January 22, 2015
Whale Cove Protected thanks to diverse partnership
Depoe Bay OR –The land around Whale Cove on the central Oregon Coast is now a protected part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge thanks to a partnership between the property owner and federal, state, and nonprofit organizations. The 13.97-acre property in Lincoln County is two miles south of Depoe Bay, and surrounds the oldest marine reserve in Oregon where all marine life is protected. The site will be managed for its natural resource values and to protect Whale Cove’s ecology. The cove provides scenic views from nearby Rocky Creek State Park and US Highway 101.
The deal closed on December 31, 2014 thanks to support from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Federal Highway Administration, (FHWA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the nonprofit North Coast Land Conservancy, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), and property owners Bryce and Beebe Buchanan. The property was valued at $2,250,000; however, the owners donated $1,150,000 by reducing the sale price for the property, accepting $1.1 million. The Buchanans originally purchased this portion of Whale Cove to conserve it; previous to their owning it there were multiple high-density development proposals for the land. The FHWA awarded a Scenic Byways Grant for $650,000 in 2008 to purchase the property. OPRD provided $450,000 in matching funds through Bandon Biota, an Oregon business. Neal Maine with The North Coast Land Conservancy played a pivotal role in applying for the federal funding and negotiating a deal with the Buchanans. ODOT coordinated the scenic byways funding, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to take ownership of the property and manage the site in perpetuity.
"Seldom do you find an Oregon citizen like Bryce, who not only intentionally buys land for the purpose of conservation, but then has the patience and fortitude to work for more than a decade with multiple government agencies to achieve the goal of preservation," says Neal Maine with the North Coast Land Conservancy.
"We are grateful to the partnerships that have resulted in this new addition to Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.” said Rebecca Chuck, Refuge Manager for the USFWS "Refuge designation will provide an undisturbed upland buffer to the marine resources of the cove in addition to added protection for the nesting seabirds and marine mammals.
As part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Whale Cove will protect habitat for nesting seabirds including black oystercatcher, pigeon guillemot, pelagic cormorant, and western gull along with bald eagle and many species of songbirds. The cove also provides resting and pupping habitat that is used by over 100 Harbor Seals year-round. People will be able to enjoy the scenery from the nearby state park viewpoint, and by paddling in from Depoe Bay. USFWS staff and volunteers will focus on removing invasive plant species, especially English ivy, to improve the forested areas for wildlife.
Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 762 acres of coastal rocks, islands and headlands along 320 miles of the Oregon coastline. The refuge provides nesting habitat for most of Oregon’s 1.2 million nesting seabirds, and a large percentage of Oregon’s seal and sea lion population use the refuge to rest and produce their young.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 12:34 PM in Category: Oregon Islands NWR
January 7, 2015
Update on staircase closure at Coquille Point
Bandon, OR. - The stairs leading from the Coquille Point parking lot down to Bandon Beach were closed in October after concerns were raised about their structural stability due to geologic shifting and instability of the headland. The closure was necessary to ensure visitor safety.
Since the closure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has been working to secure the expertise and funding necessary to repair or replace this popular stairway which is regularly used by local residents and visitors. The Service recently awarded a contract to a structural engineering firm to inspect the stairway and provide a report by March 15, 2015. The engineering report will detail options for a long term fix through repairs or replacement. The Service will then evaluate the options from the engineering firm and will make it a top priority to move forward with repairs or replacement.
An alternate staircase to the beach is still available at Coquille Point. Visitors can walk the short path (800 ft.) to the north end of Coquille Point and access a staircase at the end of 8th St. The Coquille Point headland and the adjacent rocks and islands are part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which provides habitat for coastal and marine wildlife.
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.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 1:50 PM in Category: Oregon Islands NWR
November 13, 2014
Ducky At Dawn Walks
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites you to participate in a free bird watching event called Ducky at Dawn. Sunday morning at dawn throughout the month of November, wildlife refuge volunteer Lee Sliman will staff the sheltered bird observation deck at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Six different kinds of goose along with thousands of ducks rest and feed in and around the pastures of the wildlife refuge. It’s an ideal time to see fall colors and fields covered in waterfowl of all shapes and sizes. Spotting scopes, binoculars and seating in the covered shelter will be provided to make your birding event easy.
So bundle up, bring a hot beverage, relax and before you know it those geese that ‘all looked alike’ will take on separate identities. Meet in the lower parking lot at the bird observation deck. This event is fun for the entire family.
Ducky At Dawn Offered:
November 9rd 7:30 am
November 16th 7:45 am
November 23th 8:00 am
November 30th 8:15 am
Nestucca Bay NWR is located on the west side of Highway 101 approximately six miles south of Pacific City. To visit the refuge turn west off Highway 101 onto Christensen Road and proceed a half-mile to the lower parking lot. For more information contact volunteer Lee Sliman at 503-812-6392.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:11 AM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR
November 4, 2014
Coquille Point Stairs Closed
Bandon, Ore. – On Monday, November 3 the south staircase at Coquille Point will be closed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) due to public safety concerns. The staircase has suffered structural damage as a result of geologic shifting on the point. A path and second set of stairs on Coquille Point, 800 feet to the north at the end of 8th street, will remain open, allowing Coquille Point visitors to access the beach.
