A known quantity in many circles for its beauty, rich soil, and a certain renowned grape, the Willamette Valley gained further notoriety when it was selected as one of 101 priority places under the America's Great Outdoors initiative (AGO). Through this project, known as the Willamette Valley Conservation Studya, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will examine and make recommendations on several important conservation topics.
Historically, the Valley supported a tremendous diversity of native habitats, including dynamic river and floodplain systems, wet prairie grasslands, upland prairie-oak savanna, and oak woodlands. Over time, significant portions of these habitats have been converted to other uses.
The Willamette Valley is home to 2.7 million people, a number projected to increase significantly in the coming decades. This growth is creating the need for more nature-based recreation opportunities as our existing resources become increasingly stressed.
Over the past 50 years, the wintering Canada goose population in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington has increased substantially. The Valley's National Wildlife Refuges established to provide a safe wintering place for these migrating waterfowl contain far less habitat than is needed to support today's population. The result has been substantial crop damage on private lands as geese seek additional foraging grounds.
About the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Your Conservation Partner in the Willamette Valley
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been your neighbor in the Valley for many years, maybe even longer than you even realize. Our mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance the fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.Visit the USFWS website to learn more
Become a Refuge Friend
A great way to get involved with conservation in the Valley is to volunteer some of your time with Refuge Friends groups. These non-profit organizations are essential to ensuring the future of our wildlife and wild lands by doing many things, from assisting with refuge management to event coordination to fundraising. Please consider sharing your talents and passion for nature and visit the two organizations listed below to learn more:
Looking for a quick overview of the focus topics for the Willamette Valley Conservation Study that you can share with others? You've come to the right place. Just pick your topic below to find an easy-to-share PDF.Rare Species and Habitats Connecting People With Nature
Conserving the Future
This is a time of forward thinking for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the Willamette Valley. In addition to America's Great Outdoor, we recently completed "Conserving the Future", a comprehensive vision for the next generation of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which includes four Refuges in the Valley.Get the Book