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March 11, 2014
Integrated Marsh Management Proposed for Bandon Marsh NWR
Bandon, Ore. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the public to review and comment on the proposed Integrated Marsh Management approach at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. The public review and comment period will begin on March 11, 2014 and end on April 9, 2014.

The actions proposed in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Tidal Marsh Restoration will reduce mosquito breeding pools by improving tidal flow on the Ni-les'tun Unit of the refuge. The Draft Environmental Assessment for Mosquito Control for Bandon Marsh Refuge proposes utilizing larvicides, when necessary, to reduce larval mosquito populations on the Ni-les'tun Unit.

"Using habitat modification to greatly reduce mosquito breeding habitat is the primary and long-term approach for managing mosquitoes at the refuge," said Roy Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. "The Service is also proposing a short-term strategy to control mosquitos that includes the application of larvicide, which prevents mosquito larvae from becoming flying adults and has minimal negative environmental effects."

In addition to reducing the amount of mosquito breeding area, the Integrated Marsh Management approach will improve the tidally driven hydrology of the Ni-les'tun Unit of the refuge, benefiting wildlife including migratory ducks and shorebirds and anadromous fish such as juvenile coho salmon. The plan calls for increasing the amount of tidal channels in the marsh, which will allow for better tidal flushing. Tidal flushing happens with high tide each day and refreshes the saltwater in the marsh. Mosquito larvae require stagnant pools to complete their development, so increased tidal flushing will prevent the mosquito larvae from becoming flying adults.

"The Service is committed to continuing to work with the Coos County Public Health Department, Coos County Commissioners, members of Congress, and experts in the field of mosquito control to develop and implement the Integrated Marsh Management approach for Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge," said Lowe.

The Service is inviting the public to attend an open house where you can ask questions and learn more about the Integrated Marsh Management approach. The open house will be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at The Barn: Bandon’s Conference and Community Center, 1200 W. 11th St., SW, Bandon, Oregon, 97411. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and Coos County representatives will be available to answer questions anytime between 4:00 and 7:00 PM.

The draft EAs are available for download on the refuge website www.fws.gov/oregoncoast. Copies are also available in the reference sections of the public libraries in Bandon, Coquille, Coos Bay and North Bend. Printed copies can be obtained from the refuge by sending an email request to oregoncoast@fws.gov or calling (541) 867-4550. Comments can be mailed, faxed or emailed by April 9, 2014 to: Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 S.E. Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365-5258; fax number (541) 867-4551; or e-mail oregoncoast@fws.gov. For more information please call the refuge office at 541-867-4550. The Service will evaluate and respond to the comments received in revised EAs and inform the public of our decision.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 9:36 AM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
February 26, 2014
Service works with County to develop mosquito mgmt. plan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Coos County to develop a marsh and mosquito management plan

Bandon, Ore. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working closely with the Coos County Public Health Department, Coos County Commissioners, members of Congress, and experts in the field of mosquito control to develop an Integrated Marsh Management approach for Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. The approach will reduce mosquito breeding pools by improving tidal flow and utilizing larvicides, when necessary, on the Ni-les’tun Unit of the refuge.
“Reducing the amount of mosquitoes at Bandon Marsh Refuge and at the same time improving fish and wildlife habitat is a priority,” said Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex project leader Roy Lowe. “The Service is funding the cost of both the habitat work and mosquito control on refuge lands.”

In addition to reducing the amount of mosquito breeding areas, the Integrated Marsh Management approach will improve the tidally driven hydrology of the Ni-les’tun Unit of the refuge, benefiting wildlife including migratory ducks and shorebirds and anadromous fish such as juvenile coho salmon. The plan calls for increasing the amount of tidal channels in the marsh, which will allow for better tidal flushing. Tidal flushing happens with high tide each day and refreshes the saltwater in the marsh. Mosquito larvae require stagnant pools to complete their development, so increased tidal flushing will prevent the mosquito larvae from becoming flying adults.

Habitat modification is the primary long term plan for managing mosquitoes at the refuge and the emphasis of the Integrated Marsh Management approach. However, the use of pesticides for mosquito control on refuge lands will also be proposed because the habitat work cannot be completed in time to prevent the expected fly-offs of mosquitoes later this spring. Consequently, to manage mosquitoes in the short term the Service is proposing to use larvicides that have minimal negative environmental effects to kill mosquitoes in their aquatic immature life stages before they can become flying adults.

