The Inland Northwest National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes three National Wildlife Refuges, several subunits, and conservation easements in northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. The refuges, Turnbull, Little Pend Oreille and Kootenai, are managed as a complex, sharing common work priorities, budgets, and some staff. Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge serves as the complex headquarters.
Despite common management oversight, each of the three complex refuges is unique. Kootenai, at 2,774 acres, is a small gem of diverse wetland, cropland, and upland habitats and recreational opportunities; Little Pend Oreille, at 42,594 acres, is a mountainous forested refuge with clear streams, scattered lakes, and diverse outdoor pursuits; and Turnbull, at 16,000 acres, features over 130 wetlands, ponderosa pine forest, steppe grassland, aspen, and rock set in a distinctive landscape that offers many possibilities for experiencing nature.
Our National Wildlife Refuge Complex Map (PDF 8.07 MB)
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge
Location: West of Bonners Ferry, Idaho in Boundary County’s scenic Kootenai River Valley
Purpose: “. . . as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife (June 24, 1964 approved by MBCC Memorandum).
Acreage: 2,774 acres
Habitat: Provides diverse habitats including wetlands, forests, streams, and riparian areas as well as crops for foraging wildlife.
Public Use: Wildlife observation, wildlife photography, walking, bicycling, waterfowl hunting, interpretation
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge
Location: Southwest of Spokane, in Spokane County, Washington in the “Channeled Scablands”
Purpose: “. . . as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife (EO 7681, July 30 1937) and “. . . for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.”
Acreage: 16,019 acres plus 1,916 acre lease
Habitat: The Refuge supports an extensive complex of deep permanent sloughs, semi-permanent potholes and seasonal wetlands formed in the depressions left in a landscape scoured by Ice Age floods over fifteen thousand years ago. The uplands are a mixture of ponderosa pine, Palouse steppe, basalt outcrops and scattered aspen.
Public Uses: Turnbull attracts an estimated 49,500 annual visitors to its 2200 acre public use area. Wildlife observation is the primary use but hiking and bicycling on the auto tour are also popular. In 2010 Turnbull offered its first elk and youth waterfowl hunts. Visitors pay a $3 per vehicle fee from March through October.
Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge
Location: In Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, Washington in an area dubbed the Forgotten Corner.
Purpose: “. . . as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife (EO May 1939) and “. . . for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.”
Habitat: Six forest types including ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, grand fir, cedar, western hemlock, subalpine fir as well as 60 miles of stream, lakes, and wetlands.
Public Uses: Little Pend Oreille attracts about 60,000 visitors annually who hunt, fish, view and photograph wildlife, hike, mountain bike, camp, horseback ride, cross country ski and snowshoe.