The Federal Duck Stamp Program: Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps to hunters, stamp collectors and conservationists have raised more than $700 million that has been used to acquire more than 5.2 million acres of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

Dusky Canada Geese
Refuge Overview: Located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge was first approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission in 1963 to preserve wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. Since that time, nearly all of the refuge’s 5,673 acres have been purchased using Migratory Bird Conservation funds, which include Federal Duck Stamp dollars.
GLenn Chambers/USFWS

Wildlife and Habitat: William L. Finley is part of the Willamette Valley Refuge Complex, which also includes Ankeny and Basket Slough National Wildlife Refuges. All three are managed to provide critical winter forage (annual and perennial ryegrass and fescue) for seven subspecies of Canada geese, but in particular dusky Canada geese. The complex also provides winter habitat for thousands of geese, ducks, and swans. In the summer, the refuges serve as nesting areas for mallards, hooded mergansers, and wood ducks.

A number of different habitat types are protected by the William L. Finley Wildlife Refuge. Some of the most critical are those referred to as Willamette Valley habitats and include native prairies, oak woodlands, and riparian forests. The most recent addition to the refuge (1999) included 341 acres of riparian land along the Willamette River in Linn County. This tract includes black cottonwood riparian forests, shrubby willow stands, backwater sloughs, and pasture lands. In addition to providing habitat for migratory waterfowl, this refuge annex also protects a great blue heron rookery.

Recreation Opportunities: During the winter, when migrating Canada geese descend on the area, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public. The remainder of the year, the refuge is open for wildlife viewing. Besides waterfowl, visitors may have a chance to see a herd of Roosevelt Elk, endangered Fender’s Blue Butterflies, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles.

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