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Information iconRestored estuary, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, WA (Photo: Bill O’Brian/USFWS)

Jackie Ferrier Named Manager of the Year

Jackie Ferrier, project leader of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Washington state, has been named 2019 Refuge Manager of the Year by the National Wildlife Refuge Association. This marks the first time in the award’s 25-year history that a woman has received the honor.

During her nearly eight years as complex leader, Ferrier oversaw the restoration of 700 acres of tidal estuary in Willapa Bay, which provides important habitat for chum salmon and migratory waterbirds. The estuary is part of an area recently designated as a site of international importance for shorebirds by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

Ferrier also spearheaded sand dune restoration to protect native animals including plovers, larks and endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. To better connect the community with the refuge, she teamed last year with the Friends of Willapa Refuge to launch Wings Over Willapa, an annual birding, nature and art festival.

jackie Ferrier Willapa NWR Complex.jpg
Jackie Ferrier, 2019 Refuge Manager of the Year and project leader, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Complex. (Photo: USFWS)

Ferrier said she was thrilled to receive the award. “It means so much that the large-scale habitat restoration projects, wildlife conservation efforts and incredible partnerships that I am so passionate about be recognized in this way by the National Wildlife Refuge Association.  It's a refuge manager's dream come true.”

The Willapa Refuge complex is made up of three refuges: Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer, and Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge.

Also honored by the Refuge Association were:

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A duck flies over Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge’s Friends group was named the 2019 Friends Group of the Year. (Photo: Clayton Ferrell/USFWS)

The awards will be presented in late February in Washington, DC.

The Refuge Association is a nonprofit focused on protecting and promoting the 850 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s largest network of lands and waters set aside for wildlife conservation.

Information iconEstuary restoration under way at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge (Photo: USFWS)