U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2006.

Appert Lake
Canfield Lake

Hutchinson Lake
Lake George
Sunburst Lake
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o Long Lake Refuge Complex
12000 353rd Street Southeast
Moffit, North Dakota 58560
701 / 387 4397

Lambs Lake
Little Goose
Pleasant Lake
Rock Lake
Rose Lake
Silver Lake
Snyder Lake
Wood Lake
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o Devils Lake District Complex
221 2nd Street West
Devils Lake, North Dakota 58301 devilslake@fws.gov
701 / 662 8611

Bone Hill
Dakota Lake
Maple River
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o Kulm Wetland Management District
1 First Street SW
P.O. Box E
Kulm, North Dakota 58456 kulmwetlands@fws.gov
701 / 647 2866

Buffalo Lake
Lords Lake
Rabb Lake
School Section Lake
Willow Lake
Wintering River
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge
681 Salyer Road
Upham, North Dakota 58789 jclarksalyer@fws.gov
701 / 768 2548

Camp Lake
Lake Otis
Lake Patricia
Lost Lake
Pretty Rock
Sheyenne Lake
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o Audubon Refuge Complex
3275 11th Street Northwest
Coleharbor, North Dakota 58531 audubon@fws.gov
701 / 442 5474

Half Way Lake
Hobart Lake
Johnson Lake
Sibley Lake
Stoney Slough
National Wildlife Refuges

c/o Arrowwood Refuge Complex
7745 11th Street Southeast
Pingree, North Dakota 58476 arrowwood@fws.gov
701 / 285 3341


Comprehensive Conservation Plan

39 North Dakota Limited-interest National Wildlife Refuges

North Dakota


This plan is for the following limited-interest national wildlife refuges: Appert Lake, Ardoch, Bone Hill, Brumba, Buffalo Lake, Camp Lake, Canfield Lake, Cottonwood, Dakota Lake, Half Way Lake, Hiddenwood, Hobart Lake, Hutchinson Lake, Johnson Lake, Lake George, Lake Otis, Lake Patricia, Lambs Lake, Little Goose, Lords Lake, Lost Lake, Maple River, Pleasant Lake, Pretty Rock, Rabb Lake, Rock Lake, Rose Lake, School Section Lake, Sheyenne Lake, Sibley Lake, Silver Lake, Snyder Lake, Springwater, Stoney Slough, Sunburst Lake, Tomahawk, Willow Lake, Wintering River, and Wood Lake.

The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of 39 limited-interest national wildlife refuges in North Dakota for 15 years. The refuges are located across North Dakota from the Canadian border south to the Stateline of South Dakota.

As the name implies, these limited-interest refuges are unique among all other national wildlife refuges. The limited-interest refuge program began almost 70 years ago in response to declining waterfowl populations and the need to put people back to work. Hundreds of landowners signed refuge easements and flowage easements in exchange for jobs in their communities and impounded water on their lands. Today, 99 percent of the lands within the approved acquisition boundaries of these refuges remain in private ownership.

The purpose of the refuges is to provide habitat and breeding grounds for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland-nesting birds, and other wildlife.

  • Approved acquisition boundaries established in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Comprise 47,296 acres of the 54,140 acres within approved acquisition boundaries.
  • Range in size from 160 acres (Half Way Lake) to 5,500 acres (Rock Lake).
  • Managed by six separate refuge and wetland complexes.

These refuges have similar wetlands and grasslands, although many have lost significant habitat due to development. In particular, most refuges have a water feature such as a lake, river, or impoundment. There is minimal public use on these refuges as the landowner controls access and must grant permission for public use of their private lands.

The Service developed this plan to give guidance for the future management and protection of these limited-interest national wildlife refuges and to develop a better partnership with the existing landowners.

Image of the plan cover with a Civilian Conservation Corps worker, water structures, and mallards.

Plan cover showing a Civilian Conservation Corps worker such as those who built water control structures on the refuges.

Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan follow:

  • Divest 7 of the 39 refuges because they have had a significant loss of biodiversity and because of the ownership patterns (such as lands owned or managed for wildlife by another Federal or Stateagency): Bone Hill, Camp Lake, Cottonwood Lake, Lake Patricia, Sheyenne Lake, School Section Lake, and Tomahawk limited-interest national wildlife refuges.
  • Share information and engage landowners in the management of these refuges and the implementation of the comprehensive conservation plan.
  • Evaluate existing structures to determine the maintenance and replacement needs necessary to properly manage water levels on refuge impoundments.
  • Evaluate and prioritize the limited-interest refuges to ensure the most critical wetland and upland habitats are protected; give highest priority to refuges with native prairie habitat.
  • Work with willing landowners to provide additional compensation for added habitat protections through various programs including conservation partner programs, compensated easement programs, and fee-title acquisitions.
  • Develop partnerships with other State, Federal, and conservation organizations to achieve common goals that enhance and support the limited-interest refuge program.
  • Continue existing visitor services programs, where compatible, and work with willing landowners and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to determine if there are additional opportunities to accommodate the six priority public uses.
  • Recruit one Statecoordinator to work with landowners and oversee the implementation this comprehensive conservation plan.


Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
2006 (17 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Approval, contents, summary (PDF)
Chapter 1, introduction (PDF)
Chapter 2, the North Dakota limited-interest refuge program (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, alternatives (PDF)
Chapter 4, affected environment (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, environmental consequences (PDF)
Chapter 6, management direction (13 MB PDF)
Appendixes (PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2005 (9 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Plan (2 MB PDF)
Appendixes (8 MB PDF)

Planning process documents
Planning update 2007 (PDF)
Notice of availability of final CCP 2007 (PDF)
Planning update 2 2005 (PDF)
Notice of availability of draft CCP and EA 2005 (PDF)
Factsheet 2005 (PDF)
Planning update 1 2004 (PDF)
Notice of intent to prepare a CCP 2004 (PDF)