U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2008.


Audubon
Lake Nettie
McLean
Stewart Lake
White Lake
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o Audubon Refuge Complex
3275 11th Street Northwest
Coleharbor, North Dakota 58531
audubon@fws.gov
701 / 442 5474
www.fws.gov/audubon


Chase Lake
National Wildlife Refuge
5924 19th Street Southeast
Woodworth, North Dakota 58496
chaselake@fws.gov
701 / 752 4218
www.fws.gov/arrowwood/chaselake_nwr


Kellys Slough
Lake Alice
Stump Lake
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o Devils Lake District Complex
221 2nd Street Northwest Suite 2
Devils Lake, North Dakota 58301
devilslake@fws.gov
701 / 662 8611
www.fws.gov/devilslake/kellys_slough

www.fws.gov/lakealice
www.fws.gov/devilslake/refuges.html


Lake Ilo
National Wildlife Refuge

489 102 Avenue Southwest
Dunn Center, North Dakota 58626
akeilo@fws.gov
701 / 548 8110
www.fws.gov/lakeilo


Lake Zahl
National Wildlife Refuge

c/o Crosby District Complex
10100 Highway 42
Crosby, North Dakota 58730
crosbywetlands@fws.gov
701 / 985 6488
www.fws.gov/jclarksalyer/deslacs/lakezahl.htm


Shell Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

c/o Lostwood District Complex
8315 Highway 8
Kenmare, North Dakota 58746
lostwoodwetlands@fws.gov
701 / 848 2466
www.fws.gov/lostwood

 

Comprehensive Conservation Plan


Twelve North Dakota National Wildlife Refuges

North Dakota

Description

This plan is for the following national wildlife refuges:

  • Audubon
  • Chase Lake
  • Kellys Slough
  • Lake Alice
  • Lake Ilo
  • Lake Nettie
  • Lake Zahl
  • McLean
  • Shell Lake
  • Stewart Lake
  • Stump Lake
  • White Lake

The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of the 12 North Dakota national wildlife refuges for 15 years. The refuges are located across North Dakota from the Canadian border south to the State line of South Dakota. The prairies of North Dakota have become an ecological treasure of biological importance for waterfowl and other migratory birds. While the prairies support a wide diversity of wildlife, they are most famous for their role in waterfowl production.

The 12 refuges covered by this plan have the same primary purpose—to provide optimal habitat conditions for waterfowl and other migratory birds and, to a lesser extent, resident wildlife. Semipermanent and permanent wetlands provide brood-rearing habitat and migratory stopover habitat, respectively. However, it is the smaller temporary and seasonal wetlands that draw breeding duck pairs to these refuges.

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1955.
  • Comprises 14,739 acres.
  • Located in McLean County in west-central North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. Lake Audubon and grasslands make up most of the refuge. Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge.

Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1908.
  • Comprises 4,440 acres.
  • Located in Stutsman County in south-central North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Theodore Roosevelt. Native prairie and a high density of wetlands attract numerous bird species, including the largest breeding colony of American white pelicans in North America. The refuge is a designated Globally Important Bird Area. Hunting, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow fishing at the refuge.

Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1936.
  • Comprises 1,270 acres.
  • Located in Grand Forks County in northeastern North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The refuge supports a diversity of wetland and grassland wildlife. Wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow hunting or fishing at the refuge.

Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1935.
  • Comprises 12,096 acres.
  • Located in Ramsey County in northeastern North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. The refuge is a major waterfowl concentration area during spring and fall migrations. Hunting, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities that are at the refuge; the Service does not allow fishing at the refuge.

Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1939.
  • Comprises 4,033 acres.
  • Located in Dunn County in west-central North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Wetlands, shelterbelts, and grasslands create an oasis for migratory birds and resident wildlife. Fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow hunting at the refuge.

Lake Nettie National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1935.
  • Comprises 3,055 acres.
  • Located in McLean County in west-central North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The refuge has diverse wetlands and uplands with a mix of native and introduced grass species. Hunting, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow fishing at the refuge.

Lake Zahl National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1939.
  • Comprises 3,823 acres.
  • Located in Williams County in northwestern North Dakota.
Image of the plan cover with 5 Canada geese flying.

Cover photograph of Canada geese © Craig Bihrle.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Refuge wetlands are important feeding and resting areas for waterfowl migrating in the Central Flyway. Hunting, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow fishing at the refuge.

McLean National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1939.
  • Comprises 760 acres.
  • Located in McLean County in western North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow hunting or fishing at the refuge.

Shell Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1939.
  • Comprises 1,835 acres.
  • Located in Mountrail County in northwestern North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Shell Lake provides excellent habitat for all species of prairie waterfowl. Wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow hunting or fishing at the refuge.

Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1941.
  • Comprises 2,230 acres.
  • Located in Slope County in southwestern North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Large wetlands are not typical in western North Dakota and Stewart Lake serves as an oasis in a well-drained landscape. Wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation are compatible recreation opportunities at the refuge; the Service does not allow hunting or fishing at the refuge.

Stump Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1905.
  • Comprises 27 acres.
  • Located in Nelson County in eastern North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge—the third in the nation and first in North Dakota—is an executive order by President Theodore Roosevelt. The refuge is closed to all public use.

White Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  • Established in 1941.
  • Comprises 1,040 acres.
  • Located in Slope County in southwestern North Dakota.

The establishing authority for the refuge is an executive order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The refuge is closed to all public use.

The plan

Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan follow:

  • Set priorities for refuge habitats and manage high- and medium-priority habitats.
  • Identify additional degraded habitat tracts and restore native species.
  • Limit management of invasive species to legally listed species and those of ecological concern that occur on high- and medium- priority tracts.
  • Expand biological surveys, such as colonial bird counts and biweekly waterfowl counts, and baseline monitoring on high- and medium-priority tracts.
  • Document and protect cultural resources and conduct educational programs and partner research and inventories on a limited basis.
  • Improve and expand programs for youth and conservation groups. Conduct programs and events such as waterfowl identification workshops on a 3-year rotation among refuges.
  • Develop “friends groups.”
  • Expand existing partnerships to address improvement of migratory bird habitat.
  • Develop a new environmental learning center for Audubon National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Start or expand environmental education programs for Kellys Slough and Lake Alice national wildlife refuges.

Documents

Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2008 (20 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Approval, contents, summary (PDF)
Chapter 1, introduction (3 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, the refuges (8 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, refuge resources and description (6 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, management direction (4 MB PDF)
Appendixes (1 MB PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2008 (21 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Contents, summary (PDF)
Chapter 1, introduction (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, the refuges (11 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, alternatives (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, affected environment (4 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, environmental consequences (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 6, implementation of the proposed action (3 MB PDF)
Appendixes (PDF)