variety of bird life.  The Santee count is one of the most popular and productive counts in the State and normally attracts more than 35 participants.

Highlights from previous counts include an average of 130+ species including Le Conte's sparrows, greater white-fronted and Ross' geese, 20+ species of waterfowl, snow geese, tundra swan, Sandhill crane, and eleven bird of prey species including numerous bald eagle sightings and occasional peregrine falcons. 

Grab your binoculars and your field guide and plan to spend a peaceful day outdoors to wind down after those hectic holidays. If you can’t join us for the count, you can still participate as a “feeder watcher” by counting birds that come to your yard and your feeders.  Check out this website,
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/ or contact Robin Carter for details.  (From Kay W. McCutcheon)
 
 Thanks so much!!!! We enjoyed today very much....Josh makes the tour so very interesting....... 
 
On Saturday, June 16, 2007, a group of about 25 people showed up at the Bluff Unit to see a variety of birds.  With the diverse habitat that the Bluff Unit has to offer, the promise of good birds is always present.  The group saw and heard birds such as Painted Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks, along with Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Orchard Orioles.  We were also treated with fly-over views of a Mississippi Kite and White Ibis. 
 
Along with the birds that were seen and heard, the group saw insects from the Regal Darner, a rather large dragonfly, to a very large number of Mayflies.  Paw Paw trees were seen fruiting and Blackberries were fruiting all along the Bluff trail.  The flowering plants were not to be outdone, as Trumpet Vine displayed some of the best shades of red.  Swamp Rose Mallow, also known as Marsh Mallow, was the flower that seemed to be the focus of most attention.
 
If you missed this nature walk, you missed a good one.  As we wound down the walk, members of the group had an informal question and answer session with Josh.  We also bid a fond farewell to Lauren Billodeaux, who is leaving Santee NWR to work at Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR.  We wish her the best.
 
To those who came, we thank you for your participation and hope you observed something that will peak your interest in nature and Santee NWR!  To those who missed it, we hope you can make the next event at the refuge!

This was a fine walk: Birding and Nature Walk on June 16, 2007 with Josh Arrants Come see the painted bunting, the most beautiful bird.
                    At Santee National Wildlife Refuge 

           The public is invited to join the refuge staff and
  Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge for a birding and nature walk with
  local naturalist  Josh  Arrants.   Josh will lead a guided bird walk leaving
  from the  Wrights'  Bluff Nature Trail parking area at 8:30 AM.   A combination driving  and  walking tour on the Bluff Unit will provide participants with an  opportunity  to see and hear a number of delightful songbirds including the  very  colorful  Painted  Bunting.   Other  songbirds  we can expect  to encounter include:  orchard orioles, common yellow-throats, blue  grosbeaks, northern  parulas, indigo buntings, summer tanagers, yellow-billed  cuckoos, osprey, and red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks.  Sightings of nearly 300 bird  species have been recorded on Santee National Wildlife Refuge,
 making it one of the best inland bird watching areas in South Carolina.

   Bring  your  binoculars and fields guides for a great day of bird  watching.
  Call  the  refuge  office at 803-478-2217 for information or to sign up for the    walk.    You   may   also   email   Park   Ranger   Kay  McCutcheon (kay_mccutcheon@fws.gov)  with  participant  information (name, # in  party, telephone  number).  Pre-registration is not required, but the refuge  staff would like to have an estimate of the number of attendees.
 
      Call  Santee  National Wildlife Refuge at 803-478-2217 for more  information or  to learn about wildlife observation and public use opportunities on  the refuge.   National  Wildlife  Refuges  protect  some  of  our nation’s  most unique,  spectacular and truly wild places.  Learn more about your  National Wildlife Refuge System by visiting one of the eight refuges found in South  Carolina.  Follow  the  links  from http://refuges.fws.gov to find information on your favorite refuge destination.
(No longer a problem.)  Low Water Levels Present Challenges and Opportunities
  for Santee National Wildlife Refuge,  from Kay McCutcheon 11-14-2007

Summerton, S. C.....Is Lake Marion half empty or half full?  Like so many things, it all depends on your perspective.  Sustained drought conditions throughout the Southeast are affecting residents from  Georgia to North Carolina and have also resulted in water levels well below normal in most of the State's waterways.  Normal lake level in Lake Marion for this time of year is 74.9 feet and the current level is below 68.5 feet, more than six feet below normal.  The high water mark or "full pool level" for Lake Marion is 76.8 feet above sea level.  As bad as we might think it is now, it has been worse.  Although most folks use the extended drought that ended in the latter part of 2002 as a prominent benchmark for drought, the lowest recorded Fall water levels in Lake Marion occurred in 1956 when the lake was down to 64.65, more than twelve feet below full pool. 

