A Message From the President

Photo Credit: Alpine Glow at Camas by Patty Picket

February 21, 2017

Well, it has happened again. The calendar tells me it is still the dead of winter; the temperature outside and the green grass between the remaining patches of snow tell me something else. Every year I forget how quickly winter, including this one which started early with much snow and severe temperatures, and seemed never ending, can turn into T-shirt weather. Weather in Eastern Idaho is indeed fickle, and winter conditions at Camas National Wildlife Refuge are no different. Two weeks ago the Refuge was covered with snow and hardy cross-country skiers endured bone chilling temperatures. Today the snow is quickly retreating and with very little imagination one can sense spring around the corner. While several dozen Bald Eagles continue to come to roost nightly in the cottonwoods, their numbers have declined over the past week. Soon the tens of thousands of snow geese will drop in for their fleeting spring visit and the refuge will sing and dance with the sounds and sights of the annual explosion of new life. Friends of Camas also has some new and exciting news for the season. We are pleased to announce that two extremely qualified individuals have joined our board: Terry Thomas, retired Fish and Game Biologist, is returning to the Friends of Camas Board after a year-long hiatus, and Karl Bohan, former Skyline HS Science teacher, has joined the Board. We welcome them and their much needed skills. Their bios will be posted soon. Perhaps even more exciting, the Peregrine Web Cam Project is ready to go on line. All the equipment is in place and tested. Just a few details with our service provider and a streaming service need to be resolved before we can begin broadcasting. We hope to have an official “ribbon cutting” on April 1, a couple of weeks after we expect the Peregrines to return and start nesting. This summer we also intend to finish the Pollinator Garden. We intend to finish planting, install a water feature, construct a gazebo, and begin a citizen science monarch and milkweed survey and monitoring program. This will be an exciting addition to our education offerings, and will involve several new partners, including the Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University and, likely, the Idaho Falls Zoo. It is always a treat to work with organizations that share our goals of Environmental Education, Conservation, and Scientific Study for the benefit of the resources and enjoyment of by the public. The annual migration season is nearly upon us, which brings new things to see at Camas every day. As usual, I extend an invitation to you to come and visit Camas National Wildlife Refuge soon.

Enjoy the transition into Spring.

Tim Reynolds, President

 Read Past Presidents Messages

Timothy D. (Tim) Reynolds, PhD.


View Bio

Friends of Camas NWR Photography Contest

The Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the natural wonders of Eastern Idaho wildlife refuges and wildlife management areas with it first photography contest.   Photographs of birds, other wildlife and flora, as well as scenic images may be submitted online or by filling out the form and emailing your submission to friendsofcamasphoto@gmail.com  through August 31, 2017.

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]). There are two eligible categories, adult and youth (may have 19th birthday during 2017).  

A Grand Prize of $50 will be awarded; first and second place and honorable mention will be presented in the adult and youth categories. First prizes will be Friends of Camas NWR T-shirts; second prizes will be Friends of Camas NWR ball caps; all prize winners and honorable mentions will receive ribbons.

An entry form and detailed entry information is on the Friends of Camas website.

What's New - March 2017

Watch the live Falcon Web Cam Now

Pollinator Garden Schematic

First a SHOUT OUT to the organizations who allowed the Pollinator Garden to come along as far as it has by their grants or in-kind support: CHC Foundation (Idaho Falls,ID)  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Refuge Friends Program, Scott’s Miracle Gro 1000 grant program, Idaho Native Plant Society, Portneuf Valley Audubon Society, private donors (you know who you are) Cedera Seeds (Swan Valley, ID), Mountain States Products (Rexburg, ID), The Upper Snake Chapter of Idaho Master Naturalists, Camas NWR Staff, and Friends of Camas Volunteers.  Thank you all!  We look forward to an equally productive 2017.

Over 30,000 snow geese will soon be making their annual appearance in eastern Idaho. This is an experience not to be missed, and Camas can be a great place to view these migrants which only stay around for a couple of weeks.

Be sure to check out our annual wildlife calendar

Our 2017 activity calendar is available here.

Refuge News

February 15, 2017

The water outlook is up a bit as the Crab Creek snotel site is reporting 7.4 inches of water equivalent and that puts it as 120 % of average. From the Refuge standpoint we will still need more moisture to fall in the upper basin for us to good water year (note: Storms fter this report raised the water equivalent to 12.2 inches on Feb 22, making a much better water year forecast for the Refuge).

Photo by Bill Shiess

The numbers of Bald Eagles roosting in the trees near HQ has seemed to go down with the recent nice weather. Last week’s count was around sixty eagles on roost. The melting snow has seemed to change their food source and stretches of local rivers are beginning to open up which will disperse the eagles.

For the most part the Refuge auto tour route is melted off but still has some scattered icy patches, but otherwise in good condition. The conditions for cross country skiing or snowshoeing has deteriorated quickly and would be considered poor at this time. However, hiking is now an option as the snow depth should not be an issue on most areas of our service roads.

The nice weather and all the melting has seemed to move the majority of the jack rabbits away from the roads and we are seeing less hawk activity. Still a good group of white-tailed deer handing around Refuge headquarters and they can be seen throughout the day. Good sized herd of elk seem to be staying on the north part of the Refuge and mile or so north of the headquarters area.




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