U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2001.



North Platte National Wildlife Refuge
115 Railway Street
Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69631


308 / 635 7851




Comprehensive Conservation Plan

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge



The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge for 15 years. The refuge is part of the Crescent Lake/North Platte National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which is in the panhandle of northeastern Nebraska. Located in the Central Flyway, the refuge is an important migration stopover for more than 250,000 mallards and many other migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge was established primarily because of its importance to migrating and wintering waterfowl, bald eagles, and other migratory birds. The purpose of the refuge is to serve as a "preserve and breeding ground for native birds" (Executive Order 2446).

  • Established in 1916.
  • Comprises 2,722 acres.
  • Located 8 miles northeast of Scottsbluff in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska.

The North Platte National Wildlife Refuge consists of four dispersed management units superimposed over Bureau of Reclamation irrigation reservoirs and a diversion project: Lake Alice (1,377 acres); Lake Minatare (430 acres); Stateline Island (135 acres); and Winters Creek (780 acres).

The refuge has 1,625 acres of grassland habitat, mostly native prairie. In addition, about 265 acres are tree covered; refuge lakes are partially surrounded by a belt of trees, primarily even-aged cottonwood and green ash. These habitats support more than 220 bird species. In summer, breeding ducks and geese populate the lakes, and hundreds of thousands of waterfowl concentrate in the refuge during fall migration. Common raptors include the bald eagle, great-horned owl, and osprey. As many as 20 bald eagles migrate through the refuge, and Lake Alice has one of the most productive bald eagle nests in Nebraska.

Mammals on the refuge include raccoon, striped skunk, coyote, red fox, black-tail prairie dog, white-tailed deer, and mule deer.

Image of the plan cover showing a student standing in a stream and looking in a bucket.

Plan cover showing a student investigating stream life through a glass-bottom bucket.

Bullsnake, western plains garter snake, and eastern yellow-bellied racer are the most common reptiles. The northern leopard frog is the most common amphibian.

Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan:

  • Focus management on endangered or threatened species, species considered candidates for listing as threatened or endangered, and species of management concern.
  • Emphasize habitat management for native birds (resident and migratory) and other native wildlife.
  • Provide opportunities to learn about and enjoy the outdoor environment, fish, wildlife, and refuge history in a manner compatible with the refuge purpose.


Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2001 (3 MB PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2001 (2 MB PDF)