A severe drought declaration was made on September 5, 2007 for all counties except Beaufort and Jasper by the South Carolina State Climatology Office.  The ongoing drought affects lake levels in two major ways.  Dry conditions upstate reduce natural flows into Lake Marion and utility producers upstream do not have water to release into Lakes Marion and Moultrie because they are under the same drought conditions.  Significantly reduced inflows into Lake Marion from the Congaree and Wateree rivers, and from the 15,000-square mile watershed that extends into North Carolina, have resulted in levels on both Lakes Marion and Moultrie not seen since the early 1950s.  Although localized rain is important, significant rainfall in the upper portion of this drainage that extends into the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is even more critical to ending the drought.  These areas are also under extreme and exceptional drought conditions.

Drought conditions present both challenges and opportunities for natural resource management on Santee National Wildlife Refuge.  On the one hand, current water levels are too low to allow refuge staff to pump water from the lake into refuge impoundments managed as feeding and resting sanctuaries for wintering migratory waterfowl.  Reasonable rainfall accumulations in the next several weeks will allow us to maintain shallow marshes and impoundments with clay bottoms.   It's not so easy to keep water in other impoundments because their sandy bottoms allow the water to seep out. 

On the other hand, the refuge is trying to make lemonade out of lemons by taking advantage of low water levels to get in areas not normally accessible to mow in several ponds and floodable sites and clear ditches of invasive and overgrown vegetation that block the flow of water.  Other projects more easily accomplished during low water include clearing and maintenance of dikes and water control structures and chemical treatment to control invasive and exotic plants.   For example, the refuge in partnership with Santee Cooper, was recently able to chemically treat invasive plants (i.e. water hyacinth, alligator weed, cattail, water primrose, white marsh, etc.) in several wetland sites on the Pine Island, Cuddo and Bluff units.  We are taking advantage of all opportunities as they become available, including prescribed burning areas that are usually wet this time of year.

Other positive impacts of lowered water levels and exposed mud flats are increased use by shorebirds like yellowlegs and sandpipers.  The low water and shallow pools also provide a mecca for great blue herons, egrets and other wading birds.  During the summer, as many as 130 endangered wood storks were often spotted on the refuge.  An abundance of freshwater mussels along exposed shorelines have also provided a veritable feast for raccoons, opossums, alligators, and other wildlife. 

A recurring history of drought periods is part of the natural hydrology cycle.  Wetlands depend on fluctuations to enable them to periodically dry out.  It is not healthy for most areas to artificially remain wet all the time and they need seasonal fluctuations.  Although prolonged dry periods have severe immediate impacts, these droughts do serve a function in the overall ecology of the landscape.  When the hydrology of Lake Marion cycles to dry, sediments in the bottom of the lake and nearby wetlands are allowed to rejuvenate.  When the bottoms dry out, the soft organic muck materials break down and the firmer surface is better suited for rooting of new plants.  Seeds that have been inundated with water are now able to germinate, grow and complete their life cycle.  Nutrients once confined to organic muck are now available to plants growing on newly formed land.  The prolific sprouting of vegetation in these dry bottoms is a good thing for the lake and the migratory birds that will later use these areas when the water returns.  Seed banks in these exposed areas sprout even more new vegetation when flooded. These food sources will be extremely valuable to migratory ducks and geese wintering on the refuge.  The cycle is one of rejuvenation, something that plants and animals are adapted to.

However, the reality is that ducks and geese will soon arrive in this area looking for food and sanctuary to get them through the winter before they begin their journeys back to nesting grounds in the North and the number of acres of flooded foraging habitat available on Santee National Wildlife Refuge will be significantly reduced.  Another factor that influences waterfowl migration is the weather conditions in northern states.  Mild winters don’t push ducks south into the state and we may expect fewer ducks if mild conditions linger into the winter.  But, some ducks and geese will invariably migrate and winter in South Carolina.

Where will they go?  Most likely, waterfowl will be attracted to nearby existing water areas (i.e., farm ponds and shallow areas of the lake).  We may witness a phenomenon seen in many other states but not in South Carolina where ducks, geese, and swans use dry agricultural areas for feeding sites.  On the refuge, a number of wetlands still holding a few inches of water will be available to a variety of puddle ducks (Northern pintails, American widgeon, mallard, green-winged teal, wood duck, etc.).  There are also the designated waterfowl sanctuary areas in Cantey Bay, Pine Island and the Cuddo Unit, where preferred shallow water conditions persist.  We are already seeing ducks use these areas.

Diving ducks such as ring-necked ducks, scaups, canvasbacks, and redheads could possibly have fewer options on the refuge and may be attracted to deeper water areas within the refuge and on the lake.  Refuge staff expect that duck and geese numbers in areas normally flooded will be reduced from previous years.  If sheet water conditions in refuge areas like Cantey Bay and Savannah Branch can be maintained, it is entirely feasible that large numbers of waterfowl can find sanctuary in these areas. 

The refuge still plans to continue our post season migratory bird banding operations in February if the number of waterfowl using the area is stable and water levels are sufficient. 
                  CELEBRATE SPRING AND MIGRATORY BIRD DAY
                    AT SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
                            Saturday, May 19, 2007
Wish you were here. Come to Santee National Wildlife Refuge. Here's an indigo bunting.
We saw Painted Buntings,
 the Cedar Waxwings, an eagle, many others & heard so many.

