Shutdown Notice
Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, this website will not be updated until further notice. Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor's sole risk. Please read this important updated message about the closure of National Wildlife Refuge System facilities during the shutdown, and refer to alerts posted on individual refuge websites for the status of visitor facilities and previously scheduled events that may still occur during the shutdown.

For more information, please visit the Department of Interior webpage at


  • Birding Notice

    You may have noticed the lack of water along the Wildlife Drive at Monte Vista NWR. Please click on the link to learn why.

    Learn More about the lack of water

  • 218x116_SandhillWhoopingCranes

    Sandhill Crane Migration

    Approximately 23,000 - 27,000 Sandhill Cranes migrate biannually (peak Mid-March and Mid-October) through the San Luis Valley.

Refuge News

Grazing Opportunity Announcement

December 21, 2018 alamosa grazing cows 150x118

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting sealed bids for two separate annual cattle grazing permits on the Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuges for the 2019 season. One cooperator will be selected for each refuge.

Cattle Grazing Opportunities

Burning for the Birds

November 24, 2017 194x116RxBurnMV-ShorebirdsDuringTheBurn

On October 24, 2017 partners from several agencies came together to conduct a prescribed burn on Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge staff works to provide healthy wetlands and plants for all wildlife. Old plants build up a thick layer of litter and let weeds get out of control. Using fire to remove that build up helps native plants get the upper hand. Along the trail and wildlife drive it’s hard to miss where we burned. Next spring this area will warm up quickly providing plants, insects and places to rest for migrating birds like Sandhill Cranes and several species of ducks.

2017 Prescribed burn on Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

Public Comment on Environmental Assessment

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today options to manage sylvatic plague in Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni) colonies on the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC) in south-central Colorado. The Service completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this action and is seeking public comment on the proposal. The EA analyzes management options, including a No-Action Alternative, to permit Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) via a Special Use Permit (SUP) to manage sylvatic plague in Gunnison’s prairie dog colonies on the San Luis Valley NWRC. The San Luis Valley NWRC encompasses approximately 112,360 acres comprised of three separate units: Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Baca National Wildlife Refuges.

Public Comment on Environmental Assessment

Rio Grande River Trail

The Rio Grande River Trail offers a variety of river habitats for wildlife. Look for migratory song birds, deer, and other resident wildlife along the two-mile trail.

Learn More About the Rio Grande River Trail
About the Complex

San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Baca Refuges form the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This Complex is a part of the Refuge System, a network of lands that conserve wildlife and habitat.

Learn More About the Refuge Complex

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS