Description - Most of the refuges were created and are managed to protect critical wildlife habitat. Some provide ample public access, while others are very restrictive. The refuges in Oregon range from islands off the Pacific coast to vast high desert tracts in eastern Oregon.
- Wildlife and scenery are the primary attractions at the Wildlife Refuges. Caple Meares National Wildlife Refuge protects one of the few remaining stands of coastal old growth forest in Oregon. The refuge forest provides habitat to a diversity of wildlife, including threatened species such as northern spotted owls, bald eagles, and marbled murrelets. Marine mammals, including California and Steller sea lions, harbor seals and gray whales can often be seen from this overlook during the proper time of year. The Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge was established as a range and breeding ground for pronghorn antelope and other species of wildlife. Located in the northern Great Basin, the refuge is a volcanic fault block, which reaches 8,065 feet elevation at Warner Peak. Umatilla NWR is an important migration and wintering area for waterfowl and other birds in the Columbia River Basin, with up to 150,000 ducks and 30,000 Canada geese resting and feeding on its land and water resources. Malheur NWR is a large refuge in Harney County in eastern Oregon. It is an important nesting area for greater sandhill cranes, colonial waterbirds such as white faced ibis and eared grebes, various waterfowl species, bobolinks, and shorebirds. These examples give an idea of the varied nature and attractions of the National Wildlife Refuges in Oregon.
Recreation - Most of the recreation opportunities in the National Wildlife Refuges are wildlife based, however, some visitors go just to enjoy the natural environments, scenery and peace and quiet. Bird-watching is possibly the most popular activity in the refuges. Some of the refuges in eastern Oregon are renowned for their bird-watching opportunities. Other activities enjoyed at some of the refuges include interpretive programs, hiking, hunting and fishing.
Climate - The climate in Oregon varies by region. The coastal region and west of the Cascades is generally temperate and wet. Temperatures rarely rise above 85 degrees F during the warmest months and rarely dip below freezing during the winter. Along the coast expect rain and wind during the fall, winter and spring months.
The mountains receive heavy precipitation and cool temperatures throughout the year. Conditions become more extreme the higher you climb. If visiting the region during the summer months be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms and chilly evening temperatures. Snow may be encountered on high country trails throughout the summer months.
Eastern Oregon is a high desert. Precipitation received annually accumulates to less than 10 inches of rain. Summer temperatures often reach 90 degrees in the lower elevations. Winters can be bitterly cold here, although there is little humidity.
Oregon's National Wildlife Refuges are located throughout the state.