Friends Banner

By Don Nelson, President of the Board

Board News

This month I step into the President’s position for the Refuge. Tom Hartz moves to Past President, and Keith Mays, who held the position of Past President last year, joins Cheryl Hart as President Emeritus. Tom leaves big shoes to fill – he has been very active in many roles but especially in leading the Education Committee.

I welcome our new President Elect, Willem Stoeller. Willem has been doing an outstanding job as the Treasurer for the Friends. He’s ensured we now have put aside a small portion of the Friends funds as a rainy-day fund (non-profits need to have such a fund in place). Under Oregon’s rules for non-profits, Willem cannot serve as both Treasurer and President of the Friends. He now has a year to recruit and train a new treasurer, but has many financial friends that are candidates. We need someone with non-profit finance experience to do the job right.

The position of Board Secretary is an important one - the minutes kept provide a record of the decisions and discussions held during the meetings. Sharon Miller has done outstanding work in this position for the last seven years and now steps down and continues in her board role as Store Manager. Thank you Sharon for condensing all the wide ranging board discussions into an easily readable document that captures the Board's work.

Filling the position of Secretary requires a person with skills at effectively summarizing the discussions that occur at the board meetings and reducing them to a document that captures the essence of the discussion as well as the decisions that resulted from the discussions. These minutes keep the history of the organization and are often used to refer back to important points. I welcome Linda Kilgore and thank her for accepting this important role. Linda continues with her current role as technology advisor and as the guru for the Friends of TRNWR website (and for publishing this newsletter!)

John Marsh will step aside from the Board due to personal reasons. We thank him for all his advisement on the Governance Committee as well as all his work to prevent the Tonquin Quarry expansion from dewatering the refuge (a big, deep hole would have been created next to the Refuge near Tonquin Road). The issue with the Tonquin Quarry isn’t over yet. We hope that John will be able to rejoin the Board at a later date and wish him the best with the challenges he is faced with.

25th Anniversary

Did you attend the 25th Anniversary of the TRNWR celebration on October 14? There was an opportunity to see the early 20th century Onion Sorter (sorts by size into 3 different sizes, this sorter was obviously built earlier than OSHA. Two Service Archaeologists were present to talk about the role of onions in our Refuge). But even more interesting was the chance for you to hike the length of Chicken Creek – a location that isn’t part of any normally accessible trail even in summer. Or, maybe you took the hike during the Friends Annual Meeting on September 30. Sorry, but if you missed either of these chances to take an off-trail hike, you won’t get the chance again. The area of Chicken Creek starts a two-year plan to restore the creek.

Challenges of the Coming Year

In addition to the usual committee work (Education, Restoration, Photo Society, etc.), the board will be focusing efforts on updating the Strategic Plan, as well as membership development. I hope to report more on these in future President Perch columns.

Giving season is just around the corner and the Friends are excited to announce our participation in #GivingTuesday!

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving back. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, you’ll have the chance to join us and people around the world in support of a cause close to your heart. Please keep the Friends in mind for your end-of-year giving.

Stay tuned for more details!  #GivingTuesday  #November28


Christmas Bird Count

The National Audubon Society invites birdwatchers to participate in the longest running citizen science survey, the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). On Sunday December 17th, birders and nature enthusiasts in Oregon will take part in the 2nd annual CBC count for the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Each year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count mobilizes over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,400 locations across the Western Hemisphere. The CBC utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. Data compiled for the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge CBC will record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area, contributing to a vast citizen science network that continues a tradition stretching back more than 100 years.

Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to the fun, nationwide citizen science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months. Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles. Volunteers and compilers count in each circle. The volunteers break into small parties and follow assigned routes counting every bird they see. Some people also watch bird feeders instead of following routes.

To sign up for the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Christmas Bird Count please contact wildlife biologist Curt Mykut at

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a citizen science project organized by the National Audubon Society. There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report, American Birds is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels.



Store Open House, December 2nd

Watch the Friends website for more information on the Annual Holiday Open House at Nature's Overlook Store on December 2, when members receive 20% off on all purchases. Nature's Overlook will also be participating again in the Sherwood 4 Kids Sake gift collection for low income youth. The Open House is a perfect opportunity to help make a child's wish come true.


We’re full to overflowing with wonderful books for you, the children in your life, and all those on your gift list! 

And if you do your holiday shopping early and need stocking stuffers or a little something extra, be sure to check out our replenished supply of pocket naturalist offerings (the folded, all-weather guides), our sticker/activity/coloring books for children, “Rite in the Rain” pens/refills/notebooks for outdoor adventuring, and more!  And remember, Friends members get a 10% discount on store merchandise.

Nothing like good books to keep you happy on a stormy evening, to spark your curiosity, or to help you appreciate nature. Thanks for purchasing books from Nature’s Overlook!

We’ve restocked with more copies of “Birds of the Pacific Northwest” by our own Tim Blount and John Shewey.

We’ve got Seth W.’s recommendations, “Scats and Tracks of the Pacific Coast”, plus David Moskowitz’s “Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.” Seth says, “It is the best period, I carry it in my backpack.”

We ordered two copies of a gorgeous new book, “Trees Up Close” – the images are spectacular, and it’s full of good information.

Latin for Bird Lovers” is brimming with facts and wonderful stories. If you love words and birds, this book may be for you!

When we got in the Laws books on drawing last time, they sold out immediately! So, we have more copies on hand – they are excellent. If you are interested in drawing birds or wildlife, please look at these books!

We have many titles in a terrific series of children’s books for the budding naturalist, full of beautiful artwork and facts about plants and animals by topic. Here are a few examples (more titles on the shelf):

Happy reading!

Wear in the World

Marylu Schweitzer and her son John are currently exploring east coast National Parks and Refuges. Here is Marylu wearing her Friends logo T-shirt at Fire Island National Seashore.



The Photo Society will meet on the usual first Thursday of the month on November 2 at 7 pm in the Riparian Room. This month’s program will be a discussion of processing RAW data to achieve the best TIF file for use in printing or displaying your image. Raw files are key to making the best possible capture and resulting image – far superior to JPGs as captures. We will have individuals that use Adobe Lightroom, DPP4, and ON1. Bring a raw file that could possibly be used in the demonstrations – just put it on a thumb drive so that it could be selected to have your image processed (there won’t be time for all images to be processed). Bring a particularly difficult image that you have had problems with in the past. IN addition, please bring up to 5 jpg or print images to share with the group. We’ll also be discussing the upcoming meetups for the next two months.

Future meetings –

December will have Tim Blount talking about where and how he photographed on the Malheur Refuge.

January will have a noted geologist (more details later) talking about Oregon geology.

See you there!

Join Button
Donate button


President's Perch 

Refuge Update

Giving Tuesday

Nature's Overlook Store

Photo Society


Photo Society Monthly Meeting
Nov. 2, 7:00 pm

Owl Prowl
Nov. 7, 6:30 - 8 pm

Puddle Stompers
Nov. 8, 1 - 2:30pm

Puddle Stompers
Nov. 14, 10 - 11:30 am

Adventures in Iceland
Nov. 16,  7:00 pm

Owl Prowl
Nov. 21,  6:30 - 8 pm

Nov 28






About Fred Meyer Community Rewards

Support Us at Amazon Smile

NWRA Alerts

Sign up to receive alerts from the National Wildlife Refuge Association on legislation that impacts the National Wildlife Refuge System.


Let us know when you like something or submit ideas you'd like to see covered here. We want to hear from you! Click here to email us.