A Far-Reaching Connection
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a government bureau focused on the betterment of natural areas in the US, is a keystone partner of Tree for All. From habitat and wildlife conservation, to historic preservation, to implementing wildlife refuges, the effects of the USFWS are far-reaching. It is this extensive range of influence that makes the USFWS a crucial Tree for All partner, connecting the program to a much larger, nationwide system.
The USFWS believes in conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats. Here in Washington County, it has done just that. Since its partnership with Tree for All began, the USFWS has been instrumental on more than 1,300 acres of Tree for All projects, including two wildlife refuges.
The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1992, was the first refuge in the area. A collective enthusiasm about this refuge encouraged more USFWS projects to take place in the Tualatin River watershed—the most recent being Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Established in 2013, Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge is the newest wildlife refuge in the United States. As this project continues to progress, the USFWS is working alongside the Joint Water Commission, Tualatin Soil & Water Conservation District, Intel, Clean Water Services, Clean Water Institute, Tualatin Valley Irrigation District and US Geological Survey. Wapato Lake is the ultimate example of what can happen when community members come together to protect and enhance the natural areas in our watershed.
The refuges managed by the USFWS, among other projects they have partnered on in Washington County, have created space for the restoration and growth of many native species, enhancing the ecosystem value of this area. The future of Tree for All and the Tualatin River will be shaped by continual contributions that the US Fish and Wildlife Service makes to our watershed.