Message from the Board

July 2020

By Sue Braastad

All gardens are a work in progress.  The Camas National Wildlife Refuge Pollinator Garden is no exception.  But the goal of any garden is to fulfil the original purpose – look pretty, feed the birds or provide resources for pollinators.  And the Camas garden is definitely fulfilling its’ purpose.  If you explore the garden you will find the flowers crawling/flying with insects.  For the most part that is a good thing!  The bumblebees have been there in force, and that is excellent as they are native bees.

Other improvements are benches in the gazebo and benches in the garden area.  The tree snag near the gazebo has been carved with a chainsaw!  Check out the critters carved into it!  And please check out the garden continually as it progresses.

Refuge Manager's Notes

Brian Wehausen, 

Camas National Wildlife Refuge July 16, 2020


The hot dry weather has finally made it to Eastern Idaho and it is starting to take its toll on Refuge wetlands and vegetation.  Wetland levels are now beginning to drop and more vegetation is starting to turn brown.  On a positive note Camas Creek is still reaching the Refuge today but just barely.  The abundant summer rains has keep the creek flowing, however those rains have subsided and the creek will stop flowing into the Refuge in the next day or two.

As always July is the best month to see all the waterbird broods that have hatched on the Refuge.  Still plenty of water in the wetlands around the auto-tour route where hatchlings will be visible.  We do have a number of Trumpeter Swans using Refuge wetlands however none of them nested this year.

Our biology staff, along with help from the Master Naturalist program, have been conducting vegetation surveys the last week on the Refuge.  The Master Naturalist program has been a huge help to us in getting many tasks completed.   To get all the things done we want to accomplish, we also have a temporary Biological Technician on board along with two intern that are employed by the Great Basin Institute. 

If you pay a visit to the Refuge keep an eye out for a moose that has had two calves with her.  They spend a good majority of their time in the willows along the creek channel.  With things drying out on the Refuge she may move a more desirable location at any time.  If you are lucky you can also see elk calves and deer fawns if you are in the right spot.  As always mornings and evenings are the best time for this.

What's New 

Friends of Camas Neck Gaiters    

Neck gaiters with the Friends of Camas logo are now available for $10.00.  To purchase contact FOC board members Karl Bohan or Kit Struthers.

Friends of Camas NWR Photography Contest

Step right up folks!  It’s time to get out in the fresh air and take your amazing pictures!  Please practice social distancing!

Photo by Ray Thomas

The Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the natural wonders of Eastern Idaho wildlife refuges and wildlife management areas with its fourth photography contest.   Photographs of birds, other wildlife and flora, as well as scenic images may be submitted at  through August 31, 2020.  See complete rules and submission form at

Entrants may submit up to five photographs taken at the Southeast Idaho Refuge Management Complex (Camas NWR, Bear Lake NWR, Gray’s Lake NWR, Oxford Slough WPA) and Idaho Fish and Game-managed areas (Mud Lake WMA, Market Lake WMA and Deer Parks WMA [including Cartier Slough]). 

A Grand Prize of $50 will be awarded.

First prize will be a Friends of Camas NWR neck gaiter and an Idaho Birding Trails book.

Second prize will be Friends of Camas NWR neck gaiter.

Third place will be an Idaho Birding Trails book. 

All prize winners and honorable mention will receive ribbons.

The Falcon Cam IS Live

The Falcon Cam this year is a Raven Cam!
For more information go to the Webcam link under the “Projects” tab above to the “F of C Projects” page.  

The webcam is currently experiencing technical issues, please check back later.  




Friends of Camas NWR Inc. 
2150 E 2350 N
Hamer, ID 83425