U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

26010 South Smith Rd
Cheney, WA   99004 - 9326
E-mail: Dan_Matiatos@fws.gov
Phone Number: 509-235-4723
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
A mosaic of habitats supports a diversity of wildlife at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.
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Pioneers arrived in the late 1800s and rapidly began altering the landscape. Many of the marshes were drained to expand crop areas for hay. By the late 1920s, few wetlands remained. Instead, a network of drainage ditches became the more common feature of the landscape. As in most developing communities, timber was harvested, native plant communities were grazed by livestock, exotic plants were introduced, and fire, a natural part of the ecosystem was suppressed.

This excellent wildlife area might have been lost forever, but the drained lakebed failed to produce crops. Named after early settler Cyrus Turnbull, Turnbull Refuge was set aside as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife in 1937. The area was preserved through the long, persistent efforts of countless people, including sportsmen, naturalists, and community activists devoted to wildlife conservation.

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