Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges

Friends needed....

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife observers, hikers, birders, wildlife photographers, hunters, fishermen, kayakers, and environmental educators... 

The Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges are a diverse group of outdoor enthusiasts seeking like-minded individuals to join us in our efforts. Our goals include fund-raising for Refuge projects, and volunteerism to support Refuge projects and events. Your membership dues will help support projects on our refuges, and you can volunteer your labor and talents to give back to your community and help make this endeavor successful.  If you would like to join our Friends group, or would like more information regarding our organization, please attend one of our general meetings, one of our events, or send us an email using the contact form located here:   Contact Us

Click Here to Become a Member!

Memberships start at $15.00 per year for students and seniors, $20.00 per year for individuals. You can now join us, renew your membership, or donate to our cause online using Paypal and your credit card (Paypal account not required). Please check out our Membership Information Page for details or to join our group.

Raffle to benefit the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges!

We have a Nikon Sky and Earth Spotting Scope 15-45X60 with a protective cover and quick release vehicle window mount that is going to be raffled off at our General Meeting in January. If you join Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu NWR or renew your membership between now and our Fund Raising Dinner in Golden Shores on December 6, 2014 you will receive one free raffle ticket. More tickets are available at $10 apiece and can be purchased from one of our Board members. Tickets will also be available at all our meetings and upcoming events.

*Event Report*
Litter Pick-up
General Meeting
Delta Point Trail Steps Project
April 5, 2014

Our Friends group had a very busy day on April 5, 2014. We started with an ADOT Adopt-a-highway litter pickup event along our mile of Highway 95 adjacent to the BWR Headquarters. Eight volunteers picked up 15 bags of trash and a lot of junk that did not fit into bags. This is our second litter pick-up event on this stretch of highway; it is sad that there was that much trash accumulated since the last pickup.

After the litter pickup, we gathered at the BWR Education building for our April Friends General meeting. We discussed upcoming events, new business, and old business.

When the meeting concluded, many joined Chad Villamor at the Delta Point Trail to complete a project to construct steps from the highway pullout to the trailhead. The existing "path" to the trailhead was a steep slope with loose rock; the new steps will make it much easier for hikers and birders to access Delta Point, which has a great view of the Bill Williams River Delta. Delta point is a well-known birding site that has been designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Chad did a wonderful job planning and installing the steps; the material was supplied by the Refuge.

A special thank you goes out to Kathleen and Jan for providing a wonderful lunch to keep everyone's energy up! We finished the long day about 3:30 in the afternoon, leaving time for some of us to do a little kayaking!

Watch our Facebook Page and Website for our next project; we would love to have you join in on the fun.

Archery Days 2014
Event Report

Sponsored by Refuge Staff, the third annual Youth Archery event was held at Catfish Paradise in Havasu NWR on March 11 and 12, 2014. In spite of breezy conditions, the event was a great success.

Approximately 300 elementary school children from Mohave Valley, Topock, and Lake Havasu City area schools enjoyed a day featuring four archery target ranges including a basic instruction range, 3D target range, game range, and a bowfishing range featuring a 3D carp target. A wildlife observation and education station was also featured, in addition to nature walks; one of the stars of the walk was Rocky, a 15 year old desert tortoise.

This event offers a great opportunity to introduce today's youth to the many outdoor recreation opportunities that are available to them.

We would like to offer thanks to the following groups for providing exhibits and activities: the BLM Fire Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and Mohave County Search and Rescue.

*Event Report*
Friends Nature Walk
January 27, 2014

For an event report on the Friends-sponsored Nature Walk that took place on Monday, January 27, check out the story located on our Birdwatching Page.

Event Report
2014 Annual Meeting
 and Potluck Supper

Our Friends Group's 2nd Annual Meeting was held on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the Golden Shores Fire Station.

The meeting began with a potluck dinner; one thing is certain, our Friends group has some major culinary talent on our roster. A variety of entrees and desserts covered the tables.

A business meeting followed during which a new Director at Large, Bill Weidemann, was elected. Bill joins the sitting Board of Directors which consists of:

DeeDee DeLorenzo, President
Tom Daugherty, Vice President
Marge Penton, Secretary
Jennifer Rose, Treasurer
Chad Villamor, Director at Large
John Williams, Director at Large

Other business, upcoming and proposed projects, and future meeting plans rounded out the discussions. We were pleased to hear that, from an initial core group of six members, in two years we have grown to 58 members!

