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Rules and Regulations

Sandhill crane pair in flight/PowellThere are a lot of fun and interesting things to do on the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  Keep in mind, the refuge is managed for the benefit of wildlife.  Please check with refuge staff before participating in an activity that is not wildlife related or could harm you or the environment.  Be safe and have fun!

  • Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is here for the benefit of wildlife and disturbing or collecting any plant or animal is prohibited.
  • Public entry is permitted on units open to the public from sunrise to sunset year-round.
  • Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge should be a quiet place to enjoy nature--leave fireworks, loud radios, and other sound equipment at home.
  • Camping and fires are prohibited.
  • Only legally licensed vehicles are allowed on refuge roads that are open to travel. No all terrain vehicles, motorcycles, dirt bikes, etc. are allowed on refuge roads.
  • Marking any tree, trail or other refuge feature with paint, flagging tape, ribbon, trail tacks or similar substance is not allowed. 
  • Littering, dumping garbage or waste is prohibited.   
  • Pets are allowed on the refuge but they must be kept on a leash at all times.  Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center and no pet is to be left unattended in a vehicle due to the temperature extremes.
  • Artificial light (spotlighting) may not be used to find wildlife. 
  • Seasonal hunting opportunities are offered and require a refuge permit and hunters should be familiar with the refuge's hunting regulations.
  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local laws.  Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations. 
  • Use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited. 
  • Swimming, personal watercraft (i.e., jet ski), and water skiing are not allowed within the refuge boundaries. 
  • Fishing is prohibited on the refuge to protect rare native fish species found here.

Help us keep wildlife wild by following these simple rules: 

  • Do not approach or disturb wildlife. 
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Do not leave anything behind or take anything from the refuge
Page Photo Credits — Sandhill crane pair/David Powell ©, Dragonfly species / USFWS, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Jul 19, 2012
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