Law Enforcement


"Through education and enforcement we protect our employees, volunteers, and visitors; safeguard the public’s investment in facilities and equipment; and protect the integrity of the habitat and the wildlife resources of the National trust resource which is the 150 million acre National Wildlife Refuge System.” - Mission statement of National Wildlife Refuge System Law Enforcement program.

Refuge Law Enforcement Objectives  

Law enforcement is an integral part of managing the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex is actively patrolled by Federal Wildlife Officers who are responsible for upholding state and federal laws and regulations that protect natural resources, the public, and employees. These are our objectives:

  • To protect refuge visitors and employees from disturbance or harm by others. 
  • To assist visitors in understanding refuge laws, regulations, and the reasons for them. 
  • To enhance the management and protection of fish and wildlife resources on refuges. 
  • To ensure the legally prescribed, equitable use of fish and wildlife resources on refuges. 
  • To obtain compliance with laws and regulations necessary for the proper administration, management, and protection of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 

All federal, state, and local laws and regulations are applicable on Wheeler NWR lands and waters. Please see our Rules and Regulations page for more information. 

Please report all suspicious activity or violations which occur on the refuge to Federal Wildlife Officers by calling the refuge office at 256-353-7243, the refuge Visitor Center at 256-350-6639 or email:

Or the USFWS “Turn-in poachers” line at 1-844-NWR-TIPS (697-8477) or email NWR_TIPS@FWS.GOV. 

For wildlife crimes off the refuge, call the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at (800) 272-4263.

In case of an emergency, call 911.