Conservation - Winter

Lands within the National Wildlife Refuge System are different from other federal lands because they are closed to all public uses unless specifically and legally opened. Refuge uses must not interfere with or detract from the fulfillment of the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System or the purposes of the refuge.

  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    Conservation - Cattail

    Refuge conservation plans are called Comprehensive Conservation Plans, or CCPs. The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years. The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving Refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the Refuge and its effects on the human environment, are described in the CCP as well.

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  • Bison & Elk Management Plan


    A Bison and Elk Management Plan was finalized in April 2007 with the signing of the Record of Decision. This 15-year plan guides management of both species for both the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park.

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  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act


    The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) Improvement Act of 1997 defines a unifying mission for all refuges, including a process for determining compatible uses on refuges. It also requires that each refuge be managed according to a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP). 

    The NWRS Improvement Act expressly states that wildlife conservation is the priority of System lands and that the Secretary shall ensure that the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge lands are maintained. Each refuge must be managed to fulfill the specific purposes for which the refuge was established and the System mission. The first priority of each refuge is to conserve, manage, and if needed, restore fish and wildlife populations and habitats according to its purpose.

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