Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer is rich in wildlife and habitats. People come to the refuge each year to enjoy solitude, commune with nature, and share the joys of wildlife with family and friends. Regulation of recreation activities, such as day-use hours, hiking, and hunting regulations allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.
Location and Contact Information
Julia Butler Hansen Refuge was established in 1971 specifically to protect and manage the then endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. The refuge contains over 6,000 acres of pastures, forested tidal swamps, brushy woodlots, marshes and sloughs along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon. Diverse habitats that support deer also benefit a large variety of wintering and migratory birds, Roosevelt elk, river otter, reptiles and amphibians, and nesting bald eagles, great horned owls and osprey.
Julia Butler Hansen Refuge is one of over 560 sites in the National Wildlife Refuge System, and one of 56 sites established to benefit specific threatened and endangered species. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this system is a vital living heritage, conserving wildlife and habitat for people today and generations to come.
What We Do
Julia Butler Hansen Refuge protects and manages habitats in order to conserve the Columbian white-tailed deer that rely on them. Conservation of these habitats also benefits other local and migratory wildlife. Much of this management work involves maintaining, enhancing, or restoring habitat. In order to successfully do this work, the Refuge works with a variety of partners, from fellow federal agencies to local non-profit organizations.
Hundreds of plant and animal species use the diverse habitats protected by Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, including a number of threatened and endangered species - the most famous being our namesake, the Columbian White-tailed Deer. There are many resident species that live here year-round, as well as migratory species that stop to utilize the habitats for a various lengths of time. Each season provides an opportunity to observe new wildlife species.
Volunteers are an integral part of what we do. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skillsets.
Projects and Research
Julia Butler Hansen Refuge conducts high-priority inventory and monitoring activities as well as research, assessments, and studies to enhance endangered and threatened species protection and recovery as well as habitat management and restoration activities. The gathering of scientific information assists in evaluating resource management and public use activities to facilitate adaptive management and contribute to the enhancement, protection, use, preservation and management of wildlife populations and their habitats on and off refuge lands.