Jim presented Ann with his wonderful blue bird box.  
Thank you Ann and Jim.

The public is invited to join naturalist Ann Shahid for
birding tour of the Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge.   Ann is
Education Director at the National Audubon Society's Sanctuary at Beidler
Forest near Harleyville, SC.  She is also the South Carolina Coordinator of
Audubon's Important Bird Areas and a longtime Audubon member who has led
numerous bird outings and conducted bird counts all over the state.

According  to  Refuge Park Ranger Kay McCutcheon, "spring bird migration is in  full  swing  and  we  fully  expect  to  see lots of interesting birds, including  the  spectacular  painted  bunting".  Recent bird outings on therefuge  resulted in sightings of yellow warblers, black and white warblers, American  redstarts,  common  yellow-throats, black throated blue warblers, and  ruby  throated  hummingbirds,  just to mention a few.  You should also expect  to  see  the regally clad prothonotary warblers and if luck is with the  group,  maybe  even a yellow throated warbler.  Birders may also get a look  at  several  water  bird species such as great blue and green herons, white ibis, anhinga, great egret and a variety of raptors (osprey, northern harrier,  red-shouldered  and  red-tailed  hawks,  and  perhaps even a bald eagle).   Bring  your  binoculars and fields guides for a great day of bird watching.

International  Migratory  Bird  Day  is  a  national event held annually to celebrate Spring and the return of millions of migratory neo-tropical birds to  their  breeding areas.  Scientists have been noting serious declines in the  numbers  of migratory bird species during the last twenty years.  Many research  and  educational efforts have been launched to help stop declines and  increase populations.  The two most common reasons cited for migratory bird  population  declines are the fragmentation of breeding ground habitat in  the U. S. and Canada and the loss of wintering habitat in the Caribbean and  Central  and  South  America  resulting  from the extensive cutting of tropical  rain  forests.  Although most of us can’t do anything to stop the wanton  destruction of tropical rain forest habitat, we can become involved in   other  ways  to  help  migratory  bird  conservation.   You  can  help neo-tropical  migratory birds: grounds in North America and their wintering grounds  in Mexico, Central, and South America.

 - Build  and maintain a bird feeder or bird house 
 - Create and improve bird habitat near your home
 - Reduce  use  of  pesticides  in  yards and gardens
 - Keep your cats indoors
 - Drink   bird-friendly,  shade  grown  coffee
 - Modify  windows  to eliminate bird-window collisions
 - Join  a  wildlife  preservation  group
 - Donate to a wildlife preservation fund or group
 - Volunteer  at  a  wildlife  refuge or park
 - Join a refuge support group
 - Get  involved  in  community land use planning
 - Attend a bird watching walk
 - Take  a  class on migratory birds
 - Educate ourselves on conservation issues

SANTEE REFUGE VISITOR CENTER CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS

Summerton, S. C….The Visitor Center at Santee National Wildlife Refuge will be  closed  effective  April  15, 2007 while renovations are in progress to
repair  and  improve  the exhibit area and refuge offices.  Construction is expected to continue for approximately six months until mid-December, 2007.
For  safety  reasons,  the  Visitor  Center (including the parking area and information kiosk) will be closed to public access during that period.

All  other  public  use  facilities on the four refuge units (Bluff, Dingle Pond,  Pine  Island,  and  Cuddo)  will remain open during the construction
period.   A  visitor  contact  station  2/10  mile  past the visitor center entrance  has maps and brochures available to assist visitors.  If you need
assistance  in planning your refuge visit, please call the refuge office at 803-478-2217 (Monday - Friday; 8:00 am until 4:30 pm).

Renovations  will  include  replacement  of  floor  surfaces throughout the building  and  the  removal  and replacement of vinyl wall covering in many
areas.   Improved  lighting  equipment  will  be added, the heating and air conditioning systems will be replaced, restrooms will be updated to improve
accessibility, and the entrance ramp and deck areas will be replaced.

Visitors   are  encouraged  to  continue  to  take  advantage  of  numerous opportunities  available  to  enjoy  the  tremendous  wildlife diversity on
Santee  National  Wildlife  Refuge.   The  seven mile wildlife drive on the Cuddo  Unit  and hiking trails on all refuge units are great areas to enjoy
wildlife  observation  and  photography.   For  more information, visit the refuge  website at http://www.fws.gov/santee to print a downloadable refuge
tear  sheet  that  provides a map and details on permitted visitor uses and refuge hours of access.
CELEBRATE SPRING WITH BUTTERFLY WALK ON SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Shake off those winter cobwebs and join local naturalist
and  South  Carolina Department of Natural Resources Biologist Billy McCord at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, April 14, 2007 for a Butterfly Walk on the Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge.  Jointly sponsored by the Carolina Butterfly  Society and the Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge, the Butterfly  Walk will include a combination of walking and driving along the Cuddo  Unit  wildlife  drive  and  back  roads  as  we  search   for  native butterflies  and  other  wildlife. 

