Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Map showing the location of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Location in Washington state
Location Clark County, Washington, USA
Nearest city Vancouver, WA
Coordinates 45°48′25″N 122°44′35″W / 45.80694°N 122.74306°W / 45.80694; -122.74306Coordinates: 45°48′25″N 122°44′35″W / 45.80694°N 122.74306°W / 45.80694; -122.74306
Area 5,150 acres (20.8 km2)
Established 1965
Visitors 165,000
Governing body United States Fish and Wildlife Service

The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex is a wildlife preserve, one of the National Wildlife Refuges operated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Headquartered in Ridgefield, Washington, it oversees the management of four refuges in the southwestern part of the state including: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), and three refuges in the Columbia River Gorge - Franz Lake, Pierce and Steigerwald Lake NWR.

Ridgefield NWR, located in the westernmost part of Clark County, has a total of 5,150 acres (20.8 km2) of marshes, grasslands and woodlands. Preservation of the natural Columbia River floodplain is the management objective of the Carty, 2 mile (3 km) self-guided hiking trail, Roth and Ridgeport Dairy units. The River 'S', 4.2 mile (7 km) auto tour route and 1.2 mile (2 km) seasonal hiking trail, and Bachelor Island units are managed to maximize habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.

The refuge was established (along with 3 other refuges in the Willamette Valley of Oregon) in 1965, in response to a need to establish vital winter habitat for wintering waterfowl with an emphasis on the dusky Canada goose whose nesting areas in Alaska were severely impacted by the violent earthquake of 1964.

Stately sandhill cranes, shorebirds, and a great variety of songbirds stop at the refuge during spring and fall migrations. Some bird species such as mallards, great blue herons, and red-tailed hawks are year-round residents that nest on the refuge. Black-tailed deer are the largest mammal on the refuge. Coyote, raccoon, skunk, beaver, river otter and brush rabbits are occasionally seen.

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 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

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