U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2007.



Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge
7745 11th Street Southeast
Pingree, North Dakota 58476


701 / 285 3341



Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge

North Dakota


The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge for 15 years. Located along the James River in east-central North Dakota, the refuge's lakes, marshes, grasslands, wooded draws, and cultivated fields are important stopover sites for many species of birds in the Central Flyway migration corridor.

The purposes of the refuge are (1) for use by migratory birds, with emphasis on waterfowl and other waterbirds, (2) to conserve fish and wildlife resources, (3) to serve as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds, and (4) to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.

  • Established in 1935.
  • Comprises 15,973 acres, covering 14 miles of the James River Valley.
  • Located 30 miles north of Jamestown, North Dakota, in Foster and Stutsman counties.
  • Administrative center for the Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes another refuge and three wetland management districts.

Prairie grassland and wetland complex habitats at the refuge and surrounding private lands provide nesting and feeding habitat for waterfowl in the spring and summer. As the James River meanders its way across the prairie, it passes through four main water bodies—Arrowwood Lake, Mud Lake, Jim Lake, and Depuy Marsh. During flood years, these pools can hold large numbers of northern pike, walleye, crappie, perch, and bullhead.

The refuge contains excellent habitat for shorebirds, sharp-tailed grouse, white-tailed deer, dozens of species of butterflies, and many other forms of wildlife. Refuge uplands consist of native prairie, tame grasslands, wooded draws, riparian woodlands, planted dense nesting cover, and cropland.

Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan follow:

  • Emphasize wildlife and habitat management for migratory birds and species of concern.
Image of the plan cover showing a sharp-tailed grouse in a tree branch.

Plan cover showing a sharp-tailed grouse. Photo copyright Gerald Romanchuk.

  • Maximize the biological potential of wetland and upland habitats to support well-balanced and diverse plants and animals that are representative of the Prairie Pothole Region.
  • Develop a science-based monitoring program as part of the habitat management plan to monitor the responses of habitat and wildlife populations to management activities.
  • Prepare with our partners a plan to improve the quality of water entering the refuge and reduce peak flows in the upper James River watershed. Focus on the protection and restoration of wetlands and grasslands and reduce the effects on water quality from farming and livestock operations.
  • Improve and expand wildlife-dependent recreation including hunting and fishing. Develop new facilities and programs to enhance wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation opportunities.


Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2007 (30 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Approval, contents, summary (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 1, purpose and need (8 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, planning process (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, refuge description (14 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, management direction (3 MB PDF)
Appendixes (4 MB PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2007 (13 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Contents, summary (PDF)
Chapter 1, purpose and need (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, planning process (PDF)
Chapter 3, affected environment (6 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, alternatives (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, environmental consequences (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 6, implementation of the proposed action (2 MB PDF)
Appendixes (1 MB PDF)