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


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    Get Outside

    Walking trails, blinds and an 11-mile auto tour route offer many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the refuge.

    Visitor Activites

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    Refuge Gallery

    Enjoy images of wildlife you will find on the Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

    View the Gallery


Refuge Closed

November 14, 2018

The Campground will be closed from Nov. 26, 2018 til Dec. 3, 2018. The Refuge will be closed from Nov. 29, 2018 til Dec. 3, 2018 due to a Youth Event. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions please call or email us.

History of Conservation


In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt established the Pelican Island Bird Reservation, the first of 53 federal reserves he would create during his time in office and the roots of what is today known as the National Wildlife Refuge System. The 26th president was a dedicated naturalist throughout his life and is considered by many to have been the country’s “Conservationist President.” It was in the infancy of the Refuge System when President Roosevelt said, “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.”

The National Wildlife Refuge System
Featured Stories

North American Porcupine


Porcupines are strict vegetarians and eat leaves, twigs, fruit, green plants and even the bark off of trees. They are excellent climbers and spend a lot of time in trees. They are primarily nocturnal and during the day will rest in the hollow of a tree or log, as well as underground burrows and caves. Porcupines can have up to 30,000 quills, their main form of defense. These are actually modified hair with a barbed tip (and, no, they cannot throw their quills) that protect them from predators. They are a common resident found on the refuge.

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