Law enforcement is essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. Refuge law enforcement contributes to Service efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and to help ensure and promote public safety.
Red Rock Lakes NWR has one Federal Wildlife Officer on staff, and the refuge works closely with other law enforcement agencies, specifically the Beaverhead County Sheriff office and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks law enforcement staff. The refuge also works collaboratively with law enforcement staff from the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service. In addition to traditional wildlife enforcement, Federal Wildlife Officers protect the visiting public by enforcing traffic and boating laws in addition to various laws implemented to maintain the peace.
Please obey all posted signs, and review the refuge brochure. Montana state hunting and fishing rules apply on the refuge, along with additional refuge specific regulations. Due to the campgrounds, the presence of grizzly bears in the area, excellent hunting and fishing opportunities, and being a wilderness refuge, there are specific regulations in place that may not be found on other Refuges. Remember, activity on refuge lands is unlawful unless specifically opened and allowed.
If you have any questions or see any poaching or other illegal activity occurring between 7:00AM-4:30PM M-F, please contact the refuge office at 406-276-3536. After hours, please contact the Beaverhead County Sheriff Office at 406-683-3700 and they will dispatch the Federal Wildlife Officer. In an emergency always call 911. The refuge is routinely patrolled, including nights and weekends.
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In 1932, fewer than 70 trumpeters were known to exist worldwide, at a location near Yellowstone National Park. This led to the establishment of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in 1935. Red Rock Lakes is located in Montana's Centennial Valley and is part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Nearly half of the known trumpeter swans in 1932 were found in this area. Warm springs provide year-round open waters where swans find food and cover even in the coldest weather.
Today, estimates show about 46,225 trumpeter swans reside in North America, including some 26,790 in the Pacific Coast population (Alaska,Yukon, and NW British Columbia) which winter on the Pacific Coast; 8,950 in Canada; about 9,809 in the Midwest; and about 487 in the tri-state area of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana (including the Red Rock Lakes refuge flock).