Time to Get Outdoors!
Fall signals the return of millions of waterfowl and other migratory birds to national wildlife refuges throughout California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon. Treat yourself to a visit to a refuge during National Wildlife Refuge Week, celebrated October 13-20.
Kicking off the week on October 13, Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges, near Willows, Calif., will celebrate their 75th and 50th anniversaries by hosting a day-long event filled with activities for the whole family. Events will also be held throughout the week at other refuges throughout the region.
“The National Wildlife Refuge System is America’s best kept secret,” says Sacramento NWRC Project Leader Dan Frisk. “It’s where wildlife comes first, but it’s also a place to connect kids and their families with nature. Refuge Week is a great time to visit a refuge.”
There are 50 national wildlife refuges in the Pacific Southwest Region, part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a nationwide network of public lands set aside to conserve wildlife. The nation’s 560 national wildlife refuges offer families wonderful opportunities to fish, hunt, hike or observe fascinating creatures in the wild. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major cities.
Refuge locations and additional information about refuges in the Pacific Southwest is available at: http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges. Photographs are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/collections/
Pacific Southwest Region’s National Wildlife Refuge Week Highlights
Check the special events calendar for Refuge Week events or call your local refuge. Among the events planned:
Saturday, October 13:
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Calif., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges 75th and 50th anniversaries! Enjoy photography tours, kids’ crafts, behind-the-scenes bird watching tours, and airboat demonstrations. Visit http://www.fws.gov/sacramentovalleyrefuges/ for more information and to sign up for tours.
Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Nev., (Oct. 13-14)
Camping Under the Stars: camp at Corn Creek and experience the refuge. Small fee and advanced registration required. For more information visit http://www.fws.gov/desertcomplex/desertrange/
Sunday, October 14:
Humboldt National Wildlife Refuge, Calif., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Spread Your Wings and celebrate by participating in the following: Take a Walk on the Wild Side to see the Salmon Creek Habitat Restoration Project. Walks begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations required. Explore Birding Lane, a hands-on activity for all ages. There will be fun, educational stations all about birds. Check out a pair of binoculars at the Visitor Center to get a closer look. For more information, call 707-733-5406 or visit http://www.fws.gov/humboldtbay/
Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Calif., 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Celebrate Refuge Week with a special guided tour as we welcome back the fall and winter migratory birds. Trail leads to a wildlife viewing platform overlooking managed wetlands hosting various migrants such as Sandhill cranes, shorebirds and songbirds. http://www.fws.gov/stonelakes/
Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Nev., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Corn Creek Trails Grand Opening. Celebration of new trails and Refuge Week. http://www.fws.gov/desertcomplex/desertrange/
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Calif., 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Enjoy a guided nature walk in honor of Refuge Week and to kick-off the fall birding and nature walks on refuge trails. Learn about the refuge, its wildlife, and explore the new Visitor Center. Each walk (also offered on Oct. 20) will last one to two hours and reservations are not required. http://www.fws.gov/sanluis/
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Calif., 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Learn about the remarkable gray fox and how it differs from other foxes. Take a walk to observe its habitat. Good walking shoes recommended. Visit http://www.fws.gov/desfbay/ for more activities.
Saturday, October 20:
Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Calif., 10 a.m.
Learn about the plants, animals and birds of the refuge and look for the endangered California condor on this walking and driving field trip at Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Sponsored by Friends of California Condors Wild and Free. For more information and reservations, contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Calif., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate Refuge Week with many onsite festivities and special free admission to the Living Coast Discovery Center. Birding and nature tours, arts and crafts for kids, activities on the trails and much more. For a complete schedule, visit http://www.fws.gov/sandiegorefuges/Sweetwater
Saturday, October 20 through Sunday, October 21:
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Calif., 3 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Come and experience a 24-hour BioBlitz. Meet the experts and see what they do first-hand. Become a field scientist and help the refuge document plants and wildlife, both big and small. Participate in one of our guided programs, or take a documentation sheet and head out on your own. Programs include: reptile surveys, bird surveys, plant surveys, song bird banding demonstration, and a mammal night walk. Don’t forget to bring your camera. Open to all ages. For a complete schedule, visit http://www.fws.gov/desfbay/
Image courtesy U.S Fish and Wildlife Service