*Event Report*
Friends Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
Golden Shores Fire Station
Saturday, December 7, 2013


Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges held a spaghetti dinner and raffle fundraiser this past Saturday, December 7. We appreciate all those in our community who bought tickets and joined us for a fun evening in Golden Shores. We would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for their contributions and donations:

Chad Villamor and the Golden Shores Fire Department, Pat Colloran and Topock Topics, Western Trader, Desert River Kayak, Flawless Tint and Detail, Camera Works Photography, Bentley Place Hair Design, John West, Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant, Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, Tom and Jacky Daugherty, Grand Canyon Railway, Big5, Hair by Geline, The Dust Witch Gallery, Captain Doyle’s Funfishing, Georgia Craig Studios, Dr. Thomas Dallman, Topock 66 Marina, Hooch’s River Grill, River Stop Shell Station, Keith DeLorenzo, Mohave Electric Cooperative, Jennifer Rose, Ancient Earth, Stella, Best Buy, Subway, Wild West Junction, CNH Arms, Beverley James and her Sixth Grade Class, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Safeway.

A special note of appreciation goes to Deanna Acosta and her family of Golden Shores who prepared and served a wonderful meal.

NFWF Grant Awarded to Friends of Bill Williams River and Havasu NWR

Earlier this year our Friends group applied for a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Grant to purchase a computer, office equipment, and software that will enable us to have a mobile office capable of giving power point presentations to community groups and schools, enhancing our ability to provide Environmental Education to the public. On June 7, 2013 we received the following announcement from the NFWF:

“We are pleased to advise you that the Board of Directors of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved a grant of $2,638.95 to the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges to support the Establishing Infrastructure for the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges (AZ, CA) project. This grant is provided on the condition that these funds will be matched by $2,638.95 in matching contributions raised by the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges.”

We would like to thank the NFWF for the award, and we will do our utmost to put it to good use.

Our logo is a montage featuring the Bill Williams River landscape in the foreground, a Northern Pintail flying over Topock Marsh in the center, and the Needles Mountains area of Havasu NWR  in the background.
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National Public Lands Day 2014
September 27, 2014

Havasu NWR's third annual Water Trail Kayak Cleanup event will be held on September 27, 2014. Our Friends group will be assisting Refuge staff with the event, which is a 4 mile kayak paddle from Castle Rock to Mesquite Bay Central, stopping to pick up litter and trash along the way. Bring your own kayak or canoe to join the fun. If you do not have your own, WACKO and Jerkwater, two local watercraft rental outfits, will be providing watercraft FREE of CHARGE. For the press release containing more information about this event, please see the printable pdf file located HERE.
*Event Report*
Pintail Slough Litter Pick-up and General Meeting
Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Pintail Slough litter pick event was held the morning of March 22, 2014. Nine volunteers picked up a full truckload of trash and litter along two miles of County Road One between Mileposts 4 and 6. A beautiful sidewinder rattlesnake was spotted sleeping under a bush during the work.

Our March Friends General Meeting was held at the Golden Shores Fire Station after the Litter pick-up event.

Old and new business, upcoming projects, and other items were discussed.

The date was set for our next meeting, which will follow our April 5, 2014 Bill Williams River NWR Adopt-a-highway litter pick-up at the Bill Williams River NWR Headquarters.

Everyone is welcome! Please join us for one or both events.

*Event Report*
Friends and Family Fun Day at Catfish Paradise, Havasu NWR!
October 26, 2013

The 1st Annual Friends and Family Fun Day at Catfish Paradise in Havasu National Wildlife Refuge was a success.

Approximately 80 kids of all ages enjoyed archery ranges, and Arizona Game and Fish Department exhibition booth, a nature hike/birdwalk, and kids fishing on the dock. An exhibit with microscopes to view small denizens such as algae and shrimp was also featured.

Our Friends group also had a refreshment booth with hot dogs and snacks, t-shirt sales, and information about our group. The weather was spectacular, and a fun time was had by all. Our Friends group assisted with the event sponsored by the Lake Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff. Special thanks go out to Arizona Game and Fish Department for providing their wildlife display, and for providing the equipment and instruction for the kids fishing fun.

Look for a bigger, better event next year!

View a photo gallery of the event!

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The Trees Remember a River

Read the new article "The Trees Remember a River" by our Friend, Kathleen Blair, Ph.d. by going


The Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges are elated to report that we have received approval from the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(C) (3) public charity; the effective date of our exemption is April 6, 2012!!!!!   
AZFO Meeting a Success!

