Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Final Environmental Assessment, FONSI, for Deer Translocation Available

January 28, 2013


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it has completed the Final Environmental Assessment for an emergency translocation of endangered Columbian white-tailed deer and is making the document, together with an accompanying Finding of No Significance (FONSI), available on the refuge website at .

Beginning this week, up to 50 deer will be translocated from the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for Columbian White-tailed Deer near Cathlamet, Washington, to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge near Ridgefield, Washington. The deer are being moved to save them from potential loss due to the impending failure of a dike between the JBH refuge and the Columbia River. If the dike fails, much of the refuge will be flooded, placing the deer at risk.

Columbian white-tailed deer are unique to southwest Washington and western Oregon and are listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Ridgefield NWR is within their historical range and contains suitable habitat. The USFWS 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. Fifteen deer will also be moved from Puget Island to Cottonwood Island to improve genetic diversity in an existing population.

As part of the emergency effort, the Service developed a Draft Environmental Assessment and solicited public comment. The Final Environmental Assessment released today addresses those comments. The agency also held informational workshops in Ridgefield and on Sauvie Island in Oregon. The Fish and Wildlife Service thanks everyone who commented or attended the workshops.


Information contained in older news items may be outdated. These materials are made available as historical archival information only. Individual contacts have been replaced with general External Affairs office information. No other updates have been made to the information and we do not guarantee current accuracy or completeness.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.