Laws and Regulations

For More Information on refuge and hunting rules and policies

Laws and acts provide management direction for all refuges. At Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 provides the establishing authority for the refuge “…for the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources...” This act provides refuge staff with management goals and directions and all refuge decisions must take into account this establishing authority.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 provides further guidance for management decisions, including the determination of compatible uses on refuges. This act identifies six priority wildlife dependent recreational uses that include hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education and interpretation. Boyer Chute strives to provide these priority uses in ways that does not greatly impact our main mission of conserving and restoring fish, wildlife and their habitat of the Missouri River floodplain.

Numerous other laws such as the Emergency Wetlands Resource Act of 1986 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 provides further guidance and direction for management decisions made on the refuge.


Some activities on the refuge require a special use permit as a way to manage the impacts of the potential use/activity.  At Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, special use permits are required for the following activities:

  • Firewood Cutting: firewood cutting permits are issued to individuals allowing them to cut fallen trees along the refuge roads.  Contact 712-388-4800 for information on obtaining a firewood cutting permit.
  • Trapping: Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Trapping at Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge is done on a limited basis based on management needs. Contact the refuge manager for specific information.
  • Commercial Filming/Recording: A permit is required for all commercial filming/recording at a refuge. You do not need a permit for commercial still photography in areas or during times that are already open to the public, unless you are using a model, set, or prop. We require a permit for still photography only if it:
    • Takes place in areas closed to the public or when the refuge is normally closed
    • We would incur costs to provide on-site management and oversight to protect agency resources or minimize visitor conflicts.

The Emergency Wetlands Resources Act provides for the collection of entrance fees, thirty percent of which may be used for refuge operations and maintenance, and for the Secretary of the Interior to establish and periodically review a national wetlands priority conservation plan for Federal and...

The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 establishes a comprehensive national fish and wildlife policy and authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to take steps required for the development, management, advancement, conservation, and protection of fisheries resources and wildlife resources through...

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) provides that the Service examine the environmental impacts, incorporate environmental information, and use public participation in the planning and implementation of all actions; integrate NEPA with other planning requirements; prepare NEPA...