National Wildlife Refuge System

Refuge Friends – Your Place to Connect with Wildlife and People

From its start in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America's natural resources. There are now more than 200 Friends groups, with about 10 new organizations created each year. Some support a single refuge while others are connected to a refuge complex or an entire state.

Friends organizations are crucial to the collective mission of the Refuge System to conserve and protect the wildlife of this great nation. Friends organizations are essential to helping millions of Americans understand that their actions today determine the legacy we leave for tomorrow. Click "Find a Friend" on the left to locate a Friends organization near you.

Friends Policy

A Friends policy is now available to assist U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees in achieving the Service mission more efficiently through partnerships with nonprofit Friends organizations. Details here.


Friends Forward

August 2015


Wiley "Dub" Lyon is the 2015 Refuge System Volunteer of the Year for his commitment to Balcones Canyonlands Refuge, TX, and its Friends group. More on all the awards here.The 2015 Molly Krival Friends Group of the Year Award goes to Friends of the Bosque del Apache Refuge, NM. More on all the awards here.







Last updated: August 25, 2015