Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge Celebrates 100 Years

August 8, 2008


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge today celebrated its 100th year of conserving and managing habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife in the Klamath Basin.  The Lower Klamath was the first refuge in the nation that was dedicated specifically for waterfowl conservation.

"Over the last century, millions of people have visited this Refuge and were touched by the wonders they experienced here," said Ron Cole, manager of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  "The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is a national treasure and we hope that future generations will continue to be awestruck and inspired by this remarkable landscape.?

The refuge offers stunning views of waterfowl, including Snow, Rosss Canada, and White-fronted Geese. These geese fill the skies when they arrive in fall, usually in October and November. The refuge is also home to wintering bald eagles -- the largest concentration in the Lower 48 states. 

Other seasons offer spring waterfowl, including impressive numbers of tundra swans, tens of thousands of shorebirds, and, in early summer, nesting Eared Grebes, American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, and White-faced Ibises. A ten-mile auto tour runs through the refuge and offers superb wildlife viewing opportunities for the public.  

The Lower Klamath Refuge, originally named Klamath Lake Reservation, was established by Executive Order on August 8, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt where it was stated that these lands would be set aside as a ?preserve and breeding ground for native birds.?

The Lower Klamath 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.  It is one of three 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.

Today's event is one of several centennial-themed celebrations that have occurred on the Refuge since January.  The Refuge will continue to sponsor monthly events through December 2008 as part of its 100th Anniversary.  A schedule of events is available on the Internet at:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit