Three Oregon Wildlife Refuges Prohibit Running on Trails

Willamette Valley Wildlife Refuge

If you are in the area of Willamette Valley, Oregon hiking is permitted at several of those refuges, but once you cross over to jogging or running within the areas of Baskett Slough, Ankeny, and William L. Finley not so much. It’s prohibited in those refuges and considered “incompatible use” of the trails.

Miel Corbett, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deputy assistant regional director has issued a reminder that jogging/running is prohibited within these areas and fines being a potential punishment for violating the no jogging policy.

“One of the challenges with jogging is that it could have an adverse impact on wildlife in the process of breeding,” mentioned Corbett. “Activities with higher speeds can be disruptive and cause stress to the animals. We identify compatible uses on a refuge by refuge basis — we just look at which activities are best for each one.”

The rule of no jogging or running isn’t new, but the signs are. For most, the rule wasn’t known until the sign was posted. “I had no idea,” Tracy Gannaway tells States Man Journal. “It seems kind of silly. Runners and hikers put pretty much the same amount of wear on the trails. And this is Oregon, we run everywhere.”

Jock Beall, Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex biologist says, “It might be a new sign, but jogging has never been allowed in the (Willamette) wildlife refuges. We do see people out running. We just stop them and explain the rules. We tell them it’s not a park, it’s a wildlife refuge.”

Other banned activities include riding bicycles or horses, and bringing pets.

All the while, hiking, wildlife observation, environmental education and photography are encouraged. Deer hunting with both shotguns and bows is allowed during autumn at Finley NWR.
Photo Credit: Zach Urness / Statesman Journal

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