Law Enforcement

Fishing license compliance check 512 x 320

Upper Souris is a special place for wildlife and people. Yet, as a Wildlife Refuge, it is a place where the needs of wildlife come first. To ensure that this happens, regulations have been established to provide wildlife and their habitats with adequate protection from visitors. Although these regulations may be inconvenient to some or seem overly restrictive, they are necessary to protect wildlife populations and habitat and, in some instances, to safeguard visitors.

Our mission is to protect wildlife resources. Through the effective enforcement of Federal laws, we contribute to Fish and Wildlife Service efforts to recover endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, safeguard fisheries, combat invasive species and promote international wildlife conservation. We focus on potentially devastating threats to wildlife resources - illegal trade, unlawful commercial exploitation, habitat destruction and environmental hazards. Specifically, we:

• Investigate wildlife crimes

• Regulate wildlife trade and interdict wildlife smuggling

• Help Americans understand and comply with wildlife protection laws
• Work in partnership with international, Federal, State and Tribal counterparts to conserve wildlife resources
Visitors are responsible for knowing the Refuge regulations listed in our brochures and on our signs. By observing these rules, visitors will make the Refuge a better place for themselves and the wildlife they come to enjoy. The Refuge is open daily from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM for your use.
Pets - Use of horses is permitted with permission of the Refuge Manager. Dogs may be walked if they are on a leash.
Hunting and Fishing - Hunting and fishing are permitted in certain areas under special Federal and State regulations.
Prohibited Activities - The following are not permitted because they are either unsafe, are not consistent with Refuge goals or are unlawful: 
• camping
• sailing, water skiing, swimming, the use of jet boats or personal watercraft and recreational boating
• the use of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles
• trespassing in closed areas
• open fires
• collecting, injuring, disturbing, destroying or harming any animal or plant, except legally harvested fish and game animals
• searching for, disturbing or collecting prehistoric or historic artifacts
• possession of fireworks and firearms (except during Refuge hunts)
• littering
• intoxicated and disorderly conduct
• underage possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages
• open container of alcoholic beverages in vehicle
• geocaching or similar activity
• remaining on the Refuge between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM
• use of boats, canoes, etc. on the Refuge between October 1st and April 30th
If you witness or suspect a wildlife violation on Upper Sours NWR, please report it to one of the following:
Tom Pabian, Refuge Manager:  1-701-720-9321
Jim Reynolds, Federal Wildlife Officer:  1-701-621-1268 (voice or text)
North Dakota RAP Hotline:  1-800-472-2121 or 
Upper Souris NWR:  1-701-468-5467 ext. 118