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The Mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.


  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997

    A flock of snow geese, some on water, some lifting up

    The NWRS Improvement Act defines a unifying mission for all Refuges, including a process for determining compatible uses on Refuges, and requiring 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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  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    Cover of Waubay Complex CCP

    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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