Department of the Interior
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Anne Badgley, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Pacific Region announced today that Richard J. Guadagno, 38, a Fish and Wildlife Service employee, was on one of the hijacked airplanes that crashed yesterday, September 11, 2001. Rich was en route back to his station, Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where he was the Refuge Manager. He was one of the 45 people on board United Airlines 93 from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco that crashed in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania at 10:10 am. Rich is survived by his parents and a sister, whom he had just visited prior to departing from Newark Airport.
"We join the rest of the nation in mourning the loss of victims of yesterdays tragic events, which includes Rich Guadagno," Regional Director Badgley said. "Rich was one of our finest managers in the National Wildlife Refuge System and he will be sorely missed."
Rich Guadagno had a model career in the Fish and Wildlife Service as biologist and manager with the National Wildlife Refuge System. He was a sincere and dedicated employee, highly regarded by all that knew him. Following the career path of many successful refuge managers, Rich worked at a number of different refuges throughout his 17 years with the Federal government. He started out as a temporary biologist with the New Jersey Fish and Game Department and at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, near the Newark Airport, in New Jersey. His first permanent assignment with the Fish and Wildlife Service was as a Wildlife Inspector in Philadelphia, PA.
In 1988, he was a refuge manager trainee at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and attended Basic Refuge Academy. Many of his Academy classmates remember his passion for wildlife management. Subsequent refuge career moves brought Rich to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Deleware), Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (New Jersey), and Baskett Slough and Ankeny National Wildlife Refuges (Oregon). In 2000, Rich was proud to achieve his goal of becoming the project leader of a major refuge, Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Eureka, California. In addition to his outstanding success as a refuge manger, enhancing thousands of acres of habitat for wildlife, Rich was the consummate Refuge law enforcement officer. He never lacked the courage to do the right thing.
Rich Guadagno, a vital member of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior, leaves of vast legacy of enhanced wildlife habitat and visitor facilities.
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 94 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 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 Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.