The Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area was officially established on May 25, 2016 with the acceptance of a 66-acre donation from Friends of the Kankakee, an organization dedicated to the establishment of a national wildlife refuge in the Kankakee River Basin. This parcel will be open to the public in the near future for deer and turkey hunting, bird watching, and photography.
The mission for Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is to protect, restore, and manage ecological processes within the Kankakee River Basin that benefit threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, native fish, and diverse flora and fauna populations, while providing the public, to the extent possible, high quality wildlife-dependent environmental interpretation, education, and recreation experiences that build an understanding and appreciation for these resources, and the role humankind plays in their stewardship.
Establishing the refuge and conservation area formally recognizes our decades of work with conservation partners on private and publicly owned lands. Through the conservation area approach, we will acquire land or easements from willing sellers as funds allow, as part of the broader, community and partner-based conservation effort to restore and conserve natural resources in the Kankakee River Basin. The previous and future planning process is described on our regional Conservation Planning website.
For more information, contact Jeanne Holler, 612-713-5327