Final Environmental Assessment for the Translocation of Columbian White-tailed Deer Available
To support the recovery of the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will translocate up to 35 Columbian white-tailed deer from Puget Island, Washington to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer in 2014. An additional 10 to 20 Columbian white-tailed deer could be translocated in 2015.
“Translocating the Columbian white-tailed deer is an important way to support the recovery of this endangered species,” said Julia Butler Hansen Refuge manager Jackie Ferrier. “Previous translocations have expanded the population from the area just around Cathlamet and Westport to the Columbia River Valley as far as Ridgefield, Washington, bringing it closer to the possibility of being removed from the endangered species list.”
The final Environmental Assessment for the translocation and an accompanying finding of no significant impact is now available to the public. The Service developed a draft EA and solicited public comment from December 12, 2013 to January 12, 2014.
“Thank you to everyone who provided public comment on the draft environmental assessment,” said Ferrier. “The final environmental assessment addresses those comments.” Review the response to public comments.
The translocations will occur periodically from approximately January 28 to April 15, 2014. The Service will capture and move the deer in partnership with the Cowlitz Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Opportunity for Public Comment on the Translocation of Columbian White-tailed Deer
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to translocate up to 35 Columbian white-tailed deer from Puget Island, Wash. to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer in 2014. An additional 10-20 deer will be translocated to Ridgefield NWR in 2015. The draft environmental assessment of the proposed translocation is currently available for public comment. Comments must be recieved by January 12, 2014.
The Service has proposed the translocations to optimize the recovery of the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer by stabilizing both the Ridgefield NWR and Julia Butler Hansen Refuge subpopulations of deer. The translocations would occur from January 20 - April 15, 2014 and December 15, 2014 - April 15, 2015.
Download the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Translocation of Columbian white-tailed deer: (2.26 MB PDF)
Comments, and requests to obtain a copy of the draft EA on CD-ROM, can be sent by any one of the following methods. Email: email@example.com; Fax: Attn: Project Leader, (360) 484-3482; or U.S. Mail: Project Leader, 3888 State Route 101, Ilwaco, WA 98624.
Additional Translocation of Endangered Deer Proposed
In an effort to increase the viability and recovery of the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer, the Service is proposing additional translocation efforts during the late winter and spring of 2014. Learn more...
Changes to the 2014-15 Hunt Program Proposed
Over the last few years, Julia Butler Hansen Refuge has been working to expand waterfowl hunting opportunities as well as enhance visitor safety during hunting season. These changes and proposed changes include opening the refuge-owned shorelines and sloughs of Price Island (Washington) and Crims Island (Oregon) to waterfowl hunting in accordance with State and Refuge regulations. The exception to this opening is the closure of the shorelines of Price and Hunting Islands that parallel Steamboat Slough to hunting.
Discover current hunting opportunities and maps.
Read the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge Hunt Plan for more details and maps.
Review the Federal Rule Document and provide comment on the proposed changes.
2013-14 Waterfowl Season Set
Hunting of geese, ducks, coots, and snipe is permitted in specific units of the refuge in accordance with federal and state hunting regulations. Areas open to hunting include the shorelines, tidelands and sloughs of Hunting Island in Washington State and Wallace and Crims Islands in Oregon State. All other refuge units including the Mainland and Tenasillahe Island Units are closed to waterfowl hunting. Consult the Washington State Migratory Waterfowl Pamphlet, Oregon Game Bird Regulations, and the Refuge Waterfowl Regulations (1.4 MB) handout for complete information.
Steamboat Slough Road Closure, August 20 - October 20, 2013
The Steamboat Slough Road will be closed during the construction of the setback levee on the refuge. Access to the Refuge office is closed during this time. If you have questions about the refuge, please call 360-765-3915.
Be a Deer Watcher - Report Your Sightings!
Recently tranlocated deer at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and Cottonwood Island need your help. If you see a Columbian white-tailed deer, please give it plenty of room and report your sighting to Chris Lapp, Ridgefield NWR Manager, at 360-887-2122. Avoid disturbing the animal. CWTD are protected under both Federal and State law. Killing, hunting, harming or harassing them is prohibited.
Download a poster for identification clues and more information for Cottonwood Island.
Download a poster for identification clues and more information for Ridgefield NWR.
Many Volunteers Make for a Successful Beginning to Deer Translocation
Volunteers have logged an impressive 708 hours of time to the Columbian white-tailed deer transloation efforts to date. The number of hours is equivalent to 88.5 work days and $15,675 in wages donated to the refuge. Volunteers came from a wide geographic area, including Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR, and ranged from local high school students to retirees. A big thank you goes out to all the people who donated time and services to the translocation project.
Efforts to protect these threatened deer have not ended. Translocated deer will continue to be monitored throughout the upcoming months. Learn more about the translocation project...
Columbian white-tailed deer (CWTD) have recently been relocated and are adjusting to their new home at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. If you spot one, please give it plenty of room and report your sighting. Avoid disturbing the animal. CWTD are protected under both Federal and State law. Killing, hunting, harming or harassing them is prohibited.
Download a poster for identification clues and more information.
Report a deer sighting to: Chris Lapp, Ridgefield NWR Manager, at 360-887-2122
New Contact Number for Translocated Deer Observations
If you see a Columbian white-tailed deer (with ear tags and radio collar as pictured on the left) near Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge or would like more information, please call 360-887-2122.
Read updates and get links to news articles..
Deer on the Move
So far, 12 Columbian white-tailed deer have been translocated from Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).
If you see a Columbian white-tailed deer (with ear tags and radio collar as pictured on the left) near Ridgefield NWR or would like more information, please call 360-887-2122.
Read updates and get links to news articles...
Deer Translocation Begins
This week, the USFWS moved the first deer in this effort to save the threatened population from habitat loss. Learn more and get updates about the projects process...
Final Environmental Assessment Available for Deer Translocation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed the Final Environmental Assessment for an emergency translocation of endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. Up to 50 deer will be translocated from the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for Columbian White-tailed Deer near Cathlamet, Washington, to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge near Ridgefield, Washington. The deer are being moved to save them from potential loss due to the impending failure of a dike between the JBH refuge and the Columbia River. If the dike fails, much of the refuge will be flooded, placing the deer at risk. Learn more...
Columbian White-tailed Deer Translocation Proposed
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing an emergency translocation of rare Columbian white-tailed deer from Julia Butler Hansen (JBH) Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer near Cathlamet, Washington, to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Ridgefield, Washington. Steamboat Slough dike, a dike owned and maintained by Diking District #4 along the Columbia River boundary of the JBH Refuge, is eroding and is likely to fail at any time. A dike breach would inundate the JBH Refuge mainland unit and place the approximately 100 Columbian white-tailed deer inhabiting the Refuge at extreme risk. Managers believe that, in the event of a breach and subsequent flooding, the majority of these deer will be displaced or die setting recovery efforts back significantly. The proposed emergency translocation is an attempt to minimize loss of deer and maintain efforts toward recovery under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Although technology exists to fix the impending dike breach, there are no funds available for the effort at this time. Plans for a longer-term remedy are under consideration but cannot be completed in time to prevent a potential dike breach this winter.
Columbian white-tailed deer are unique to western Washington and Oregon and are listed as an Endangered Species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Ridgefield NWR is within their historical range and contains suitable habitat. As part of the emergency effort, the Service has developed a Draft Environmental Assessment and opened a period of public comment. All comments must be received by January 2, 2013. A Final Environmental Assessment addressing all comments will be published on the JBH Refuge website in early 2013.
Review the Draft Environmental Assessment (PDF 830 KB).
Learn more about conservation efforts at the refuge.