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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

KLAMATH NWRC: Lower Klamath Refuge Celebrates 100th Birthday

Region 8, August 8, 2008
The Lower Klamath Refuge, originally named Klamath Lake Reservation, was established by Executive Order on August 8, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt where it was stated that these lands would be set aside as a “preserve and breeding ground for native birds.” (photo: USFWS)
The Lower Klamath Refuge, originally named Klamath Lake Reservation, was established by Executive Order on August 8, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt where it was stated that these lands would be set aside as a “preserve and breeding ground for native birds.” (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Of all the wetlands in the American West, none provide more feeding, nesting and resting habitat than the marshes than the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. (photo: USFWS)
Of all the wetlands in the American West, none provide more feeding, nesting and resting habitat than the marshes than the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Life at the refuges in the Klamath Basin is never quiet. Millions of birds representing over 260 different species -- including eagles, ducks, swans, grebes, geese, pelicans, owls, cranes, avocets, and ibis just to name a few -- fly into the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge every year. (photo: USFWS)
Life at the refuges in the Klamath Basin is never quiet. Millions of birds representing over 260 different species -- including eagles, ducks, swans, grebes, geese, pelicans, owls, cranes, avocets, and ibis just to name a few -- fly into the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge every year. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

 By Matt Baun, Yreka FWO

For the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
TULELAKE, Calif. –The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge today (August 8) celebrated its 100th year of conserving and managing habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife in the Klamath Basin.  The Lower Klamath was the first refuge in the nation that was dedicated specifically for waterfowl conservation.

 

“Over the last century, millions of people have visited this refuge and were touched by the wonders they experienced here,” said Ron Cole, manager of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  “The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is a national treasure and we hope that future generations will continue to be awestruck and inspired by this remarkable landscape.”

 

The refuge offers stunning views of waterfowl, including Snow, Ross's Canada, and White-fronted Geese. These geese fill the skies when they arrive in fall, usually in October and November. The refuge is also home to wintering bald eagles -- the largest concentration in the Lower 48 states. 

 

Other seasons offer spring waterfowl, including impressive numbers of tundra swans, tens of thousands of shorebirds, and, in early summer, nesting eared grebes, American avocets, black-necked stilts, and white-faced ibises. A 10-mile auto tour runs through the refuge and offers superb wildlife viewing opportunities for the public.  

 

The Lower Klamath Refuge, originally named Klamath Lake Reservation, was established by Executive Order on August 8, 1908, by President Theodore Roosevelt where it was stated that these lands would be set aside as a “preserve and breeding ground for native birds.”

 

The Lower Klamath refuge encompasses nearly 51,000 acres and is a varied mix of shallow freshwater marshes, open water, grassy uplands, and croplands that are intensively managed to provide feeding, resting, nesting, and brood rearing habitat for waterfowl and other water birds.  It is one of three in southern Oregon and three in northern California that are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the 190,000-acre Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

 

The refuge will continue to sponsor monthly events through December 2008 as part of its 100th Anniversary.  A schedule of events is available on the Internet at: www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges.  Questions about the events can be directed to Dave Menke at (530) 667-2231 or dave_menke@fws.gov.

Contact Info: Matt Baun, 530-842-5763, matt_baun@fws.gov