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The National Wildlife Refuge Association

The National Wildlife Refuge Association is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation through programs that support and strengthen the National Wildlife Refuge System and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 


Building diverse and active constituencies that can mobilize support for the Refuge System and wildlife conservation more broadly is a fundamental function of the Refuge Association.  The Spirit Campaign is a program designed to use university mascots as rallying points for recruiting and training student activists in conservation advocacy and conservation program implementation that ultimately delivers results on the ground.  The goals of this program include:


  • Engaging students in conservation action and advocacy through campus-based clubs or activities revolving around their mascots

  • Providing educational and career development opportunities for students and young professionals through field visits to Washington, internships, and mentoring

  • Linking student efforts with specific conservation efforts and outcomes in key habitat areas for their mascot species


The National Tigers for Tigers Coalition is the founding program of the Spirit Campaign, while also exploring how this model may translate to other mascot species. 

National Elk Refuge, Jackson, Wyoming

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