Resource Management

Columbia from Steigerwald Lake NWR - Lyn Topinka_512x219

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1987, and contains over 1,000 acres of historic lakebed, river bottomland habitat, and oak woodlands.


Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is actively being managed to restore and expand riparian forests and Oregon white oak woodlands to benefit a diversity of native plant and animal species. Volunteers plant trees and shrubs and remove invasive plant species along Gibbons Creek to create a healthy stream and riparian habitat. Look for the blue tubes protecting these newly planted trees and shrubs along the trail. Oak tree cultivation is also part of the volunteer efforts on the Refuge.

Wetlands and grasslands are managed and maintained to support wintering geese, ducks, and other wildlife. Seasonal mowing, haying, and grazing provide geese with short grass to eat and open areas for many species to rest and hunt for food. Waterways on the Refuge are maintained at levels that accommodate other wintering water birds such as ducks and bitterns.

Future habitat management plans are intended to benefit native species and improve habitats affected by the construction and operation of hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River.

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information.