Join Samantha Bartling, Visitor Services Manager, Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC) and Kris Ebbe, Chair, Outreach Committee, Friends of the Willamette Valley NWRC to experience your local wildlife refuge.
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, the 5,500 acre treasure just south of Corvallis, is very special for very different reasons, depending on who you ask: family time, solace, hiking, birding, historic buildings, photography, hunting, wildlife viewing, making memories.... And that's not counting what the critters would say if they could respond! Seven threatened and endangered species call the Refuge home, as do legacy oak trees, colonies of acorn woodpeckers, a large herd of Roosevelt elk, bobcats, black bear and 200+ bird species alone! Share an evening with Refuge staff and Friends of the Refugees board members exploring Finley through pictures, updates, stories and conversation.
Samantha (Sam) Bartling loves connecting people to nature and creating conservation heroes in her role as Visitor Services Manager at the Willamette Valley NWRC.
After two summers on Alaska Wildlife Refuges and graduating from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Natural Resources Management, Sam started her career at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge as their Public Use Manager. Along her journey, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panamá and earned a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Cornell University, focusing on community-based management in protected areas. Managing wetland easements for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), running a regional non-profit in Washington State, and working on an Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) initiative for New York State kept Sam occupied before rejoining the Refuge system in the Willamette Valley.
Kris Ebbe serves as chair of the Outreach Committee for the Friends of the Willamette Valley NWRC. She grew up in the outdoors with a huge love for the wild things. She spent 32 years of her life working as a white water river guide in Oregon and Arizona. The last 12 years of her guiding career was spent as a river guide on the Colorado in the Grand Canyon. While on the river, Kris interpreted the canyons flora, fauna, human history, and geology to her passengers. When she wasn’t on the river, Kris worked for 25 years at Chintimini Wildlife Center as the Education Bird Program Director where she trained the resident raptors for education programs. She became a full time falconer before retiring from CWC and now flies two Harris Hawks!