Located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge and its Snag Boat Bend Unit are home to rare habitats that support thousands of species. The refuge was established in 1964, with the primary management goal of providing wintering habitat for the Dusky Canada geese. The refuge is also home to six threatened and endangered species and provides opportunities for people to enjoy the benefits of nature.

Visit in the Spring and walk through a rainbow of native wildlife flowers in the prairies or stop by in the winter to see swans and Roosevelt elk. People enjoy viewing the diverse wildlife and picturesque vistas, whether on a determined hike, leisurely walk, or just driving through.

Visit Us

The refuge is open everyday from dawn to dusk and is always free. Visiting the 5,325 aces of William L. Finley NWR is a great way to see what the Willamette Valley once looked like, when the Kalapuya were stewards of the land. With over 12 miles of trails, you can see the rare and historic Valley habitat types: Oak savanna, wetland prairie, mixed forest, riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
, upland prairie and both permanent and seasonal wetlands. Walk the Homer Campbell Memorial Boardwalk to the Observation Blind for an up-close look at water birds, geese, bald eagles, and other wildlife. Walk the Woodpecker loop through the different habitats and an get exceptional view of the valley and the Cascade Range.

Take a brochure with you on your adventure!  The William L. Finley Refuge Trail Brochure and Willamette Valley NWRC Bird List are downloadable here and are also at kiosks throughout the Refuge. 

The 376 acres that make up the Snag Boat bend unit are a blend of riparian forest, backwater sloughs and seasonal wetlands. Trails here will take you through seasonally flooded habitat, along ponds and to the edges of the Willamette River.

Irwin-Cheadle barn with Mitigation Pond in the foreground. This wetland is popular for both waterfowl and photographers!

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Established in 1964, the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge’s primary management goal is to provide wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. Unlike other Canada goose subspecies, Duskies have limited summer and winter ranges. Their population is small, too, hoovering around 16,000 geese. They nest in Alaska’s Copper River Delta and winter almost exclusively in the wetlands of the Willamette Valley—much of which was drained to provide open fields for agriculture and pasture during the 19th century European settlement. With the extensive habitat restoration projects at work on all 5,325 acres of the refuge and the 341 acres of its Snag Boat Bend Unit, it makes exploring these special places like taking a step back into the natural history of the Willamette Valley.

      What We Do

      Located ten miles south of Corvallis, Oregon the refuge protects many of the historic habitats of the valley, including the largest remaining tract of native Willamette Valley wet prairie. Fields of grass for wildlife are interspersed with Oregon white oak savanna, meandering creeks with bottomland Oregon ash forest, old growth bigleaf maple, and native prairie.

      Management goals are to preserve native species and enhance biodiversity including the rare oak savanna, upland prairie, and wet prairie habitats. Endangered and threatened species such as Streaked-horned lark, Fender's blue butterfly and Kincaid's lupine find protection and sanctuary on the refuge. A herd of Roosevelt elk can often be found in the bottomland forests or farm fields on the refuge.

      Under cooperative agreements, area farmers plant refuge fields to produce nutritious grasses preferred by geese. The geese also need water for resting and foraging habitat. Many refuge wetlands occur naturally; others were created.

      The refuge is home to thousands of species that we work hard to provide for.  It's also a great place for you to come explore! There is something for everyone here. Take a hike or photo; have a picnic lunch or join us for an event. Come on your own and find some peace or bring your family and make some special memories.  

      Our Organization

      A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.
      Smoke from a prescribed fire enters the sky.
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages fire safely and cost-effectively to improve the condition of lands while reducing the risk of damaging wildfires to surrounding communities. This balanced approach to fire management benefits people and wildlife.
      Partners for Fish and Wildlife: Nevada Coordinator Susan Abele Meets with Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Member to Conduct a Site Visit at Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation
      The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides free technical and financial assistance to landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land. Since 1987, we have helped more than 30,000 landowners to complete more than 50,...

      Our Species

      Roosevelt elk, Bobcat, Tundra swan, Acorn woodpecker, Great-horned owl, Black-tailed deer, Golden paintbrush, Bradshaw's lomatium, Nelson's checkermallow, Fender's blue butterfly, Kincaids' lupine, Purple martin, the occasional bear, SO MANY RAPTORS and much, much more.