Congressional and Legislative AffairsExternal Affairs

Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Wildlife Refuge Acts

In addition to specific acts of Congress, refuges can be established in many ways, including public land withdrawal, transfer from other agencies, and by cooperative agreement with other agencies, such as in mitigation for water resource development and other Federal projects. (Related authorities include the Federal Water Project Recreation Act and various water project authorizations for the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers.)

Still other means by which refuges may be established include donation, exchange or purchase under such authorities as the following:

Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a-742j; 70 Stat. 1119)

Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 715 et seq.; 45 Stat. 1222)

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661-666c; 48 Stat. 401)

Lea Act (16 USC 695-695c; 62 Stat. 238)

Emergency Wetlands Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3901; 100 Stat 3582)

Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543; 87 Stat. 884).
(See also the entry on "Land Exchanges.")

Two primary sources of funds for Service acquisition of refuge lands are:

1) the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, composed of receipts from the sale of "duck stamps", and other designated sources, under authority of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act (16 U.S.C. 718-718h; 48 Stat. 452), and funds appropriated under the Wetlands Loan Act (16 U.S.C. 715k-3-715k-5; 75 Stat. 813), and 2) appropriations under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (16 U.S.C. 460L-4-460L-11; 78 Stat. 897).

Specific statutes establishing refuges or directing certain administrative actions related to individual refuges include:

Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act Refuges

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge

Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Boque Chitto National Wildlife Refuge

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge

Cheyenne Bottoms Migratory Bird Refuge

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge

Everglades National Wildlife Refuge

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge

Flattery Rocks and Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuges

Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Horn Island and Petit Bois National Wildlife Refuges

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Klamath Forest National Wildlife Refuge

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Lake Elsie National Wildlife Refuge

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge Facility

Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (Originally authorized as the Connecticut Coastal National Wildlife Refuge)

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

National Bison Range

National Elk Refuge

National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pease Air Force Base

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Pettaquamscutt Cove National Wildlife Refuge

Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge

Sailors Snug Harbor National Wildlife Refuge

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge

Sheyenne Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Siskiwit Islands Bird Reservation

Skagit National Wildlife Refuge

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge

Sullys Hill National Game Preserve

Talcot National Wildlife Refuge

Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge

Tinicum National Environmental Center

Tule Lake-Klamath National Wildlife Refuges

UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge

(Unnamed Game Refuge)

(Unnamed) National Wildlife Refuge

Upper Mississippi River Wild Life and Fish Refuge

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Widows Island Migratory Bird Refuge

Wind Cave National Game Preserve

Wyandotte National Wildlife Refuge

Pre-1980 statutes relating to refuges in Alaska that were consolidated in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act are not included here. A complete listing of those laws and of the purposes for which individual refuges were established is available from the Division of Refuges, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Otherwise, with the exceptions of purely appropriations acts and acts designating wilderness areas, this compilation should be relatively complete as of September 1995. (See also the entry on the "Wilderness Act of 1964".)

Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 92-514, approved October 20, 1972 (86 Stat. 964), established the supplying of water to the Alamosa and Mishak refuges as a project purpose for the Closed Basin Division of the San Luis Valley Project, Colorado. The Act authorized creation of the Mishak refuge, required the State of Colorado to donate all state-owned easements and rights-of-way within the two refuges as a condition of project construction, and established water delivery for the two refuges as the second priority for the project, with annual amounts limited to 5,300 acre-feet at Alamosa and 12,500 acre-feet at Mishak.

Public Law 98-570, approved October 30, 1984 (98 Stat. 2941), redesignated the Mishak refuge as the Russell Lakes Waterfowl Management Area, revised the project purpose to: the purchase of lands and appurtenant water rights for the Russell Lakes WMA, and the partial delivery of salvaged water to the Alamosa refuge and the Blanca Wildlife Habitat Area, with annual deliveries to both Alamosa and Blanca limited to the not-to-exceed 5,300 acre-feet amount previously authorized for the Alamosa refuge alone.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act Refuges -- Public Law 96-487, approved December 2, 1980 (94 Stat. 2371) [commonly known as the "Alaska Lands Act" or "ANILCA"], greatly expanded the Refuge System in Alaska, and consolidated all Refuge System units in the state (including those created by the Act) into the following refuges, totaling approximately 77,000,000 acres: Alaska Maritime, Alaska Peninsula, Arctic, Becharof, Innoko, Izembek, Kanuti, Kenai, Kodiak, Koyukok, Nowitna, Selawik, Tetlin, Togiak, Yukon Delta and Yukon Flats.

