The Mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
Following the establishment of
Florida’s Pelican Island as the first National Wildlife Refuge in 1903, the
System has grown to encompass more than 150 million acres within more than 550
Refuges, many Wetland Management Districts, and thousands of Waterfowl
More than 41 million people visit
National Wildlife Refuges each year to participate in activities such as
hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, and photography, and to attend
environmental education and interpretive programs. Their spending generates
almost $1.7 billion in sales and close to 27,000 jobs for regional economies.
Wildlife Refuges are home to more
than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian
species, and more than 200 species of fish. Fifty-nine Refuges have been
established with a primary purpose of conserving threatened or endangered
There is at least one National
Wildlife Refuge in every state, and one within an hour’s drive of most major
cities—offering people a welcoming, safe, and accessible place to nourish their
spirits and reconnect to the land.
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Public scoping comments for updating our fire management plan are due by Feb. 27, 2015.