The US Fish and Wildlife Service's mission is, working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.US Fish and Wildlife
About the Complex
Valentine NWR is part of the Fort Niobrara/Valentine NWR Complex. Two other refuges in this complex are Fort Niobrara and John and Louise Seier National Wildlife Refuges.
Valentine is managed as part of the Fort Niobrara/Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Learn more about the complex
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in cooperation with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) plan to construct by contract a new concrete boat ramp on Watts Lake at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Cherry County.
The access road to the boat launch will be closed starting June 9th for this construction. The existing rock boat ramp will be replaced with a new 60 foot concrete ramp. A concrete walkway will be installed to provide for handicap access from the current parking pad to a dock. A new 60 foot steel dock was purchased last year.
The fish community has deteriorated in Watts Lake and plans are to lower the lake level and conduct a total fish renovation this coming fall using rotenone, fish toxicant. In addition, modifications are in the final design and planning stages for the water control structure. The lake will be restocked with game fish following the renovation.
A public meeting will be scheduled in Valentine soon to provide information about an upcoming project on the refuge. Raised earthen roadways and berms, channel excavations, modifications to water control structures and the installation new carp control barriers are being planned for other lakes connected on the refuge.
These Watts Lake boat ramp improvements will be made possible by USFWS dollars and NGPC game cash funding through the purchase of Nebraska fishing permits.
If you have questions, you can call the refuge at 402-376-1889 or 402-376-3789.Learn More
A study conducted in 2012, showed Valentine National Wildlife Refuge generated $2.7 million in economic benefit for the Cherry County area in 2011. Economic benefit is the difference between the total value received from participating in a recreational activity and the total amount paid to participate in the activity. The benefit – which includes retail sales, taxes and job income – came from visitor spending tied to recreation activities on the refuge. The refuge returned $3.5 million in total economic effects, which is the total recreational expenditures plus net economic benefit. The figures come from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study, called Banking on Nature, which used 92 of the more than 550 national wildlife refuges for its economic sampling.Learn More
The 72,000 acre Valentine National Wildlife Refuge lies in the heart of the Nebraska Sandhills, a vast area of grass blanketed sand dunes, which flow across north-central Nebraska. Lakes and marshes in the valleys and prairie grasses in the hills and meadows provide habitat for many kinds of wildlife like the prairie chicken.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Refuge Lakes/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014