The Act established purposes for the refuges and provided extensive administrative direction applicable only to these refuges, including provisions relating to existing uses, motorized vehicles and structures in wilderness areas, inholdings, subsistence and other taking of fish and wildlife, rights-of-way and reports. Nearly 18.7 million refuge acres were designated as wilderness, and all refuge lands in Alaska not so designated were required to be reviewed for wilderness characteristics, with recommendations to Congress for any desired additional designations. The Act required all refuges in Alaska to adopt Comprehensive Conservation Plans for refuge management, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

All public lands within the refuge boundaries were withdrawn (subject to valid existing rights) from appropriation or disposal under the public land laws, but not the mineral leasing laws. The Secretary was required to establish an oil and gas leasing program on all Federal lands in Alaska except on the North Slope, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (both of which were covered other provisions of the Act), and Refuge System units where he found leasing to be incompatible with refuge purposes. Oil leasing activities were prohibited on the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge, and a special study and recommendation to Congress on that issue was required. A study of barren ground caribou herds located north of the Yukon River was also required.

The Act further provided that any future withdrawals of public lands in Alaska which exceeded in the aggregate 5,000 acres would terminate if a joint resolution of approval was not passed within one year of the withdrawal. Studies for the purpose of establishing any conservation system area in Alaska without prior Congressional approval were prohibited.

Public Law 100-395, approved August 16, 1988 (102 Stat. 979), approved Public Land Order 6607 of July 8, 1985, withdrawing for addition to Arctic Refuge approximately 325,000 acres relinquished by the State of Alaska, and prohibited the Secretary from conveying, by exchange or otherwise, any lands or interests in lands (other than land validly selected prior to the enactment of this Act) within the coastal plain of the Arctic refuge without prior approval by act of Congress.

Public Law 101-622, approved November 21, 1990 (104 Stat. 3347), authorized an exchange of lands on Kodiak Island with Koniag Native Corporation, including extensive provisions on how to determine the value of the lands.

Public Law 102-172, Department of Defense Appropriation Act, approved November 20, 1991, authorized the Secretary to utilize surplus Federal property throughout the United States to conduct an exchange for lands and interests in lands within Yukon Delta NWR held by Calista (Native) Corporation. [note: this exchange has not been completed]

Public Law 102-458, approved October 23, 1992 (106 Stat 2267), directed the Service to engage in land exchange negotiations with the Kenai Natives Association at the Kenai NWR. Public Law 104-333, approved November 9, 1996 (110 Stat. 4138), authorized and directed completion of the exchange.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Amagansett National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 104-148, approved May 24, 1996 (110 Stat. 1375), authorized acquisition of approximately 98 acres for addition to the Amagansett refuge in New York.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 98-66, approved August 4, 1983 (97 Stat. 368), ratified an exchange of easements and a Memorandum of Agreement between the United States and the State of Texas providing for inclusion of all State lands on Matagorda Island, Texas, in the National Wildlife Refuge System, and State management of all lands covered by the agreement.

Public Law 102-226 (105 Stat. 1685), approved December 16, 1991, required the proposed Rancho la Bahia addition to the refuge to be named the "Myrtle Foester Whitmire" division.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 98-548, approved October 26, 1984 (98 Stat. 2776), required the Secretary, within 180 days of enactment, to designate with the concurrence of the State of Louisiana those lands and waters appropriate for inclusion in the Atchafalaya NWR, with acquisition to come from funds provided in Public Law 98-396. Direction for acquiring property and administering the refuge was provided.

Public Law 99-625, approved November 7, 1986 (100 Stat. 3502), amended the authorization to provide the Secretary more latitude in making boundary changes and permitted acquisition with funds from any appropriation act.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 81-718, approved August 19, 1950 (64 Stat.465), provided for conveyance of an easement to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Public Law 96-315, approved July 25, 1980 (94 Stat. 958) requires the manager of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge to issue access permits to individuals who were permanent, full-time residents of the Outer Banks as of December 31, 1979, and met other conditions established in the Act. Public Law 98-107, approved October 1, 1983 (97 Stat. 735, a Continuing Resolution, which incorporated by reference all provisions of the Interior Appropriations Conference Report then awaiting approval), and Public Law 98-146, approved November 4, 1983 (97 Stat. 955, Interior Appropriations Act), authorized the issuance of up to 15 new permits to persons meeting additional conditions provided in that Act.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 97-137, approved December 12, 1981 (95 Stat 1709), authorized the Secretary to establish a 300-acre refuge in the Coquill River (Oregon) estuary, and authorized $270,000 for acquisition.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 101-593, signed November 16, 1990 (104 Stat. 2956), authorized acquisition of approximately 18,000 acres for the Bayou Cocodrie NWR in Louisiana. It established refuge purposes, required maintenance of an area of contiguous mature forest, with a recommendation to accomplish this through creation of a Research Natural Area, and established requirements for access to and development of any reserved mineral rights within the refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 99-645, signed November 10, 1986 (100 Stat. 3590), authorized acquisition of approximately 19,000 acres for the Bayou Sauvage Urban NWR, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The law established purposes for the refuge and authorized such sums as may be necessary for acquisition and $5 million for development, all to be available until expended.

