Message from the Board

Zoe Ann Jorgensen

As the weather warms, the kids are anxious to get outside, and this is a good thing.  There are many studies that say our kids spend to much time indoors and do not experience nature regularly.  Whether it’s in the local park or at the Camas National Wildlife Refuge, nature experiences are a great family activity.  One way to get everyone involved is a scavenger hunt.  The hunt can focus on anything you want: birds, plants wildlife.  This website has four hunts already to use and to strengthen observation skills.

Camas is a refuge for many native, migrating birds and spring is a great time to bird watch.  Starting with birds in your backyard, the city parks or along the river, you can engage in a dialog about how important birds are and how we can take care of their habitats.  One fun way to become even more aware of the birds of the intermountain west is to use an app to help identify the local birds.  The Audubon Bird Guide is a free app that includes descriptions, locations, pictures, and audio files to share information about the North American birds. 

It doesn’t really matter what you choose to do while out-of-doors, it just matters that you make time to take the young people out into nature allowing them to explore, observe and enjoy. 

Photo by Bruce Hallman

Refuge Manager's Notes

Brian Wehausen, 

March 12, 2020

Our snowpack finally began to drop last weekend with warmer temperatures and rain.  Still snow pretty much across the entire Refuge but definitely pockets opening up and exposing the frozen ground underneath.  To date, we have not started any wells but will likely be looking at doing so the week of March 15.  Spring migration is in its early stages and has yet to see or hear big groups of ducks or geese.  The last couple of days have been seeing and hearing small groups of Sandhill cranes on the Refuge.  Snow geese have been on the American Falls Reservoir for a couple of weeks at least and really should be pushing through our area soon.

I would suspect that the best of Bald Eagle viewing is behind us and the Red-tailed hawks have shown back up and are defending their nesting territory.  They do a good job of harassing the eagles so they do not like to come back to the roost trees.  We are certainly seeing other birds that tell us spring is arriving.  Good numbers of red-winged blackbirds on the Refuge, noticed meadowlarks last week and seeing robins in various locations.  I am sure other species are arriving if you just get out and look for them.

Recent weather has been cold and dry and we really have not received much in the way of snowfall in the mountains.  The crab creek snotel site is reporting 36 inches of snow depth and only 10.8 inches of water equivalent.  Last year about this time the same snotel site was reporting 17 inches of water equivalent.  We are well behind last year and we really need the upper part of the Camas Creek watershed to get more precipitation in order to have a good water year for the Refuge.

Currently, Refuge roads conditions are good, for the most part, they are currently clear and dry with scattered muddy and wet spots.  The next couple of weeks should be a great time to visit the Refuge and enjoy the spring migration.

Coming to a computer near you - Idaho's annual philanthropic program Idaho Gives.

Donation day May 7th, 2020. 

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