About the Refuge


"Wild beasts and birds are by right not the property merely of the people who are alive today, but the property of unknown generations whose belongings we have no right to squander"
-Theodore Roosevelt

In 1939, Florence Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established by Executive Order 8119 "...as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife..." The 1,888.2 acre Florence Lake NWR located in northern Burleigh County approximately 45 miles northwest of Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge has almost 1,000 acres of virgin native mixed-grass prairie and a 132-acre meandered lake. The Refuge consists of 1,468.4 acres of federally owned land and 419.8 acres of easement Refuge land under private ownership. The federally owned portion of the Refuge consists of 976.4 acres of native grass, 201.9 acres of tame grass, 110.9 acres of cropland, 163.2 acres of wetland, and 16 acres of woodland. The cropland was re-seeded to mixed grass natives in 2000. The easement Refuge tract consists of 315 acres of cropland and 104.8 acres of wetland.

Surrounded by native prairie, Florence Lake provides breeding and migration habitat for a diverse array of migratory birds. This high quality prairie habitat attracts grassland birds including grassland passerines that are sought by birders visiting the region. The Refuge draws in significant numbers of waterfowl during the fall migration. The Refuge plays an important role as a migratory bird nesting area. The Refuge attracts up to 80-100 duck pairs per square mile during the spring breeding season. Resident and migratory wildlife species, including sharp-tailed grouse, gray partridge, white-tailed deer, and coyotes also utilize the Refuge.

Florence Lake NWR is administered by Long Lake NWR as an unstaffed satellite refuge.

Florence Lake NWR is located about 11 miles northeast of Wing, North Dakota. From Wing, travel north on Highway 14 for 9 miles, then turn west on the gravel road for 3 miles, turn north 1 mile, and then go east 1 mile.

Access roads are gravel and the last mile is unimproved prairie trail.  There is no hunting or fishing on Florence Lake. The major activities are bird watching, photography, and walking/hiking.

The Refuge is managed using prescribed fire, grazing, haying, and planting of native grasses on previously farmed fields. Small infestations of invasive exotic plants are also managed.