Our Friends group had a table set up at the meeting of the Arizona Field Ornithologist's Annual Meeting which was held in Lake Havasu City, AZ on October 26-28, 2012. The table featured photographs of wildlife taken at the refuge, brochures, and other items of interest. We interacted with some of the most prominent Birders in Arizona and got the word out about our Group!
Thank You, Desert River Kayak!!

A big thank you to Desert River Kayak, our Friends group's first Business Sponsor! Thank you Helen! To find out more information about Desert River Kayak, you can find their contact information and a link to their website HERE
Duck Stamps

You can help support wildlife and our National Wildlife Refuge system by purchasing a Duck Stamp. Find out more and read the new article by Kathleen Blair, Ph.d. by going HERE
2012 Archery Instructor Course Completed

The scheduled Archery Instructor's Course was completed; 6 additional archery instructors were certified as instructors. Archery instructors from our Friends group will be assisting Refuge Staff with two youth archery events to be held in January and March of 2013. For more information see the story located HERE

The Beal Lake and Bermuda Pasture Wildlife Observation Tower Maintenance Project is Complete!

The final touches were put on the Beal Lake Tower, and the Bermuda Pasture Tower was completed in one day! Many thanks go out to the Refuge Staff, volunteers, and Friends members who assisted with the work.
Adopt-a-Highway Event and General Meeting Report
September 21, 2013
Bill Williams River NWR

The Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges held our first litter pick-up event for for the ADOT Adopt-a-Highway program on Saturday, September 21, 2013.

We had 14 volunteers meet at the Bill Williams River NWR Headquarters at 9:00 AM. After a short safety briefing, we donned safety vests and headed out to our work area. Despite the hot weather, together we picked up 24 bags of trash and numerous other large items along our section of Highway 95.

After the event, we met at the BWR Headquarters Education building for our Friends September General Meeting. General business items were discussed including the status of several grant applications, planning for the National Public Lands Day event to be held September 28, and other items.

Our next Friends meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, October 16 at 7:00 PM at the Golden Shores Fire Station, 12950 Oatman Highway, Route 66, Golden Shores.

The meeting was followed by an excellent and informative program about the Bill Williams River Riparian area presented by Kathleen Blair, Ph. D., Refuge Ecologist.

Please join us next week for the Havasu NWR's National Public Lands Day event. For more information about this event check out the National Public Lands Day Page.

*Event Report*
2nd Annual
 Friends & Family Fun Day

The second annual Friends & Family Fun Day was held Saturday, April 13 at the Bill Williams River NWR Headquarters. The event is sponsored by Staff of the Lake Havasu NWR Complex; assisting were volunteers from our Friends group.

Approximately 300 visitors enjoyed a variety of events including a nature hike, archery, a chance to plant a native plant at the refuge, and a Fishing Clinic by Arizona Game and Fish.

Hot Dogs and snacks were provided by the Friends, and approximately $100.00 was donated to our group.

Be sure to attend next year, we promise it will be bigger and better!

*Event Report*
February 20, 2013
Tree Planting Work Party

A work party consisting of Friends, Refuge Volunteers, and Refuge staff planted 34 cottonwood trees along the new canal near the Bermuda Pasture Observation tower in Havasu National Wildlife Refuge on February 20, 2013.

It rained most of the day, but the little trees were certainly enjoying the moisture. Cottonwood trees are native to the area, and mature cottonwoods are magnets for all types of wildlife.

The Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges is an approved 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. All photos and graphics on these pages are copyrighted by the artist and photographer. 
Photo Header donated by John West, All Rights Reserved. 
Logo for the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges was donated by Tom and Jacky Daugherty, copyright Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges. Photos and Graphics may not be used in any media without written permission from the copyright owner.

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Bulletin Board

Upcoming 2014 Events

Upcoming Refuge Projects & Events (all dates are tentative):

September 27 (7-11am) - National Public Lands’ Day Water Trail Kayak Cleanup, Havasu NWR. For a press release about this awesome event, please see the pdf file located HERE

Wednesday, October 8: Our September Friends Board Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Golden Shores Fire Station, located at 12950 Oatman Highway, Route 66, in Golden Shores, Arizona. Please join us!

Oct. 11, 2014, 9:00 AM - ADOT Adopt a Highway cleanup Event - BWRNWR Meet at Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters parking lot, 60911 Highway 95. Please join us as we pick up litter along Highway 95 adjacent to the Bill Williams River NWR Headquarters.

