William L. Finley
National Wildlife Refuge
|26208 Finley Refuge Rd
Corvallis, OR 97333 - 9533
Phone Number: 541-757-7236
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge was created to provide vital wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. Unlike other Canada geese, duskies have limited summer and winter ranges. They nest on Alaska's Copper River Delta, and winter almost exclusively in the Willamette Valley.
Habitat loss, predation, and hunting have caused a decrease in population. Located in the Willamette Valley, the refuge protects many of the valley's historic habitats, including the largest remaining tract of native Willamette Valley wet prairie. Fields of wildlife food crops are interspersed with Oregon white oak savannah, meandering creeks with bottomland Oregon ash forest, old growth big-leaf maple, and native prairie.
Other management goals are to preserve native species and enhance biodiversity. Endangered and threatened species such as peregrine falcons, bald eagles, Oregon chub, and Bradshaw's desert parsley find protection and sanctuary on the refuge. A herd of Roosevelt elk can be found in the bottomland forests or farm fields on the refuge.
Of historic interest is the Fiechter House, completed in 1857, and thought to be the oldest house in Benton County. The refuge was named for William L. Finley, an early conservationist who persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside the first national wildlife refuge west of the Mississippi River.
Getting There . . .
To reach the William L. Finley Unit, travel south 10 miles from Corvallis or north 7.5 miles from Monroe, to milepost 93 on Highway 99W. Turn west on Finley Refuge Road. Watch for the refuge entrance sign on the west side of the road. Follow refuge signs for 2 miles to the refuge headquarters.
Snag Boat Bend Unit: Travel about 1 mile south of Peoria on River Road North. Watch for entrance sign.
Click link here for a refuge map.
Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:
Learn More >>
The Willamette Valley refuges incorporate an intensive cooperative farming program in order to provide high protein browse (annual ryegrass, perennial ryegrass and fescue) for seven subspecies of wintering Canada geese, with primary emphasis on the dusky subspecies.
Under cooperative agreements, area farmers plant refuge fields to produce nutritious grasses preferred by geese. The geese also need water for resting and foraging habitat. Many refuge wetlands occur naturally; others are created by dikes and levees. Some refuge wetlands, drained or channelized by previous owners, are being restored in low-lying areas of the refuge to increase diversity and desirability of habitat for wildlife.
The majority of wetlands are being managed as moist soil units, to promote growth of wetland food plants (millet, smartweed, sedges, etc.) used as food by waterfowl and other wildlife. By resting in undisturbed areas on the refuges, wintering geese regain energy reserves required for migration and nesting. This sanctuary reduces depredation problems on neighboring private lands.
Because of their need for a quiet resting area, waterfowl habitat is closed to public entry while the geese are in residence. The refuge has also increased efforts to restore the rare oak savannah, upland prairie, and wet prairie habitats.
These habitats provide foraging, nesting, and shelter for a variety of species including neotropical migratory birds, raptors, mammals, and several endangered species. Oak and prairie habitats are managed by controlling exotic and invasive woody species, by periodic controlled burns, and by planting with native plant species.