U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2006.




Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge
702 East Xavier Road
Kirwin, Kansas 67644


785 / 543 6673





Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge



The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of the Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge for 15 years. This refuge in north-central Kansas is an overlay on Kirwin Reservoir, which was built for irrigation and flood control. The Service manages activities on the land and water, while water level control of the reservoir rests with the Kirwin Irrigation District, United States Bureau of Reclamation, and United States Army Corps of Engineers.

The purpose of the refuge is "for the conservation, maintenance, and management of wildlife, resources thereof, and its habitat thereon … in behalf of the National Migratory Bird Management Program" (Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act).

  • Established in 1954 as the first national wildlife refuge in Kansas.
  • Comprises 10,778 acres.
  • Located in Phillips County, west of the town of Kirwin.

Habitats on Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge consist of prairie grassland, cropland, open water, shoreline, wetlands, and wooded riparian areas. The refuge lies in an area where the tallgrass prairies of the East meet the short-grass plains of the West. Because of this merging of prairies and plains, grasses and wildlife common to both habitats occur on the refuge.  

Visitors to the refuge enjoy recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography. Each year, between 40,000 to 90,000 people recreate at the refuge, depending on the water level and the fishing quality. The Service permits hunting in season for waterfowl, dove, pheasant, quail, turkey, prairie chicken, snipe, coot, cottontail rabbit, fox squirrel, and white-tailed deer. During a typical day in hunting season, the refuge attracts about 100 people. 

The following are major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan:

  • Focus habitat management on waterfowl; game species; nongame species such as waterbirds, shorebirds, and prairie grassland-nesting birds; and bird species of conservation concern.
Image of the plan cover showing purple coneflowers.

Plan cover showing purple coneflowers.

  • Restore most of the existing cropland in the uplands to prairie grassland habitat.
  • Provide recreational opportunities that are wildlife-dependent and wildlife-compatible such as those outlined in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act—hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation.
  • Phase out non-wildlife-dependent uses and the facilities that support them.
  • Increase management to reduce the occurrence of invasive species in shorelines, riparian areas, uplands, and transition zones.
  • Increase partnerships that promote wildlife and habitat management.


Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2006 (3 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Contents, chapters (2 MB PDF)
Appendixes (1 MB PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2006 (3 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Contents, chapters (2 MB PDF)
Appendixes (1 MB PDF)