The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of Valentine National Wildlife Refuge for 15 years. Located in north-central Nebraska, the refuge lies in the heart of the Nebraska Sandhills, the largest sand dunes in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest grass-stabilized regions in the world. Refuge habitats are sandhill prairies (vegetated sand dunes), open-water lakes, wet meadows, shallow marshes, fens, and alkaline wetlands.
The purpose of the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge is to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.
Lakes and wetlands on the refuge are important migration and breeding habitat for waterfowl and other waterbirds, as well as supporting native fish, amphibian, and reptilian species. In addition, songbirds find important migration and breeding habitat in uplands and wooded areas along the lakeshores. The sandhill prairies are excellent nesting habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, and support many native mammals.
The refuge is known for its special areas and habitats. Two research natural areas—George Wiseman Natural Area and Natural Area 2—have a combined total size of 1,381 acres. The refuge is home to the endangered blowout penstemon, the threatened western prairie fringed-orchid, and possibly the endangered American burying beetle. In 1979, the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service designated Valentine National Wildlife Refuge as a national natural landmark.
Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan follow:
Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 1999 (3 MB PDF)
Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 1999 (1 MB PDF)