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McNary National Wildlife Refuge 'Canada Geese' © Peggy Jennings
Geese enjoying a romp in the shallows.
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USA Parks
USA Parks
Washington
Washington
Wine Country Region
Wine Country Region
McNary National Wildlife Refuge
McNary National Wildlife Refuge
MCNARY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
MCNARY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Canada Geese'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Geese enjoying a romp in the shallows.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Natural Bouguet'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

All the native plants are marked outside the Visitor Center.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Flight'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Vast flocks of birds are seen over Burbank Slough.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Bald Eagle'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

An eagle takes off looking for a less crowded place.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Burbank Slough'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Birds fly over the slough while many more rest in the water.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Sea Gulls'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Gulls show off their antics.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Busy Bee'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A bee is busy gathering nectar from flowers along the river.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'The Colors of Fall'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

An array of wildflowers displays a range of autumn colors.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Circle of Grebes'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Grebes swim in a circle on the Walla Walla River.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Wallula Lake'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

The view across Wallula Lake.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'In the Shallows'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Sea Gulls present a picture of serenity as they gather in the shallow water.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Family Dinner'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A family feud seems to be in the pecking order when food is up for grabs

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Wallula Junction'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Looking toward Wallula Junction for the lookout in McNary off of Highway 12.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Great Blue Heron'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A fishing Great Blue Heron is so still he is hard to see.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Grebes on the River'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Grebes swim peacefully on the Walla Walla River.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
© 2011 P Jennings

website

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Western Grebe'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A lone Grebe navigates the river.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Wetland Restoration Sign'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Deep in the refuge a sigh describes the joint effort of a group of local and national entities.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Northwest Sky Over McNary'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Typical view from the Boat Launch area looking south.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'A Clear Day'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

View to the south.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Burned Tree'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Trees are left behind after a wildfire.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Driftwood '
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Driftwood along the river is found in many shapes.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'A Solitary Gull '
© 2011 P Jennings

website

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Gull with Outstretched Wings'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

The possibility of getting fed motivated the gulls to act out.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Fishing for Dinner'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

An abundance of eagles visit the refuge beside the Columbia River every winter.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Fires Aftermath'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Dead trees form fascinating shapes after a fire devastates the area and it has begun to recover.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Walla Walla River'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Two Grebes are supervised by a Great Blue Heron on the Walla Walla River.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Under the Bridge'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

The view across the track under US 12.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Waterfowl on Burbank Slough'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Taken from the bridge across the slough.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Wetlands/Dry Hills'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

There is a stark contrast in the colors of the Wetlands compared to the arid hills to the south.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'White Flower'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A closeup of a white wildflower show its amazing detail.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Wildflowers'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Colorful flowers are abundant in the Refuge.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Walla Walla River'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

The river winds lazily through McNary National Wildlife Refuge.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Visitor Center Display'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A teepee is set up outside the Education Center on Burbank Sough.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Canada Geese'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Canada Geese cavort in the shallow of a small lake just north of US 12.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Bald Eagle'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A lone eagle looks out over the Columbia River.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Waterfowl'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Waterfowl along Wallula Lake where it conjoins with the Walla Walla River enjoy the shallower water.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Toward Kennewick'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A tributary runs into shore from Wallula Lake on a calm day.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Grebe '
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A single Grebe bucks the current on the Walla Walla River.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Beautiful Sky'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A moon visible in daylight graces the winter sky on the shore of the Columbia River.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'Wetlands Pond has abundant birds'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

Birds of all kinds are very active around the ponds of the Refuge.

McNary National Wildlife Refuge
'A Few Birds'
© 2011 P Jennings

website

A flight of birds fills the sky at Burbank Slough.

Extending along the east bank of the Columbia River from the confluence of the Snake River to the mouth of the Walla Walla River and downstream into Oregon, the McNary National Wildlife Refuge preserves a priceless diversity of fish, wildlife, and plants.

McNary Refuge serves as an anchor for biodiversity and ecosystem-level conservation. Refuge bays and shorelines are critical nurseries for developing fall Chinook salmon; and passageways for endangered steelhead, sockeye, and Chinook salmon stocks.

Up to half of Pacific Flyway mallards winter in this portion of the Columbia Basin. The Wallula Delta is the premiere habitat in the region for thousands of migrating shorebirds and wading birds.

