The Audubon Wetland Management District oversees approximately 155,000 acres of U.S. Fish and Wildlife land and interests. This includes 84 Waterfowl Production Areas, 12 National Wildlife Refuges, and numerous wetland and grassland easements in McLean and Sheridan Counties. These lands have valuable wetland and grassland habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, and many other species of wildlife.
Grazing and Farming Opportunities

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Coleharbor, North Dakota has cooperative agriculture opportunities for grazing on 31 units totaling approximately 8,003 acres in McLean, Sheridan, Dunn, and Slope Counties for up to four years.  One 251 acre unit is available for farming in Mclean County.

The lands to be grazed are located at one or another of these North Dakota sites: Audubon National Wildlife Refuge in ColeharborAudubon Wetland Management District in Sheridan and McLean Counties, Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge in Dunn Center, and Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Slope County. To be considered, applicants must complete and submit this form, available on the refuge website:


Grazing applications and farming bids must be postmarked or received by 4:30 p.m. CST on February 15, 2023. Grazing applications may be submitted by email to, or by mail or in person at Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, 3275 11th St NW, Coleharbor, ND 58531.  Farming bids must be delivered by mail or in person in a sealed envelope.

Successful grazing applicants will be selected through an open and competitive process. Applications will be scored and ranked using objective criteria described in the application form. All unsuccessful applicants will be notified by Monday, February 20, 2023.  Farming bids will be opened at 10am on the 20th in the visitor center at the refuge office.  The bid opening is open to the public.

For more information or to get an application, please contact Refuge Manager Kathy Baer at 701-442-5474 ext. 114 or

Visit Us

Waterfowl Production Areas are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands managed to conserve fish and wildlife and their habitat for the continuing benefit of the American people.

The Audubon Wetland Management District has 84 Waterfowl Production Areas in McLean and Sheridan Counties that provide numerous recreational opportunities for visitors. Waterfowl production areas are open to wildlife-dependent recreational activities, which include hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The Wetland Management District includes all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service interests in McLean and Sheridan Counties.  The District was started as part of the Small Wetlands Acquisition Program in the 1950s and is well-known for its wealth of waterfowl-producing potholes and native prairie grasslands. The Headquarters is located at the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge.

      What We Do

      In the Audubon Wetland Management District, the focus is primarily administration involving the enhancement of wildlife through management of refuge lands and cooperative agreements with private landowners. This includes monitoring and actively managing refuge lands, administration of Fish and Wildlife Service wetland and grassland easements, and coordination with partners and stakeholders. 


      In the United States, the Prairie Pothole Region is located within the northern Great Plains in parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Characterized by thousands of shallow, glacially formed wetlands known as potholes, the Prairie Pothole Region provides habitat for...

      In the United States, the Prairie Pothole Region is located within the northern Great Plains in parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Characterized by thousands of shallow wetlands known as potholes, the Prairie Pothole Region provides habitat for globally...

      Our Organization


      National Wildlife Refuge System

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With over 565 refuges and wetland management districts spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.

      Our Species

      The majestic flights of thousands of waterfowl, sandhill cranes, and shorebirds are visible in the Wetland Management District during spring and fall migration. Endangered whooping cranes are often seen migrating in small groups or with sandhill cranes. Piping plovers, a threatened species, nest in the area each summer. Giant Canada geese, in addition to ducks such as mallards, gadwalls, blue-winged teal, northern pintails, and lesser scaup, are common nesters in the Wetland Management District.

      Other birds you may see include northern harriers, marbled godwits, upland sandpipers, western meadowlarks, bobolinks, and more than 200 other species.

      Audubon Wetland Management District also provides habitat for wildlife that make the prairie their year-round home. White-tailed deer, coyote, red fox, sharp-tailed grouse, and gray partridge are some of the hardier species that are adapted to North Dakota's climate. The ring-necked pheasant is also a district resident whose numbers often decline during severe winters.