An aerial photo showing ponds and backwater areas on the north and west of Pablo Reservoir developed with the assistance of Ducks Unlimited for the conservation of waterfowl.  NBR staff photo

The National Wildlife Refuge System is committed to building partnerships which encourage conservation and preservation of our natural and cultural resources. Partnerships with the Refuge System bring innovative approaches to solving land management and water disputes in the most environmentally protective manner. Scientifically-informed and technologically-based stewardship of our public lands, waters, wildlife and special places must be collaborative efforts between the Refuge System, other government agencies, and private organizations if conservation efforts are to succeed.

The very existence of Pablo National Wildlife Refuge is based on partnerships since it centers on Pablo Reservoir, developed in 1910 and managed by the Flathead Irrigation Project. The Refuge was established in 1921 on Tribal Trust lands at the request of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).

Under a cooperative agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the general Tribal recreation access fee is waived for non-consumptive use of Pablo NWR by non-members of the Tribes. In turn, this allows fees to be waived for CSKT tribal members visiting the National Bison Range.  Visitors wishing to fish at Pablo NWR must purchase the appropriate licenses from the Tribes.

TrumpSwans collared at Pablo.150x118 IN Partners Ducks Unlimited, a national organization dedicated to wetland and waterfowl conservation, constructed ponds and backwater areas to the north and west of the reservoir (see photo at top of page). Starting in 1996, these wetland areas were used as release sites for the reintroduction of trumpeter swans to the Mission Valley.  


Annual Funding Agreement Information –

Pursuant to the 1994 Tribal Self-Governance Act, The US Fish and Wildlife Service has negotiated, entered into and concluded Annual Funding Agreements with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). These partnerships between the Service and CSKT are government-to-government relationships and provide for the Tribes to have a substantive role in mission-critical programs of select units of the National Bison Range Complex, including Pablo NWR, which remain units of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The Service issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Assessment regarding the Interest of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to enter into an Annual Funding Agreement with the Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This will assess the Draft Fiscal Year 2013-2016 Annual Funding Agreement between the United States Department of the Interior and the CSKT. We will post information and links when the Environmental Assessment is ready for public comment. Follow the link to more information located on the National Bison Range website.