The realty division of the National Wildlife Refuge System supports the acquisition and management of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands, using Migratory Bird Conservation and Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars.

What We Do

Our Services

In 2010, this bottomland hardwood forest was part of 3,900 acres of land added to Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.

Land Acquisition

The National Wildlife Refuge System grows through the conservation of fee-title and easement acquisitions from willing sellers within approved acquisition boundaries. The realty team works to achieve the greatest conservation return on investment and acquires only the minimum interest necessary to meet fish and wildlife conservation objectives. When land is acquired in fee title, the Service often can provide wildlife-dependent public recreation such as hunting and fishing. 

Migratory Bird Conservation Fund Returns

Revenue from the sale of federal Duck Stamps and import duties on arms and ammunition is deposited in the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund for conservation of important waterfowl habitat. The fund generates an average $750 million per year. The realty division chief is also secretary of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, and realty staff support the commission. Staff prepare land acquisition proposals and coordinate presentations and meetings for the commission. 

A flock of waterfowl and wading birds at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The refuge acquired 4,800 acres in 2021.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Returns  

Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to safeguard America’s natural areas and provide public outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. Revenue from offshore oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf are deposited in the Land and Water Conservation Fund  — the largest source of federal money for parks and wildlife.  


$1.4 billion Migratory Bird Conservation Fund dollars have protected more than 

  • 5.7 MILLION acres  
  • 240 MIGRATORY bird refuges  
  • 206 WATERFOWL production areas  

$1.6 billion in Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars have protected

  • nearly 1.6 MILLION acres  

  • 300 NATIONAL WILDLIFE refuges. 

Our Services

Our Library

Adult Bald Eagle Perched on Refuge Sign
Each year the National Wildlife Refuge System issues a report with data tables identifying all of the lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These tables include national monuments and wilderness designations.