Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually
Brochure of Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Washington. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Any meeting of a river and a sea is a place of change… It will be proof of our ability to survive… if we learn to respect wild places like the Nisqually Delta, to trust them for their naturalness, and to love them for their power to move us. Victor B. Scheffer, Scholar and Author Nisqually River as seen from the River Overlook Photo: Sheila McCartan USFWS A Protected Estuary The Nisqually River Delta, a biologically rich and diverse area at the southern end of Puget Sound, supports a variety of habitats. Here, the freshwater of the Nisqually River combines with the saltwater of Puget Sound to form an estuary rich in nutrients and detritus. These nutrients support a web of sea life – the benefits which extend throughout Puget Sound and beyond. While most major estuaries in the state have been filled, dredged, or developed, Nisqually River’s has been set aside for wildlife. In Tree Swallow 1974, Nisqually © Mark Gamba National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect the delta and its diversity of fish and wildlife habitats. The Nisqually estuary was restored in 2009, by removing dikes and reconnecting 762 acres with the tides of Puget Sound. This is the largest estuary restoration project in the Pacific Northwest and an important step in the recovery of Puget Sound. Harbor Seals © Jessie Barham Female Bufflehead © John Jacobson A Home for Wildlife As surrounding wildlife habitat is lost to development, Nisqually Refuge has become an increasingly important place for wildlife, especially migratory birds. Birds on their migrations north and south use the Refuge as a stopover to feed and rest before continuing their migration. For others, including thousands of ducks and geese, it’s the end of their seasonal journey and a place to spend the winter. Songbirds arriving in the spring find places to nest and raise their young. For resident birds, Nisqually Refuge is a year-round home. Over 300 species of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians inhabit Nisqually NWR. A variety of hawks, owls, and other raptors hunt in the fields and marshes. Woodpeckers, warblers, and small mammals are found in the woodlands. Shorebird flocks search for food in the mudflats while harbor seals rest in the salt marshes nearby. Freshwater ponds provide habitat for otters, ducks, and herons. Mixed conifer forests on the bluffs above the Delta provide perches for bald eagles. Salmon and steelhead use the estuary for passage to upriver areas and transition to the Sound. Miles 0 1/2 0 Kilometers 1/2 N Puget Sound Research Natural Area Closed to all consumptive uses. Closed to boats October 1 to March 31. Dr . Luhr Beach Boat Ramp alm on Cre ek Sanctuary c lo s e Puget Sound Viewing Platform d to all access including b oats v lly Ri qua Nis er Mounts Rd. McAllister Creek Viewing Platform Shannon Slough Blind 5 coma To Ta Observation Tower te r C reek t R Red S 46th Ave. McN eil St re e Nisqually Reach Nature Center i d ge view D’Milluhr Rd. Nisqually River Overlook Twin Barns Observation Platform McA Meridian Rd. li s l Riparian Forest Overlook Visitor Center Environmental Exit 114 Education Center 5 ia To Olymp y in Wa Mart Exit 114 Refuge Entrance Twin Barns Loop Trail (1 mile, Accessible) Approved Refuge Boundary Nisqually Estuary Trail (.5 miles) Research Natural Area Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail (1 mile) Private & Other Lands Seasonal Trail Closure During Waterfowl Hunt Nisqually Indian Tribe Lands Hoffman Hill Trail Dike (Closed for Sanctuary) Sanctuary Boundary (In Approved Refuge Boundary) Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Hunting Area Nisqually NWR Hunting Area A Place For People Nisqually Refuge provides abundant opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation. Hiking, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, fishing, and environmental education all allow visitors to learn more about the natural world and the importance of places rich in beauty and biological diversity. Hooded Merganser © Mark Gamba The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries throughout the country for the continued conservation, protection, and enhancement of our fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. Spider © Mark Gamba Twin Barns Loop Trail © Mark Gamba Location The Refuge is located 8 miles east of Olympia, Washington. From Interstate 5, take exit 114 and follow the signs to the Refuge. Hours The Refuge and trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. The office is open Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. The Visitor Center and Nature Shop are open Wednesday through Sunday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Entrance Fee Daily fee is $3.00 per four adults. Valid Federal Duck Stamp, Interagency Annual, Military Annual, Refuge Annual, Senior, and Access Passes admit four adults. Children 16 and under enter free. Trails The Refuge has 4 miles of trails. The 1–mile accessible Twin Barns Loop Trail is open year round. The Nisqually Estuary Trail is 4-miles round trip from the Visitor Center. A portion of this trail is closed seasonally during the waterfowl hunting season. The trails provide views of wildlife habitats and access to observation platforms, a tower, and blind. Please stay on the trails. Visitor Center Visitor Center exhibits describe the Nisqually Watershed and Pacific Flyway to orient visitors to the area. Knowledgeable volunteers are available to answer questions and a good collection of educational items can be found in the Nature Shop. Visitors are welcome to view a freshwater wetland and take in the latest wildlife art exhibit. Environmental Education Center and Programs The Refuge has indoor and outdoor programming for schools and other education groups. The Education Center houses classroom space and exhibits about the Refuge. It is open weekdays to school and other educational groups by reservation only. Waterfowl Hunting The Refuge has 191 acres of tideflats in the Nisqually estuary open to boat access waterfowl hunting. Hunting is permitted seven days a week during State waterfowl hunting season dates. State hunting license requirements apply and no additional Refuge permit is necessary. Boating Boating is permitted in waters outside the Sanctuary Area and seasonally in the Research Natural Area. Canoeists, kayakers, and small boaters should beware of hazardous tides, shallow waters, wind, and weather conditions around the Nisqually Delta. The nearest public boat ramp is at Luhr Beach. Fishing Fishing from boats is permitted in waters outside the Sanctuary Area and Research Natural Area. There is no bank fishing access along the Nisqually River or McAllister Creek. Washington State regulations apply. Prohibited Activities Jogging, pets, bicycling, camping, and fires are prohibited on the Refuge. Please stay on trails. Visitor Facilities © Mark Gamba Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge 100 Brown Farm Road Olympia WA 98516 Telephone: 360/753 9467 Fax: 360/534 9302 1 800/344 WILD http://www.fws.gov http://www.fws.gov/nisqually Washington Relay Service TTY 1 800/833 6388 Voice 1 800/833 6384 Telebraille 1 800/833 6385 Federal Relay Service TTY and Voice 1 800/877 8339 June 2012 Great Blue Herons © Michael Wolf