“Coos County Public Health will be working with the Service to plan for appropriate mosquito control at Bandon Marsh Refuge. The County will be conducting mosquito monitoring and control on refuge lands aimed at protecting human and wildlife health from threats associated with mosquitoes,” said Coos County Public Health Administrator Nikki Zogg.

The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the Integrated Marsh Management approach, which includes a Draft Mosquito Pesticide Environmental Assessment and the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Phase 4 Tidal Marsh Restoration for Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, before they are final. The draft documents will be available in the coming weeks. The Service invites the public to review and comment on the draft documents and encourages active participation. To be added to the mailing list to receive the documents call the refuge office at (541) 867-4550 or email oregoncoast@fws.gov.

In 2011, Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge completed the restoration of 420 acres of historic tidal marsh. This tidal marsh restoration is the largest ever in Oregon and is already substantially benefitting fish and wildlife. However, an unanticipated by-product of the restoration was the large population increase of the salt marsh mosquito (Aedes dorsalis). No other salt marsh restoration effort in Oregon has experienced this issue before.

For more information on mosquitoes on the refuge, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/Mosquito.html
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:31 AM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
January 16, 2014
Waterfowl Hunting Delayed on Coastal Refuges
Waterfowl hunting on Nestucca Bay, Siletz Bay and the Ni-les’tun Unit of Bandon Marsh will not open as hoped during the current 2013-14 waterfowl hunt season, which concludes on January 26th. Recently completed Comprehensive Conservation Plans propose to offer additional opportunties for waterfowl hunting on these three refuges. Currently those lands remain closed to waterfowl hunting while the new regulations undergo a required national review and publication process.

“Our staff worked very hard during 2012 and 2013 to prepare hunt plans to expand waterfowl hunting at Bandon Marsh Refuge and to open waterfowl hunting for the first time at Siletz Bay and Nestucca Bay refuges”, said Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast Refuge Complex. The new hunt plan documents for the three refuges were submitted in a timely manner to the Washington DC office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. However, staff reductions there made it impossible to complete the mandatory planning and review process in time to open new hunts during the current hunting season. Authorization for new or expanded hunt programs on Refuges will become effective upon publication of the Final Rule in the Federal Register, which is expected to occur in February 2014.

“We were disappointed not to be able to provide public waterfowl hunting on refuge lands during the current waterfowl season,” said Lowe. Waterfowl hunting will be open on portions of Siletz Bay, Nestucca Bay and the Ni-les’tun Unit of Bandon Marsh throughout the 2014-15 waterfowl hunting season in accordance with State and Federal waterfowl hunting regulations.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:05 AM in Category: Oregon Coast NWR Complex
November 12, 2013
Wreath making workshop at Nestucca Bay NWR
Contact: Lee Sliman, 503-812-6392

As winter and the holidays approach, Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge invites you to join the refuge’s holiday wreath making workshop. Come join refuge volunteers and learn how to combine native conifers and shrubs into a beautiful wreath that is yours to keep. Wreaths are beautiful, easy to make, and are a fun activity for the whole family.

"We had a great time at last year’s wreath-making workshops and the wreaths created were beautiful and unique. We ‘re excited to host the workshops again this year and because of their popularity last year we’ve added a 3rd workshop to our calendar," said Volunteer in Residence Lee Sliman. As an experienced wreath maker, Sliman leads the workshops.

Three workshops will be held in early December:
-December 1st 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Workshop is free

-December 7th 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Workshop is free

-December 8th 12:00 PM – 2:30PM
Connie Hansen Garden, 1931 NW 33rd St, Lincoln City
$5 donation

Workshops held at beautiful Nestucca Bay NWR will also include a short interpretive walk to learn about the materials used in wreath making and are free of charge. For workshops held at the Connie Hansen Garden, a $5 donation to the Garden is requested.

All materials are provided, including fresh-cut greens, ring, wires, and ribbons; you may also bring special decorating items to personalize your wreath. If you have a pair of pruning shears or gardening gloves, we encourage you to bring them. Workshop attendees should wear warm, comfortable clothing. The option to donate wreaths to Samaritan House Family Shelter will be available.

Pre-registration is required as space and supplies are limited. Register by contacting refuge volunteer Lee Sliman at (503) 812-6392.

Directions:
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.

To obtain the current schedule for the refuge please visit our website events page at http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/calendar/index.cfm, as changes can occur. For more information please contact Lee Sliman at 503-812-6392 or at namilseel@gmail.com.

