Ankeny National Wildlife Reserve

Category: Preservation and enhancement (US Fish and Wildlife Service).
Location: Near the confluence of the Santiam and Willamette rivers, approximately 12 miles south of Salem.
Size: The Refuge totals 2,814 acres, and contains approximately 1,765 acres of cropland managed to provide forage for wintering geese, 600 acres of riparian forests, and 500 acres of shallow water seasonal wetlands, of which a 40-acre block is classified as wetland prairie.


Many of the wetlands found at Ankeny occur naturally, although some were artificially created with a network of dikes and levees. A 2001 survey of the 40-acre wetland prairie area at Ankeny NWR (conducted by TNC) indicated that the site supported a low diversity of native wetland species and had significant woody vegetation encroachment.


Woody vegetation was significantly cleared from the wetland prairie between 2003 and 2005 and the site was burned in 2007, resulting in increased herbaceous cover. Management applications currently include late summer mowing and/or prescribed fire on a 3-4 year interval. In 2001, approximately 12 acres of land adjacent to managed wetlands were seeded with wetland prairie plant species in an attempt to shift formerly weedy sites along the fringes to native grassland species. However, these sites are not currently classified as wet prairie habitat because they are small isolated strips and are primarily dominated by tufted hairgrass with minimal diversity. An additional site on the refuge, Eagle Marsh Prairie, is currently under restoration, but the emphasis is on establishing a viable population of Nelson’s checkermallow (Sidalcea nelsoniana) prior to adding a diversity of wet prairie species (USFWS, 2011).

Access and Contact

Public access is permitted, but some areas are off limits to the public during winter months. For additional information, call 541-757-7236, or go to