U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2000.



Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge Complex
9754 143-1/2 Avenue Southeast
Cayuga, North Dakota 58103


701 / 724 3598



Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge Complex

North Dakota


This plan is for the following units:

  • Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge
  • Tewaukon Wetland Management District
  • Storm Lake easement refuge
  • Wild Rice Lake easement refuge

The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge Complex for 15 years. Located in the southeastern corner of North Dakota, the refuge complex is on the gently rolling plain of the Prairie Pothole Region and the Red River of the North Valley.

The refuge complex protects northern tallgrass prairie, one of the most threatened ecosystems in North America. Migratory birds associated with both the Central Flyway and Mississippi Flyway come together at the refuge complex, which has the following key habitat and wildlife values:

  • Wetlands are important migration and breeding habitat for waterfowl and other waterbirds, and habitat for other species including leopard frog, painted turtle, mink, muskrat, and invertebrates.
  • Tallgrass prairie remnants provide some of the last remaining habitat for nesting and migrating grassland birds (such as bobolink and upland sandpiper), rare prairie butterflies, and other prairie species.
  • Other grassland habitat is winter cover for resident species and breeding habitat for ground-nesting birds and other grassland wildlife.
  • Riparian habitat provides breeding and migrating areas for many species of birds and mammals.

Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge

The purposes for the refuge follow: (1) to reserve and set apart certain public lands for the use of the Department of the Interior (Executive Order 9337); (2) to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife (Public Land Order 286); and (3) for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds (Migratory Bird Conservation Act).

  • Established in 1934.
  • Comprises 8,363 acres.
  • Located 5 miles south of Cayuga, North Dakota, in Sargent County.
  • Consists of the Tewaukon and Sprague Lake units.

Tewaukon Wetland Management District

The purposes for district lands acquired under the referenced authorities follow: (1) to assure the continued availability of habitat capable of supporting migratory bird populations at desired levels (Public Law 85-585); (2) to serve "as Waterfowl Production Areas: subject to … all of the inviolate sanctuary provisions" (Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Tax); (3) to "conserve North American wetland ecosystems and waterfowl and other migratory birds and fish and wildlife that depend upon such habitats" (North American Wetlands Conservation Act); and (4) for "conservation purposes" (Farmers Home Administration).

Image of the plan cover showing an orange prairie lily and porcupine grass.

Plan cover showing a prairie lily in porcupine grass.

  • Established in 1960.
  • Consists of 54 waterfowl production areas (14,000 acres); 35,000 acres of wetland easements; and more than 10,000 acres of grassland easements.
  • Located in Ransom, Richland, and Sargent counties, North Dakota.

Storm Lake and Wild Rice Lake easement refuges

Established in 1934, the purposes for these easement refuges are to maintain and operate artificial lakes, maintain closed refuges, and to serve as wildlife demonstration units (Executive Order 6910).

The plan

Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan follow:

  • Manage habitat for the needs of grassland-nesting birds.
  • Enhance, restore, and create wetlands.
  • Protect the remaining tallgrass prairie in Tewaukon Wetland Management District (60,000 acres) with grassland easements, cooperative agreements, or fee-title acquisition.
  • Reduce detrimental nonnative wildlife.
  • Continue and expand public use opportunities.
  • Divest the Wild Rice Lake easement refuge.


Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2000 (6 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Approval, contents, summary, introduction (1 MB PDF)
Description of planning process (PDF)
Complex and resource descriptions (1 MB PDF)
Management by unit (4 MB PDF)
Implementation and monitoring (PDF)
Appendixes (PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2000 (10 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Contents, summary, introduction (PDF)
Description of planning process (PDF)
Complex and resource descriptions (1 MB PDF)
Management by unit (2 MB PDF)
Implementation and monitoring (PDF)
Appendixes (7 MB PDF)