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2019 Tetlin Refuge Discovery Trip July 3 – 7

Join us as we explore Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, experience a small town 4th of July and help this understaffed refuge.    We will combine a canoe trip into Tetlin’s vast birdy system of lakes and rivers to begin signage of the refuge’s first water trail with helping the refuge make Tok’s 4th happen.  

We will meet in Tok on Wednesday the 3rd to help the refuge set up the town’s 4th.  On the 4th we will help staff the refuge booth and lead family games, and take down the booths in the evening.  And Yes!  There will be a parade with a refuge float.  The refuge’s prominent role in Tok’s 4th of July has always been a key part of the refuge’s outreach to the community.  Now that the staff has been reduced to 8, it is a struggle to make this happen.  We can help!

On Friday the 5th, we will launch the refuge canoes on highway accessible Desper Creek to a campsite amidst numerous lakes providing perfect habitat for nesting waterfowl, swans, rusty blackbirds and warblers.  Camping for two nights will give us time to begin work on a long-term Friends project to sign a water trail on Desper and Scotty Creeks.   Some of this will be exploratory going beyond where Friends have gone before to identify routes through the lake systems.  Paddling out Sunday against the slow current of Desper Creek should not take more than three hours putting us back at Tok by early afternoon for our farewells and the drive home.   Desper Creek is a very slow-moving creek suitable for beginners.  We may have to lift canoes over beaver dams depending on the water level.

For more information about the Tetlin Refuge check out their webpage or on Facebook.  You can read about our 2018 trip here

The trip limit is 12 and the minimum age is 18 or 16 with a guardian.  You must be a current Friend to participate but you can join here
Registration is now open and limited to the first 12 applicants.


Canoeing Desper Creek on 2018 Tetlin Discover Trip

 Leaders:

  •  Dave Schroyer, david_schroyer@hotmail.com; (907) 240-1375.  Dave was raised in Alaska with life long experience canoeing, hunting, birding and exploring all over the state.  He is bear safety qualified and was co-leader of last years Friends trip on Desper Creek.

  • Moira O’Malley, moiraomalley@hotmail.com; is a long time Fairbanks resident, teacher and avid canoeist.  She also was on the Friends 2018 trip to Desper Creek and has “fallen in love with Tetlin”.

Cost:  $60 for 4 dinners and 4 breakfasts.  Bring your own lunches and snacks.  Contact the trip leaders if you have dietary restrictions.

Equipment needed:  Your own personal camping gear plus bear spray.  Contact the trip leaders if you don’t have a tent.  Canoes and life jackets will be supplied by the refuge.  If you would rather bring your own let us know.  We will not be portaging other than the possible beaver dam.  Also bring binoculars and fishing gear if desired.  Equipment list will be furnished to participants.

Weather, Bugs and Bears:  Average highs are in the 70s and thunderstorms are possible.  Bring good raingear – jacket and pants, and waterproof knee-high boots.   Gortex fishing waders with wading boots are an option to stay dry and allow walking into lakes and creeks when launching canoes.  Bugs this time of year are not supposed to be as bad as up north but a bug net or bug jacket is a prudent idea.  This is not noted as a “bear-y” area but it is Alaska so please bring your own bear spray and a holster system that will allow you to wear it.

Housing in Tok: The refuge staff is reserving 3 of their cabins for use Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday night if needed.  There is also plenty of tent space at refuge headquarters.  We will be able to use their staff kitchen for meals.

How to sign up:  Trip will be limited to the first 12 to complete the registration, including the $60 fee.  Please fill out the registration form below.  Registration payment options will be presented after the form is completed and submitted.   All participants will be required to fill out a Volunteer Agreement for the Refuge and sign a liability waiver for Friends.




Registration for the Tetlin Refuge Discovery Trip July 3 – 7, 2019 is closed.

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2017 September Membership Meeting

Please join us on Tuesday, September 19, for the Friends membership meeting.
Call in a few minutes before 5pm: (866) 556-2149, code :8169747#

Outreach Update:

Special Presenter: Kendra Bush-St. Louis, environmental educator with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge:

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is a vast refuge teaming with wildlife. It encompasses almost 3.5 million acres with over 6,000 miles of coastlines on almost 2,500 islands and headlands. Each year, staff members, volunteers, youth hires, and community partners come together to accomplish great things in the name of wild places and marine life. Join Refuge Environmental Education Specialist, Kendra Bush-St. Louis, as she shares accomplishments from this summer’s youth engagement, including a one of a kind YCC program, three science and culture camps, and the use of the coolest education platform ever, the R/V Tiglax.


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2016 November Membership Meeting

Please join us on Tuesday, November 15th,  for the Friends membership meeting.
Call in a few minutes before 5pm: (866) 556-2149, code :8169747#
Our presenter will be Katrina Liebich (Mueller), FWS Alaska Fisheries Outreach Coordinator,
presenting: “Fish of Alaska’s Refuges” which will showcase the amazing fish found in Alaska’s Refuges, introduce several FWS Programs working to conserve Alaska’s fish and their habitats (including on and adjacent to Refuge lands), and initiate a conversation about potential opportunities to work together! Several other FWS Fisheries and Habitat staff will be present to meet the group and help answer questions. 


Download presentation videos:

fish passage fail.wmv
fish passage restoration.wmv
Funny River Weir.wmv
streambank Chena.wmv
underwater weir footage.wmv


Shawn Bayless, manager of the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, will also join us to discuss items about Tetlin and to give an update on their lynx research.