River’s Edge Golf Course is proud to be a member of The Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program(ACSP). ACSP is an education and certification program that helps organizations and businesses to protect our environment. This environmental program also holds golf courses across North America to a high degree when it comes to protecting the area’s natural heritage. With the support of our golf course superintendent Paul Meridith, River’s Edge is keenly focused on water conservation in Central Oregon. Paul is constantly looking for better ways to conserve water & natural resources, moderate our use of chemicals, and manage the wildlife habitat on the golf course.
The 141 acres and the surrounding sky are a sanctuary for the native flora and fauna in the High Desert. Our most common sightings are the Black-Tailed Deer or Mule Deer, the Great Horned Owl, and the Yellow-Bellied Marmot.
To learn more about central Oregon’s culture and wildlife visit The High Desert Museum where you can see over 100 wild animals that call the museum their home. You can observe a variety of animals like otters, porcupines, wild cats, eagles, hawks, owls and others who were rescued and cannot live in the wild anymore due to injuries or lack of survival tactics.
Black-tailed Deer otherwise known as Mule Deer The most common mammal on our course is the Black-tailed Deer. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, it can be distinguished from White-tailed deer by long ears, dichotomously branching antlers, no white hairs around interdigital and metatarsal glands, and a tail brown or black dorsally or white tipped with black. It’s very common that golfers will stop by the pro shop and tell us about the many five point plus bucks they’ve seen while on the course.
Red-Tailed Hawks These birds of prey can be observed soaring above with their large-bodied raptors, relatively broad wings and a tail on mature birds that is orangish red. There can be no doubt they have a keen focus on the Yellow-Bellied Marmots below, who roam the greens from March to August before they enter another hibernation.
Yellow-Bellied Marmot aka Rock Chucks We love our rock chucks, most of the time! Did you know the yellow-bellied Marmot is the largest squirrel in Oregon? According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, they have short legs, a short and bushy tail, and short ears all covered with fur. River’s Edge Golf Course offers a great habitat for the rock chucks in boulders and masses of rocks with an abundance of succulent vegetation. At River’s Edge Golf Course, marmots wake up from hibernation the around the beginning of March and remained active for 135-150 days, entering hibernation by the end of July to mid-August.
Bald Eagles Unique to North America, you’ll see this once endangered bird while on the golf course. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, a nesting survey found 401 breeding pairs in Oregon and 40 on the Washington side of the Columbia River in 2002. Population goals in eight of 10 recovery zones in Oregon have been met or exceeded.
Great Horned Owl According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Great Horned Owl is the most commonly encountered owl in Oregon. On the course, you’ll have to look up in the Ponderosa Pines to see them. They’re a large, stocky, powerful owl with large yellow eyes and distinctive feather tufts or “ears” above the eyes. Plumage color varies from dark brown in western Oregon to pale grayish brown in southeastern Oregon.
River’s Edge Golf Course will continue our strong commitment to habitat management and environmental stewardship in Bend, OR. To learn more about the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program, visit their website today.