National Wildlife Refuges
The Pacific Southwest Region manages 46 National Wildlife Refuges and three Wildlife Management Areas covering 2.3 million acres in California , Nevada and the Klamath Basin of Oregon. These refuges range in size from the 1.6 million acre Desert National Wildlife Refuge near Las Vegas, Nevada, to the 13 acre Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge, an island off the coast of northern California. The refuges encompass many types of habitats, including wetlands, estuaries, rocky shores, grasslands, forests, deserts and all variations in between. Most refuges provide food, nesting grounds and resting areas for birds migrating to and from northern and southern climes.
About the National Wildlife Refuge System
Nearly 46 million people visit national wildlife refuges each year. Their spending generates almost $1.7 billion in sales for regional economies. As this spending flowed through the economy, nearly 27,000 people were employed and $542.8 million in employment income was generated.
Visitors and local communities recognize refuges as national treasures:
- Wildlife refuges are home to more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 200 species of fish.
- Fifty-nine refuges have been established with a primary purpose of conserving threatened or endangered species.
- 280 of the 1,200-plus federally-listed threatened or endangered species in the U.S. are found on units of the Refuge System.
Refuges in the Pacific Southwest Region
You might also want to visit the Threatened and Endangered Web site for more detailed information.
- There are 677,000 acres of wetlands and grasslands known as Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) primarily in the prairie potholes of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana.
- Protected wilderness makes up 20 percent of the refuge lands. Most of the wilderness acreage is in Alaska. Refuges also include wild and scenic rivers and marine protected areas.
Hunters get a warm welcome at more than 300 hunting programs on refuges and on about 36,000 Waterfowl Production Areas. Opportunities for fresh or saltwater fishing are available at more than 270 refuges. There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour's drive of most major cities, offering people a welcoming, safe and accessible place to nourish their spirits and reconnect with the land.