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 Training Programs

Click here.

Open application period for Friends Academy to start in early February, with applications due mid-April. Friends Academy will be held the week of August 20, 2017 at the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia and is a customized training to build more effective Friends board leaders. All expenses are paid for by Refuge headquarters. 

Open application period for the Friends Partnership Mentoring Program will start in late January, with a new, easy to complete application due by March 31. A fall application cycle will also be announced with applications due October 31.


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

October 2016