Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
Category: Remnant and enhancement (Army Corps of Engineers). Location: Approximately two miles west of Eugene along the banks of Fern Ridge Reservoir. The area lies on both sides of Highway 126 and Cantrell Road forms the Southern edge. Size: 5,010 acres of mixed habitats including significant areas of wetland prairie.
The Fern Ridge Wildlife Area was designated in 1957 following the construction of the Fern Ridge Reservoir under an agreement between the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW), which allowed the State to manage the wildlife resources on a 5,010 acre portion of the lands surrounding the reservoir. Emphasis for this management was placed primarily on waterfowl and wetland species. The site includes approximately 2,000 acres of marshland, 800 acres of mixed woodland, 1,800 acres of open water, and 400 acres of upland and wetland prairie. The site contains several areas of high quality remnant prairie and recently enhanced prairie.
In a cooperative agreement between The Nature Conservancy, University of Oregon, ODFW, and the Corps, hundreds of acres within the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area have been designated as Research Natural Areas to protect the sensitive prairies. These areas are being managed to with a goal of protecting established native species and increasing native diversity. Ecological burns along with mowing and selective herbicide application area common management tools.
Access and Contact
Access points are located around the perimeter of the reservoir. For more information on wetland prairie locations contact the Corps at 541-935-2591or go to http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/visitors/fern_ridge_wildlife_area/