Crane pair

Sandhill Cranes

Bear Lake Watch

Bear Lake Watch is a local non-profit that seeks to work towards preservation of water and land in and around Bear Lake.  The refuge has partnered with Bear Lake Watch in the past on sedimentation and water quality issues that arise from the Bear River being diverted through refuge as it flows into Bear Lake in the spring for hydroelectric and irrigation storage.


PacifiCorp controls and monitors the Stewart Dam on the Bear River, the causeway between the Mud Lake unit of the refuge and Bear Lake, and the Lifton Pumping Station and the Paris Dam on the Bear lake Outlet Canal.  Management of water at each of these control points has an impact on water on many units of the refuge.  Refuge staff coordinates with PacifiCorp staff to manage water levels that benefit wildlife.

Highlands Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA)

Highlands CWMA is a group of county, state, and federal partners that work to control the spread of invasive plant species via integrated pest management and education throughout the following counties: Bear Lake, Caribou, a portion of Bonneville Counties in Idaho, Lincoln County, Wyoming and Rich County, Utah.  The refuge annually contributes money to help fund the CWMA and provides staff time to CWMA work days that are held in the area during the summer and target problem areas of invasive plant species.


Refuge staff has worked in conjunction with USDA – APHIS since the summer of 2015 to trap ducks during the summer to monitor for prevalence of avian influenza in wild ducks.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)

Both wildlife monitoring and enforcement issues are collaborated on with IDFG to gain better data on local species of concern as well as ensure that all state regulations are being followed during appropriate seasons.

Local Landowners

Some local landowners participate in Cooperative Land Management Agreements (CLMA’s) where they plant grain crops for migrating Sandhill Cranes and waterfowl on the refuge in the fall in exchange for hay harvested on the refuge during the summer.