Take exit 102 off I-95 and follow the blue signs to Santee National Wildlife Refuge.
 The Visitor Center is approximately one mile west of I-95 and 7 miles south of Summerton. Wear appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes. 
Bring binoculars, field guides, water, food, and insect repellent.

Draft Go Zero MOU Signing Event and Tree Planting
                 Santee National Wildlife Refuge
                   Friday March 30, 2007
   Agenda:
 11:00  Introductions & talks by Marc Epstein, Santee NWR Refuge Manager,
   Dale Hall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, and Larry
   Selzer, President of The Conservation Fund announcing the
 national “Go Zero” plan to restore native forests in national wildlife
 refuges across the nation and remove carbon from the air we breathe
 11:50-12:00 noon      Tree Planting Ceremony
          §     Marc Epstein, Sam Hamilton, Dale Hall, Larry Selzer, John Frampton
          §     Students
Mar 24-25, 2007    Celebrate the National Wildlife Refuge System Birthday with Wildlife and Living History.
Santee National Wildlife Refuge invites you to Sweeten your natural experience with a history lesson
Join us for a Celebration of Wildlife and Living History
on  Saturday, March 24, 2007    8:30 AM to 8 PM

and on Sunday, March 25, 2007    9 AM to 3 PM
You missed a fun time if you were not here.
Wildlife Expo:  Ongoing Both Days:  Wildlife, refuge & Fisheries Exhibits,
Fire Management & Prescribed Burning: Savannah Fire Mgt District
Archery,  Casting,  River Treasures,  Skins and Hides

Mar 24, Saturday:
    8:30 - 10 AM
   Birding/Nature Tour (via wagon & limited walking): Josh Arrants
   10:30 - 11:30 AM   Alligators: Billy Downer, SCDNR w/live alligator courtesy of Sara Seashole
   12:00 - 1:00 PM   Casting Techniques & Contest (for kids): Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery
   1:30 - 2:30 PM     Wildlife Signs & Animal Track Making (for kids) w/ Lauren Billodeaux
Mar 25, Sunday:
    9 - 10:30 AM
   Birding/Nature Tour (via wagon & limited walking): Josh Arrants
   11:00 - Noon       Birds of Prey/Animal Rescue  w/Sara & Sam Seashole (Cross Wildlife Center)
   12:30 - 1:30 PM  Practical & Medicinal Uses of Native Plants during the Colonial Period w/ Dr. John Logue
   2:00 - 3:00 PM   Wetlands Explorations (for kids) - w/ Kay McCutcheon

6th Annual Victory at Fort Watson: At the base of Santee Indian Mound

Revolutionary War period demonstrations: Ongoing Both Days: Camp life,
  Primitive skills demos, Colonial games, Firestarting, Weaving, Music
  Militia displays, 'Hawk throwing, Local Clay, Coil & Pinch Pottery,
Cooking,
  Blackpowder Guns, Blacksmithing, Broom Making, Soap Making, Woodworking

Saturday Rev. War author Christine Swager 10 AM: The Fort Watson Story
                                                       1 PM: Marion & Lee, The Odd Couple
Saturday Noon:  DAR/SAR Memorials/Ceremony
Saturday Starting at 6 PM: Lantern History Walks for Time Travelers
Sunday 11 AM: Rev. War author Christine Swager: The Fort Watson Story
Sunday 1 PM: Special Performance by the USAF Heritage Aire Celtic Music Ensemble
 Bring your lawn chair and enjoy.
                                              Special Addition: Sunday afternoon:
                                     Performance by the USAF Heritage Aire Celtic Music Ensemble


                                    Fort Watson was the only British fort built on an Indian Mound,
                                    the first British fort taken by General Francis Marion's Patriots,
                                    and Colonel "Light Horse" Harry Lee's Legion and the first to
                                    use Maham's tower for victory, April 23, 1781.

Help us celebrate the gifts of nature protected by Santee National Wildlife Refuge
so that we can re-discover our connections to the natural world
much as our ancestors did during the American Revolutionary War era.


Hosted by Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge,
Santee National Wildlife Refuge and Swamp Fox Murals Trail Society

                                                 Location: Santee National Wildlife Refuge:

 South of Summerton, SC, I-95, Exit 102, US 15/301, Fort Watson Road
For questions, contact: Santee NW Refuge: 803-478-2217 or email Susan_Heisey@fws.gov
or G Summers: 803-478-2645 or email gcsummers@ftc-i.net

A great time for you to discover living history and Celebrate the Anniverary of the Victory at Fort Watson
Wildlife Expo / Revolutionary War Living History

   An opportunity for you to walk where Francis Marion did in 1781 with costumed volunteers and
to view life on the backcountry frontier of the Santee River and experience the natural setting and the Wildlife Expo. 