In early August the Service contracted with a structural engineering firm. At their direction, movement indicators were created across all joints on the stairs. These indicators were monitored by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff for movement on a weekly basis. Also under the firm’s recommendation the Service hired a survey company to install survey points from the beach to the parking lot on both sides of the stairs to monitor movement of the slope. It was determined that the staircase could remain open until the end of October, unless movement of any joints in excess of 1/4" was detected, or a significant rain event was forecasted. Now that the rainy season has begun, the stairs will be closed as planned for an indefinite period of time to ensure public safety, while a more detailed structural and geotechnical investigation is conducted and a repair or replacement plan is developed.
“The Service realizes this creates an inconvenience for visitors to Coquille Point and we are sorry to have to close the popular staircase. However, the safety of our refuge visitors is a top priority, making this closure necessary.” said Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex which manages Coquille Point. “We have begun evaluating options for a long term fix through repairs or replacement.”
These stairs have provided visitors with access to Bandon Beach and rocky intertidal areas at the base of Elephant Rock since their construction in 1998. Coquille Point is managed as part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It is a spectacular place to observe seabirds and harbor seals. The point overlooks a series of coastal rocks of every shape and size that provide habitat for Common Murre, Tufted Puffin, Western Gull and Brandt's Cormorant as well as Harbor seal and rocky intertidal invertebrates. A paved trail winds over the headland and features new interpretive panels that share stories about the area's wildlife.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 2:20 PM in Category: Oregon Islands NWR
October 29, 2014
Holiday Wreath Making Workshop
As winter and the holidays approach, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites you to participate in a free holiday wreath making workshop. Refuge volunteer and master wreath maker Lee Sliman will teach you how to combine conifers and shrubs, native to Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, into a beautiful wreath that is yours to keep. Holiday wreaths are beautiful, easy to make, and a fun and engaging activity for the whole family.
"We always have a great time at the wreath-making workshops and I was very impressed at the talent of the visitors. I’m excited to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host the workshops again this year and because of their popularity we’ve added a 3rd workshop to our calendar," said Refuge Volunteer Lee Sliman.
December 7 from 12:00 – 2:30 PM at the Connie Hansen Garden
December 13 from 10:30 AM – 1 PM at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge
December 14 from 10:30 AM – 1 PM at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Workshops will use greens from native trees and shrubs like Western red cedar, Douglas Fir, Western hemlock, Sitka spruce, and Salal. All materials are provided free of charge courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and include fresh-cut greens, wreath ring, wires, and ribbons. Bring special decorating items to personalize your wreath if you have them. Pruning shears or gardening gloves are encouraged. The workshops at the wildlife refuge are free; however, the workshop held at the Connie Hansen Garden will ask for a $5 donation to cover the cost of the room rental. Pre-registration is required as space and supplies are limited. Register by contacting refuge volunteer Lee Sliman at (503) 812-6392.
Nestucca Bay NWR is located on the west side of Highway 101 approximately six miles south of Pacific City. To visit the refuge turn west off Highway 101 onto Christensen Road and proceed a half-mile to the lower parking lot. Workshop attendees will meet here.
The Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy is located off of Highway 101 in Lincoln City. To visit the Garden, turn west onto 33rd street, proceed 0.1 miles and the Garden will be on the right.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:34 PM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR
September 30, 2014
Service Opens Duck Hunting at Nestucca Bay NWR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is providing an opportunity for hunters to harvest ducks and coots on a portion of Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). "Duck hunting has been not been offered on any part of Nestucca Bay Refuge since it was established in 1991, but now we are opening 141 acres to this wildlife-dependent opportunity which helps fulfill refuge objectives developed as part of the Nestucca Bay Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan," stated Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Specifically, the Service will begin allowing hunting of ducks and coots on October 11, 2014 on 108 acres of Brooten Marsh and 33 acres at the mouth of Little Nestucca River of the Nestucca Bay Refuge. A previous version of the news release stated an incorrect opening date for duck hunting season. The Service will allow hunting on these refuge lands seven days per week in accordance with State and Federal regulations. Hunters can access refuge lands two hours before sunrise and up to one hour after sunset. Goose hunting will remain closed on all lands within Nestucca Bay Refuge to provide sanctuary for wintering Canada geese.
Brooten Marsh is a salt marsh located where the Nestucca River joins the Little Nestucca River. Hunters can access the area either by boat or walking in from a pull-out along Brooten Road near the southeast corner of the marsh. Access to the mouth of the Little Nestucca River is only possible by boat.
State hunting license requirements apply to duck and coot hunting on the refuge. Refuge regulations prohibit the construction of permanent blinds on any portion of the Refuge; however, hunters may use portable blinds or build temporary blinds from on-site dead vegetation or driftwood. Temporary blinds and decoys must be removed from the Refuge following each day's hunt, and only federally approved non-toxic shot may be transported and used on the Refuge. The 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations can be reviewed at www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl
. For more information or to view a map of the areas open to hunting, visit the Nestucca Bay Refuge website (www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/nestuccabay/index.htm
) or call the Refuge Manager at 541-867-4550.
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 www.fws.gov.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:19 AM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR
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