Limited-interest National Wildlife Refuges

Maple Intro 2

Limited-interest National Wildlife Refuges are unique to North Dakota and were established during the drought of the 1930s to conserve water, provide drought relief, and to conserve migratory birds and wildlife.


 Three national wildlife refuges are located within the District. With the exception of a portion of Maple River NWR, these refuges are not owned in fee title by the Service; they are easement refuges. Easement refuges are private lands on which the Service owns water rights and regulates hunting. Visitors should contact District staff to obtain information regarding access limitations prior to entering a national wildlife refuge in the District.

 

   

 

Bone Hill National Wildlife Refuge

 

Establishment

Bone Hill National Wildlife Refuge was established by Executive Order 8112, signed on May 10, 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is managed by the Kulm Wetland Management District. The Refuge boundaries encompass 640 acres of private land. A system of management easements allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain a dam on the property and restrict hunting, trapping and other harassment of wildlife.

Location

Bone Hill Refuge is located in LaMoure County, North Dakota. From Jud, North Dakota the northwest corner of the Refuge is 2 miles north and one mile east on county and township roads.

About

The Bone Hill National Wildlife Refuge is 640 acres of privately-owned land. Most of the property is farmed and most rights are retained by the landowner, though several large wetlands are protected for waterfowl use. The Refuge is a migration stopover for waterfowl. Snow geese frequently stop in the neighborhood surrounding the Refuge during spring and fall migrations.

Management

There are no water control structures present on the property. Because there is no capability to manage water and there are no uplands to manage, very little resource management takes place at Bone Hill NWR. Staff make visits to ensure the wetlands are maintained, but the area is mostly reserved for waterfowl and wildlife use.

Visitor Information

Bone Hill NWR is closed to all public use. Very limited opportunities for wildlife observation and photography are available from public roads around the Refuge.


Dakota Lake National Wildlife Refuge

 

Establishment

Dakota Lake National Wildlife Refuge was established by Executive Order 8117, signed on May 10, 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is managed by the Kulm Wetland Management District. The Refuge boundaries encompass 2,784 acres of private land. A system of flooding easements and management easements allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to flood land within the river channel or to restrict hunting, trapping, and other harassment of wildlife.

Location

Dakota Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located in southern Dickey County, North Dakota. From Ludden, North Dakota proceed west on North Dakota Highway 11; the Refuge boundary is at the west end of town. North Dakota Highway 11 crosses the James River and the Refuge.

About

The James River is at the heart of a major corridor for migrating birds. The Refuge is a migration stopover for many thousands of waterfowl and shore birds. Snow geese are one of the most obvious users of the Refuge during their spring and fall migrations. Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota is a scant 4 miles south of Dakota Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Visitor Information

Dakota Lake NWR is closed to all public use; however, hunting, wildlife observation, and photography can be quite good on public roads or private lands around the Refuge. April and October are good times to observe waterfowl migrations. An abundance of shorebirds migrate during late August and September.

Maple River National Wildlife Refuge

 

Establishment

Maple River National Wildlife Refuge was established by Executive Order 8162, signed on June 12, 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is managed by the Kulm Wetland Management District. The Refuge boundaries encompass 1,120 acres of private land. A system of management easements allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to flood land within the river channel and to restrict hunting, trapping, and other harassment of wildlife.

Location

Maple River National Wildlife Refuge is located in central Dickey County, North Dakota. From Ellendale, the Refuge is located 4 ½ miles east on ND Highway 11, then 5 miles north and 1 mile east on county and township roads.

About

A 414 acre portion of Maple River NWR was purchased by the Service in the early 1960s with funds from the Small Wetland Acquisition Program. Lands purchased with Duck Stamp funds are delineated with Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) signs instead of the familiar blue goose Refuge sign.

Management

The Kulm Wetland Management District manages two dams on Maple River NWR. A low level dam on the Maple River raises the level of the Maple River and floods an adjacent 90 acre marsh area. A dam on the Maple River marsh holds water in the marsh as flow in the Maple River drops following spring run-off. Both the river channel and the marsh provide breeding, nesting, and brood rearing habitat for many marsh dependent birds and other wildlife. Maple River is near enough to the James River to be part of the migration corridor for many species of birds.

Visitor Information

Refuge portions of Maple River NWR are closed to all public use. Portions of the Refuge owned by the Service and marked with WPA signs are open to public use. Maps of the open area can be found labeled as Maple River WPA. Hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife observation, and photography are available to the public on the WPA portion of the Refuge.