      Plan to come to Santee National Wildlife Refuge, 
          I-95, Exit 102, US 15/301, Summerton, SC.
      Sponsored by Santee NW Refuge, Friends of Santee NW Refuge & Swamp Fox Murals Trail Society
    To commemorate the 226th anniversary of the Battles of 1781, especially:
    First Battle of Fort Watson   -  Feb. 27, 1781
    Battle of Wyboo Swamp   -  March 6, 1781
    Bridges Campaign with Mount Hope Harassment  -  March 10-28, 1781
    Siege and Victory at Fort Watson   -  April 16-23, 1781

   Victory at  Fort Motte  -  May 6, 1781
     Both Battles of Fort Watson & Fort Motte were commanded by Marion and Lee.


Feb. 21, 2007
Comprehensive Conservation Plan public meeting at Summerton Culture Center, 5-7 PM
   

 Great lessons with Josh: Feb. 10, 2007 Birding Basics with Josh Arrants & Walk:  
Brush Up on Your Birding Skills at Santee National Wildlife Refuge To Prepare for Audubon's Great Backyard Bird Count
  The  public came  to join volunteer naturalist Josh Arrants  for  a  crash  course  on  the "basics of bird watching" at
 Santee National  Wildlife  Refuge  on  Saturday, February 10, 2007.
 Hosted by the Friends of  Santee  National  Wildlife Refuge, this event will kick off at 8:30  a.m. at the Refuge Visitor Center with a short session on
 birding how to's  and  tips,  followed  by  a  two hour field trip to the refuge's Pine Island Unit.  Participants will be able to test their newly
 acquired skills as  Josh  guides  them  on  a short walking tour to look at birds
 and other wildlife on this 1,050 acre unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge.

You missed a good one if you weren't here today:

The  public  came  to  celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with  a guided nature and birding walk on the Bluff Unit.  
Participants  departed  from the Visitor Center parking area at  9:00  AM  on  Saturday,  October  7,  2006.
The nature walk features a driving and walking tour led by local naturalist and  refuge  volunteer  Josh  Arrants  and will last for approximately 2-1/2  hours.   With  a  little  luck, the group could see a number of fall migrants  as they tour the forested wetlands along the Wrights Bluff Nature Trail  and continue with a walking/driving trek around the perimeter of the Bluff  Unit.  Expect to see a number of wading birds and water birds (great blue  and  green  herons,  white  ibis,  anhinga, great egret) along with a number  of raptors (osprey, northern harrier, red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks,  and  perhaps  even  a  bald eagle).  Early waterfowl arrivals could include  blue-winged  teal along with mallards and year-round resident wood ducks.   Other  fall  migrants  to look for include golden crowned and ruby crowned  kinglets,  white-eyed  and  red-eyed  vireos, hermit thrush, and a number  of  warbler  species  (yellow-throated  warbler,  black  and  white warbler, American redstart, etc.).  Bring your binoculars and fields guides for a great day of bird watching.

The annual celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week honors the National Wildlife Refuge  System's  pivotal  role  in  offering  visitors  outdoor recreational  opportunities  as  well  as  showcasing  the conservation and recovery of wildlife species on Refuges across the country.
Hope you saw & experienced all of this.
 Fort Watson and Santee Indian Mound. General Francis Marion and Lt. Col. Harry Lee were here in 1781.
 Santee National Wildlife Refuge,            I-95, Exit 102, US 15/301, North Santee, SC
    
Celebration of International Migratory Bird Day and Victory at Fort Watson
   225th Anniversary of the Battles at Fort Watson   May 6, 2006    9 AM – 4 PM
A great time for you to discover living history

 

Revolutionary War Battle Re-enactments, Encampment & Wildlife Expo
 
      Victory at Fort Watson provides a glimpse & shares the view of life on the backcountry frontier of the Santee River and a natural setting for the Wildlife Expo.
Participate with Re-enactments, Nature Rides/Walks, Period Crafters, History Rides.

 
      Plan to come to Santee National Wildlife Refuge,   I-95, Exit 102, US 15/301, Summerton, SC.
      Sponsored by Friends of Santee NW Refuge & Swamp Fox Murals Trail Society
 
 

Did you miss this? BIKING AND BIRDWATCHING  April 22, 2006 
   "It was a real success. We were able to cover a lot of ground easily and it was fun too.
   I saw several birds for the first time ('course, I'm new around these parts)
   and we saw about 25 alligators too. Wish you could have seen everything also! Q
"
 

