U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2006.



Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge
Lacreek Wetland Management District
29746 Bird Road
Martin, South Dakota 57551


605 / 685 6508



Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge
Lacreek Wetland Management District

South Dakota


The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge and Lacreek Wetland Management District for 15 years. The refuge and district are in the northern Great Plains of South Dakota. The High Plains Flock of trumpeter swans finds critical migration and wintering habitat in refuge and district lands.

Wetlands in the refuge and district have an abundance of cattail, bulrush, wild rice, sago pondweed, and duckweed vegetation. Extensive mudflats created when wetlands are in the drawdown phase create optimal feeding opportunities for migrating shorebirds. These wetlands also host species such as muskrat, beaver, mink, raccoon, white-tailed deer, and meadow vole. The grasslands support species such as mule deer, black-tailed prairie dog, burrowing owl, badger, sharp-tailed grouse, Ord's kangaroo rat, and coyote.

Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge

The primary purpose of the refuge is to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.

  • Established in 1935.
  • Comprises 16,410 acres, including the Little White River Recreation Area.
  • Located 12 miles southeast of Martin in Bennett County.

The refuge lies in Lake Creek Valley in southwestern South Dakota, at an intersection of different grassland types. Sandhills prairie, tallgrass prairie, and mixed-grass prairie are found here. Other refuge habitats consist of subirrigated meadows and freshwater marsh impoundments.

Refuge habitats support more than 280 bird species including the federally endangered whooping crane, which uses the refuge's wet meadows during migration. The refuge is an important staging area for migrating Canada geese, sandhill cranes, shorebirds, and songbirds. In addition, the refuge hosts one of only two nesting colonies of American white pelicans (approximately 3,000 birds) in South Dakota. Grassland bird species such as long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, and grasshopper sparrow use refuge habitats. Spring-fed streams support the pearl dace and northern redbelly dace (both State-listed threatened fish species).

Image of the plan cover showing five trumpeter swans flying; Copyright Laura Crawford Williams

Plan cover showing trumpeter swans. Photo copyright Laura Crawford Williams.

Lacreek Wetland Management District

The purpose of the district is to provide habitat for migratory birds.

  • Comprises 3,443 acres in eight conservation easements.
  • Located across 15 counties in western and south-central South Dakota.

The Service started the district in the 1950s as part of the Small Wetlands Acquisition Program to save wetlands from various threats, particularly draining. The amended Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act allows the Service to acquire waterfowl production areas and conservation easements for water management rights.

The plan

Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan follow:

  • Through an integrated approach, restore ecological processes to achieve habitat conditions that need reduced management, while recognizing the place of the refuge and district lands in the landscape and community.
  • Monitor the effects of habitat management practices and the use of the research information and use the information to direct ongoing restoration.
  • Increase the priority public uses and activities.
  • Manage the district through monitoring and enforcement of easements.


Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2006 (4 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
CCP (plan only) (3 MB PDF)
Appendixes (1 MB PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2006 (8 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Contents, summary (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 1, introduction (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, refuge and district (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, alternatives (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, affected environment (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, environmental consequences (PDF)
Chapter 6, implementation of the proposed action (1 MB PDF)
Appendices (3 MB PDF)