We studied the map to discover places of interest for potential stops along our driving route. Large lakes right on the California-Oregon state line were both in National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs). Perfect! Are you wondering what’s a NWR? It’s land set aside for protection of fish, wildlife, and plants, and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Lower Klamath NWR was the first waterfowl refuge in the US, designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. Nearby, Tule Lake NWR is a preserve for migrating waterfowl and endangered fish, established by President Calvin Coolidge in 1928.
We looked forward to just being outside on a day with perfect weather and bright blue sky; visiting beautiful lakes and marshes; seeing birds. As soon as we arrived we started checking off what we were seeing on our bird list (helpfully provided at the visitors’ center).
Thanks to the foresight of conservationists all those years ago for protecting the land, animals, fish, and birds. We, and many others, enjoy these sights today. It’s well worth a trip to a NWR. We saw thirty-six bird species that afternoon, and five of those were birds that were new to us. And don’t forget the coyote and deer, too.