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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will amend their 15 year Comprehensive Conservation Plan to decide appropriate public use on newly acquired 1490 acres

For Immediate Release

November 13, 2013

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, MT
Photo: Erin Clark, USFWS

The refuge is located 40 miles East of Lima, MT in Beaverhead County.  The refuge can also be accessed during summer and fall from Henry’s Lake, Idaho by 25 miles of gravel road.

Decisions will be made related to public use opportunities opened on 1490 acres in Alaska Basin, the eastern most part of the Centennial Valley, in Southwest Montana.   Decisions will also be made relative to new visitor services required to support any new public uses.  An Environmental Assessment (EA) will be developed to amend the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) which was completed in 2009.  This newly acquired land has Red Rock Creek and Hell Roaring Creek flowing through.  The upland is sagebrush steppe.  The Refuge is inviting the public to comment with their ideas on what uses would be appropriate on this new National Wildlife Refuge land, and suggest regulations that are appropriate and enforceable for this area.

All streams on Red Rock Lakes NWR are currently open to fishing but streams on this new land are not open until authorized by a public process and EA. A decision will be made on whether this parcel is closed or open to hunting.  Hunting is not allowed refuge wide as some areas are closed to protect certain species and some areas are closed because they are difficult to patrol with limited staff.   Other wildlife dependent recreation will be considered, including wildlife photography, wildlife viewing, environmental education and environmental interpretation.   Camping and vehicles will not be allowed on this 1490 ac.

The public is asked to send their ideas and questions to the Refuge Manager at the addresses above.

Red Rock Lakes NWR was established April 22, 1935 “As a refuge and breeding ground for wild birds and animals” (Executive Order 7023) The Refuge will be 79 years old in 2014.

The refuge is 51,000+ acres.  The two large shallow lakes and an abundance of other wetlands are the largest wetland complex in the Greater Yellowstone Area.  There are numerous creeks and  streams, including Red Rock and Odell Creeks.   The refuge is bordered by the Centennial Mountains and continental divide to the south and the Gravelly Mountains to the north.   The refuge has an abundance of ducks, geese, swans, moose, elk, deer and antelope.  Grizzly and black bear, wolves and native fish are also present.  During summer there are 200+ bird species.

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There are 560 national wildlife refuges across the country, offering a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation and photography.  Many wildlife refuges also offer nature hikes, bird watching tours, wildlife drives and trails, and other adventures.  Each year, about 40 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge.  There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities.

For more information about National Wildlife Refuge Week events, contact a refuge near you or visit fws.gov/refuges.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228


303-236-3815 FAX



Bill West
Refuge Manager

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: November 13, 2013
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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