President Theodore Roosevelt, 1904

"Wild beasts and birds are by right not the property merely of the people who are alive today, but the property of unknown generations, whose belongings we have no right to squander." - Theodore Roosevelt


Founding father of the National Wildlife Refuge System, President Theodore Roosevelt established the first refuge, Pelican Island, in 1903.

  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    SLNWR CCP document cover

    Refuge conservation plans are called “Comprehensive Conservation Plans” (CCPs). The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years. Goals, objectives, and strategies for improving Refuge conditions—including types of habitat, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. In 2007, the Service adopted the preferred alternative for managing the Refuge and its effects on the surrounding community.

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  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act

    Fulfilling the Promise document cover

    National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997: The NWRS Improvement Act defines a unifying mission for all refuges, including a process for determining compatible uses on refuges, and requiring each refuge be managed according to a CCP. The NWRS Improvement Act expressly states that wildlife conservation is the priority of System lands and that the Secretary shall ensure that biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge lands are maintained. Each refuge must be managed to fulfill specific purposes for which the refuge was established and the System mission.

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