Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region
 

Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Releases Spring Newsletter

Produced by the Friends of Willapa NWR, the newsletter includes recent Refuge and Friends activities, Board Member spotlights and more. Read the newsletter...

 

The Great Backyard Bird Count at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
February 16, 10 am - 11:30 am

The 16th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count is a project of Audubon and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This refuge-sponsored event is an opportunity to participate in a world-wide citizen science project, visit the refuge, learn about your local birds and have fun. More about The Great Backyard Bird Count and previous bird sightings can be found at www.birdcount.org.

Meet Refuge staff and local birders at 10 am, Saturday, February 16th at the Tarlatt Unit. Look for the signs on the eastern end of 95th Road from Sandridge Road in Long Beach. Dress for the weather (layers, rain jacket, boots). No previous bird experience needed. Binoculars, spotting scopes, field guides and instruction available. The event will last 1.5 hours. Contact Nancy Holman at 360-484-3482 x23 or nancy_holman@fws.gov for more information. Download Event Flyer (430KB)

Columbian White-tailed Deer Translocation Proposed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing an emergency translocation of rare Columbian white-tailed deer from Julia Butler Hansen (JBH) Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer near Cathlamet, Washington, to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Ridgefield, Washington. Steamboat Slough dike, a dike owned and maintained by Diking District #4 along the Columbia River boundary of the JBH Refuge, is eroding and is likely to fail at any time. A dike breach would inundate the JBH Refuge mainland unit and place the approximately 100 Columbian white-tailed deer inhabiting the Refuge at extreme risk. Managers believe that, in the event of a breach and subsequent flooding, the majority of these deer will be displaced or die setting recovery efforts back significantly. The proposed emergency translocation is an attempt to minimize loss of deer and maintain efforts toward recovery under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Although technology exists to fix the impending dike breach, there are no funds available for the effort at this time. Plans for a longer-term remedy are under consideration but cannot be completed in time to prevent a potential dike breach this winter.

Columbian white-tailed deer are unique to western Washington and Oregon and are listed as an Endangered Species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Ridgefield NWR is within their historical range and contains suitable habitat. As part of the emergency effort, the Service has developed a Draft Environmental Assessment and opened a period of public comment. All comments must be received by January 2, 2013. A Final Environmental Assessment addressing all comments will be published on the JBH Refuge website in early 2013.

Review the Draft Environmental Assessment (PDF 830 KB).

Learn more about conservation efforts at Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer..

Friends of Willapa NWR Annual Meeting, November 10thThe Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit partner of the refuge that supports refuge activities.

The Annual Meeting is a time when all members gather to reconnect, celebrate success and look towards the next year. Board elections take place, and this year, members in attendence will select the Fall Photo Contest winners. Sharenelle Fee of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast will be giving a presentation with live birds. Coffee, tea and dessert will be served. Join us at 2 pm at the Long Beach Depot Building - 102 3rd St NW, Long Beach 98631

Please RSVP to: Nancy Beliveau 707-264-6158 or secretary@friendsofwillaparefuge.org

Early blue violets are the only food eaten by the caterpillars of the Oregon silverspot butterfly.Planting Party at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Join the party to Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week! Volunteers are needed to plant violets at the Tarlatt Unit of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, October 13th, 9 am – noon and Tuesday, October 16th, 10 am – 2 pm. Early blue violets will be planted as part of an on-going habitat restoration project which will result in the return of the Oregon silverspot butterfly to the Long Beach Peninsula. Dress for the weather and bring your friends. Meet at the Refuge Gate located at the end of 95th in Long Beach.

Learn more about the Oregon silverspot butterfly and the restoration effort.

 

Youth Waterfowl Hunt, September 22 - 23, 2012Northern pintail are a common site on Willapa Bay during fall, winter and spring months.