Rare and endangered birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons, are found here, as are thousands of colonial nesting water birds using river islands for safe nesting. Encompassing more than 15,000 acres of Columbia Basin desert and river environment in eastern Washington, refuge habitats include rivers, backwater sloughs, shrub-steppe uplands, irrigated farmlands, river islands, and delta mud flats.
Nature of the Area
McNary Refuge includes a rich diversity of habitats. To provide more wildlife, refuge staff members use a variety of carefully chosen habitat management techniques to maintain, recover, or enhance habitat. Refuge ponds and backwater sloughs serve as year-round resting, nesting, and feeding areas for many species of wildlife. Seasonally flooded wetlands provide additional resting and feeding areas and are especially important to waterfowl during fall migration.

Management of these seasonal wetlands involves the manipulation of water levels to encourage native food supplies and promote the diverse wetland plant growth that provides a variety of food and shelter for wildlife. Some wetlands are burned and disked to remove undesirable plant growth and create open areas. Shoreline burning and mowing also create open beach areas that waterfowl use for courting, feeding, resting, and raising young. Common upland plants include sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and bunchgrasses. Upland areas provide forage for deer and nesting sites for pheasants, ducks, California quail, and burrowing owls.

Refuge managers improve uplands through prescribed burning, removal of exotic weed species, and planting of native grasses. Riparian habitat is the soil and plant life that borders a river or stream. This habitat supplies food, water, nesting sites, and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife. Cottonwoods and willows in riparian areas provide essential nesting habitat for migratory songbirds like yellow warbler and willow flycatchers. Management practices in riparian areas include planting native willows and cottonwoods.

Approximately 700 acres of refuge lands are irrigated croplands which provide food and cover for wildlife. Local farmers grow corn, wheat, alfalfa, and other crops under a cooperative agreement whereby the refuge's share of the crop is left in the field for wildlife. These crops provide an extremely valuable source of high energy food for waterfowl, especially in late winter when other food sources may be exhausted or covered by snow.


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Nature Programs
McNary Refuge includes a rich diversity of habitats. To provide more wildlife, refuge staff members use a variety of carefully chosen habitat management techniques to maintain, recover, or enhance habitat. Refuge ponds and backwater sloughs serve as year-round resting, nesting, and feeding areas for many species of wildlife. Seasonally flooded wetlands provide additional resting and feeding areas and are especially important to waterfowl during fall migration.

Management of these seasonal wetlands involves the manipulation of water levels to encourage native food supplies and promote the diverse wetland plant growth that provides a variety of food and shelter for wildlife. Some wetlands are burned and disked to remove undesirable plant growth and create open areas. Shoreline burning and mowing also create open beach areas that waterfowl use for courting, feeding, resting, and raising young. Common upland plants include sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and bunchgrasses. Upland areas provide forage for deer and nesting sites for pheasants, ducks, California quail, and burrowing owls.

Refuge managers improve uplands through prescribed burning, removal of exotic weed species, and planting of native grasses. Riparian habitat is the soil and plant life that borders a river or stream. This habitat supplies food, water, nesting sites, and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife. Cottonwoods and willows in riparian areas provide essential nesting habitat for migratory songbirds like yellow warbler and willow flycatchers. Management practices in riparian areas include planting native willows and cottonwoods.

Approximately 700 acres of refuge lands are irrigated croplands which provide food and cover for wildlife. Local farmers grow corn, wheat, alfalfa, and other crops under a cooperative agreement whereby the refuge's share of the crop is left in the field for wildlife. These crops provide an extremely valuable source of high energy food for waterfowl, especially in late winter when other food sources may be exhausted or covered by snow.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 20 Huge area with lots of diversity by pegbent
McNary National Wildlife Refuge spans multiple counties in two states. The variety of wildlife is awesome, but the most noteworthy aspect of McNary is its waterfowl populations, both resident and migratory. The Education/Visitor Center offers lots of information and hospitality, and there are wonderful trails around Burband Slough that provide access to nature and great views of birds. I have found the personnel in the center extremely helpful and enthusiastic in providing information.
August 29 Great Birding by Mike Denny
Large diversity of native bird species. Some birding access. Staff is spread very thin. However none of the stated phone numbers to contact this refuge are active or connected as of this date (29 Aug.2008).


Area Campgrounds
Franklin County RV Park at TRAC
6333 Home Run Road
Pasco, WA
509-543-2999
Sandy Heights RV Park
8801 St. Thomas Drive
Pasco, WA
Booking.com

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Directions
From Portland, take Highway 84 east to Highway 730. Take Highway 12 north and make a right on Maple Street. Refuge visitor facilities are a quarter of a mile from Highway 12.

USA Parks
USA Parks
Washington
Washington
Wine Country Region
Wine Country Region
McNary National Wildlife Refuge
McNary National Wildlife Refuge