What We Do

Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything we do from projects and research to the recreational activities offered. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.   

At the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex a variety of tools are used across the four refuges to ensure healthy habitats for native wildlife. These management tools include:  

  • Habitat restoration  

  • Cooperative farming 

  • Agriculture 

  • Invasive species management 

  • Prescribed fire 

  • Conservation easements 

  • Inventory and monitoring  

  • Water management 


Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex Vision

We are ambassadors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We connect people with opportunities to actively engage with the conservation of our local wildlife and habitats. Together, we will move the biological needle with purpose and sound science. As leaders in our communities of practice, we are collaborative, dependable, and focus on the growth of the community and ourselves.

Management and Conservation

Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCPs) ensure that each refuge unit is managed to fulfill the purpose(s) for which it was established. The development of a CCP is a citizen-centered process. Developing long-term plans relies on public participation and input. Local communities, volunteers and Friends of refuges, state conservation agencies, and partners help guide refuge management through the development of each CCP. CCPs also provide an opportunity to improve and increase recreation critical to connecting people with nature.

Our Projects and Research

The Steigerwald Reconnection Project is a collaborative effort to reconfigure the existing Columbia River levee system to reduce flood risk to the neighboring community, reconnect 965 acres of Columbia River floodplain, and enhance recreation opportunities at the refuge. 

Learn more about this project, the largest restoration project on the lower Columbia River to date, and what to expect when we reopen.