A Message From the President

Photo Credit: Patty Picket

December 1, 2016

It’s hard to believe the end of 2016 is in sight.  With an unseasonably warm fall, as evidenced by the photo above of open water on Big Pond in early November, it seems 2017 should still be months away.  As proof, Sandhill Cranes were still at the refuge less than two weeks ago.  But, recent colder weather is opening the door to winter.  Rough-legged hawks are beginning to show up.  White-tailed deer bucks are showing signs of the rut, and many waterfowl have drifted away from Camas National Wildlife Refuge to overwinter elsewhere.  

The protracted Fall has been a blessing for two Friends projects.  First, the Peregrine Web Cam. A generous donation by the Idaho Falconers Association, in the name of recently deceased Master Falconer and Founding Member of IFA Charles Scwartz, (photo left) brought us within $100 of our funding target. Moments after we announced the generosity of the Idaho Falconers Association, we received a donation (the second!) from a conservation minded individual which put us over the top! In a flurry of
activity to beat winter, Friends Board Member Mark Delwiche installed the camera, solar panels, and associated electronic components on the nesting tower, and tested everything the week before Thanksgiving. All appears to be in order and a big GO for streaming the nesting process via the internet when the Peregrine Falcons return next spring.   

Second, the long fall has allowed us to make significant headway in converting the lawn around the HQ building into a pollinator garden designed to provide four distinct habitats, mostly of native species, to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, insects and other pollinator species.  An ADA compliant Pathway was completed, an irrigation system installed, nearly 70 native trees and shrubs were planted (thank you Idaho Master Naturalists!), and six raised beds for a monarch/milkweed study were constructed, put in place, and filled with topsoil.  And, with the support of Pheasants Forever, the Hamer elementary kids came to the Refuge for activities about pollinators and habitat. These conservationists of the future seeded over an acre with native grasses, forbs, and shrubs.  It will be fun to watch this area sprout and grow next spring.Click here for photos.

This has been a good year for Friends. Our first ever “Come to Roost at Camas” (watching Bald Eagles fly into their night roost) was a great success, as was the Bird-A-Thon in cooperation with the Snake River Audubon Society, and our annual fall “Discover Camas” day.  We look forward to more successes next year.  If you want to help guide the direction of Friends in 2017 and beyond, consider joining the Board.  Contact me to see how to do so. 

Happy Holidays.

Tim Reynolds, President

 Read Past Presidents Messages

Timothy D. (Tim) Reynolds, PhD.

President

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What's New - December 2016

Photo Credit: Errol Mobley

Peregrine Cam at Camas Update

GREAT NEWS – We have reached our fundraising goal and installed the equipment.  See the President’s Message for more detail. 

Pollinator Garden Update

READY FOR SPRING!  Because of a long fall, we have nearly completed this first phase.  See the President’s Message for more detail and a link to photos.

Refuge News

December 2016

Not much news to report. Both the refuge management and the wildlife are transitioning to winter.

  • The pumps which water the refuge ponds in the summer are off and winterized. 
  • White-tailed deer are getting amorous.
  • Rough-legged Hawks are showing up and waterfowl are leaving as most ponds freeze.
  • Refuge Staff have been lending Friends a hand to make great progress on the Pollinator Garden and the Peregrine Cam at Camas before the bad weather hits.

Photo by Patty Pickett


Contact

E-mail
camasfriends@gmail.com

Phone
208-662-5423

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