For practical purposes, a wildlife management area is synonymous with a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
or a game preserve. There are nine wildlife management areas and one game preserve in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

ducks and geese flying in air and in water. mountains in background
Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area is part of the SACRAMENTO NWR COMPLEX. Butte Sink WMA does not have any lands open to the public. Most of the Butte Sink WMA consists of privately-owned properties under conservation easement. One property, known as the Butte Sink Unit, is owned by the U.S....
A foggy wetland with birds swarming overhead.
Grasslands Wildlife Management Area was established in 1979 and is located in western Merced County, California, within the San Joaquin River basin. Unlike typical national wildlife refuges, the Grasslands WMA is composed entirely of privately-owned lands on which perpetual conservation easements...
A yellow-breasted bird sits on a branch and opens its beak and sings
Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area was established in 1980 in response to the need for more land dedicated to the recovery of the Kirtland’s warbler, which was on the endangered species list from 1967 to 2019. The management area contains 125 separate tracts of land totaling 6,684 acres...
A wading shorebird skirts the refuge marshes
Obtained in 1969 as a former Nike missile site, Lido Beach Wildlife Management Area protects 22 acres in Nassau County on the bay side of Hempstead’s Lido Beach. The refuge unit is NOT open to the public.
eight sandhill cranes stand in a shallow wetland with grasses in the background
Steve Thompson North Central Valley Wildlife Management Area is part of the SACRAMENTO NWR COMPLEX. Steve Thompson NCV WMA consists primarily of conservation easements on privately-owned wetlands, but also includes one 1,732-acre, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-owned property known as the Llano...
Bison with calf
Since 1904, White Horse Hill National Game Preserve has played an important role in the conservation of American bison. In addition to the highly visible bison, elk and prairie dogs the game preserve helps to conserve, visitors also can find numerous other species of land animals and more than 214...
ducks and geese mostly in water with 9 flying. trees in background
Willow Creek-Lurline Wildlife Management Area is part of the SACRAMENTO NWR COMPLEX. Willow Creek-Lurline WMA consists solely of privately-owned properties under conservation easement, and therefore has no public access.
A close up of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff wearing the Service uniform's beige shirt with the shield patch on the shoulder.
The Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area is are valuable to seven threatened and endangered species, and large populations of waterfowl, shorebirds, and other migratory birds