More Habitat Projects

More projects are on the way to improve habitat for the hundreds of bird, mammal, and aquatic species that call the refuges home. Get a preview of these projects below and be sure to check back as we continually expand the details around benefits and temporary visitor disruptions.

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Ridgefield NWR Prescribed Fire

The intentional, controlled, and safe use of fire to manage the landscape we now call Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge was a common practice until Europeans came to the region over 150 years ago. In September 2018, we successfully reintroduced fire as a management tool to a closed area of the River S Unit. During 2019’s prescribed fire window of August-October, we will look to expand the use of this effective tool to additional portions of the Refuge where it makes sense and will be safe for the public.

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Steigerwald lake nwr Columbia River Connection

Following years of design and preparation, 2019 will see the beginning of perhaps the largest restoration project to ever take place on the Lower Columbia River. The main objective is to reconnect Steigerwald Lake NWR to the natural ebb and flow of the Columbia River. Wildlife will see a tremendous benefit, especially salmon and Pacific lamprey. The project will restore 912 acres of Columbia River floodplain habitat when it’s all said and done. September 2019 is the timeframe when visitors will begin to see temporary access disruptions to the Refuge.

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Steigerwald Lake NWR Tree planting

In preparation for the reconnection of Steigerwald Lake NWR to the Columbia River, the Refuge is coordinating the planting of several native plant and tree species throughout the spring and summer of 2019. It’s important to let the new vegetation get a foothold now. Once the Columbia River is eventually reconnected, the shape and depth of Steigerwald Lake will change significantly.