Public Law 104-253, approved October 9, 1996 (110 Stat. 3167), authorized expanding the refuge by 4,328 acres.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (16 U.S.C. 690-690g) -- The Act of April 23, 1928 (45 Stat. 448), established the refuge in Box Elder County, Utah, and provided administrative direction. Public Law 89-441, approved June 3, 1966 (80 Stat. 192), authorized conveyance of certain lands other than refuge lands to the State.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Boque Chitto National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 96-288, approved June 28, 1980 (94 Stat. 603), directs establishment of the refuge in Saint Tammany and Washington Parishes in Louisiana and in Pearl River County, Mississippi, consisting of some 40,000 acres, and authorizes appropriations for acquisition and development during fiscal years 1981-1985. Public Law 99-191, approved December 19, 1985 (99 Stat. 1327), added $10 million to the appropriations ceiling and made the authorization available until expended.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 96-267, approved June 9, 1980 (94 Stat. 483), directed establishment of a refuge of 10,000 acres in 4 separate units (barrier islands) in Baldwin and Mobile Counties, Alabama. The Act authorized appropriations for acquisition and development. Public Law 98-347, approved July 9, 1984 (98 Stat. 321), directed the Secretary, within 6 months from date of enactment, to designate 2,000 acres of land and water in Baldwin County, Alabama as an addition to the refuge. Public Law 99-191, approved December 19, 1986 (99 Stat. 1327), authorized an additional $10 million for acquisition, and made both the acquisition and development authorizations available until expended.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 100-696, approved November 18, 1988 (102 Stat. 4571), authorized the Secretary to acquire approximately 91,360 acres within the refuge boundary from the State of Arizona as part of a complex Federal-State land exchange package known as the "Santa Rita exchange". (See "Land Exchanges" for details.)

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 87-597, approved August 24, 1962 (76 Stat. 399), withdrew portions of the refuge, and other public lands, for military purposes at the former Luke Air Force Range, Arizona, for a period of 10 years, with an option for renewal for an additional five years. The Act provided that the Executive Order establishing the refuge was not affected, except to the extent necessary for national defense, and that the withdrawal was subject to an agreement between the Secretaries of Defense and Interior governing the use of the refuge area for military purposes.

Public Law 99-606, approved November 11, 1986 (100 Stat 3457), provided current authorization for withdrawals for several bases, including the portion of the Barry M. Goldwater (formerly Luke) Air Force Range overlapping the refuge. The Act provided that the withdrawal did not affect the status of the refuge (without the prior reference to national defense needs), and required all military activities to be in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department and the military services. The Department of Defense was required to prepare new environmental impact statements on the military uses of the lands. The portion of the refuge covered was also withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining, mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 101-593, approved November 16, 1990 (104 Stat. 2958), transferred the Carolina Sandhills Wildlife Management Area to the South Carolina Commission of Forestry, subject to certain conditions, in return for the Commission providing specified services to the adjacent refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Cheyenne Bottoms Migratory Bird Refuge (16 U.S.C. 691-691d) -- The Act of June 23, 1930 (46 Stat. 579), directs acquisition and establishment of a refuge in Kansas, or compensation of landowners for damages from flooding (NOTE: a Federal refuge was not established).

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 459f-5(b) -- Public Law 89-195 (79 Stat. 826), approved September 21, 1965 established Assateague Island National Seashore and provided for continued administration of Chincoteague as a refuge within the Seashore boundary. Previously, Public Law 85-57, approved June 17, 1957 (71 Stat. 175), provided for construction of a bridge and road across the refuge and for recreational facilities.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 102-226 (105 Stat. 1655), approved December 11, 1991, authorized establishment of a refuge along the Connecticut River in the States of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut in memory of the late Representative Conte. The refuge purposes include protecting the river's fish and wildlife resources, with a primary emphasis on environmental education and cooperative agreements with the State and local governments and private landowners.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge -- The Act of August 5, 1947 (61 Stat. 770), directed transfer of certain lands in Illinois to the Department of the Interior for wildlife, agricultural, recreational, industrial and related purposes. Public Law 90-339, approved June 15, 1968 (82 Stat. 177), provides for adjustment of legislative jurisdiction of the United States on the refuge.

Public Law 95-616, approved November 8, 1978 (92 Stat. 3114), provided that revenue generated on the refuge will be subject to the Refuge Revenue Sharing Act rather than being deposited in the Treasury as general receipts. Public Law 99-662, approved November 17, 1986 (100 Stat 4257), directed the Secretary to sell surplus water which may be available from Devils Kitchen Lake on the refuge to the City of Marion, Illinois.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Desert National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 98-485, approved October 17, 1984 (98 Stat. 2261), withdrew approximately 89,600 acres, known as the Groom Mountain area in Nevada, for the Nellis Air Force Range and use as a training and weapons area.

