Government Shutdown

In answer to questions about how the government shutdown will affect our local refuges, here is the official statement:

“Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is unable to fully staff the properties under its management.  It is not feasible to close or otherwise prohibit all access to National Wildlife Refuge System properties.

Refuge visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, as FWS personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response on Refuge System property.  Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk.”

This does not affect the Member and Volunteer dinner on January 21st, as it is being held at the Ridgefield Community Center.

Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for the RNWR Board of Directors position has been extended to January 14. See complete job description on my post of December 28.

Friends of Refuge Seeking Applications

Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is seeking applications for its Board of Directors. It’s a volunteer, unpaid position. Please submit your application no later than January 5, 2018.

Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (“Friends”) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Refuge. Our mission is: promoting educational programs of the Ridgefield NWR, enhancing awareness and appreciation of the Refuge, and protecting and enhancing its wildlife habitat.

The Board of Directors is an action-oriented group which is passionate about its mission. The board retains responsibility for all aspects of the organization’s activity and delegates management responsibilities to staff. The Board retains all responsibility for finances and financial accountability, leadership development and governance. Board members serve three (3) year terms and contribute 10-15 hours per month to the program. The board meets monthly for 60-90 minutes and board members are expected to actively participate in projects or on committees with responsibility for resource development/fundraising, community outreach, leadership/human resources and strategic planning.


Interested candidates should have:

  1. A demonstrated interest and passion in the organization’s mission and goals.
  2. Specific experience or knowledge in at least one area: human resources, planning, finance, community outreach, nature/wildlife, the legal field.
  3. Volunteer or employment experience that demonstrates: professionalism, leadership ability, community service, collaborative skills, and effective communication abilities.
  4. A willingness to participate in board fundraising activities.
  5. A willingness to expand knowledge or board responsibilities through orientation and ongoing training.
  6. A willingness to represent the organization to the community.
  7. An ability to meet the time commitment requirements to be an effective board member.


Interested candidates must submit a letter of interest (and resume if desired) including the following information:

  1. Qualifications for the position including occupational/employment background and community service work.
  2. Interest in the Friends of the RNWR organization, the Refuge, and the position.
  3. A description of the skills and/or strengths the applicant would contribute to the organization.

Mail or Email resumes and letters of interest to Friends of the RNWR at:

P.O. Box 1022, Ridgefield, WA 98642, or

RNWR Calendars on Sale

Time to start holiday shopping while supporting a great cause!

The Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge’s 2018 Calendar is here! This year’s calendar features the winning photos from our annual photo contest and will be on pre-sale through November 28th, 2017.

Our calendars are much more than amazing, high resolution action shots from Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, they also help the Friends support its’ mission of providing habitat restoration,  cultural and environmental education on the Refuge and to its’ visitors. All the photo’s subjects are identified, and there is also some info about each photo! Learn about the seasonal changes in habitat restoration, important dates to look forward to, read a passionate poem about our refuge, and much more. Just $16 pre-sale, these 12 month, 8.5×11 (opens to 11×17), saddle-stitched wall calendars are the perfect gift!

Whether as a holiday gift for loved ones, your friends or co-workers, or a functional keepsake for yourself, your purchase helps support our public lands, protecting wildlife and the history of our area, in perpetuity. With gorgeous photos of wildlife and a little learning, what more could you ask for?

Order yours today to get the pre-sale price and guarantee you get one! Pre-orders will be shipped the first week of December:

After pre-sale, you can still order your calendars online, or you can purchase them in town at City of Ridgefield‘s Hometown Celebration on December 2nd, or at Seasons Coffee Tea & Remedies while supplies last!

Refuge Photography Contest Closes Sept. 5

Last chance to enter the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge’s annual Refuge Photography Contest. Up to six nature images taken within the boundaries of the refuge are permitted. Prices will be awarded to adult and youth entries. Submit an entry online before September 5 here.

Fundraiser for the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

You’re invited!  Please join the Friends on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, from 6:00 – 8:30 pm, at Windy Hills Winery, 1346 S. 38th Court, Ridgefield, WA.

Amazing wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres will be available and there will be both silent and live auctions.

Cost is $25.00 per guest. Invitations are on the way.  If you did not receive an invitation but would like to attend, please contact Victoria Haugen, Board Secretary, at 503-927-2254

Please send check payable to the Friends of the RNWR to:

Friends of the RNWR

P.O. Box 1022

Ridgefield, WA  98642

Or pay online using Paypal:

If you cannot attend, but would like to make a donation to help the Friends, please use this link:


Night Hike at Refuge

Join host, ethnobotonist and author Kat Anderson at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse for a special presentation, “Beauty, Bounty and Biodiversity,” and night hike on May 26 from 7-8:30 pm.

“Kat Anderson will share connections with California and Pacific Northwest tribes, by examining traditionally managed edible wildflower gardens of California. She will also explore the implications that these gardens have for fostering pollinator habitat, increasing biodiversity, and the ways in which these plants have evolved to meet the needs of people.”

Then at 8:30 pm explore the Oaks to Wetlands Trail on a naturalist guided hike, “The Refuge at Dusk”. RSVP required, email to save your spot today!


