Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region

Slade National Wildlife Refuge
Kidder County, North Dakota

aerial photo of Slade Refuge by Refuge staffSlade National Wildlife Refuge is located in south-central section of North Dakota, in an area famed for its wealth of waterfowl producing potholes. This Refuge is a typical remnant of the prairie pothole breeding habitat of the glaciated plains.

The Refuge comprises 3,000 acres of gently rolling prairie dotted by numerous lakes and marshes formed by glacial action. Most of the grasslands on the refuge have been previously farmed and restored to various mixes of tamegrass. Efforts are underway to restore and manage the uplands with mixes of native grasses and forbs that would have been present before the sod was broken in farming.

The Refuge contains five semi-permanent lakes and marshes, plus fifteen pothole areas, totaling over 900 acres of wetlands. The shallow potholes and marshes provide breeding and brood rearing habitat for waterfowl and marsh birds. Bulrush and cattail stands in the deeper lakes provide excellent cover for waterfowl while molting and during migration periods.

Lakes and marshes in the vicinity of Dawson, North Dakota, were well-known during the early 1900's for the tremendous number of waterfowl present and the excellent hunting opportunities. The late G.T. Slade, formerly an executive of the Northern Pacific Railroad, began purchasing land around Harker Lake in 1924 for the establishment of a private shooting club.

In 1940, Mr. Slade donated the entire club to the Fish & Wildlife Service for the establishment of Slade NWR.


photo of controlled burn on Slade Refuge by Refuge Refuge staffSlade NWR is administered as a satellite refuge from the Long Lake Complex headquarters. Prior to the era of Complexing in the 1970's, Slade NWR was the headquarter facility for what is now the Long Lake NWR Complex, with additional responsibilities for Logan and McIntosh counties which are now part of the Kulm WMD. Complexing placed the Slade Complex under the administration of Arrowwood Complex, moved the headquarters to Long Lake NWR, reduced staff at the future substation, and reduced the area of administration from 5 to 3 counties. When Long Lake separated from Arrowwood in 1991, administration of Slade NWR was included under the Long Lake Complex, where this refuge continues to be managed and administered from today.

Access to the refuge by the public is by walk in only. Birding is the primary activity and attraction. The entire refuge is open to deer hunting during the state archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. Slade NWR is closed to all other hunting.

Last updated: August 8, 2011