NWR has approximately 5,300 acres of marshes, grasslands and woodlands.
The refuge was established (along with 3 other refuges in the Willamette
Valley of Oregon) in 1965, in response to a need to establish vital
winter habitat for wintering waterfowl with an emphasis on the dusky
Canada goose, whose nesting areas in Alaska were severly impacted
by the violent earthquake of 1964.
As progressively there is less land available for wildlife, there
is an increasing need to maximize the quality of habitat on the
Refuge for wildlife. Refuge staff use their resources to produce
the best quality of habitat possible to support larger and more
diverse populations of native plants and animals. Like farmers who
tend their crop, Refuge staff may intensively manage wildlife habitat
to maximize the production of food resources needed by wildlife.
Felds are mowed, invasive species are removed, and public use is
regulated to attract and maintain wildlife populations at the Refuge.
These management 'tools' are used to improve habitat for wildlife.
Since the Refuge was established to protect wintering habitat for
waterfowl, and specifically dusky Canada geese, management priority
is placed on dusky Canada goose habitat.