2015 Members Meeting
BIRDS, BUGLES, and BRUNCH – Discover Camas! was the theme of our annual members meeting and public outreach event at Camas NWR, which included the dedication of the new Nancy Maxwell Conservation and Education Pavilion on September 12, 2015. Nancy was present to enjoy the celebration and see her picture on the beautiful plaque. We had great attendance, with 35 children and over 100 adults enjoying the many events. Twenty chickadee/tree swallow bird houses and 15 kestrel/screech owl nest boxes were put together by children and their parents. Josh Caldwell, Nancy’s son-in-law supervised the bird house construction. Seventeen bird feeder kits provided by Wild Birds Unlimited were distributed. Idaho Master Naturalist , Ken Olson brought and manned the Idaho Department of Fish and Game mobile bear education trailer. Terry Thomas, outgoing Friends board member, prepared a continuous loop slide show of Camas and its wildlife, which was powered by the new solar array on the pavilion roof. Two hayrides out on the marsh produced several deer and pronghorn antelope, but no elk were heard bugling. A hands-on activity for kids and adults was the table set up with binocular scopes to look at a variety of invertebrate bugs and spiders. Several bird walks were led by local experts and several migrating species were observed including Townsend’s Warbler, Gray Catbird, Cassin’s Vireo, and several Western Tanagers. The Fish and Wildlife Service cooked a delicious Dutch oven brunch, and local country and old time musicians Vince Crofts and Mindy Palmer provided great live music.
Members will have the opportunity to learn about the Refuge and participate with others to help protect and manage the fauna and flora of the Refuge. Participation in service projects that are designed in conjunction with Refuge staff will be offered periodically. Some examples are: planting native plants, general maintenance, trail building, participating in environmental education programs, leading and participating in field trips, and monitoring flora and fauna, among other projects. We work to conduct projects that the Refuge staff wish could be done.
Our Friends group promotes awareness of Camas NWR as an Important Bird Area; we support responsible access, participate in environmental education, and lend support to sustainable water use as well as usage of other resources that affect the Refuge.
The Camas NWR includes marshes, ponds, and lakes in addition to grass, meadows, sagebrush uplands, and farm fields. Camas Creek flows through the length of the Refuge. This range of habitats supports a variety of big game species with moose and white-tailed deer throughout the year and including elk and mule deer in the winter.
Spring waterfowl migration peaks in March and April, while fall migration peaks in October. There are thousands of ducks and geese at these times, with hundreds of swans, both tundra and trumpeter. Trumpeter Swans sometimes nest at the Refuge also.
Songbird migration peaks in May and September. The woods surrounding the Refuge headquarters are a critical stopover habitat for these birds. Locally rare migrants have been documented in the woods near the Refuge headquarters. Migratory songbirds stop here to gain fat to fuel their migrations in both spring and fall.
The Camas NWR is an important place to many animals throughout the year. Water is a key resource to maintain the Refuge as an important stopover, breeding ground, and winter range for the diverse wildlife.
In the ecosystem `big picture,' Camas NWR connects with nearby lands that also attract wildlife, such as Market Lake and Mud Lake. Maintaining these corridors for wildlife becomes even more important as water becomes less abundant.
Benefits of Membership
You will receive a welcome letter, including a decal for your vehicle.
After joining the Friends of Camas NWR, you will receive a quarterly e-newsletter. You will also receive information regarding volunteering and field trip opportunities. You will be invited to an annual meeting in September, where you will have a voice in how the Refuge can best serve the needs of wildlife and visitors.
Individual $15 / year
Student $10 / year
Family $25 / year
Want to Join?
Download our membership form by clicking here, print it out, and send it to us at:
Friends of Camas NWR Inc.
2150 E 2350 N
Hamer, ID 83425
Become a Member Today!