News Release

March 27, 2012


Media Contacts:
Contact: Sue McDonald, (509) 546-8355,

Camping at Madame Dorian Campground, located near the mouth of the Walla Walla River, is no longer permitted. All other activities such as night fishing, use of the boat launch, hiking, and wildlife viewing will continue without change.

As of April 1, 2012, McNary National Wildlife Refuge will have jurisdiction over those lands previously managed by the Army Corp of Engineers. The change in management reflects the different missions of the two agencies. The mission of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge System is focused on managing and improving wildlife resources and their associated recreational opportunities, while the Army Corps of Engineers has a mandate that includes a wider spectrum of recreational activities.

The closure of Madame Dorian for camping is in conjunction with this change of management in the area. According to Lamont Glass, Refuge Manager; "We examined the use of Madame Dorian Campground and found that most users were not using the campground for wildlife-oriented activities. We feel that removing camping functions from the site will actually improve the visitor experience for fishing, wildlife observation, and other related activities."

Thus campground closure is a part of ongoing efforts to protect wildlife habitat, reduce the risk of wildfire from campfires and fireworks, and reduce trash and human waste. If you have questions about the closure, please call Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex headquarters at (509) 546-8300.