About Us

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.

Our Mission

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Every national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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was created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded. 

Our History

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. 

Other Facilities in this Complex

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central location. Refuges are grouped because they occur in a similar ecological region and have a related purpose and management needs. These refuges for example, were created in the 1960s specifically for the habitat they provide for the dusky Canada geese in the winter.

The Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of three refuges: William L. Finley NWR and its additional Snag Boat Bend Unit, Ankeny NWR and Baskett Slough NWR.