Public Law 99-606, approved November 11, 1986 (100 Stat 3457), provided current authorization for withdrawals for several bases, included the portion of Nellis Air Force Range which overlaps part of the refuge. The Act provided that the withdrawal did not affect the status of the refuge, and required all military activities to be in accordance with a Memorandum of Agreement between the Department and the military services. The Department of Defense was required to prepare new environmental impact statements on the military uses of the land. The portion of the refuge covered was also withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining, mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 93-341, approved July 10, 1974 (88 Stat. 295), directed establishment of the refuge by transfer of certain lands in Florida.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Everglades National Wildlife Refuge -- The Act of May 30, 1934 (48 Stat. 816), establishing Everglades National Park, resulted in the incorporation of the refuge into the new Park. [The refuge was established 12/1/45 for the temporary management of leased lands pending their acquisition and inclusion in the Park, and was abolished 6/20/47.]

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 91-499, approved October 22, 1970 (84 Stat 1095), authorized the Secretary to acquire by purchase or exchange portions of a tract of land in Prince William County, Virginia (then being disposed of by the District of Columbia) that he and the District mutually agreed were wetlands, and areas necessary to protect surrounding natural features of such wetlands.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Flattery Rocks and Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuges -- Public Law 99-635, approved November 7, 1986 (100 Stat. 3527), included these refuges in a map reference for lands transferred to the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in Washington state.

Public Law 100-226, approved December 31, 1987 (101 Stat. 1550), provided that the refuges remain within the National Wildlife Refuge System, and directed that the Service and the National Park Service enter into a cooperative agreement for law enforcement there.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges -- Public Law 100-696, approved November 18, 1988 (102 Stat 4571), authorized the Secretary to acquire by exchange 5,109 acres at the Florida Panther NWR, and 19,620 acres for the creation of the Ten Thousand Islands NWR, both in Collier County, Florida. (Note: This was part of a larger exchange, known variably as the "Collier," "Phoenix Indian School" or "Big Cypress" exchange, primarily acquiring lands for the National Park Service in exchange for the Phoenix Indian School land in Arizona.) (See "Land Exchanges")

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 98-293, approved May 22, 1984 (98 Stat. 207), renamed the Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge and the Barnegat National Wildlife Refuge, collectively, as the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, in memory of the late Congressman Forsythe of New Jersey, ranking Republican Member of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee for many years.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 100-406, approved August 19, 1988 (102 Stat 1041), authorized the Secretary to acquire approximately 1800 acres at Grays Harbor, Washington, and provided purposes and administrative direction for the refuge. The Act further provided that any donation of lands from the Port of Grays Harbor could be counted as meeting mitigation obligations of the Port under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, if in compliance with all of the provisions of that Act. $2.5 million was authorized for refuge facilities, and such sums as may be necessary for land acquisition.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 92-478, approved October 9, 1972 (86 Stat. 793), directed a study to determine the feasibility and desirability of protecting the area in Virginia. Public Law 93-402, approved August 30, 1974 (88 Stat. 801), directed establishment of the refuge, consisting of lands donated to the United States by The Nature Conservancy and other lands identified in the study. Administrative direction was provided, and appropriations were authorized through fiscal year 1977. Public Law 95-299, approved June 26, 1978 (92 Stat. 341), extended the authorization for appropriations through fiscal year 1980. Public Law 96-291, approved June 28, 1980 (94 Stat. 608), extended the authorization for appropriations through fiscal year 1983. Public Law 98-327, approved June 25, 1984 (98 Stat. 270), made the authorization available until expended.

Public Law 95-299, approved June 26, 1978 (92 Stat. 341), increased the original authorization of funds for acquisition and development, and extended it through September 30, 1980. Public Law 96-291, approved June 28, 1980 (94 Stat. 608), extended the authorization of appropriations through September 31, 1983. Public Law 98-327, approved June 25, 1984 (98 Stat. 270), increased the authorization for the refuge to $22 million, to remain available until expended.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 97-211, approved June 30, 1982 (96 Stat. 411), authorized the removal of 25 acres on Raccoon Key, Florida, from the refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum -- Public Law 92-326, approved June 30, 1972 (86 Stat. 391), directed protection of Tinicum Marsh by establishment of a 1,200 acre refuge within city limits of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Public Law 94-548, approved October 18, 1976 (90 Stat. 2528), added the 45-acre Folcroft Landfill to the refuge and increased and extended the authorization. Public Law 95-152, approved November 4, 1977 (91 Stat. 1254), added a Wanamaker Avenue tract and increased the appropriations ceiling to $11.1 million. Public Law 96-315, approved July 25, 1980 (94 Stat. 957), extended the authorization and increased the ceiling to $19.5 million. EPA was directed to investigate and make recommendations regarding any environmental health hazards caused by the Folcroft landfill. Public Law 99-191, approved December 19, 1985 (99 Stat. 1327), made the authorized amount available until expended.

