U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Refuge Planning
Mountain-Prairie Region

Completed Plan Contacts

The Service completed this plan
in 2004.



Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 568
Dugway, Utah 84022


435 / 831 5353



Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge



The comprehensive conservation plan sets the management and use of Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge for 15 years. This refuge in western Utah is located at the southern end of the Great Salt Lake Desert and is one of the most isolated refuges in the lower 48 states. Established because of its historical attraction to waterfowl, 30,000 ducks have been recorded during fall migrations.

The purpose of the refuge is to provide a sanctuary for migratory birds.

  • Established in 1959.
  • Comprises 17,992 acres.
  • Located 24 miles east of the ranching community of Callao, in Juab County, Utah; 63 miles southeast of Dugway Proving Ground, the nearest community with services.

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded on the east, west, and south by Bureau of Land Management holdings and on the north by the United States Army’s Dugway Proving Ground. Springs flowing from the eastern base of the Fish Springs Range feed a 10,000-acre saline marsh divided into nine impoundments. The remaining portion comprises 6,000 acres of mud and alkali flat and 2,000 acres of semidesert upland. More than 278 species of birds have been seen at the refuge, with 61 species known to nest on the refuge.

As a source of bountiful resources in an arid environment, the refuge has likely been a focal point of human existence as long as 11,000 years. Two caves within the boundary of the refuge are part of a national archaeological district. In 1913, the nation’s first transcontinental automobile road—Lincoln Highway—passed through the refuge to skirt the often impassable salt flats to the north. At the peak usage period for the highway, an estimated 5,000 cars passed each year, compared to less than 2,500 cars now. Segments of the Lincoln Highway are still visible today.

Image of the plan cover showing a lush wetland surrounded by an arid landscape.

Plan cover showing lush wetlands on the Curlew Unit of the refuge.

Major actions in the comprehensive conservation plan follow:

  • Improve and maintain habitat for nesting and wintering migratory birds and other wildlife populations of the Bonneville Basin.
  • Focus management on the perpetuation of the native biodiversity of the Bonneville Basin as represented on the refuge.
  • Preserve, protect, and promote an understanding of cultural resources.
  • Provide quality wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities to promote an understanding and appreciation of the fish, wildlife, and natural and cultural history of the refuge.
  • Promote partnerships to preserve and enhance the natural characteristics of the Bonneville Basin.


Comprehensive conservation plan (CCP)
CCP 2004 (24 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Approval, contents, summary (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 1, introduction (12 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, planning process (PDF)
Chapter 3, refuge and resource descriptions (5 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, management direction (5 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, implementation and monitoring (1 MB PDF)
Appendixes (2 MB PDF)

Draft CCP and environmental assessment (EA)
Draft CCP and EA 2004 (9 MB PDF)

By section, for faster download:
Contents, summary (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 1, introduction (2 MB PDF)
Chapter 2, alternatives (5 MB PDF)
Chapter 3, affected environment (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 4, environmental consequences (1 MB PDF)
Chapter 5, CCP and EA preparers (PDF)
Appendixes (PDF)