Schedule for Mother’s Day at the Refuge

Here’s a schedule of the events to take place this Sunday at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Plant Walks & Wild Teas

May 14th 12-4pm

For Cathlapotle Chinookans tending to plant relatives has always been the responsibility of women in the community. Since time immemorial, women have tended to wapato, camas, and many other plants that people have relied on for food, medicine, and trade. This Mother’s Day, bring mom out to the Cathlapotle Plankhouse to connect to plants important to Chinookan Peoples, and to learn about edible and medicinal plants you can connect with in your own neighborhoods.

1pm:  Tending the Wild Walk
Join Friends staff for a walk on the Oaks to Wetland Trail to learn about how the women of Cathlapotle tended to their plant relatives like camas and wapato.

2pm: Family Nature Walk
Learn about the plants and animals that call the Refuge home.

3:00 pm: Soothing Herbal Salve demonstration
Learn a few common plants that can be used to make an herbal salve for soothing cuts, scrapes, and dry skin.

12pm –  4pm: Plankhouse Tours and Children’s Activities
Tour the Plankhouse on your own or guided by our experienced volunteers. Children’s activities will be available as well.

12pm – 4pm: Wild Tea Samples
Taste teas made with native and non-native plants such as blackberry leaf, dandelion root, doug fir, and more! (until supplies last)

Free with Refuge admission:

Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Plankhouse

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and you can bring mom out to the Cathlapotle Plankhouse and connect to plants important to Chinookan Peoples for this special event.

Learn about edible and medicinal plants, enjoy tasting wild teas, learn about medicinal salves, and go on a nature walk.

The Plankhouse serves as an education/interpretive center and is used by the Chinook Indian Nation for cultural events throughout the year. This event is perfect for the whole family.

Wildlife Calendar

Help support the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and their unique education and habitat restoration programs by purchasing this 2017 calendar, originally $15, now just $7.50!
These 16 month calendars run from January 2017 to April 2018, and feature all 16 of the 2016 Refuge Photo Contest Winners.

Each month’s photo is labeled with the winner’s name and their ranking in the contest, as well as identification of the subject of each photo. This calendar also includes key dates that are important to the Friends and the Refuge.

This 8.5×11 calendar opens to 11×17, with #80 cover paper and #100 paper inside. It is saddle-stitched, and includes a hole for wall hanging.

Please contact the Friends of the Refuge at with questions.

To purchase these beautiful calendars

Don’t want to pay shipping?

You can also find these calendars for sale at Season’s Coffee Tea & Remedies, located inside the Old Liberty Theater at 115 N Main Ave, Ridgefield, WA 98642! (Cash or check please!)


Volunteer at the Refuge

Work alongside fellow conservationists at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge while learning about native wildlife management this Saturday, Aug. 27. Volunteers are key to helping biological staff keep wetlands healthy by searching for and removing invasive plants. All work days begin at 9 a.m., rain or shine.

Participants should wear waterproof boots (some are available on‐site) and dress for the weather. Gloves, snacks, and drinks will be provided. Volunteers will meet at the visitor kiosk on the River ‘S’ Unit of the Refuge. Pre-registration is encouraged. For more information and to register, click here or email

Enter the RNWR Photo Contest

The annual Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge photo contest deadline is Sept 6. Anyone can enter up to 6 photos and entry is free. The prizes are quite nice and they don’t only have to be bird photos with a monster lens that most of us can’t afford. Last year’s winners include photos of frogs and other critters.

Here is the link for more information:

Coyote at the Refuge


Paul Snoey packed a lunch and headed cross county into the refuge today. He stopped at Fowler Lake to take off his boots and put on running shoes so he could wade through the wetlands.

A coyote puppy came out of the reeds on Blackwater Island and laid down in the shallows for a cool soak

So cute! Paul grabbed his camera and got a couple pictures using a hiking stick to steady the camera. Thanks for sending, Paul.

Temporary River ‘S’ Closure

Fish & Wildlife

The River ‘S’ Unit of the Refuge will be closed Tuesday July 5th for wetland maintenance.
The Carty Unit will remain open for hiking, wildlife observation, and photography. For additional information concerning the public use opportunities during this closure, please contact the Refuge Office at (360) 887-4106.

Cathlapotle Plankhouse Second Sunday Series

Fish & Wildlife

WHEN: July 10th, 12pm – 4pm

WHERE: Cathlapotle Plankhouse, 28908 North Main Avenue, Ridgefield WA 98624

Events FREE with Refuge Admission

Contempory Native Art Inspired by Cultures of the Columbia RiverMask Exhibit and Artist Talks by Lillian Pitt and Bill Rutherford


Renowned Native Artists and Friends, Lillian Pitt (Wasco, Yakama, Warm Springs) & Bill Rutherford (Chickasaw and African American), will speak on their creative process, how they draw inspiration from Native Cultures of the Columbia River, and why they use masks as a medium of artistic expression. There will also be mask collections from each artist on display throughout the day.


(Hikers meet in front of the Plankhouse, approximately 1 mile hike on uneven terrain)

Mask exhibit, Plankhouse tours and kids’ activities are ongoing during the event.