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National Wildlife Refuge

Oswald Rd and Hughes Rd
Near Yuba City, CA   
E-mail: sacramentovalleyrefuges@fws.gov
Phone Number: 530-934-2801
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Sutter National Wildlife Refuge

Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, the southern-most refuge in the Sacramento Refuge Complex, is located in the Sacramento Valley of California, about 50 miles north of the metropolitan area of Sacramento. The refuge consists of about 2,600 acres, consisting primarily of wetland impoundments with some riparian and grassland habitat.

About 80 percent of the refuge is located in the Sutter Bypass, a floodwater bypass from the Sacramento River that floods at least once a year and may cover portions of the refuge with up to 12 feet of water. Sutter Refuge typically supports wintering populations of more than 175,000 ducks and 50,000 geese.

The mixed riparian forest habitat on the refuge is important for breeding and migrating passerine birds, and supports a large heron/egret rookery. The refuge provides habitat for several Federal and State endangered and threatened species, including giant garter snake, winter-run Chinook salmon, yellow-billed cuckoo, and Swainsons hawk.

Getting There . . .
From Yuba City, travel south on Highway 99E approximately 6 miles to Oswald Road. Turn west and proceed 5.5 miles to Schlag Road. Travel north on Schlag Road for about 1/8 of a mile, turn west onto Hughes Road, which bisects the refuge.

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Management Activities
Refuge management emphasizes maintenance, enhancement, and restoration of habitat for migratory birds and endangered species, while providing as much natural diversity of indigenous flora and fauna as possible. Habitat is managed to create a mosaic of seasonal wetlands, semi-permanent and permanent wetlands, and uplands.

Water manipulations are used to encourage or discourage vegetation species, create suitable depths for a variety of wildlife, and minimize mosquito production. Since levee systems on local rivers prevent natural flooding, most refuge wetlands are largely "artificial."

Water is delivered through local irrigation districts. Significant quantities of mixed riparian forest occur along the perimeter of the refuge, forming habitat for many land bird species and other wildlife. The refuge's annual habitat management plan sets objectives and directs management activities, prioritizing work on approximately 20 habitat units.

The plan includes floodup and drawdown dates, vegetation manipulation required, levee repairs, special management considerations, and other tasks required to meet refuge objectives. Standardized ground and aerial wildlife surveys and vegetation surveys are conducted regularly throughout the year to inventory populations and document habitat use.

Each year units are evaluated by how well they met habitat and wildlife use objectives. The manager, biologist, and field crew revisit each unit annually, using the wildlife and habitat data to assess the previous year and to formulate the upcoming year's plan. Management of exotic or rank vegetation is accomplished with various combinations of burning, grazing, herbiciding, and water management.

Data on these efforts are stored in a computer database where they can be accessed, analyzed, and reported. Research is encouraged, and staff members are involved with initiating and conducting studies that have direct applications to management.

The United States Congress designated the Three Arch Rocks Wilderness in 1970 and it now has a total of 15 acres. The Three Arch Rocks NWR, part of which is designated as the Three Arch Rocks Wilderness, is closed to visitation to protect wildlife and other natural, cultural, and/or other resources consistent with the conservation purpose(s) of the refuge.

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