Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge - "A Photographic Journal"
"The Refuge"
Includes ... Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge ...
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, August 28, 2011.


Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge ...
The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is located on the shore of the Lower Columbia River, 10 miles downstream from Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, with the headquarters being located in Ridgefield, Washington. The Refuge is bordered on the east by Lake River and on the west by the Columbia River. Sections of the Refuge reach as far south as Vancouver Lake.

The Ridgefield Refuge was established in 1965 in response to a need to establish winter habitat for the dusky Canada Goose whose nesting areas in Alaska were severly impacted by the violent earthquake of 1964. The refuge covers over 5,000 acres of flood plain habitat, seasonal and permanent wetlands, and agricultural lands.

Ridgefield NWR is part of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which also includes nearby Steigerwald Lake NWR, and three other Refuges further up the Columbia River Gorge.


Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken, October 14, 2007.


Ridgefield NWR Units ...
The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of five units -- by acquisition date they are the River "S" Unit, the Carty Unit, the Roth Unit, the Bachelor Island Unit, and the Ridgeport Diary Unit.

On May 18, 1965, the River "S" Unit became the first property acquired in Ridgefield Refuge. This property had historically been a ranch, with extensive improved and canarygrass pastures. The River "S" Unit has a popular 4.2 mile auto tour route and 1.2 mile seasonal hiking trail. This unit and the Bachelor Island unit are managed to maximize habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.

The Carty Unit was acquired throughout 1966 and this area had also been used primarily for grazing. This Unit was named after the principle settler and landowner, James Carty. The Carty unit has a 2-mile self guided hiking trail, and has preservation of the natural Columbia River floodplain as its goal. A historic Cathlapotle townsite, which was visited by Lewis and Clark in 1806, is included in the Carty Unit. Lewis and Clark camped in the Carty Unit on March 29, 1806.

The Roth Unit was acquired from Rosa Roth in 1969 and 1970 and has preservation of the natural Columbia River floodplain as its goal.

In March 1980, 1,610 acres of Bachelor Island were acquired and in 1985 more of Bachelor Island was acquired. The Bachelor Island Unit is managed to maximize habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.

Areas of the Ridgeport Dairy Unit were purchased between 1991 and 1995, with the last section between Campbell Lake and Lake River acquired in 2007. This Unit, like the Carty and Roth Units, has the preservation of the natural Columbia River floodplain as its goal. The Ridgeport Dairy Unit includes Post Office Lake, where Lewis and Clark had their camp of November 4, 1805.


Lewis and Clark, Ridgeport Dairy Unit and Carty Unit ...
The Lewis and Clark expedition came through this area twice, camping in the Ridgeport Dairy Unit near Post Office Lake on November 4, 1805, and on their return, setting up camp in a meadow on the Carty Unit near a Cathlapotle village on March 29, 1806.

Image, 2005, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Geese, Post Office Lake. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Image taken, January 30, 2005.

"... I could not Sleep for the noise kept by the Swans, Geese, white & black brant, Ducks &c. on a opposit base, & Sand hill Crane, they were emensely numerous and their noise horrid. ..." [Clark, November 5, 1805, first draft]


Auto Tour, River "S" Unit ...

Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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"Your car is your blind", River "S" Unit, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Red-tailed Hawk, River "S" Unit, Auto Tour. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington.
Image, 2012, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Red-tailed Hawk, River "S" Unit, Auto Tour. Overcast and gray day, but dry. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, December 28, 2012.


Bird Blind, River "S" Unit ...

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Bird Blind at Rest Lake, River "S" Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington.


Bridge to the Carty Unit ...

Image, 2008, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Bridge to the North Carty Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, May 9, 2008.


Raptor Talk, Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit ...

Image, 2008, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Live Raptor talk, Carty Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, May 9, 2008.
Image, 2008, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Red-tailed Hawk (left) and Western Screech Owl (right), Live Raptor talk, Carty Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, May 9, 2008.
Image, 2008, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge Image, 2008, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Western Screech Owl, Live Raptor Talk, Carty Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, May 9, 2008.


Sandhill Crane Tour, Roth Unit ...

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Sandhill Cranes, Sandhill Crane Tour, Roth Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, October 12, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Mudflats, Campbell Lake, Sandhill Cranes, Sandhill Crane Tour, Roth Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, October 12, 2007.
Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Cranes overhead, Sandhill Crane Tour, Roth Unit. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken, October 12, 2007.


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June 2013