Law Enforcement

Refuge Law Enforcement Mission

"Fulfillment of the Service's conservation mission requires the effective enforcement of wildlife protection laws both on Service lands and the country at large." — Dale Hall, former Director

Protecting resources and people on our refuges is the fundamental responsibility of refuge officers. The mission of the Refuge Law Enforcement Program is to support the administration of the National Wildlife Refuge System through the management and protection of natural, historic and cultural resources, property, and people on lands and waters of our national wildlife refuges.

The refuge also works closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Enforcement Officers (NYS DEC EEO) to maintain visitor safety and natural resource protection within the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Dangerous of suspect behavior may be reported by calling NYS DEC EEO Dispatch at 1-877-457-5680. Poaching and violation of other fish and game laws can be reported by calling 1-800-TIPP-DEC.

Refuge Law Enforcement Objectives

Law enforcement is an integral part of managing the National Wildlife Refuge System. Refuge law enforcement officers are responsible for upholding federal laws and regulations that protect natural resources, the public, and employees. These are our objectives.

  • To protect refuge visitors and employees from disturbance or harm by others
  • To assist visitors in understanding refuge laws, regulations, and the reasons for them.
  • To enhance the management and protection of fish and wildlife resources on refuges.
  • To ensure the legally prescribed, equitable use of fish and wildlife resources on refuges.
  • To obtain compliance with laws and regulations necessary for the proper administration, management, and protection of the National Wildlife Refuge System