The Big Dry Arm Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve March Morning on the Platte River After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
Visit a Refuge or District
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Visit a Refuge or District

 

Locate a Refuge | Wildlife Observation and Photography | Environmental Education and Interpretation | Hunting | Fishing | Open / Close All

Prairie Hills, SD. Credit: USFWS

Prairie Hills, SD. Credit: USFWS

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter." (Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder)

We invite you to visit a national wildlife refuge or wetland management district in the Mountain-Prairie Region. Watch in awe as flocks of waterfowl glide down to the water. Listen to the ancient rattling call of sandhill cranes. Feel your shoe sink a bit into the muddy wet ground along the shore of a marsh. Marvel at how snow quietly transforms a landscape.

The lands of the National Wildlife Refuge System are here to protect wildlife and to offer opportunities for people to discover nature in all its splendor. Refuges offer nature trails, boardwalks, observation decks, hunting and photography blinds, fishing piers, and more, giving you a multitude of opportunities to connect with the natural world.


Locate a Refuge »

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Colorado | Kansas | Montana | Nebraska | North Dakota | South Dakota | Utah | Wyoming

Refuges in the Mountain-Prairie Region are among the more than 560 refuges and 38 wetland management districts in the National Wildlife Refuge System, where wildlife comes first. We welcome you to visit and enjoy watching wildlife, while learning more about the animals and their habitats. Most refuges and waterfowl production areas are open to hunting and fishing. Nearly all refuges offer facilities for visitors of all abilities to enjoy wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities. For more information, contact the staff at the refuge you would like to visit.


Colorado

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Kansas

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Montana

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Nebraska

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North Dakota

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South Dakota

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Utah

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Wyoming

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Wildlife Observation and Photography »

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  • Refuge visitors birdwatching. Credit: USFWS

    Refuge visitors birdwatching. Credit: USFWS

  • Dragonfly perched on leaf. Credit: USFWS

    Dragonfly perched on leaf. Credit: USFWS

  • Yellow warbler. Credit: USFWS.

    Yellow warbler. Credit: USFWS.

  • Refuge visitors watching a sunset. Credit: USFWS.

    Refuge visitors watching a sunset. Credit: USFWS.

  • Bull elk. Credit: USFWS.

    Bull elk. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wood Lily. Credit: Laura Hubers / USFWS. Credit: USFWS.

    Wood Lily. Credit: Laura Hubers / USFWS.

Wildlife observation and photography are hugely popular activities on Refuge System lands. Of the more than 45 million visitors to refuge lands annually, 34.8 million people come to observe and photograph wildlife. Many refuges have auto tour routes, nature trails, observation towers, blinds, and in some cases equipment (binoculars, spotting scopes, field guides) available for loan.

In the Mountain-Prairie Region, you can see thousands of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds, thundering herds of bison, dancing sharp-tailed grouse, and if you’re really lucky, black-footed ferrets and whooping cranes. You might witness the dramatic courtship rituals of western grebes rushing side by side across the water surface, the bubbling display of male ruddy ducks, or a majestic bull elk bugling. Each refuge is unique, and each refuge changes with the season and the weather, so there is always an opportunity to witness something new on Refuge System lands.


Environmental Education and Interpretation »

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  • Family enjoying a refuge. enjoying a refuge. Credit: Irv Cohen, USFWS.

    Family enjoying a refuge. enjoying a refuge. Credit: Irv Cohen, USFWS.

  • Boy walking refuge trail. Credit: Cami Dixon, USFWS.

    Boy walking refuge trail. Credit: Cami Dixon, USFWS.

  • Children searching for invertebrates. Credit: 

USFWS.

    Children searching for invertebrates. Credit: USFWS.

  • Environmental education program. Credit: USFWS

    Environmental education program. Credit: USFWS.

National wildlife refuges are an ideal place for people of all ages to gain a deeper understanding of their ecological role in the natural world. The interpretive and educational programs offered on national wildlife refuges help visitors discover their personal connections with these lands and waters, as well as the wildlife that call these places home.

Each refuge is unique, and so are the programs and events offered by their staff. For specific information on what is available at a refuge near you, we suggest visiting the website for that station.


Hunting »

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2013 HURON WMD YOUTH WATERFOWL HUNT. Successful waterfowl hunters after the second day morning hunt. Photo Credt: Chuck Pyle / USFWS

Successful waterfowl hunters after the second day morning hunt. Photo Credt: Chuck Pyle / USFWS

Shortly after dawn, hunters scan a marsh, looking and listening for waterfowl. A rustle is heard, ducks lift from the marsh, and anticipation is rewarded.

On most national wildlife refuges in the Mountain-Prairie Region, the time-honored tradition of hunting continues. Maintaining this tradition was one of the reasons early conservationists, like President Theodore Roosevelt, set aside lands for wildlife. Today, hunting offers opportunities for young and old alike to enjoy the outdoors, and it can be an important management tool.

National wildlife refuges offer waterfowl, upland game, large mammal, and other game hunting in accordance with State regulations. There are instances where Refuge hunting regulations take precedence over State regulations. For more information about hunting on a refuge, we suggest visiting the web site for that station.

Come and enjoy hunting on your national wildlife refuges. Learn more: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/hunting/


Fishing »

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  • Boat fishing. Credit: USFWS.

    Boat fishing. Credit: USFWS.

A cast is made and hopes for a catch are set. A pull is made, and a fish is in hand.

Fishing is a popular activity for both young and old on most national wildlife refuges in the Mountain-Prairie region. Maintaining healthy fisheries for anglers was one of the factors that convinced early conservationists, like President Theodore Roosevelt, to set aside lands and waters for wildlife. Today, fishing continues to be a popular activity on national wildlife refuges.

National wildlife refuges offer fishing opportunities in accordance with State regulations. There are instances where Refuge fishing regulations take precedence over State regulations. For more information about fishing on refuges, we suggest visiting the web site for that station.

Come and enjoy fishing on your national wildlife refuges. Learn more: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/fishingguide/

 

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: December 08, 2016
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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