Public Law 103-340, approved October 6, 1994 (108 Stat. 3120), authorized the Secretary to transfer a bequest made to the Service to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the purpose of constructing an environmental education center at the refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Horn Island and Petit Bois National Wildlife Refuges -- Public Law 91-660, approved January 8, 1971 (84 Stat. 1069), transferred these two refuges to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 99-290, approved June 28, 1980 (94 Stat 607), authorized the Secretary to acquire areas for the refuge, under authority of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, subject to the interest of the State of California in lands now or formerly flowed by the tide, including the public trust of the State.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 100-653, approved November 14, 1988 (102 Stat 3825), authorized expansion of the refuge by acquisition of the Crater Hill and Mokolea Point tracts, totaling 138.7 acres, and construction of a variety of visitor facilities on the new lands. $2.6 million was authorized for development of the facilities (the lands had been acquired prior to enactment).

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (25 U.S.C. 564w-1) -- The Act of August 13, 1954 (68 Stat. 718), as amended by the Act of August 23, 1958 (72 Stat. 816), and Public Law 86-247, approved September 9, 1959 (73 Stat. 477), provides for establishment of the refuge as Klamath Forest NWR in Klamath County, Oregon, as a migratory bird refuge, and compensation to certain Klamath Indians for the refuge land (acquired as a Legislative Taking as part of the termination of Federal supervision of the Klamath Tribe) from "duck stamp" receipts. Public Law 105-312, approved October 30, 1998 (112 Stat. 2957), renamed the refuge "Klamath Marsh" NWR to avoid confusion with units of the National Forest System.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 100-696, approved November 18, 1988 (102 Stat 4571), withdrew all Federal lands within the refuge from all forms of entry, location, patent or disposition under the mining, public land and geothermal leasing laws, and instructed the Director to approve or disapprove any applications for rights-of-way through the refuge as expeditiously as possible.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Lake Elsie National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 105-312, adopted October 30, 1998 (110 Stat. 2957), terminated the Service's easement on 634.7 acres and repealed Executive Order 8152, thus abolishing the refuge. The Service requested the action, as all migratory bird values had been lost to development, which under the terms of the easement and E.O. creating refuge, the Service had no authority to control.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 99-615, approved November 6, 1986 (100 Stat 3484), renamed the Loxahatchee NWR, Florida, for the late Arthur Marshall, a former Service employee and well-known advocate for preservation of the Everglades.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge Facility -- Section 128 of P.L. 103-307, the Military Construction Appropriations Act, 1995, approved August 23, 1994 (108 Stat. 1659) authorized the transfer of 580 acres from the Department of the Army's Harry Diamond Lab, Woodbridge Facility, to the Service for administration as part of Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (Originally authorized as the Connecticut Coastal National Wildlife Refuge) -- Public Law 98-548, approved October 26, 1984 (98 Stat. 2774), provided for the establishment of the refuge in 4 units along the Connecticut Coast, including Chimon, Faulkner's, and Sheffield Islands and Milford Point. The Act provided Coast Guard responsibility for operation and maintenance of the lighthouse on Faulkner's Island, and authorized $2.5 million for acquisition.

Public Law 100-38 (101 Stat. 306), approved May 13, 1987, renamed the refuge after the late Congressman McKinney, who played a leading role in passage of the original authorization. Public Law 101-443, approved October 19, 1990 (104 Stat. 1028), authorized a 1,000-acre expansion of the refuge, and authorized future expansion of the refuge under standing Service authorities, notwithstanding Congressional action in determining the present boundary. It also incorporated the Salt Meadow NWR into McKinney, required that all lands acquired by the Service in the vicinity of Long Island Sound in Connecticut be managed as part of McKinney refuge, and replaced the previously fixed authorization with an authorization for such sums as may be necessary for land acquisition and refuge facilities.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 459j-4(b) and (c)) -- Public Law 93-626, approved January 3, 1975, (88 Stat. 2121) established the Canaveral National Seashore, Florida, consisting of some 67,500 acres, and ensured that the refuge, although within the boundary of the seashore, will continue to be administered as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 668kk - 668ss) -- Public Law 94-466, approved October 8, 1976 (90 Stat. 1992), authorized establishment of an 9,500 acre refuge and an 8,000 acre recreation area along lower stretches of the Minnesota River between Carver and Ft. Snelling, directed development of a comprehensive management plan, and provided other guidance for administration, including assurance of continued maintenance of the river for navigation. Appropriations were authorized through September 30, 1983, for acquisition and through September 30, 1986, for development.

