What We Do
The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from the purpose a refuge is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge.
Hunting, hiking, bicycling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are approved activities on the refuge. Please see regulations on where and when these activities can take place. Prohibited activities include: fires, boating, fishing, camping, horseback riding, use of drones and collecting natural objects such as plants, animals, minerals, antlers and objects of antiquity.
Management and Conservation
Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. Some refuges use prescribed fires to mimic natural fires that would have cleared old vegetation from the land, helping native plants regenerate and local wildlife to thrive. The management tools used are aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach where both wildlife and people will benefit. At this field station our conservation toolbox includes: prescribed fire in our wetland areas, fire suppression in our upland to save habitat, dynamic wetland management which means varying water levels in wetlands units from year to year, biological controls agent’s herbicide treatments and mowing to help with invasive plants, and upland restoration of native grasses and forbs.
Our Projects and Research
The Camas National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan [https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/DownloadFile/43707] has identified many needs for inventory and monitoring work for both plant and animals species on the Refuge. These projects will be prioritized by need and available funding. Contact the refuge manager for information regarding ongoing scientific research projects on the Refuge.
Wetland Monitoring to Inform State-and-Transition Model
Intensive monitoring of vegetation, water quality and soils has taken place since the summer of 2014 to gather data on the current state of certain wetland units on the refuge. Monitoring with an identical protocol has taken place during this same time frame on 49 wetland units within 12 National Wildlife Refuges across Regions 1, 6 and 8 in the intermountain west and western prairie pothole region. This monitoring and continued monitoring will help design a tool to determine effects of potential management actions.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Officer’s help visitors understand and obey wildlife protection laws. They work closely with state and local government offices to enforce federal, state and refuge hunting regulations that protect migratory birds and other game species from illegal take and preserve legitimate hunting opportunities. Some other duties include patrolling closed areas or Wilderness areas, maintaining relationships with neighboring landowners, maintaining refuge boundaries and participating in public events related to refuge issues.
Law enforcement issues should be referred to the deputy refuge manager or refuge manager.
Laws and Regulations
Visitors are welcome to snowshoe, cross country ski, hike or use non-motorized bicycles on all refuge roads. Pets are allowed on a leash or under close control of the owner. Use of any motorized vehicles is limited to the auto-tour route or hunter access roads.
Hunting is allowed on the refuge for ducks, geese, coots, mergansers, snipe, pheasants, sage-grouse and gray partridge only, all other species are protected. Hunting dates, hours and bag limits correspond to State regulations. Approved nontoxic shot is required for hunting of all species on the Refuge
Fires, boating, fishing, camping, horseback riding, use of drones and collecting natural objects such as plants, animals, minerals, antlers and objects of antiquity.