About the Refuge

Baskett Butte

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and plants. Populations of several endangered and threatened animal and plant species can be found on the refuge, and wildlife/wildlands observation, photography, hiking, and environmental education and interpretation are some of the visitor activities allowed on the Refuge.


Established in 1965 as part of the Willamette Valley NWR Complex, the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge’s primary management goal is to provide wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. Unlike other Canada goose subspecies, duskies have limited summer and winter ranges. They nest in Alaska’s Copper River Delta and winter almost exclusively in the wetlands of the Willamette Valley—much of which was drained to provide open fields for agriculture and pasture during the 19th century European settlement. With the extensive habitat restoration projects at work on all 2,492 acres of the refuge, it makes driving through like taking a step back into the natural history of the Willamette Valley.

Today, the refuge’s extensive croplands are managed to provide winter forage for the geese, which reduces depredation of surrounding private fields and promotes a healthy wildlife-landowner relationship as well as providing for the geese. The refuge also provides wetland and woodland sanctuary for migratory and resident wildlife which range from the rare endangered butterfly, Fender's blue, to the prolific black-tailed deer. 

Located at the junction of State Highways 99W and 22, the refuge offers convenient access to miles of dirt trails as well as handicap and stroller accessible viewing platforms for its human visitors. The refuge kiosk just off Highway 22 provides an interpretive and informative experience for visitors, so make sure to stop at the pull-off to learn more about the refuge habitats and how they are maintained for wildlife. The HWY 22 kiosk and Rich Guadagno Memorial Trail are open year-round, but all other trails are closed from October 1 through March 31 to provide sanctuary for wintering dusky Canada geese and other waterfowl.


For questions about the refuge, call the complex headquarters at (541) 757-7236 or fill out our online Contact Us form.