Public Law 98-327, approved June 25, 1984 (98 Stat. 270), raised the authorization for land acquisition to $29.5 million and for development to $9.8 million, with both available until expended. The Act expanded the refuge to 12,500 acres and required acceptance of any donations of land or water, or interests therein, within the refuge boundary.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

National Bison Range (16 U.S.C. 671) -- The Act of May 23, 1908 (35 Stat. 267), directed the establishment of a range from unallotted lands within the Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana, for bison presented to the United States by the American Bison Society.

The Act of March 4, 1909 (35 Stat. 1051), directed enlargement of the range. Public Law 85-662, approved August 12, 1958 (72 Stat. 561), authorized the acquisition of a bison display area in Lake County, Montana.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

National Elk Refuge (16 U.S.C. 673-673b) -- The Act of August 10, 1912 (37 Stat. 293), and the Act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 847), authorized appropriations for the establishment and maintenance of a winter elk refuge in Teton County, Wyoming.

The Act of February 25, 1927 (44 Stat. 1246), authorized acceptance of a gift of certain lands from the Izaak Walton League for addition to the refuge. The Act of September 14, 1950 (64 Stat. 849), among other things described certain lands to be administered as part of the refuge in what was then the Jackson Hole National Monument.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 696-696b) -- Public Law 85-164, approved August 22, 1957 (71 Stat. 412), directs establishment of the refuge in Monroe County, Florida, for protection of Key deer. Section 10(a) and (b) of Public Law 89-669, approved October 15, 1966 (80 Stat. 930), amended the acquisition authority.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law104-212, approved October 1, 1996 (110 Stat. 3014), removed the Service's secondary jurisdiction over approximately 2,470 acres at the refuge, at the Service's request.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Oahu National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 104-209, approved October 1, 1996 (110 Stat. 3014), authorized acquisition of the Wahee Marsh, approximately 36 acres, for addition to the Oahu refuge complex.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

 

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 84-810, approved July 26, 1956 (70 Stat. 668), directs the Secretary to take certain actions including construction of roads and ditches to protect the refuge and adjacent forests in Florida and Georgia from wildfires.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge -- The Act of June 3, 1948 (62 Stat. 293), directs the Secretary to dispose of portions of this refuge in Massachusetts, and to take steps to maintain the edible clams found within the remaining portions of the refuge and adjacent lands.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center -- Public Law 101-519, Military Construction Appropriation, approved November 5, 1990 (104 Stat. 2247), directed the transfer of 7,600 acres at Fort George G. Meade, in Maryland, to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center by September 30, 1991. The land had been determined excess under the Base Closure and Realignment Act. (See entry by that title.)

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 459-459a-9) -- The Act of August 17, 1937 (50 Stat. 669), as amended by the Act of June 29, 1940 (54 Stat. 702), established the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and provided that although the refuge would continue as such, it would be administered by the National Park Service. Public Law 229, approved October 29, 1951 (65 Stat. 662), authorized granting a road easement through the refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Pease Air Force Base -- Public Law 102-154, Department of Interior Appropriation for Fiscal Year 1992, approved November 13, 1991, transferred designated lands at Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire to the Department for use as a refuge. The land became available due to the closure of the base under the Base Closure and Realignment Act. (See the entry by that title.)

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 103-232, approved April 11, 1994 (108 Stat. 339), authorized construction of a "Walter B. Jones Center for the Sound" environmental education center at the refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Pettaquamscutt Cove National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 100-610, approved November 5, 1988 (102 Stat. 3176), authorized the Secretary to acquire approximately 600 acres at Pettaquamscutt Cove, Rhode Island, required establishment of a refuge boundary within one year of enactment, and authorized such sums as may be necessary for the acquisition.

Public Law 104-212, approved October 1, 1996 (110 Stat. 3014), authorized expansion of the refuge by approximately 100 acres, and authorized the Secretary to administratively revise and expand the boundary in the future, notwithstanding the fact that the original boundary was established by Congress.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 97-333, approved October 15, 1982 (96 Stat. 1623), directed the Secretary to establish the Protection Island National Refuge of approximately 400 acres, and removed Jones Island NWR in Puget Sound from the refuge system and transferred it to the State of Washington. The law appropriated $4 million for acquisition and directed the Service to instruct landowners of regulations governing relocation.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Sailors Snug Harbor National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 96-315, approved July 25, 1980 (94 Stat. 957), authorized the Secretary to manage an area known as Sailors Snug Harbor in New York City as a refuge for the duration of a two-year study, provided the property is donated to the Secretary and certain other conditions were met. At the completion of the study, the Secretary was directed to either place the property permanently in the Refuge System, or transfer it to another agency of the Department for management. The bill authorized $1,750,000 for protection of the property and conduct of the study. Public Law 98-327, approved June 25, 1984 (88 Stat. 270), terminated the authorization.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 92-330, approved June 30, 1972 (86 Stat. 399), authorized approximately 21,662 acres for the refuge, and established refuge purposes. Appropriations not to exceed $9 million for acquisition and $11.3 million for refuge development were authorized through June 30, 1977.