  Exploring the Back Roads on the Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge
         Looking  for a great way to celebrate Earth Day -
 Join  local  bird  watcher  Lloyd Moon and Park Ranger Kay McCutcheon for a bicycling  tour  of  the  West side of the Cuddo Unit.  Pull out your pedal pushers,  sneakers,  and  binoculars  and  meet  us  at the entrance to the Wildlife Drive at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 22, 2006.
 We  plan to take a leisurely tour of several back roads behind the gates on the  Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge.  Expect to spend two to two  and one half hours exploring the back roads, canals, ponds, fields and forested  wetlands  in  the Timber Island Field, Black Bottom, and 100 Acre Island sections of the Cuddo Unit.  Lloyd  Moon  will  be sharing his tips for "birding and bicycling" and help participants  find the best places to look for birds on the Cuddo Unit.  We hope  to  spot a number of delightful songbirds including the very colorful painted bunting.  A number of other spring migrants may also be in the area including  yellow-throated  warblers,  indigo  buntings,  orchard  orioles, common  yellow-throats, blue grosbeaks, northern parulas, and yellow-billed cuckoos. We'll  also  explore several nice wetland areas that may bring us sightings of  a  number  of  interesting  wading  birds  and  shorebirds.  Bring your binoculars,  sun  screen,  insect  repellent  and  field guides for a great morning  of  bird  watching.   Call  the  refuge office at 803-478-2217 (803-478-2314 Fax) for information and to pre-register.
Follow the "Santee NWR - Cuddo Unit" signs - Saturday, April 22, 2006.
Look what you missed:  March 19, 2006 at 2 PM
EXPLORE THE MYSTERY OF CAROLINA BAYS WITH DR. RICHARD PORCHER
The public is invited to the Santee National Wildlife  Refuge on Sunday, March 19, 2006 for a presentation on
Carolina bays by renowned Botanist Dr. Richard Porcher.
   A slide presentation/lecture in the Visitor Center followed by a short field trip to Dingle Pond.
Plan to come to Santee National Wildlife Refuge, I-95, Exit 102, US 15/301. Ranger Kay: 803-478-2217
Did you miss this?
October 15, 2005 Wildlife Expo
& American Revolutionary Living History Encampment
To commemorate the 225th anniversary of the SC Battles of 1780.
       "4th Victory at Fort Watson"
     Victory at Fort Watson compliments the Sesquicentennial year long events for Clarendon County and commemorates the 225th anniversary for the 1780 autumn campaigns in St. Marks Parish (Clarendon County), which were: 
  Aug 20-24, 1780:  Battle of Great Savannah or Nelson's Ferry
  Oct 25, 1780:  Battle of Tearcoat
  Nov 7, 1780:  Confrontation at Richbourg's Mill
  Nov 8, 1780:  Chase to Ox Swamp
  Nov, 1780:  Richardson Cemetery & Tarleton
  Dec 12-17, 1780: Battle of Half Way Swamp

Josh holds us spell-bound with nature on Migratory Bird Day.
You missed a good one, we saw many beautiful birds, looked at RCW nests, and collected a few ticks (check yourself):
May 14, 2005  Migratory Bird Day Nature/Bird Walk with Josh Arrants
 & Canoe Trip to Percanti Island
 
(Photo from Kay McCutcheon from May 14, 2005)
Start @ Santee National Wildlife Refuge Wrights' Bluff Nature Trail Parking Lot
(follow Ft. Watson Rd. to end past Indian Mound). Call the refuge office: 803-478-2217.
Friends have canoes, paddles & personal flotation devices available for first 10 to call. 
All participants are required to wear life vests during the entire tour. 
Bring your own drinking water. ALSO Come if you have your own canoe.
MIGRATORY BIRD DAY CELEBRATION AT
     SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE INCLUDES BIRD WALK AND CANOE TRIP
Press Release:   Summerton,  S. C.    The  public  is  invited  to  join the refuge staff and Friends of  Santee  National  Wildlife  Refuge  for  our  twelfth  annual celebration  of  International  Migratory  Bird Day on Saturday, May 14th.
Local naturalist Josh Arrants will lead a guided bird walk leaving from the Wrights'  Bluff  Nature Trail parking area at 8:30 a.m.   The walk features an  hour long walking tour of a small portion of the Bluff Unit.  Expect to see  a  number  of delightful songbirds including the very colorful Painted Bunting.   A  number of other Spring migrants have also arrived in the area including  yellow-throated  warblers,  indigo  buntings,  orchard  orioles, common  yellow-throats, blue grosbeaks, northern parulas, and yellow-billed cuckoos.  Sightings of nearly 300 bird species have been recorded on Santee National  Wildlife  Refuge,  making it one of the best inland bird watching areas  in  South  Carolina.   Bring your binoculars and fields guides for a great day of bird watching.  No prior registration is required for the bird walk.
Our 8 canoes observed so much wildlife on Migratory Bird Day.
(Photo from Kay McCutcheon from May 14, 2005)
Immediately  following  the  bird walk (at approximately 9:30 a.m.), refuge staff will be leading a short canoe trip from the refuge's boat ramp on the west side of the Bluff Unit to Persanti Island.  Limited space is available in  canoes  provided  by  the  refuge  staff  and  by the Friends of Santee National  Wildlife  Refuge.   Spaces will be reserved for the first ten who call  the  refuge office at 803-478-2217 to reserve a spot in these canoes. Anyone  having  their own canoe or kayak may also call the refuge office to reserve  a  spot  on  the  trip  (using  their  own equipment).  Anyone who participates must provide their own Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices  (PFD)  and  is  required to wear the PFD's for the duration of the canoe trip.

