Message From the Board

Friends of Camas/Idaho Gives link 

Refuge Manager's Notes

Brian Wehausen

Camas National Wildlife Refuge

April 2024

As Refuge Manager for Camas NWR, January 4th, 2024, marked the start of my 15th year in this position.  Somehow the past 14 years have slipped away very quickly.  My kids have grown up, my hair continues to add gray every day and my memory fails more often than I would like it to.  As some are aware, April 6, 2024, marks the last day of my tenure as the Camas NWR Refuge Manager.  I will be starting a new adventure and likely finishing my career in the state of Alaska, which has been a long-time dream of mine that is finally now coming true. 

As my time here draws to a close, I have been reflecting on what has been done and the accomplishments we have made as a staff.  What stands out is the facelift the Refuge is getting with the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funding that we received.  These upgrades have been a long time coming.  GAOA has allowed us to make some much-needed changes to our water delivery system that will give us a greater ability to manage more wetland acres for longer periods of time.  Work is still in progress but some wonderful new visitor services facilities such as the paved portion of the birding trail, a new restroom on the southern part of the tour route, an observation platform, new updated kiosks, and interpretive signs will be in place shortly.  Also, the addition of solar power to put green energy into the local network and allow the Refuge to offset some of the energy cost of water management offers a huge advantage. 

No other accomplishment, however, was as big as the standing up of the Friends of Camas NWR.  This was truly the work of a small handful of inspired individuals who poured much time and effort in making this happen.  Since those humble beginnings when we had to coerce someone to take the role of President of the group, many wonderful things have been accomplished.  Starting with no cash in hand, the group was successful with writing and obtaining grants to do two major projects:  the education pavilion and the pollinator garden around the Refuge office building.  The group was then lucky enough to inherit nearly $100,000 from a generous person none of us knew or even met before.  This was a big step in what the group could accomplish and the reason we were able to do songbird banding once again on Camas NWR.

One thing my memory will not forget is the group of folks who have made the Friends of Camas NWR successful.  It has been a pleasure to get to know and work with each one of you.  I am grateful for the coordination and cooperation that we have shared over the years and want to say THANK YOU to each and every member of the Friends of Camas, especially those who have served on the board.  Keep up the great work and I know this crew will continue to make great things happen!

What's New   

Planet vs. Plastic!

Friends of Camas will be hosting a table at Earth Day Celebration at the Idaho Falls Zoo.  This is one of many Earth awareness events happening during the week of April 19th - 27th. 

Location:  Idaho Falls Zoo

Date: Saturday, April 27th 

Time : 10:00am to 2:00pm

Children ages 0-12 can get into the zoo for free with a paid adult admission AND a canned food donation. This year, adult admission will be half-price during the Idaho Falls Earth Day Celebration only. Half-price admission to the zoo and coverage of the .50 conversation fee for Earth Day is sponsored by the Idaho Environmental Coalition (IEC).




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