Dave Menke, (530) 667-2231 or Matt Baun, (530) 842-5763
TULELAKE, Calif. The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is inviting the public to help celebrate its 100th year of conserving and managing habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife in the Klamath Basin. Today the refuge, the nation's first dedicated specifically for waterfowl conservation, announced a series of special events that will commemorate the anniversary and connect people to the beauty, birds and wildlife of the Basin.
The Lower Klamath refuge was established on August 8, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt as the nation's first wildlife refuge set aside specifically for migratory waterfowl and other marsh birds. The 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. The refuge is one of three refuges 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.
"We want to invite the public to come out and help us celebrate our first 100 years by experiencing the beauty of the Lower Klamath Refuge first hand during all seasons," said Ron Cole, manager of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges. "Lower Klamath Refuge is a true national treasure and we have scheduled events throughout the year that will highlight everything we have to offer."
The year-long centennial celebration begins with the Winter Refuge Raptor Rally on Saturday, January 26.
The event is ideal introduction to refuge raptors for families and novice birdwatchers. Participants will learn more about raptor identification, habits and the habitats in which they are found. Winter is the time when the highest number and greatest variety of birds of prey are seen in the Klamath Basin. The Klamath Basin is home to the largest gathering of wintering bald eagles in the continental United States. In addition to bald eagles, participants may see up to 10 additional raptor species on the all day trip.
Participants should plan to meet at the Lower Klamath Refuge entrance parking area at 8:15 a.m. for the field trip which will depart promptly at 8:30 a.m. The parking area is located at 4009 Hill Road, Tulelake, Calif. To reach the parking entrance from U.S. highway 97, go east on California Route 161, then south on Hill Road. The visitor center and refuge headquarters will be on the right. Participants should bring a sack lunch, drinks, warm clothing and binoculars. At 3:30 observers may elect to go to Laird's Landing until dusk with an experienced guide to observe bald eagles coming into a night roost.
The refuge has posted its schedule of events on the Internet at: www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges. Questions about the events can be directed to Dave Menke at (530) 667-2231 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Future updates to the monthly schedule of events will also be posted on the website.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American Tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.
More information about refuges in California is available at http://www.fws.gov/cno.