News Release

January 23, 2012

Closure Update on Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuges

Media Contacts:
Sallie Gentry, Refuge Ranger, (541) 757-7236

The Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes William L. Finley and the Snag Boat Bend Unit, Ankeny, and Baskett Slough Refuges, will reopen today, January 23rd. All of the Refuges have received varying degrees of infrastructure damage related to recent heavy rains in the region, prompting continued limited closure of some trails and roads. The limited closures will remain in effect until repairs can be completed and visitor safety is ensured.

William L. Finley Refuge and Snag Boat Bend Unit: Finley Refuge Road is closed from the east entrance off Highway 99W to just east of the Woodpecker Loop parking area. This closure area includes Prairie Overlook, Turtle Flats, Homer Campbell Boardwalk, Photo Blind, Fiechter House and Cabell Lodge and Overlook. Visitors should use Bellfountain Road or Bruce Road to access the western portion of Finley Refuge Road, which includes the Refuge Headquarters, Woodpecker Loop parking area, and Mill Hill parking area. Snag Boat Bend Unit is closed until flooding conditions subside and infrastructure assessments can be made. Visitors should contact Benton County Public Works at (541) 766-6821 or visit their website at http://www.co.benton.or.us/pw/ for updates on county roads.

Ankeny Refuge: Pintail/Egret Boardwalk and parking area are closed until further notice. All other designated areas normally accessible during the winter sanctuary period are open. In addition, erosion has occurred on several pullouts along the county right-of-way. Visitors are advised to use caution when using the pullouts until repairs can be completed. Visitors should contact Marion County Public Works for updates on county roads at (503) 588-5036 or visit their website at http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/.

Baskett Slough Refuge: All designated areas normally accessible during the winter sanctuary season are open. Visitors should contact Polk County Public Works at (503) 623-9287 or visit their website at http://www.co.polk.or.us/pw for updates on county roads.

For more information on the Refuges, please contact the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters at (541) 757-7236. Office hours are Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm. Visitors may also access updates on our website at http://www.fws.gov/WillametteValley/complex/index.html