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.
2024 Grazing Opportunities

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Coleharbor, North Dakota has cooperative agriculture opportunities for grazing on 17 units totaling approximately 3,525 acres in McLean, Sheridan, Dunn, and Hettinger Counties for up to three years.  
The lands to be grazed are located at one of these North Dakota sites: Audubon Wetland Management District in Sheridan, McLean, and Hettinger Counties, and Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge in Dunn Center. The unit maps and list are shown below:
•    2024 Audubon Grazing List
•    Audubon WMD Grazing Units
•    Lake Ilo NWR Grazing Units
Grazing applications must be postmarked or received by 4:30 p.m. CST on February 26, 2024. Grazing applications may be submitted by email to kathy_baer@fws.gov, or by mail or in person at Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, 3275 11th St NW, Coleharbor, ND 58531. To be considered, applicants must complete and submit this form:
•    2024 Audubon Grazing Application 
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 applicants will be notified by Thursday, February 29, 2024. Please also see grazing regulations:
•   2024 Audubon Grazing Regulations
For more information or to get an application, please contact Refuge Manager Kathy Baer at 701-442-5474 ext. 114 or kathy_baer@fws.gov.

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. 

      Services
      A beautiful green grassland with white flowers in bloom under a partly cloudy sky

      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...

      Dozens of waterfowl flying over a grassy wetland

      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

      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.

      A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 560 refuges 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.