The authorization of funds for acquisition and development was extended through fiscal year 1980 by Public Law 95-299, approved June 26, 1978 (92 Stat. 341). Public Law 96-290, approved June 28, 1980 (94 Stat. 607), increased the authorization for acquisition to $13.2 million, available until September 30, 1983 and allowed tidelands at the San Francisco Bay NWR and the Humboldt Bay NWR to be acquired subject to the public trust of the state.

Public Law 98-327, approved June 25, 1984 (98 Stat. 270), permits the authorized amount to remain available until expended. P.L. 100-226 (101 Stat. 1550) approved December 3, 1987, further revised the acquisition authority by substituting "such sums as may be necessary" for the fixed amount. P.L. 100-556, approved October 28, 1988 (102 Stat 2779), authorized expansion of the refuge by 20,000 acres, and continued the authorization of such sums as might be necessary, to remain available until expended.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 92-408, approved August 29, 1972 (86 Stat. 633), established this refuge on the U.S. Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach, California.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Sheyenne Lake National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 99-294, approved May 12, 1986 (100 Stat. 419), provides that, in connection with the reformulation of the Garrison Diversion Unit, the Secretary may not take any action to alter the status of the refuge prior to completion of construction of the Lonetree Dam and Reservoir, and provides criteria for requesting funds to initiate any such construction.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Siskiwit Islands Bird Reservation -- The Act of March 6, 1942 (56 Stat. 138) transferred the reservation to the National Park Service for incorporation into Isle Royale National Park.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Skagit National Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 666d-666e) -- The Act of October 6, 1949 (63 Stat. 708) authorized exchange of refuge lands for other lands in the State of Washington. (Note: this refuge was abolished October 5, 1959, by exchanging it for State lands in the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge).

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 98-396, approved August 22, 1984 (98 Stat 1422), authorized the Corps of Engineers to acquire the area and transfer it to the Fish and Wildlife Service as mitigation for the Bonneville Lock and Dam Second Powerhouse project. $8.5 million was appropriated for the acquisition.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 101-618, approved November 16, 1990 (104 Stat. 3289), transferred the existing Stillwater refuge and a portion of the Stillwater Wildlife Management Area, both overlays on Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) land, to Service jurisdiction. Refuge purposes were established, along with several management requirements. The Secretary was required to recommend to Congress by November 26, 1997, whether adjacent Service and BOR lands should be included or excluded in the refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Sullys Hill National Game Preserve (16 U.S.C. 674-674d) -- The Agriculture Appropriations Act of June 30, 1914 (38 Stat. 434), provided an appropriation for improvement of game lands in Sullys Hill National Park, North Dakota. The Act of March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1509), changed the park to a refuge.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Talcot National Wildlife Refuge -- The Act of October 23, 1951 (65 Stat. 602), authorized exchange of refuge lands for other lands in the State of Minnesota. (Note: this refuge was abolished August 10, 1957, by exchanging it for State lands in Rice Lake and Tamarac National Wildlife Refuges).

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 96-285, approved June 28, 1980 (94 Stat. 595), directed the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Army to acquire a refuge consisting of approximately 50,000 acres in Tensas, Madison and Franklin parishes, Louisiana. Lands acquired by the Army are to be turned over to the Service for management under the Refuge System Administration Act. The Act contained acquisition authorizations of $40 million for the Department of the Army and $10 million for the Department of the Interior, to be available until September 20, 1985. Public Law 98-63, approved July 30, 1983 (97 Stat. 314), prohibited the use of condemnation to acquire land for the refuge, with a stated exception. Public Law 101-593, approved November 16, 1990 (104 Stat. 2962), revised the condemnation restriction to prohibit condemnation of lands acquired by the present owner prior to the establishment of the refuge.

Public Law 98-581 (98 Stat. 3093), approved October 10, 1984, authorized the acquisition of any additional lands and waters adjacent to the Tensas Refuge boundary considered appropriate for inclusion by the Secretary. Public Law 99-191, approved December 19, 1985 (99 Stat. 1327), added $10 million to the Interior acquisition appropriation ceiling and made both of the authorizations available until expended. Public Law 104-253, approved October 9, 1996 (110 Stat, 3167), increased the authorization ceiling for the Department of the Interior to $20,000,000.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 103-346, approved October 6, 1994 (108 Stat. 3131), directed the Secretary to convey approximately 1 acre of refuge land to the City of Imperial Beach, CA for public recreational use, with a standard reverter clause.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Tule Lake-Klamath National Wildlife Refuges (16 U.S.C. 695k-695r) -- Public Law 88-567, approved September 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 850), stabilized the ownership of lands within the Klamath Federal Reclamation Project, California-Oregon, authorized by the Act of February 9, 1905 (43 U.S.C. 601-612; 33 Stat. 714), as amended, and provided for administration and management of the project and the Tule Lake, Upper Klamath, Lower Klamath and Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuges.

