Message from the Board

April 26th, 2021

Greetings Members of Friends of Camas NWR!

Idaho Gives, the annual statewide fundraising event for Idaho non-profits, starts Thursday this week and will run from April 29th through May 6th.

The Friends of Camas used this past year to make significant improvements to our pollinator garden, to provide some funding for radio collars to support a pronghorn antelope migration study run by Idaho Fish and Game, to add to our educational equipment and supplies for school field trips, and to investigate some new ways to enhance visitor enjoyment of Camas NWR.  

A trip to the refuge this spring will give you a chance to see that the trail through the pollinator garden has been extended and landscaped at the west end.  As soon as temperatures warm up, a wide variety of plants will be added to bring in the hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. We are now looking at possible interpretive/educational signage to help visitors identify and understand how helpful these creatures are. If you would like to sit in the garden and just relax, an attractive carved bench was added to the garden for just that purpose.

If you come up to Camas for a picnic at the pavilion this spring, you will notice the attractive, easy to open and close doors that will allow you to let the sun in, or block the wind, at your discretion. These doors were added last spring, with FoC Board members donating their time and labor to save $500 in costs.

 Idaho Gives is open to receive tax-deductible donations to Friends of Camas NWR from April 29th through 6th. 

Thanks for your continued support!


Karl Bohan

President, Friends of Camas NWR

Refuge Manager's Notes

Brian Wehausen, 

Camas National Wildlife Refuge April 14, 2021

So far April weather has provided a cold and windy start to the season.  The early migrants such as Tundra swans and snow geese for the most part have moved much further north.  At this time we are seeing a variety of species of waterfowl to include mallards, pintails, and wigeon making up the bigger numbers.  Other species can be found as well and we have some recent sightings of blue-winged teal on the Refuge.  Late yesterday a Eurasian wigeon was spotted on Big Pond.  The first Avocets were also spotted this week.

To date, we have not seen any water flowing in either Beaver or Camas Creek.  The cold weather has not allowed much melting of snow in the mountains and therefore no runoff has made it too far downstream. The Refuge is using wells to put water on the landscape, however, filling of the wetlands has been very slow.  Big Pond and Redhead have some water and I believe the super dry fall we had last year is impacting the filling of our wetlands.    Crab creek snotel site is still reporting only 8.8 inches of water equivalent in the upper part of the watershed.  Not sure how much water will reach the Refuge this year given the low snowpack and dry soil conditions.  Spring rain would be super helpful.   

Raptors in the area include Bald eagle, short-eared owl, Great-horned owl, Red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, and Norther harrier.

Refuge roads have been worked on and are in good shape for travel.  New birds should be showing up on a regular basis.  Besides the typical white-tailed deer and elk, moose have been a frequent sighting this spring so far.  Typically the moose are being seen on the southern end of the auto-tour route.  Great time to visit, especially when the winds are not blowing.

What's New 

Friends of Camas NWR Photography Contest

Time to get out to take your amazing pictures! 

Please practice social distancing!

     The Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the natural wonders of Eastern Idaho wildlife refuges and wildlife management areas with its fifth annual photography contest.   Photographs of birds, other wildlife and flora, as well as scenic images may be submitted at  through August 31, 2021.  See complete rules and submission form at

     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]). 

     A Grand Prize of $50 will be awarded.

     First prize will be a Friends of Camas NWR neck gaiter and a ‘camera lens’ mug.

     Second prize will be a ‘camera lens’ mug.

     Third place will be a Friends of Camas NWR neck gaiter.

     All prize winners and honorable mention will receive ribbons.




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