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 10:36 AM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR
September 12, 2013
Nestucca NWR closed on September 13th
Nestucca Bay NWR will be closed to the public on Friday September 13th to allow safe ignition and management of a prescribed burn on the Cannery Hill Unit of the refuge. The burn is being conducted to assist in preparing a seed bed for native coastal prairie restoration. Christensen Road will be closed at the intersection with Highway 101. The refuge will reopen to the public by Saturday September 14.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 4:06 PM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR
September 6, 2013
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Iconic Headland
Partnership Permanently Protects Iconic Oregon Coast Headland for People & Nature

The Nature Conservancy in Oregon and the Pacific Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that an agreement has been reached with the Jesuit Novitiate in Sheridan, Ore., to conserve the 102.53-acre Jesuit property located on Cannery Hill overlooking Nestucca Bay. Ownership of the property has been transferred to the Service from the Jesuits.

The property will be protected as a part of the 1,202-acre Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge and combined with the 90-acre Harder property acquired in May 2013, now fully protects the entire Cannery Hill North Peninsula for wildlife and outdoor recreation.

“I’m nearly speechless that this stunning piece of coastal landscape will be protected in perpetuity for the public as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “The success of this acquisition was only possible due to the herculean efforts of our valued partners at The Nature Conservancy, Federal Highway Administration, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and the Oregon congressional delegation,” added Lowe.

The property, located at the confluence of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca rivers contains upland forest, shoreline, and tideland habitats at the northern tip of Cannery Hill. Wildlife using this area includes migratory songbirds, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, bobcat, black-tailed deer, and many other species. Shoreline and tideland habitats are used by a variety of estuarine fish including coho and Chinook salmon.

“The Nature Conservancy is thrilled to be part of the effort to conserve such an iconic part of Tillamook County for people to enjoy for years to come. This headland is a treasure,” said Russ Hoeflich, Oregon state director for The Nature Conservancy.

Funding for the permanent protection of this site was made possible by a National Scenic Byways grant to The Nature Conservancy through the Federal Highway Administration and Oregon Department of Transportation. National Scenic Byways grants are based on one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. Funding for the adjoining Harder Property came from this same grant as well as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a fifty year old program that uses revenues from offshore oil and gas development to conserve parks, open spaces and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.

“My wife and I were very excited to learn that a beautiful piece of the Oregon coast is now going to be preserved for improved wildlife protection and public enjoyment” said local resident Pete Owston. “We think it’s great for wildlife conservation that the entire peninsula that juts into the mouth of Nestucca Bay from the south will now be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

In addition to providing future hiking, birding, and wildlife viewing opportunities for the public, the inclusion of this forested headland within the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge will protect the dramatic view from U.S. Highway 101, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, as well as the view at the south entrance to the community of Pacific City.

“It was important that we all work together to help preserve such an important piece of the coast for future Oregonians to enjoy,” said Pat Moran, ODOT Scenic Byways Program Manager. “The Jesuit Novitiate’s property will now be protected from development, ensuring that the Oregon Coast Scenic Byway’s scenic quality will be preserved for generations to come.”

The Nestucca property was owned by the Jesuits and used as a retreat for over 50 years.

“The sale of the Nestucca Sanctuary is the culmination of several years of hard work,” said the Very Reverend Patrick J. Lee, SJ, Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. “The Nestucca Sanctuary is beautiful and will be a wonderful place for the public to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the peninsula. Its value will live on in the Province through the financial support the sale provides to the Formation of future generations of Jesuits.”

Importantly, Realty Marketing Northwest brokered the deal between the Jesuits, TNC, and the Service.

“The Nestucca Sanctuary, owned by the Jesuits and used as a retreat for over 50 years, generated a lot of interest from the auction-marketing program. The sale, facilitated by The Nature Conservancy, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be good news to many of these parties who were interested in the preservation of the 103-acre Headland Peninsula. It is clearly one of the most spectacular Oregon coastal properties we have sold,” said John Rosenthal, president of Realty Marketing/Northwest.

The inclusion of this property into the Refuge will provide increased opportunities for the public to enjoy both the views and wildlife along the Oregon Coast.

“The Council and the Service have a history of working together on restoration and education projects that benefit people and wildlife at the Refuge. Acquisition of these forested lands will result in additional recreational and educational opportunities for the public to fully appreciate the Nestucca watershed and its benefits to fish, wildlife and people,” said Alex Sifford, Coordinator for the Nestucca, Neskowin & Sand Lake Watersheds Council.

For more information on Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/nestuccabay/


Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 9:54 AM in Category: Nestucca Bay NWR
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Phone: 541-867-4550. Email: Oregoncoast@fws.gov.
 
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