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National Wildlife Refuge

1000 Auction Road
Fallon, NV   89406
E-mail: stillwater@fws.gov
Phone Number: 775-428-6452
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Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge

The Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of Stillwater Refuge, Fallon Refuge, and Anaho Island Refuge in western Nevada. Together, these refuges encompass approximately 163,000 acres of wetland and upland habitats, freshwater and brackish water marshes, cottonwood and willow riparian areas, alkali playas, salt desert shrub lands, sand dunes, and a 500-acre rocky island in a desert lake.

Nearly 400 wildlife species, including more than 260 bird species rely on these habitats. The refuges provide important migration, breeding, and wintering habitat for up to 1 million migratory birds, including waterfowl, shorebirds, colonial nesting water birds, and neotropical migratory birds. Stillwater and Fallon Refuges are part of the Lahontan Valley Shorebird Reserve, one of only 16 sites recognized for their international importance by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network.

The Lahontan Valley wetlands also are listed as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy. Anaho Island Refuge provides secure habitat for one of the largest American white pelican breeding colonies in the western United States. To provide a secure environment for nesting birds, Anaho Island Refuge is closed to all public use.

Getting There . . .
From Fallon, Nevada, follow U.S. Highway 50 east approximately 5 miles. Turn left onto Stillwater Road and follow the "Watchable Wildlife" signs to the refuge entrance (approximately 15 miles).

Visitors are encouraged to stop at the refuge Headquarters. Heading east on Highway 50 (West Williams Ave), turn onto Auction Road by taking a left after "Speedway Gas Station". At the Headquarters you may obtain a map and additional information prior to visiting the refuge (even if the office is closed).

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

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NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The Stillwater wetlands are well-known to birders, as this area has been designated a site of international importance by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network because of the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, such as Long-billed dowitcher, Black-necked stilt, and American avocet passing through during migration.

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Management Activities
Refuge management strategies focus on distributing water to produce a mosaic of wetland habitat types. An active water rights acquisition program ensures that the water needed to sustain the wetlands is available. The refuge receives additional water from reservoir spills and irrigation drain water.

A variety of habitat management tools are used to simulate natural processes. As a result, a complex of upland and wetland habitats are available to meet the seasonal life history needs of most, if not all, wildlife species which occur on the refuge.

Management tools used at Stillwater Refuge include controlling the timing, quantity, and quality of water distributed to wetland units; use of prescribed burns to set back vegetative succession; and use of chemical and mechanical treatments to control exotic vegetation.

Encroachment of exotic vegetation is an ongoing management concern and requires aggressive control strategies for salt cedar, Russian olive, and tall whitetop. Stillwater Refuge has recently been designated as a site for the experimental release of beetles used to control saltcedar.

An extensive Environmental Impact Statement for the Refuge Complex's Comprehensive Conservation Plan was finalized in May of 2002. Refuge staff members are developing monitoring strategies to provide baseline information on chronology of water bird use, habitat availability, habitat abundance, and to identify groups of species for which data are absent.

Data are being collected on public use to determine an equitable distribution of recreational opportunities at Stillwater Refuge. Data are also collected to support national inventories, such as spring/fall shorebird surveys for the Point Reyes Bird Observatory and waterfowl banding efforts for the Office of Migratory Bird Management.