Message from the Board

The Pollinator Garden

By Sue Braastad

When you think of Camas National Wildlife Refuge, you might just associate it with wetlands and ducks, some deer and moose, oh and the eagles!  That is all well and good, but there is more, if you look closer.  For one thing, there are butterflies galore. I just participated in a butterfly survey which was a cooperative effort with Idaho Master Naturalists and the Refuge.  You don’t realize how many there are until you are trying to catch them and identify them.  There are tons of them – and - spoiler alert - all the white ones are not the same species!

The Upper Snake Chapter of Idaho Master Naturalists has been working with Camas NWR on a lot of projects.  The IMN participates in reptile and amphibian surveys, water quality monitoring, vegetation plot monitoring and more.  Here is my shameless plug for joining Idaho Master Naturalists.  If you like getting outdoors and helping agencies such as Camas NWR and Idaho Fish and Game to name two agencies, then IMN may be for you!  You learn lots of interesting stuff in the classes and you get to help nature in our corner of the world.

My big project that marries IMN and Camas NWR is the Pollinator Garden at the Headquarters.  This is multi-year project is coming into its own.  Over 150 forbs and bushes were planted this year to add to the plants already there. Informational signs were installed this year.  Insects and birds are enjoying the fruits of our labors!  Check out the Pollinator Garden and the Refuge!


Refuge Manager's Notes

May 22, 2019

The water situation this spring has been good, with the snowmelt happening at a slow pace up until the last few days.  The wetlands around the auto-tour route and just about full to capacity or close to it, and water spilling into other wetlands, providing a good number of acres of water for wildlife to utilize.  With this amount of habitat, the birds we have are pretty spread out with lots of elbow room at this time.

The flows in Camas Creek will start slowing down as much of the snow has come out of the mountains.  The Crab Creek snotel site is now at zero for snow and water equivalent.  Recent rains are helping out and future storms could keep the creek moving if they are significant enough.

Most of the waterfowl that you are seeing are going to stay here and nest on the Refuge.  Recently we have been seeing goose broods showing up on various ponds.  In the next few weeks, we should also see possible broods from early nesting waterfowl and Sandhill cranes.  Songbird migration had really been slow up until that last week as it appears many common species are finally showing up, such as black-headed grosbeaks, lazuli buntings and western tanagers.  Many other species will certainly be found with folks getting out and looking for them. 

If you like to see the Refuge with lots of water, now is a good time to come and see the landscape.  Lots of wildlife using the habitat around the auto-tour route.  Looks for hawks and owls especially around the wetlands. 

Brian Wehausen, Refuge Manager

To view previous Refuge Notes,
click here.

What's New - 2019


Photo Contest

Reminder to all photographers, you have until the end of August to submit your pictures!  See the Activities section of the website for details. 

Fred Meyer Rewards Program

You can help Friends of Camas NWR earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!  Fred Meyer donates over $2 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. Here’s how the program works:

Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Friends of Camas NWR at
You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number BN983 (this is a new number, the previous number will continue to work)
Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Friends of Camas NWR earn a donation. The great thing is that YOU still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Custome Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.

For more information, please visit 




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