Due to the government shutdown, all volunteer opportunities will be put on hold. Unfortunately that means 3rd Saturday Event on January 20 is canceled, there will be no Monday volunteering, and no Trail Stewards will be out on the trail.

The Refuge will remain open, however, entry onto the refuge during the shutdown is at the visitor's own risk. The restrooms will also be locked, so plan accordingly. Here is the official statement from the Fish and Wildlife Service:

"Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is unable fully to staff the properties under its management. It is not feasible to close or otherwise prohibit all access to National Wildlife Refuge System properties. Refuge visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, as FWS personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response on Refuge System property. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor's sole risk."

Hours for Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail Gate

As of 11/7/2017 the automatic gate at the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail parking lot will open at 7:00 AM and close at 5:00 PM.

Portion of Steigerwald Lake Refuge Trail Closed 10/1-4/30 to Protect Wintering Wildlife

The north branch of the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Trail will be closed from Oct. 1 through April 30 in order to protect wintering wildlife. The remainder of the trail, from the trailhead parking lot south over the footbridge to the Columbia dike trail, is open year round.

The refuge managers also want to remind visitors that bicycles, dogs, horses and joggers are not allowed to use the trail. These prohibitions are to protect wildlife and prevent any conflicts between pedestrians using the trail to enjoy the surrounding habitat and the wildlife using it, and these other uses.


The Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards are a group of volunteers who help the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service preserve and maintain the three National Wildlife Refuges in the western Columbia River Gorge, in western Washington State. These Refuges are:

Our Mission

Our mission is to preserve and enhance the native species of Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges through public education, advocacy and habitat restoration.

We do this by:

Our projects include:

We are a newly developing group, so some of these projects await additional members and volunteers to be fully implemented. As the Refuge Stewards organization grows, we will be able to expand our active project list and accomplish more for these valuable wildlife oases.

Thank you for visiting our site. Please take a moment to look around by following the links at the top of the page.

Steigerwald Lake, on the Steigerwald Lake Refuge

Franz Lake, on the Franz Lake Refuge

Hardy Creek and Beacon Rock, on the Pierce Refuge