Once  arriving  on Persanti Island, refuge staff along with naturalist Josh Arrants  will  take  a  short hike around the island, and will hopefully be able to  spot  the  elusive  red-cockaded  woodpecker  along  with  other songbirds.  The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker is about the size of the common  cardinal  or robin, approximately 7 inches long, with a wingspan of about 15 inches.

For  more  information on International Migratory Bird Day and ways you can help, visit their website at http://birds.fws.gov/imbd.birdw
Call  Santee  National Wildlife Refuge at 803-478-2217 for more information on  migratory  bird conservation or to learn about wildlife observation and public  use  opportunities  on the refuge.  We encourage folks to check out the  Friends website at www.santeerefugefriends.org for more information on the  refuge  or  to  find  out  how  to join the Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge.  

The  U.S.  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service  is  the  principal  Federal agency responsible  for  conserving,  protecting  and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants  and  their  habitats  for  the  continuing  benefit of the American people.  The  Service  manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands  and  other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish  hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services  field  stations.  The  agency  enforces  federal  wildlife  laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores  nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat  such  as  wetlands,  and  helps  foreign  governments  with  their conservation  efforts.  It  also  oversees  the Federal Assistance program, which  distributes  hundreds  of  millions  of  dollars  in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

Cuddo Unit Interpretive Panels Shelter, May 2005:
Greg, Jim & George worked hard to get the shelter & fense in place.

Look what you missed:
April 23, 2005 for the Earth Day Celebration: 
The Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Julie Hovis 
Learn about the red-cockaded woodpecker management program at Poinsett Electronic Combat Range, the basic biology of the bird and the overview of the property.  Julie will also explain how to monitor the population, the types of management, and the results of the efforts and demonstrate some of the field equipment used to monitor the population (including an elevated camera system) at 10 AM.
 Come at 9:30 for a 224th Anniversary Recollection of the Victory at Fort Watson to Santee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.
Red cockaded woodpecker

       The  Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge were pleased that renowned naturalist Rudy Mancke led a three hour  nature  walk  and  driving  tour  on  the Cuddo Unit of the refuge on Saturday, February 26, 2005.  The program was at 10 AM starting from the entrance gate of the Cuddo Unit.  Participants were limited to the first forty to register, first preference given to members of the Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge.  Participants urged to wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring binoculars. 
Look at what you missed.
Saturday, Feb 26, 2005  10 AM 
RUDY'S COMING! RUDY Was Here!
Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge invite you to come too.
Rudy Mancke, long-time host of SCETV Nature Scene and our state's most renowned naturalist, is making a very special visit to the Refuge on Saturday, Feb. 26, for a unique "All About Nature" walk. 
Be a Friend and bring along a new Friend. 
  Meet at the Cuddo Unit Gate at 10:00 AM for Rudy's presentation and a nature walk that you'll never forget. Rudy's walk is about 3 hours, so bring water & snack.  Limited to first 40 to sign-up, Friends members have priority.   Take this opportunity to renew your Friends of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge membership for 2005. 
This is the first of many programs we plan to sponsor this year. 
Your support is appreciated.  You'll love this Nature Walk.
Visit Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Cuddo Unit, Greenall Rd., Summerton, SC 
( I-95, exit 108, turn East. Follow John Land Landing & Cuddo Unit Santee NWR signs.)

 
(Follow new signs: Santee NWR Cuddo Unit):
Dec 4, 2004 Gary Phillips Birding/Nature walk
Birding Trip w/ Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge
9:00 AM Meet at Cuddo gate to Start Walk w/ Gary Phillips
For a 1-1/2 to 2 hour walk/lecture: 803-478-2217

Gary Phillips is a self-proclaimed "bird guy." He has a biology degree from Coastal Carolina, did undergrad research project on birds using a barrier island, also compared foraging behaviors of Brown-headed and White-breasted Nuthatches, have worked on various bird and habitat related projects in coastal SC. He has banding permits for SC and NC, actively engaged in hummingbird study, esp. wintering birds in the Carolinas. He is a member of American Ornithologists' Union, Assoc. of Field Ornithologists, Eastern Bird Banding Assoc.   He writes a weekly column about birds and birding for the Myrtle Beach Sun News (5 years now,) He is the north coastal representative for SC Important Bird Areas technical committee, former pres. and board member of Waccamaw Audubon Society. His primary interests are with ecosystems of the coastal plain and their inhabitants and how the landscape influences populations and distributions of organisms. He leads field trips, sometimes rent himself out as a private birding guide, and spends most of his income on birdfood and gasoline.
Look what you missed:
Sept 18, 2004 Canoe Trip w/ Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge 
      9 AM at Refuge Visitors Center.  Ranger-guided canoe trip will be about 3 hours.  Friends have canoes, paddles & personal flotation devices available for first 10 to call.  All participants will be required to wear life vests during the entire tour. Bring your own drinking water.   803-478-2217

September 18, 2004  11th Annual National Public Lands  Day
 Sept 25, 2004 National Hunting & Fishing Day

Canoe trip at Santee NW Refuge on Sept 18, 2004.
We're getting ready for the canoe trip, all 32 of us, on Sept 18, 2004.
Canoe trip at Santee NW Refuge was such fine cruising on a beautiful day.
Fine cruising was enjoyed by all in our 13 canoes and a kayak. Thanks Dick for canoes.

