Passes and Permits

Annual Pass Photo

Although visiting one of Madison Wetland Management District's many Waterfowl Production Areas does not require the purchase of a pass, we have provided this information should you wish to visit another of our country's treasures in the National Wildlife Refuge system. 

The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. 

  • Permits

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife law and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country.  Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law.  Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife.  Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward.

    Permits are handled by permitting programs in International Affairs (Management Authority), Endangered SpeciesLaw Enforcement, and  Migratory Birds.

    Visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for Special Use Permits.

    For more detailed information, go to How to Obtain a PermitFAQs/Facts or Application Forms.

  • Passes

    There are no passes required for the Madison Wetland Management Districts' 220 WPA's.  However, there are a series of passes that cover the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands – including national wildlife refuges.

    Existing Golden Eagle Passports and National Parks Passes with an expiration date will be honored until they expire. Paper versions of the Golden Age or Golden Access Passports should be exchanged for the new Senior or Access passes. However, plastic Golden Age or Access passes are valid for the pass holder's lifetime and do not need to be exchanged.

    The Senior and Access passes are good for the lifetime of the holder and make available (to the pass holder only) 50 percent discounts on some expanded amenity fees.

    For the first time, decals and hangtags are available: decals for those who park open-topped vehicles (like Jeeps) or motorcycles at unstaffed federal recreation sites, and hangtags for those who anticipate parking closed vehicles at unmanned facilities.

    Please visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for more information about passes.

    Passes are sold in South Dakota at Badlands National Park - 605-433-5361; Black Hills National Forest-Main Office - 605-673-9200; Black Hills National Forest-Mystic District - 605-343-1567; Black Hills National Forest-Northern Hills District - 605-642-4622; Buffalo Gap National Grassland - 605-745-4107; Dakota Prairie Grasslands-Grand River District - 605-374-3592; Fort Pierre National Grassland - 605-224-5517; Jewel Cave National Monument -  605-673-8300; Nebraska National Forest-Fall River District - 605-745-4107; Nebraska National Forest-Wall District - 605-279-2125; South Dakota Bureau of Land Management  Office - 605-892-7000; and Wind Cave National Park - 605-745-4200.