Law Enforcement

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Refuge rules are strictly enforced to ensure public and wildlife safety, and healthy habitats.

Law enforcement is essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. It contributes to the National Wildlife Refuge System's efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and promote international wildlife conservation.

Law enforcement today focuses on potentially devastating threats to wildlife resources: illegal trade, unlawful commercial exploitation, habitat destruction, and environmental contaminants. The FWS Division of Law Enforcement investigates wildlife crimes, regulates wildlife trade, helps Americans understand and obey wildlife protection laws, and works in partnership with international, state, and tribal counterparts to conserve wildlife resources.   

Stillwater NWR is patrolled by the US Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officer (primary Federal jurisdiction) and the Bureau of Land Management (cross-certified Federal jurisdiction), who have responsibility for upholding the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code. This includes enforcing the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Archeaological Resource Protection Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act to name a few. Churchill County Sheriff's Department and Nevada Dept. of Wildlife (local and state jurisdiction) provide backup for specific incidents as needed. 

Most common infractions occurring on the refuge are for off-road travel and resource damage, prohibited weapons use, artifact collection and wildlife/habitat disturbance.  Please educate yourself before you travel on Federal lands as to the most current rules and regulations. It will make your visit more meaningful and less costly if the laws are followed.