About Us

After increased agricultural development in the Tualatin River valley, many local residents in the late 1980s recognized the importance of conserving green space for future generations. A small group of citizens and local leaders approached the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to have the land set aside as a 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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. The Service recognized the need to protect the space that offered an abundance of habitat for a variety of wildlife and enjoyment of people, especially as it is adjacent to multiple urban areas. The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge was officially designated and established in 1992.

Visitors can enjoy a year-round trail that meanders through a variety of habitats, including wetland views and oak savanna. With over 200 species of birds, the refuge is a fantastic bird-watching destination. Visitors can also keep their eyes peeled for a variety of other wildlife, including numerous mammals, reptiles, amphibians, plants, and insects. In addition to our walking trails and wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities, visitors can engage with our refuge through a variety of public programs and events, as well as our environmental education for local school groups. 

Our Mission

The purpose of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is for the conservation, management and restoration of the fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. All land management decisions, including restoration and visitor activities allowed on refuges are evaluated to make sure each activity supports and does not conflict with the purpose of the refuge.

Other Facilities in this Complex

A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is a grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are generally managed by a central office location. Refuges are grouped in a complex because they occur in a similar ecological region (like a watershed or habitat type) and have a related purpose and management needs.

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, with Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge, is part of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge currently serves as the Complex headquarters, and staff work to manage both refuges. Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge became an official refuge in 2013, but has been closed to the public until 2021.