Welcome to John and Louise Seier National Wildlife Refuge
John W. and Louise Seier National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) can be found in north-central Nebraska, as a sanctuary among the Sandhills. The Sandhills region is the largest remaining tract of mid and tall grass prairie in North America. The Refuge is located 25 miles south of Bassett, NE and is 2400 acres in size.
The primary objective of the Refuge will be to preserve, restore and enhance the ecological diversity and abundance of migratory and resident wildlife. Management of the Refuge in this manner will provide the opportunity for wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and hunting of wildlife. Environmental education and interpretation will be developed for the visiting public to learn about the valuable refuge resources and the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The Refuge is made up of three diverse habitats, they are grasslands, wetlands and woodlands. The grasslands cover the majority of the refuge for a total of 755 acres. Cool season grasses, such as brome and Kentucky blue grass, stipa and other species, dominate the grasslands in the heavier grazed areas. A second habitat on the Refuge are the wetlands which cover approximately 370 acres. There are two creeks which run through the Refuge, Bloody Creek and Skull Creek. Bloody Creek, a usually intermittent stream, but now nearly permanent due to high groundwater, cuts across the ranch for 1 1/4 miles. Skull Creek, a permanent stream which empties into the Calamus River, flows across one-half mile of the western portion of the Refuge. The last habitat is approximately ten acres of cottonwood forest which were planted in the original homesteading of the Sandhills region.
The Refuge is home to a variety of wildlife, small and big game species, such as white-tailed deer, prairie grouse and wild turkeys, as well as many other species of birds.
The Seier Ranch was originally homesteaded by John and Louise Seier’s grandparents in the mid-1800s. The land has been in the family since that time. Because John and Louise Seier did not have any immediate family, but did have a love of wildlife and an interest in preserving that wildlife, they donated, their 2400 acre working cattle ranch to US Fish and Wildlife Service in October of 1999. There are few public areas in the Sandhills and the John W. and Louise Seier NWR is the first wildlife habitat in Rock County, Nebraska.
Birdwatching, wildlife observation and photography are among the opportunities that will be provided to the public in the future. Because the Refuge is so new to the System, it remains closed to the public at this time. There is no projected date for the opening of the Refuge and one will be established upon the completion of a management plan. The John W. and Louise Seier NWR is administered through Fort Niobrara-Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Complex located in Valentine, NE.