Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge



Project Title: Repair Cliff Ridge Road (FFS #R1GE)

State: Washington

Project Description: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has overseen the completion of a road improvement project at the Lake Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project was funded using $59,172 in stimulus dollars.

The funding was used to improve Cliff Ridge Road (Rte 013) at the Refuge, correcting deficiencies in the 0.85-mile, 14-foot wide native surface road by reconstructing the roadbed, side-slopes and ditches, and regraveling and compacting the road surface. The work was performed by Northern Management Services, a construction and general contracting company based in Sandpoint, Idaho.

“This project provides for our regular maintenance to a road in need of regular repair,” Little Pend Oreille NWR Manager Steve Fowler said. “The project allows for improved, safe access to our 42,000-acre Refuge.”

In addition to the grading work, Northern Management Services also constructed safety pullouts and updated signage on Cliff Ridge Road.

The Little Pend Oreille NWR is a forested Refuge in mountainous terrain that gets heavy snowfall and a seasonal cycle of freezing and thawing. This combined with spring run-off makes road maintenance a constant concern.

Most of the Refuge roads are constructed of native dirt and provide both public and management access, including access for logging and fire emergencies. The native material is subject to erosion and excessive wear and tear. This results in high maintenance costs and the eroded material invariably ends up in our streams and rivers.

“Most of our roads should get some maintenance on an annual basis, but the reality is they don’t get that much attention because we are short staffed in our maintenance cadre,” Fowler said. “We have done this on many miles of Refuge roads over the past 15 years to good effect. This will provide a surface we can work with and re-establish the ditches necessary to effective water control.

The most cost effective way to mitigate the road surface issues is to provide a more durable and lower maintenance armored surface through the use of a rock base and gravel cap. The done on the Cliff Ridge Road was a rehab and lift of the road surface by placing rock and gravel to a final uncompacted depth of 10 inches.

The is located in northeast Washington, 13 miles southeast of Colville in Stevens County. Located on the west slope of the Selkirk Mountain Range, it is the only mountainous, mixed-conifer forest refuge in the lower 48 states. It was established in 1939 to provide a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.


New gravel on Cliff Ridge Road Trucks hauling gravel
07-09-10_little-pend-oreille-nwr_1The road after construction.
07-09-10_little-pend-oreille-nwr_2The road before construction.

Press Releases: Idaho Company Awarded $56,000 in Stimulus Funding for Road Maintenance at Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge

Originally posted 10/28/2009
Updated 07/12/2010
Page Completed 03/31/2011

DOI Recovery Investments by Bureau

Last Updated: February 02, 2012
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