The Act dedicated lands within the Executive Order boundaries of the refuges to wildlife conservation, and provided for their administration for the major purpose of waterfowl management, with full consideration of optimum agricultural use consistent with this purpose. It also authorized addition of certain public lands to the refuges, continued leasing of certain agricultural lands, and provided for distribution of net lease receipts among local counties and the Reclamation Fund.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 98-140, approved October 31, 1983 (97 Stat. 903), among other provisions removed approximately 28 acres from the Wilderness System at the UL Bend refuge to provide access for fishing.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

(Unnamed Game Refuge) -- The Act of June 7, 1924 (43 Stat. 634) authorized the President to withdraw designated areas of National Forest and public lands in South Dakota for a game refuge. The State was authorized to erect and maintain a good, substantial fence around any areas which might be withdrawn under the authority of the Act. [Any withdrawals which may have been made are no longer in effect, and the area is not a unit of the refuge system.]

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

(Unnamed) National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 99-294, approved May 12, 1986 (100 Stat.423), directed the Secretary to acquire up to 5,000 acres in the Kraft and Pickell Slough areas, North Dakota, for addition to the National Wildlife Refuge System, in connection with the deauthorization of Taayer Reservoir and reformulation of the Garrison Diversion Project. (Note: As of 1/1/89, no land had been acquired).

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge (16 U.S.C. 721-731) -- The Act of June 7, 1924 (43 Stat. 650), authorized acquisition and development of the refuge, and provided administrative direction, including assurance that refuge operations would not interfere with maintenance of navigation of the river or other works of improvement.

The Acts of March 4, 1925 (43 Stat. 1354), and May 12, 1928 (45 Stat. 502), provided additional acquisition authority and appropriations. The Act of April 10, 1928 (45 Stat. 420), authorized acceptance of a gift of land in Iowa as part of the refuge. Public Resolution 42, approved May 12, 1928 (45 Stat. 502), limited payments for land and waters to not more than an average of $10 per acre. The Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 1015), authorized the Secretary to acquire lands and waters not used for agricultural purposes on either side of, or on islands in, the river between Rock Island, Illinois, and Wabasha, Minnesota, which he determined to be suitable for the refuge.

The Act of June 13, 1944 (58 Stat. 274), provided for additions to the refuge of lands in Minnesota and transfer of funds to certain Sioux Indian bands to extinguish their rights to those lands. Public Law 87-44, approved May 27, 1961 (75 Stat. 88), transferred certain refuge lands to the Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa, subject to the authority of the Secretary to return the lands to the Refuge System if he determines they are no longer needed for Monument purposes.

Public Law 105-312, adopted October 30, 1998 (112 Stat. 2957), transferred 37.36 acres of refuge land to the Corps of Engineers, and revised a portion of the official name of the refuge from "Wild Life" to "Wildlife". The land transfer was at the Service's request, as the area had been developed for recreational purposes.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge -- Public Law 101-593, approved November 16, 1990 (104 Stat. 2955), authorized acquisition of 7,500 acres for the Wallkill River refuge in New Jersey. Refuge purposes were established, and such sums as may be necessary were authorized for land acquisition and refuge facilities.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 684-686) -- The Act of January 24, 1905 (33 Stat. 614), authorized setting aside certain lands in Wichita National Forest for wildlife and provided administrative direction. The Act of June 4, 1936 (49 Stat. 1446), designated the area as the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Public Law 35, approved April 12, 1943 (57 Stat. 64), authorized an exchange of lands with Fort Sill. Public Law 772, approved June 25, 1948 (62 Stat. 860), prohibited taking wildlife in the refuge except as authorized by the Secretary.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Widows Island Migratory Bird Refuge -- The Act of December 22, 1932 (47 Stat. 751), transferred Widows Island, Maine, from the Department of the Navy for use as a migratory bird refuge. [The area is not currently a refuge.]

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Wind Cave National Game Preserve -- The Act of June 15, 1935 (49 Stat. 383) transferred the game preserve in South Dakota to the National Park Service for inclusion in Wind Cave National Park.

Return to List of Laws for Particular Refuges

Wyandotte National Wildlife Refuge (16 U.S.C. 697-697a) -- Public Law 87-119, approved August 3, 1961 (75 Stat. 243), established a refuge consisting of certain lands on the Detroit River, Michigan. A provision of an earlier Act of September 13, 1960 (74 Stat. 904), authorized the Secretary to petition the City of Wyandotte for annexation of certain lands and provided that it would not prevent establishment of a refuge.

Return to Resource Laws