2004 YCC ENROLLEES HELP REFUGE STAFF
     Four area teenagers were selected by random drawing from among thirty-one applicants to serve as Youth Conservation Corps enrollees during 2004.  Jay Dukes and Marcus King of Manning High School, Tim Palmer of Scotts Branch High School, and Adam Murray of Dorchester Academy were the four selectees.  This group completed eight weeks of work on July 30th and was a huge help to the refuge staff and volunteers.  Project completed included: clearing limbs and debris from refuge roads and trails, clearing around a maintenance compound fence at Pine Island, litter pickup on the Bluff Unit and beach area, habitat improvement in upland areas on Pine Island historically favored by the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, cleaning and checking wood duck nest boxes, and hiking trail clearing and maintenance.  Recurring projects completed by the group included mowing of visitor center, shop and public use areas, vehicle and equipment cleanup and maintenance, and weekly wood duck banding assistance.  In addition to daily tidbits on ecology and wildlife conservation shared by primary supervisors Bernie Good and Kay McCutcheon, Biologist Bernie Good treated the group to a day long field trip to Beidler Forest and to the SEWEE Environmental Education Center on July 28th.  One of the highlights of the summer - enrollee Marcus King overcame his extreme fear of snakes well enough to touch a live snake at Beidler Forest.

          Santee Refuge Receives Funding for Special Projects
     It was recently announced that three project proposals submitted by Park Ranger Kay McCutcheon to improve visitor use facilities on Santee Refuge had been approved for funding.  Two projects funded through the Southeast Regions' Recreation Fee program included replacement of the Bluff Unit entry sign and various regulatory signs with signs that provide the public with clear information on activities permitted or prohibited on this unit, and design and production of visitor contact stations at several adjoining public boat landings to include a refuge map and visitor use regulations.  A total of $7,500 has been allocated to the refuge for these two projects.

The other project proposal funded was a $5,000 project submitted to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a Friends Group grant to establish a visitor contact station at the Cuddo Unit entrance along with erection of interpretive signs and numerous other improvements to visitor use areas on this unit.  In addition, the refuge also received special funding through the YCC program to replace the wooden boardwalk on the Wrights Bluff Nature Trail. 

Anyone willing to volunteer their time and expertise on any of these projects, especially the Cuddo Unit visitor contact station and improvements and replacement of the existing boardwalk should contact Park Ranger Kay McCutcheon for details.  (803-478-2217)

At Santee Indian Mound & site of Fort Watson, 2nd South attacks.
Look what you missed.
2nd 'Victory at Fort Watson' Encampment / Re-enactment / Wildlife Expo
October 18-19, 2003
2nd Regt, SC Line Re-enactors & Wildlife Events @ Visitors Center & Indian Mound
Santee National Wildlife Refuge I-95, Exit 102, Summerton, SC
Making your own bird feeder at Encampment and Wildlife Expo
Making Bird Feeders 
Try out the stilts as children did on 1781
 Walking on Colonial Toys
Victory at Fort Watson provides a glimpse of life around 1780 on the backcountry frontier of the Santee River.  Costumed volunteers and Re-enactors demonstrate Living History such as: gunsmithing, open-fire cooking and textile production on looms, blacksmithing, woodworking, pewter working, musket firing and many other activities.  People are invited to play 18th century games and share Camp life. Wildlife and Nature Expo includes Guided nature walks/talks, wildlife exhibits & more.
 Sponsored by Friends of Santee NW Refuge & 
Swamp Fox Murals Trail Society
Gunsmiths Al and Frank show their handi-work.
Al and Frank: Our Gunsmiths
Christine Swager introduces readers to the Swamp Fox in SC & Rev. War
Christine Swager: Our Revolutionary War Writer
Carolyn weaves her deer horn baskets
Horn Baskets by Carolyn
Carmen plays her bowed salter
Carmen Plays her Bowed Psalter
Rev. fifer plays a tune
2nd SC Fifer
Re-enactor ladies show their fashions
Distaff Side: Period Fashions

Fuzzy and Larry banding ducks
Wildlife Experiences:
Banding Birds: Feb, 2003
Quinton with a big smile at the youth hunt.
Youth Hunt Experience: Oct, 2003

Friends of Refuge Encampment/Wildlife Expo/Celebration Oct. 19, 2002 was great.
Look what you missed:
Re-enactors Lauren & Garland with their fifes sound so cool. Mel & her daughter Rosie & their skills.

Friends of Santee National Wildlife Refuge Friends of Santee NW Refuge
Santee NW Refuge  2125 Fort Watson Rd.  Summerton, SC 29148
       803-478-2217  West of I-95, exit 102 @ US 301/US 15, 6 miles south of Summerton, SC
Return to Friends of Santee NW Refuge Homepage