Planning to hunt the September 22-23 Youth Waterfowl Hunt at the refuge? The moist soil vegetation has not yet set seed which will delay the filling of the Porter Point fresh water impoundment. This delay will limit hunting opportunities in this unit. Youth hunters are encouraged to explore hunt opportunities on the salt water side of Porter Point Dike and within the Leadbetter Point Unit (note that the Snowy Plover Closure is in effect through September 30). Find out more about hunting on the refuge.

 

The Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit partner organization which supports refuge activities.

Fall Photo Contest Announced

Submit your photographs by November 2, 2012 to enter the Friends Of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Fall Photo Contest. The winning photograph will be displayed on the homepage of the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge website. Download the official contest rules and instructions, including how to enter (PDF 112KB). For additional information contact Friends Board Members: Sandy Neilson 360-665-2540 or Nancy Beliveau 707-364-6158, secretary@friendsofwillaparefuge.org

 

 

Washington State Migratory Waterfowl Seasons Released

Updated State regulations and Refuge-specific waterfowl and goose hunt information available here..

Riekkola & Porter Point Units Closed - Restoration in Progress

The Bear River Estuary Restoration Project has begun. Due to restoration activities the Riekkola and Porter Point Units will be closed to all public entry until September 2012. Learn more about the project, including updates and images.

Watch Our New Video

Volunteer Rollin Bannow crafted this video (7:12 min) about our Fourth Grade Environmental Education Program. Learn more about the education program.

Friends of Willapa NWR members participate in spring clean-up of the refuge.Participate in the Spring Clean-Up Event

Spring has finally sprung and it’s time to trim, sweep and trail at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Join the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge for an afternoon of work and play. A work party has been set for this Sunday, May 20th, 1:30 pm – 5 pm at Refuge Headquarters located near milemarker 24 on Hwy 101 (approximately 10 miles east of Seaview, WA). There is something for everyone to do, including an opportunity to walk the Willapa Art Trail boardwalk and meet some of the Refuge’s wild residents.

Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is a nonprofit organization established to support Willapa Refuge programs and increase awareness and appreciation of Willapa Refuge.

Seeking Intern to Create Multimedia Wildlife Trails

Live on a National Wildlife Refuge and use your talent and skills to help wildlife. You'll design and produce two multimedia wildlife trails - one trail each for Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Through the use of audio, video, text, graphics and unique site markers the trails' content will encourage users to utilize their senses and simple activities to explore the refuges and discover the compelling stories of, and personal meaning in, these wild places. You'll receive formal and informal training on interpretation and product design, project management, potential federal service careers, and the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Internship Dates: any consecutive 12-weeks between mid-May and mid-September 2012

This internship is supported by the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and you will recieve housing, travel reimbursement and weekly stipend.

For more information or to apply, contact:

Nancy Holman, Visitor Services Manager
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Complex
nancy_holman@fws.gov
360-484-3482 x23

Winged Travelers Fuel Up at Willapa Bay

Tens of thousands of shorebirds are stopping on the mudflats of Willapa Bay as they travel north to breed. Many of these birds winter in Mexico, Central and South America and travel to the arctic to breed. The nutrient-rich tidelands of the Willapa Bay estuary, and our ocean beaches, provide an excellent place to fuel up as they travel long distances. A diverse crowd, it’s common to see over 10 species of shorebirds in a single group.

An Opportunity to Participate in Shorebird Research!  Keep a lookout for shorebirds with colored leg bands and flags. Reporting your observations of banded birds helps scientists help wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works in partnership with the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory, State wildlife agencies and other organizations to track bird migration patterns. Report any sightings of banded Red knots (see photos) to Joseph.Buchanan@dfw.wa.gov with Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. Important information to include in your report: your name, date and time of observation, location, the color of the flag, the embossed code, and a count or estimate of the number of Red knots at the site.

Where are the Red knots flying from? Over 700 Red knots have been marked with leg bands in Mexico in the last six years, and over 160 were marked at Grays Harbor, just north of Willapa Bay, in spring 2011.  Smaller numbers of Red knots have also been banded and marked on the breeding grounds in Alaska, in Russia, and at the Yukon River estuary in Alaska. See a map of the Pacific Flyway.

