Every Refuge Tells a Story


Civilian Conservation Corps at work on White River NWR, Arkansas
Interior of historic Fish Cars

National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries are already great places to, learn about conservation, or to observe species in their native habitats, or to just re-engage with the natural environment.

But did you know that every Refuge tells a story?

History is part of every FWS Refuge and Hatchery, historical sites within their borders, their own contributions to important conservation or biological history, or even their history within the communities that they call home.  All of it is important, all of it is part of the visitor experience.


Midway Atoll commemorate sign

The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the turning point in the war in the Pacific is this June. Check out the photo essay developed to help commemorate the battle and the unique conservation going on at Midway today. Check it out here

Trail of Tears

Check out the newly launched historic storyboard that focuses on the Trail of Tears. The storyboard was developed by the HQ Refuges Branch of Communication and illustrates Refuges along the trail. Check it out here

  • Lee Metcalf NWR was awarded the first National Wildlife Refuge System Historic Preservation Award based on their exceptional stewardship of the Whaley Homestead, an 1885 homestead and house, that have been a part of the Refuge since it was established in 1964.

    The award was launched late in 2016 to highlight achievements in the care and stewardship of cultural resources through innovative use of funds, development of partnerships, and use of the resource to educate local communities.

  • Working for the National Wildlife Refuge system can be very exciting and can include positions you might not associated with a wildlife agency. Read More.

  • Artifacts from archaeological sites in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge featured in exhibits at the newly opened Smithsonian African American Museum. Read about the investigations here

  • Lighthouses are here! Check this great comprehensive list of lighthouses around the Refuge System.

To learn more about the unique history of FWS places check out NCTC’s History Page, and past issues of Historical Happenings , the FWS monthly newsletter for Cultural Resources