Description - Ridgefield NWR provides habitat for several federally endangered and threatened species, including nesting and wintering bald eagles, visiting peregrine falcons and Aleutian Canada geese. Bachelor Island contains one of the largest great blue heron colonies in the Pacific Northwest.
- Ridgefield's marshes, grasslands, woodlands, pastures and croplands are characterized by two types of management - natural and agricultural. The floodplains of the Carty Unit and the Roth Unit contain ash, willow, and cottonwood interspersed with marshes and wet/dry meadows, and are flooded by Columbia River waters increased by melting snows (and during high water winters).
Many of these shallow wetlands are dominated by the exotic reed canary grass, introduced into wetlands of the northwest many years ago. The Ridgeport Dairy Unit on the south end of the refuge was acquired in 1990, and primarily consists of pastures, with ash and blackberries along dikes and a wet meadow.
Recreation - Wildlife observation, study, and photography are available at the refuge. Walking on a self-guided interpretive trail, and waterfowl hunting and limited fishing activities are also available.
Climate - The climate of Washington varies within each region. The Cascades split the state and alter the weather patterns. The mountains receive large amounts of wet, heavy snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year. The terrain east of the mountains receives approximately 12 inches of rainfall per year, generally much less than west of the mountains. Since the area east of the mountains is landlocked, temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington.
Due to the coastal geography, western Washington is primarily temperate. The proximity to the ocean stabilizes the climate, making extreme temperatures very rare. The area receives large amounts of precipitation from Pacific rain and snow storms.
Ridgefield NWR is located in Clark County, Washington, approximately 14 miles north of Portland, Oregon, along the eastern floodplain of the Columbia River. To reach refuge headquarters and the Carty and River "S" Units, take the Ridgefield exit from Interstate 5 approximately 20 miles north of Vancouver, Washington. Drive 3 miles west to Ridgefield and follow the signs.
To reach the Ridgeport Dairy Unit, take the Fourth Plain Boulevard exit from Interstate 5 in Vancouver. Go west then north, turning west at Vancouver Lake Park onto Lower River Road; follow it to a wildlife viewing area at the end of the road.