 

What Do the Colors and Numbers Mean? Red knots marked in Mexico (primarily at the Guerrero Negro-Ojo de Liebre coastal lagoon complex in Baja California Sur, but also including Golfo de Santa Clara, near the mouth of the Colorado River) carry yellow leg flags with embossed black codes.  Some of these knots will also carry a small red tab on one leg to help with spotting them in a crowd. Red Knots marked in the United States (Alaskan breeding grounds, Grays Harbor) carry green flags with embossed alpha-numeric codes.  Some Alaskan knots also carry geolocators, small lightweight devices that allow researchers to track the migration routes of individual birds. Since 2007, over 25% of the Red knots that were marked in Mexico have been observed in Washington State. Red knots banded in Russia (blue and white flags), at the Yukon River estuary (black flags) and at Alaskan breeding areas have also been observed in Washington during spring migration.

New! Share the Beach with Western Snowy Plovers

Learn more about the Western snowy plover and what you can do to help. Download Brochure (634 KB)

Beach Facilities Good for Razor Clam Diggers and Plovers

Portable toilets will be available for north Long Beach Peninsula razor clam diggers April 7-9, 2012. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is placing two portable toilets on the beach in an effort to protect threatened western snowy plovers from disturbance during the upcoming dig. The portable toilets can be found at 4.0 and 6.0 miles north of the Oysterville Road Beach Approach. Clam diggers are reminded to remain outside of the signed closure area, and encouraged to use these toilets placed on the beach.

Western snowy plovers inhabit beaches and sparsely vegetated coastal dunes on the Leadbetter Point Unit of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. They are part of the Pacific coast population found breeding from Washington State to Baja Mexico. Western snowy plovers are classified as a threatened species because their numbers have declined due to habitat loss, human disturbance, and increasing threats from predators. Learn more about western snowy plovers.

Applications Being Accepted for Youth Conservation Corp (YCC) Summer Positions

Applications must be received by 5 pm, May 11, 2012. Click here for more information.

 

Apply for the Wildlife Refuge Manager (Deputy) position

Announcement is open and scheduled to close on 4/3/12

Click here for more information about the position. Click here to apply!

 

Volunteer Work Party - Tree Planting
February 24 & 25, 10 am - 3 pm

Hearty volunteers needed to help plant native trees at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge's South Bay Unit. The Refuge is working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to restore thousands of acres of forest and miles of vital streams. This work party will take place on both Friday and Saturday. Pick one day to volunteer, or help out for both! The terrain will be uneven and slippery, so we need sure-footed and able-bodied people who can work in any kind of weather. Work party hours are from 10 am to 3 pm. Raingear and boots required. Snacks and gloves will be provided. Meet at Refuge Headquarters near milemarker 24 on State Route 101 at 9:30 am to caravan to the planting site. For more information and to sign up, contact Julie Edwards at julie.edwards@tnc.org or (206) 343-4345 ext. 381 or Nancy Holman at 360-484-3482 x23 or nancy_holman@fws.gov.

The Great Backyard Bird Count at
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
February 18, 9 am - 10 am

The 15th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count is a project of Audubon and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This refuge-sponsored event is an opportunity to participate in a nation-wide citizen science project, visit the refuge, learn about your local birds and have fun. More about The Great Backyard Bird Count, previous bird sightings and more can be found at www.birdcount.org.

Meet Refuge staff and members of the Shoalwater Birders at 9 am, Saturday, February 18th at the Tarlatt Unit. Follow 95th Road from Sandridge Road in Long Beach to the Refuge gate. Dress for the weather (layers, rain jacket, boots). No previous bird experience needed. Binoculars, spotting scopes, field guides and instruction available. The event will last 1 hour. Contact Nancy Holman at 360-484-3482 x23 or nancy_holman@fws.gov for more information. Download Event Flyer (359KB)

 

 

Last updated: March 12, 2013