A View from the Board

Photo by Patty Pickett

January 22, 2018

As Treasurer for the Board of Friends of Camas NWR, I see the struggles our small group has when it comes to financing. Money is always tight and we usually have more potential projects and expenses than our fundraisers and membership dues can cover. We rely heavily on grants and donations to accomplish our work at the Refuge.

In September of 2016 Brian Wehausen, Camas National Wildlife Refuge Manager, reported some good news to the Board of Directors of the Friends of Camas. Brian had received a letter stating that Rita Poe, a wildlife lover and photographer from Washington State, had passed away leaving a bequest of possibly $48,000 to Camas. Neither Brian nor the board was sure at that point that this was real as things that seem too good to be true usually are. At our October board meeting though, Brian told us that he had received further correspondence and that he now was sure that we would really receive this bequest—approximately $50,000, to be used for wildlife habitat and similar projects, not for routine maintenance.

In May of 2017, we were all surprised and delighted when a check for $96.551.48 from Rita Poe’s estate arrived. The check was deposited in our credit union checking account, and the board discussed how we should use this very generous bequest. With no immediate plans for such a large sum, we decided to invest it so that the amount would grow over time rather than just sit in our checking account earning no interest. After much investigation and discussion, the board decided to invest the funds with Vanguard, where it has already increased by a little over $2300 since October.

Rita Poe had spent many years traveling about the country visiting wildlife areas. She was an accomplished photographer and birder and loved being out in nature. Camas NWR was one of half a dozen refuges and parks that benefitted from Poe’s generosity. It is sad to lose a great wildlife advocate such as Rita Poe, but we are grateful for the opportunity to help her legacy live on. Some of the projects we are considering funding include finishing the pollinator garden, replacing the aging cottonwoods that the eagles roost in and helping with a songbird survey. Suggestions for other possible uses for this money are welcome!

Kit Struthers
Board Treasurer

What's New - 2018

Come to Roost 2018: join in an afternoon watching bald eagles.
Click here for more information

Pregrine Cam Offline for the winter. Check back in March 2018

Peregrine Cam Screenshot

Be sure to check out our annual wildlife calendar

To See the First Ever Friends of Camas Photo Contest Results, Click Here.

We welcomed two new Friends of Camas Board members this summer: Pam Johnson, retired FWS biologist, and Sue Braastad who has been critical to the development of the Pollinator Garden at Camas NWR.  

Refuge Notes

January 28, 2018

At this time last year we were covered in snow and plowing our Refuge roads a couple times a week. What a difference a year makes. At this time we really do not have any snow and not much precipitation has fallen locally so far this winter. The Crab Creek Snotel site that is in the Camas Creek watershed is currently at 73% of average moisture with 19 inches of snow depth and only 4.3 inches of water equivalent.

We do have eagles roosting in the trees here at the Headquarters site as usual. With the open winter numbers are certainly down from last year. Counts of the eagles seem to range from 15 to 30 depending on the weather conditions the day we conduct the count.

Numbers of raptors in general have not been spectacular but rough-legged hawks and northern harriers came be observed as normal on the Refuge.

Good numbers of deer and elk are currently using the Refuge and are most visible during early morning and late evening hours. Coyotes have also been active and they can be seen and heard howling at various times of the day.




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