Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge has scheduled 5 free guided public tours, beginning Saturday, October 4 at 9am and continuing once a month through February.
“Early Fall and Winter are a great time of year to observe migrating birds and resident wildlife on the refuge, even in this drought year” stated Visitor Services Manager Susan Sawyer. “Animals tend to concentrate near the limited water sources on the refuge, and may be easier to observe.”
But wildlife and birds aren’t the only reason to take one of these special tours, Sawyer said. Visitors will take part in a virtual journey into the rich cultural past of the Stillwater marsh, from the days of the ‘Cat-Tail Eater’ Paiute people, to early ranching, water history, refuge projects and all will learn how to plan for and get the most out of any future refuge visits. Sawyer stated: “We want people to feel comfortable in visiting Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, and show that it is not the middle of nowhere – we want our public to get to know what makes this place special and why it became a National Wildlife Refuge sixty-five years ago”.
Transportation is provided through a grant received from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Regional Office in Sacramento. The tours are open to everyone. Tours meet at the refuge information kiosk at the end of Stillwater Road, 12 miles east of Fallon on State Route 116, and last two and a half hours. Seats are limited to 16 people on each tour.
Weather can be unpredictable, so layered clothing is advised, along with sturdy shoes. Short stops and easy walks are planned at a few locations. Binoculars are recommended, and there will be field guides and optics available to borrow from the refuge.
Other tour dates are November 1, December 6, January 31 and February 14; times will vary.
Call Stillwater NWR at 775-423-5128 ext. 228 for more information and to reserve tour seats. Deadline to register for each tour is noon the day before.