Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah.
Historically, the marshes of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge have been an oasis of water for waterfowl and shorebirds surrounded by arid desert lands. As a key part of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem, the Refuge provides habitat for more than 200 species of birds making it a popular birding hotspot in northern Utah. In spring, summer, and fall, visitors can view American avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, and a host of other shorebird, waterfowl, and water bird species.
Disaster struck in 1983 when the Refuge was reduced to ruins by flooding from the Great Salt Lake. One hundred year storm events in two consecutive years, accompanied by cool summers, raised the lake level causing Refuge marshes to be inundated with salt water, destroying existing vegetation and Refuge facilities. It wasn't until 1989 that flood waters receded to the point that restoration of the Refuge could begin. Refuge staff and many dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to rebuild dikes, roads, and control structures to allow flushing of the impoundments with fresh river water.
Today, vegetation is growing once again, insect populations have returned with vigor, and birds occur in impressive numbers. The auto tour route has re-opened and a small pavilion and rest room facility are available for the public. Re-building of the Refuge continues.
The Refuge is located approximately 50 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah. It can be reached from Interstate 15 by taking the Forest Street exit at Brigham City and driving west 13 miles. A wildlife education center is located at 2155 West Forest Street, Bringham City.