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About the Complex

Map of the Mission and Flathead Valleys indicating locations of the units of the National Bison Range complex.  USFWS imageThe National Bison Range Complex consists of Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge as well as four other National Wildlife Refuges and a Wetland Management District. The different units scattered throughout the Flathead, Mission and Pleasant Valleys, include open water and open grasslands, cliff tops and tree tops, pine groves and aspen groves. Together these areas contain hundreds of species of grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees. These diverse habitats in turn support myriads of wildlife from meadow voles to mountain lions.

A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a main office location. Refuges are grouped into a complex structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. Typically, a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex and refuge managers are responsible for operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, fire, visitor services, and maintenance professionals, support all refuges within the complex.


Here are some quick facts about the refuges in the National Bison Range Complex. Click on the Refuge or District to be directed to their website:


4 National Wildlife Refuges (NWR)
National Bison Range, established 1908 - 18,766 acres
Ninepipe NWR, established 1921 - 2,062 acres
Pablo NWR, established 1921 - 2,542 acres
Lost Trail NWR, established 1999 - 7,885 acres


Northwest Montana Wetland Management District
15 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA)
    Lake County
Montgomery WPA, established 1974 - 80 acres
Herak WPA, established 1975 - 80 acres
Sandsmark WPA, established 1975 - 400 acres
Duck Haven WPA, established 1988 - 791 acres
Crow WPA, 1989 - established 1,549 acres
Johnson 80 WPA, established 1989 - 80 acres
Kickinghorse WPA, established 1991 - 169 acres
Anderson WPA, established 1991 - 163 acres
Ereaux WPA, established 1998 - 28 acres
    Flathead County
Flathead WPA, established 1970-1971 - 2,370 acres
Smith Lake WPA, established 1972-1973 - 975 acres
Batavia WPA, established 1974-1975 - 510 acres
Blasdel WPA, established 1987 - 535 acres
McGregor Meadows WPA, established 1999 - 799 acres

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2014
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