Historically the Willamette Valley was a mix of wildlife habitats. Valley wetlands were extensive with meandering streams and vast seasonal marshes. Grasslands were maintained by wildfire and fires set by the Kalapuya Indians. Today, the Willamette Valley is a mix of farmland and growing cities with few areas remaining for wildlife.
The Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC), made up of three National Wildlife Refuges- William L. Finley, Ankeny and Baskett Slough, was created in the 1960's to provide wintering habitat and sanctuary for the dusky Canada goose, other waterfowl and migratory birds. Unlike other Canada geese, duskies have limited summer and winter ranges. They nest on Alaska 's Copper River Delta and winter almost exclusively in the Willamette Valley . Habitat loss, predation and hunting have caused a decrease in populations.
Another management goal is to preserve native species and enhance biodiversity. Disappearing Willamette Valley habitats such as seasonal wetlands, native prairie and riparian forest are examples of habitats now protected on the refuges. Endangered and threatened species such as bald eagles, Fender's blue butterfly, Oregon chub, Bradshaw's desert parsley, Willamette daisy and Kincaid's lupine find protection and sanctuary on the refuges.
Habitat improvement and restoration are essential for the continued survival of wildlife populations in the Willamette Valley . If you are interested in restoring your lands to native habitat, such as wetlands, prairies, grasslands or upland oak/savannas, please click on the "Partnership for Fish and Wildlife" button for further information.
Click here for the Refuge Complex's General Brochure, which includes more information and maps of the three Refuges.
Waterfowl Hunt Proposed for Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has prepared a Hunt Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment, tiered from the September 2011 Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment, for a waterfowl hunting program at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Comments are due by January 16, 2013. Please see the attached news release and other documents for more details.
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"AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: SECRETARY OF INTERIOR KEN SALAZAR HIGHLIGHTS TWO PROJECTS IN OREGON TO PROMOTE OUTDOOR RECREATION AND CONSERVATION"
Just days before the release of a 50-state report outlining some of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect Americans to the natural world, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today highlighted two projects in the state of Oregon that will be included in the final report — representing what states believe are among the best investments in the nation to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor-recreation jobs across the country.
Acquisition of adjacent lands at the Table Rocks and landscape conservation in the Willamette Valley are among 100 projects nationwide that will be highlighted in next week’s report — two in every state — as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to establish a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
"CAREERS WITH US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE: WILDLIFE REFUGE MANAGER"
Have you ever dreamed of working outdoors, managing land for wildlife and habitat, or meeting people from distant places? Were you that kid that was always turning over rocks and logs to see what was underneath? Did you get excited hearing the first bird of spring and wonder where it had gone for the winter or how it navigated back to the same location each year? Do you know what an endangered species is and how they may be protected? Have you got what it takes to be a Wildlife Refuge Manager? There are many different jobs within the US Fish and Wildlife Service that you may qualify for. Being a Refuge Manager is just one of them. Click here to download a pdf file to find out more about what it takes to be a Wildlife Refuge Manager.
WILLAMETTE VALLEY BIRDING TRAIL
The Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex partnered with several local community organizations to sponsor the Willamette Valley Birding Trail. Brochures are now available at the Refuge Complex Headquarters located at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge just south of Corvallis, Oregon. CLICK HERE FOR A DOWNLOADABLE PDF VERSION.