The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has picked John Earle to be the next manager of the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge.
Earle, who for the past six years has managed the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge in Needles, Calif., will start his new job on Aug. 4.
Earle has been with the service for 17 years, having spent most of that in the Southeast, said Sam D. Hamilton, the service's Southeast regional director. “We’re glad he’s coming home," Hamilton said in a press release. "He brings a lot of experience, particularly in the areas of habitat restoration, environmental education, and law enforcement.”
The Havasu refuge Earle has been managing annually gets more than 6 million visitors, making it the most visited national wildlife refuge.
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In its press statement, the service wrote: "The refuge protects 50 acres of seasonal wetlands, provides 175 acres of agricultural crops for wildlife, and contains 18,000 acres of wilderness. As refuge manager, Earle oversaw the reclamation of a 200-acre native fish habitat restoration area and the restoration of 200 and 300 acres impacted by wildfires. He also supervised research involving wildlife’s response to woody vegetation techniques on an 100-acre site on the refuge."
Established in 1964, Eufaula's 11,184-acre refuge crosses the Chattahoochee River from southeast Alabama to southwest Georgia. It has 7,953 acres in Barbour and Russell Counties in Alabama, and 3,231 acres in Stewart and Quitman Counties in Georgia.
Before he got the job at Havasu, Earle worked at Okeefenokee and Banks Lake refuges in Georgia and at the Catahoula, Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote refuges in Louisiana. He also served as an assistant manager at the Cibola refuge in Arizona.
The South Carolina native has a bachelor of science and a master of science degree in forest resources from the University of Georgia. He and his wife Cindi Hall have two daughters: Abby, aged 12, and Hayley, aged 10.
For more, visit www.fws.gov/southeast or www.fws.gov.