October 18 (8/9am-2pm) - Golden Shores Women’s Club Fall Festival

October 25 (9am-1pm) - Friends and Family Fun Day (Catfish Paradise)

December 6 (4-7pm) - Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser (Golden Shores Fire Station

Dec. 29 - Christmas Bird Count – BWRNWR

Dec. 30 - Christmas Bird Count – Havasu NWR

2015 Events

January 2-4 - Youth Duck Hunt (Pintail Slough)

January 10 - Annual Meeting, Golden Shores Fire Department

Feb 3-5, 2015 - Maintenance Projects: Clean-up at Bermuda Pasture, Handicap “signs” repaint work Catfish Paradise and Bermuda Pasture, IBA (Important Bird Areas) signs

February 13-16 Great Backyard Bird Count

February 27- March 1 - Blue Grass Festival (Friends table)

April 11, 2015 - ADOT Hwy cleanup (BWRNWR)

April 25, 2015 - Friends and Family Fun Day (BWRNRW)

Please consult our Calendar page for more information about our events. We are looking for both volunteers and participants in these events.
2013 Christmas Bird Counts

The 2013 Christmas Bird Counts for the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges are complete. The results are still being processed; links to the final tallies will be posted when they become available.

Thanks to the Friends and other volunteers for participating!
*Event Report*
Golden Shores Women's Club Fall Festival

Our Friends group had a table set up October 19 at the Golden Shores Women's Club Fall Festival. Using a projector, we showed several slide shows of past events on the wall behind our booth. We talked to numerous people interested in our group and activities, and advertised our upcoming October 26 Catfish Paradise event.

In between Friends activities, we enjoyed some good food and browsed through the crafts and baked goods.
Summary of
Friends General Meeting

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our October General Meeting for the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu NWR was held at the  Golden Shores Fire Station, 12950 Oatman Highway, Route 66, in Golden Shores.

General business that was discussed included the treasurers report, recent and upcoming events, grant statuses, and future projects.

We were elated to learn the government shutdown ended during the meeting.

For more details about the meeting, join our contact list and watch your emails for the meeting minutes.
    *Event Report*

    National Public Lands Day

      September 28, 2013
    Havasu NWR

    On September 28, 2013  approximately 60 kayakers were joined by Refuge Staff and our Friends group for a kayak paddle/litter pickup event in Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. The festivities began before 8:00 AM at Crystal Beach in Castle Rock Bay. Paddlers were given short safety presentations and given kayaks. The kayaks and other needed equipment was generously provided at no cost by Jerkwater Canoe Company and Western Arizona Canoe and Kayak Outfitters (WACKO), two local Lake Havasu kayak outfitters.

    Boats were launched at 8:00 AM and the group slowly made its way approximately 4 miles south toward Mesquite Bay Central, a non-motorized launch area in Havasu NWR. The Paddlers were accompanied on the route by two Fish & Wildlife chase boats; trash was passed from the kayaks to the chase boats as trash bags were filled. The boats also assisted in pulling larger items out off of the shoreline including tires, railroad ties, plywood, and a large section of boat dock. Kayakers stopped at beaches along the route and filled their trash bags with litter from the shoreline.

    At the end of the route at Mesquite Bay Central kayakers were treated to hot dogs, chili, snacks, and refreshments by our Friends group. Friends T-shirts were available for purchase, and an information table was set up displaying pamphlets, brochures, and other information about our group and the Refuges.

    A special thank you to Jerkwater Canoe Company and WACKO for making this event possible!

    You can view photographs of the event on our Friends Event Gallery Page.

    Watch for a bigger, better event next year!
    Event Report
    2013 Youth Waterfowl Hunt

    Our Friends Group provided volunteers and hunting mentors to assist the Arizona Department of Game and Fish and Refuge Staff with a three day youth waterfowl hunt held at Pintail Slough on January 4-6, 2013. Hunters aged 12-17 were be treated to a full schedule of activities, including a Gun Safety class, and duck hunting in Pintail Slough. Ducks Unlimited also assisted with the event. For more information go to our Outdoor Activities > Hunting page located  HERE
    Friends Board Retreat
    May 18, 2013
    Meeting Summary

    Our Friends Board of Director's retreat was held on May 18, 2013 in Bullhead City. Joining the Board were Linda Miller, Havasu NWR Manager and Kathleen Blair, Bill Williams River NWR Refuge Ecologist.

    Numerous topics were discussed including events, memberships, and future projects. To read a meeting summary, you can go HERE
    The 2013 North American Migration Count is Done!

    For more information about this great nationwide birding event go HERE!
    Fall Birding Birding at Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges!

    For a great article about fall birding at our National Wildlife Refuges written by DeeDee DeLorenzo, go HERE!
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