Resource Management

Wildflowers in Bloom

To help plants and wildlife, refuge staff uses a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plant and wildlife values. Refuge staff carefully consider any management techniques and employ them in varying degrees according to the situation.

  • Prescribed Fire

    Prescribed Fire at Big Oaks

    Prescribed burning is a major component of grassland habitat management at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge. Fire is used as a tool to maintain healthy stands of native grasses and eliminate invasive species. Many species dependent on early successional grasslands, such as deer, bobwhite, and grassland birds, benefit from areas maintained by fire. Burning at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge is in accordance with a Fire Management Plan. In addition, an annual Prescribed Fire Plan is written for each burn unit to guide our actions each year. 

  • Other Management Activities

    Aerial Spraying

    Additional management activities on the refuge include controlling invasive plant species, monitoring wildlife populations within the refuge, and hunting deer to control the population size. Refuge staff works with state, county, and private organizations on landscape related habitat issues. The refuge also works cooperatively with private landowners on habitat projects.

  • Trapping Occurs on this Refuge


    Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulationsClick here for more information.