News: Road Repairs Delayed Due to Weather
Rain in the forecast will delay plans to add asphalt to the entrance roads of the Refuge. The previously announced Refuge closure on Friday, April 25th will not occur. Work will be rescheduled and any associated closures will be announced on this website.
The railroad will be doing track repairs near the entrance to the River 'S' Unit starting April 28th. Equipment and materials will be mobilized to the project on April 28th and 29th, significantly increasing truck traffic along the entrance road. Continued track repair in May will increase traffic volume along the entrance road. Please drive safely and watch for truck traffic along the Refuge entrance road until the end of May.
The Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge post e-newsletters and calendars of current events. Please follow this link to learn more about current events Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge - Proposed Oaks Unit Addition
Draft Land Protection Plan and Environmental Assessment
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing to expand the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) approved acquisition boundary to include 88 acres (the Oaks Unit) for the purpose of protecting Oregon white oak woodland, oak savanna, and Oregon white oak/Douglas-fir forest habitats. The Service has prepared a draft Land Protection Plan and Environmental Assessment (LPP/EA) for public review and comment.
Your input is important to us. It helps us gather information and identify issues affecting you, your community, and the natural resources of Steigerwald Lake Refuge. There is a 30-day open comment period for the draft LPP/EA. The comment period is from April 7 to May 4, 2014. You may submit your comments or concerns by U.S. mail to: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. Box 457, Ridgefield, WA 98642, or email Christopher_Lapp@fws.gov.
Electronic copies of the Draft Land Protection Plan are available below and printed copies can be provided from the Refuge office upon request. The Service will review and take into consideration all comments received. Following the public comment period, a decision will be made by the Regional Director.
Final Environmental Assessment for the Translocation of Columbian White-tailed Deer Available
To support the recovery of the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will translocate up to 35 Columbian white-tailed deer from Puget Island, Washington to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer in 2014. An additional 10 to 20 Columbian white-tailed deer could be translocated in 2015. Please see the Translocation Press Release for more details about the Project.
The final Environmental Assessment for the translocation and an accompanying finding of no significant impact is now available to the public. The Service developed a draft EA and solicited public comment from December 12, 2013 to January 12, 2014. During the public comment period, comments were received from 11 entities regarding the Draft Environmental Assessment. The Final Environmental Assessment addressed these comments and comments are discussed in the Response to Comments.
The translocations will occur periodically from approximately January 28 to April 15, 2014. The Service will capture and move the deer in partnership with the Cowlitz Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Proposed Carty Lake Remedial Action at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
The documents are available below....
River S Unit Access Project
In 2009 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published the Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Ridgefield Refuge. The CCP included a Transportation Access Study completed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); that study was a preliminary review of alternatives providing access improvements to the River 'S' Unit. The USFWS selected a new access to the River S Unit in their final CCP, meaning a new access point for River S was desired. A specific location for this access was not selected in the CCP.
The USFWS has now requested FHWA's, Western Federal Lands Division office in Vancouver WA to lead the River 'S' Unit Access Project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). By building upon past planning efforts, the FHWA will produce an in-depth transportation analysis to assess the current access location and identify specific alternative locations to the River S Unit. With this new effort, FHWA is planning on engaging in a public scoping process under NEPA to develop the purpose and need and a full range of alternatives to address access related problems to the River 'S' Unit. For more information about FHWA process and outreach efforts, please follow this link to FHWA's website for this project.
River S Unit Access Project
The USFWS and FHWA’s Western Federal Lands Division office in Vancouver,
Washington, have been developing a comprehensive understanding of
land used, ownerships, rights of way, and environmental issues by
gathering agency input, interviewing area interest groups, and soliciting
public comment. Since our last newsletter, FHWA produced an in-depth
transportation analysis to assess the current access
Ridgefield Refuge's Final CCP/EA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Refuge can be reviewed at the following website: Ridgefield planning documents.
River 'S' Unit Discovery Audio Tour
New to the River 'S' Auto Tour is a companion Discover Audio Tour with information about the Refuge, its wildlife and its resources. The Discover Audio Tour is available for loan during your visit to the Auto Tour Route from the Visitor Contact Station. Each track on the cd corresponds to a series of numeric signs along the Auto Tour Route. It can also be downloaded as a pod cast to your portable media device by visiting the web site for the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
GeoAdventure is a free group activity kit that includes a GPS unit and a bag of clues designed for ages 12 and up. Great for scout troops, families, and other groups. Follow this link to find out more: GeoAdventure