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"National Wildlife Refuges"
National Wildlife Refuges:    A list of National Wildlife Refuges I have visited over the years, some before I began "birding".


  • Ankeny NWR
    • [Marion County, Oregon]
    • "Located near the confluence of the Willamette and Santiam Rivers, Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1965 as part of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The area was previously known as "Ankeny Bottoms" and was selected as a refuge site to provide overwintering habitat for the dusky Canada goose and other migratory waterfowl. The dusky Canada goose is a subspecies of Canada goose that was in a decline in the late 1950's and early 1960's. This was primarily due to earthquakes and floods in its nesting habitat on Alaska's Copper River Delta, and the urbanization of its wintering habitat in the Willamette Valley." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Baskett Slough NWR
    • [Polk County, Oregon]
    • "Established in 1965 as part of the Willamette Valley NWR Complex, the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge’s primary management goal is to provide wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. Unlike other Canada goose subspecies, duskies have limited summer and winter ranges. They nest in Alaska’s Copper River Delta and winter almost exclusively in the wetlands of the Willamette Valley—much of which was drained to provide open fields for agriculture and pasture during the 19th century European settlement. With the extensive habitat restoration projects at work on all 2,492 acres of the refuge, it makes driving through like taking a step back into the natural history of the Willamette Valley." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Conboy Lake NWR
    • [Klickitat County, Washington]
    • "Nestled near the foot of Mount Adams in Washington's Cascades Range, Conboy Lake NWR is a scenic gem within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Conboy Lake's lush seasonal marshes and vibrant forested uplands beckon to both visitors and wildlife. Located within an easy drive of Portland, Oregon, Conboy Lake is being 'discovered' by those seeking diverse scenery, idyllic recreational opportunities and a link to the history of the Northwest." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Franz Lake NWR
    • [Skamania County, Washington]
    • "The refuge contains a total of 590 acres and was established in 1990 to preserve biodiversity along the Columbia River. Management practices are directed at maintaining and monitoring rare Columbia River floodplain wetland and riparian habitats and forested watershed buffers. Knowledge gained through this research will contribute to the understanding to how the lower Columbia River floodplain can be managed to protect, restore, and enhance native habitats and species. In keeping with this research and monitoring emphasis, human disturbance is kept to a minimum." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Grays Harbor NWR
    • [Grays Harbor County, Washington]
    • "Arctic-bound shorebirds, coming from as far south as Argentina, are among the world's greatest migrants; many travel over 15,000 miles round trip. From June through October the shorebirds return to the estuary in lesser concentrations on their way south during the longer fall migration period. Thousands of shorebirds, primarily dunlin, stay for the winter. To protect this important shorebird habitat, Congress authorized the establishment of Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in 1988. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Grays Harbor NWR was established in 1990 and is located in the northeast corner of Grays Harbor estuary. It encompasses about 1,500 acres of intertidal mudflats, salt marsh and uplands. In 1996, Grays Harbor Estuary was designated a hemispheric reserve by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network as a site of international significance." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Julia Butler Hansen NWR
    • [Wahkiakum County, Washington]
    • "Julia Butler Hansen Refuge was established in 1971 specifically to protect and manage the then endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. The refuge contains over 6,000 acres of pastures, forested tidal swamps, brushy woodlots, marshes and sloughs along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon. Diverse habitat that support deer also benefit a large variety of wintering and migratory birds, Roosevelt elk, river otter, reptiles and amphibians, and nesting bald eagles, great horned owls and osprey." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Lewis and Clark NWR
    • [Clatsop County, Oregon]
    • "The Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1972 to preserve the vital fish and wildlife habitat of the Columbia River estuary. Riverine islands there range from tidal sand flats and marshes to forested swamps and upland pasture. This combination supports large numbers of waterfowl, gulls, terns, wading birds, shorebirds, and a surprising variety of raptors and songbirds. The Lewis and Clark islands are only accessible by boat. Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge includes approximately 20 islands stretching over 27 miles (43.5 km) of the Columbia River, from the mouth upstream nearly to Skamakowa, WA. Although seldom visited by humans, people following in Lewis and Clark's footsteps (or paddles!) are discovering this little-known refuge." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • McNary NWR
    • [Walla Walla County, Washington]
    • "The McNary National Wildlife Refuge is a welcomed respite for migratory birds, native plants and human visitors alike. Extending along the east bank of the Columbia River in southeastern Washington, from the confluence of the Snake River to the mouth of the Walla Walla River, and downstream into Oregon, McNary NWR is located in rural Burbank, but very close to the rapid development of the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland). In fact, the refuge meets the definition of an "urban refuge." Established in 1956, McNary NWR was created to replace wildlife habitat lost to construction of the McNary Dam downstream. The 15,000 acres of sloughs, ponds, streams and islands—riparian and wetland habitat—as well as upland shrub-steppe and cliff-talus habitat are important to migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds. Few areas in North America support such dense concentrations of waterfowl; more than half the mallards in the Pacific Flyway overwinter at some time in this portion of the Columbia River Basin." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Nestucca Bay NWR
    • [Tillamook County, Oregon]
    • "Established in 1991 to protect and enhance habitat for Dusky Canada Geese (a species of concern) and Aleutian Cackling Geese (formerly endangered), Nestucca Bay Refuge actively engages in pasture management with local dairy farmers to offer prime habitat for geese during the winter. In fact, the verdant pastures around Nestucca Bay harbor six subspecies of "white-cheeked geese", including the world's population of Semidi Islands Aleutian Cackling Geese." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Nisqually NWR
    • [Thurston County, Washington]
