Cold Springs History
Really like history? Fascinated with engineering trivia? Insomnia? This is the page for you. Learn about the making of the Cold Springs NWR and Dam.History of Cold Springs Refuge & Dam
About the Complex
The Mid-Columbia River Refuges are eight refuges within the Columbia Basin.
Cold Springs is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Learn more about the complex
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
- November 15, 2015
The National Wildlife Refuge Association has announced its 2015 Refuge Photo Contest! We invite you to enter your photographs of the habitats, wildlife and people that make our national wildlife refuges such incredible places. Our nation is home to more than 560 national wildlife refuges, which provide habitat for 700 bird species, 220 mammal species, 250 reptile and amphibian species, and over 1,000 species of fish. Landscapes range from the artic tundra in Alaska to tropical coastlines along the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wouldn’t it be great to have a winning entry from Cold Springs, Columbia, Conboy Lake, McKay Creek, McNary, Toppenish, Umatilla, or the Hanford Reach National Monument? Follow the link below for details.NWRA 2015 Photo Contest
It’s all about water management at Cold Springs NWR. There are several seasonally flooded wetlands associated with the reservoir and Memorial Marsh, a small, 125-acre managed wetland. Cold Springs Reservoir itself is fed by the natural drainages of Cold Springs Creek and Despain Gulch, but the vast majority of the reservoir water is from a canal linking the reservoir to the Umatilla River. Water management of the reservoir is completely controlled by the Bureau of Reclamation, and reservoirs are managed for irrigation rather than wildlife. As such, the FWS spends considerable effort in moving water around to offset how the BOR manages water. One example is Memorial Marsh, which is associated with Despain Gulch as it feeds into the reservoir. The wetland is managed as a moist soil management area, growing about five acres of millet per year. Because of the careful management of water, Memorial Marsh is heavily used by migrating and nesting ducks. As a result, this area is popular for a variety of recreational pursuits.
Everyone loves skunks—unless, of course, you’re downwind—from Bambi’s gentle friend Flower to the amorous travails of Pepe Le Pew. While real skunks are little like their cartoon depictions, they are fascinating and play an important role.
Page Photo Credits American Avocet - Images In The Wild, Barn Owlets - Kevin Keatley, Striped Skunk - Becky Gregory
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2015