A Refuge Is Born
As farms, ranches, and logging businesses flourished in the valley, people became aware of dwindling wildlife numbers. Local residents recognized the need to set aside land for the specific benefit of wildlife in the Bitterroot Valley. Using money generated from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased lands which established the Ravalli National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville in 1963. In 1978, the Refuge was renamed to honor the late Senator Lee Metcalf, who was instrumental in establishing this refuge, and to recognize his life-long commitment to conservation.