    • "While most major estuaries in the state have been filled, dredged, or developed, Nisqually River's has been set aside for wildlife. In 1974, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect the delta and its diversity of fish and wildlife habitats. The Nisqually estuary was restored in 2009 by removing dikes and reconnecting 762 acres with the tides of Puget Sound. This is the largest estuary restoration project in the Pacific Northwest and an important step in the recovery of Puget Sound." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Pierce NWR
    • [Clark County, Washington]
    • "In 1983 Mrs. Lena Pierce donated 319 acres of her ranch to provide sanctuary for wintering waterfowl, particularly Canada geese. Seven years later the US Fish and Wildlife Service was able to purchase the remaining ten acres of the Pierce Ranch to create what the Pierce National Wildlife Refuge is today. For a relatively small landmass the Pierce Refuge is rich in natural resources. The habitats of the Refuge include wetlands, grasslands, riparian forests, deciduous woodlands of ash and Oregon white oak, coniferous forests, streams, seeps, and springs." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Ridgefield NWR
    • [Clark County, Washington]
    • "The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1965 to provide wintering habitat for the dusky subspecies of the Canada goose. Today, the Refuge preserves both habitat for wildlife, and evidence of the people who once lived here. Along the lower reaches of the Columbia River lies the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The approximately 5300 acres contain a lush mixture of wetlands, grasslands, riparian corridors, and forests. These habitats, combined with a mild and rainy winter climate, provide the ideal environment for many species including neotropical song birds, wintering waterfowl, and other local native species." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Steigerwald Lake NWR
    • [Clark County, Washington]
    • "East of Washougal, WA and partly within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge is 1,049 acres of wetlands, pastures, and woodlands along the Columbia River. When the second powerhouse at Bonneville Dam was constructed in the late 70s and early 80s, lowland habitat was lost both up and downstream. In 1987, a portion of these Refuge lands were established to reduce the impact of this loss and create more habitat for migrating and resident wildlife. Since then smaller pieces of land have been added to create what is now the Steigerwald Lake NWR. In 2009 the Refuge also became a place for people. With the addition of a 2 ¾ mile art trail, thousands of visitors now come with their families, as part of educational groups, and on their own to experience the year round abundance of wildlife that call this area home." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Tualatin River NWR
    • [Washington County, Oregon]
    • "Thanks to the combined efforts of local residents and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, this land was set aside as a refuge in 1992. Ever since, our staff has been working hard to turn the land back to a more natural state within the floodplain of the Tualatin River basin.The Refuge is now home to nearly 200 species of birds, over 50 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians, and a wide variety of insects, fish and plants. The Refuge has also become a place where people can experience and learn about wildlife and the places they call home, whether through self-guided discovery or by participating in one of our many educational programs." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Umatilla NWR
    • [Morrow County, Oregon, and Benton County, Washington]
    • "Established in 1969 as mitigation for habitat lost through flooding from the construction of the John Day Dam, the wetlands of Umatilla provide an oasis for waterfowl, especially in the winter. Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge is a network of lands bordering the Oregon and Washington shore lines of the Columbia River. Comprised of five units—three in Washington and two in Oregon—the refuge's 23,555 acres offer a broad collection of habitats, and thus species. Natural and managed wetlands, mixed with native shrub-steppe, provide homes for an abundance of Columbia Basin species. The wildlife, in turn, attracts visitors, hunters, anglers and birdwatchers. The refuge is well-known for its waterfowl hunting opportunities, and those same waterfowl, along with scores of species of waterbirds, passerines and mule deer, draw visitors from around the Northwest and beyond." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Wapato Lake NWR
    • [Washington County and Yamhill County, Oregon]
    • "While much of the Willamette Valley has been cleared for agriculture, Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge was set aside for wildlife. In 2007 the Wapato Lake Units were added to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. In 2013 these units were designated as a separate refuge, Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge, with the express purpose of protecting and restoring important habitats for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people. Refuge staff are working with partners to learn about the natural cycles of the lakebed and to plan habitat restoration activities to mimic those cycles. Ultimately, restoration efforts at Wapato Lake National Wildlife refuge will contribute to the health of the Tualatin River watershed and those who live within it." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • Willapa NWR
    • [Pacific County, Washington]
    • "Willapa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect migrating birds and their habitat at a time when many estuaries and shallow water bays were being destroyed in the name of progress. The refuge has grown to encompass diverse ecosystems including salt marsh, muddy tidelands, forest, freshwater wetlands, streams, grasslands, coastal dunes and beaches. This rich mix of habitats provide places for over 200 bird species to rest, nest and winter, including over 30 species of waterfowl (ducks and geese) and over 30 species of shorebirds. Other animals such as chum salmon, Roosevelt elk, and over a dozen species of amphibians benefit from the protection of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the care of dedicated refuge staff and other friends of wildlife, like you." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]

  • William L. Finley NWR
    • [Benton County, Oregon]
    • "Established in 1964, the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge’s primary management goal is to provide wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. Unlike other Canada goose subspecies, duskies have limited summer and winter ranges. They nest in Alaska’s Copper River Delta and winter almost exclusively in the wetlands of the Willamette Valley—much of which was drained to provide open fields for agriculture and pasture during the 19th century European settlement. With the extensive habitat restoration projects at work on all 5,325 acres of the refuge and the 341 acres of its Snag Boat Bend Unit, it makes driving through like taking a step back into the natural history of the Willamette Valley." [Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2018]


 



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June 2018