October 1, 2004 -- Grazing on the majority of the land in Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in the state of Washington ended in 1999. Now the refuge is seeking in-kind bids to graze either sheep or cattle on about 190 acres next year.
Jennifer Brown, the refuge manager, stated, "It was decided that it could be beneficial to have selective grazing. The dusky Canada goose tends to browse in areas where cattle grazed." The dusky Canada geese like to eat the short, tender shoots of grass that regenerate after sheep or cattle have grazed an area.
The refuge will accept bids through Oct. 6. Interested parties must contact Brown by phone at 360-887-3883 or e-mail at Jennifer_Brown@tws.gov.
The refuge will allow between 300 to 350 ewes or 100 to 150 cattle to graze from March 1 to Sept. 30 on six fields in the southern parts of the refuge. The livestock must nibble the grass to 3 to 5 inches above ground by Oct. 1, 2005, when the geese come to winter in the refuge.