The Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District is located in the Northern Great Plains of central and south-central Montana. It is bounded on the north by the Missouri River Breaks and on the south by the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The District comprises several conservation easements, six Waterfowl Production Areas, and four satellite National Wildlife Refuges that reside within its boundaries. These wetlands, grasslands, and uplands provide landscape beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities as well as critical refugia for wildlife. Come see for yourself!

Visit Us

The Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District is comprised of six Waterfowl Production Areas and numerous conservation easements. Four satellite National Wildlife Refuges lie within the District's boundaries, with three of those open to the public for hunting, wildlife observation and wildlife photography. The Waterfowl Production Areas are open to the public for hunting, trapping, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography. The easements are privately owned and thus closed to the public, unless landowners allow access. The District headquarters is located in the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Complex headquarters in Lewistown, MT.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District is a part of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Complex headquartered in Lewistown, MT. The District boundary encompass five counties in central and south-central Montana: Petroleum County, Musselshell County, Golden Valley County, Yellowstone County, and Stillwater County. Within this authority area lie five Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). They are: War Horse WPA, Hailstone WPA, Spidel WPA, Tew WPA, and James L. Hansen WPA. Importantly, a sixth WPA - Clark's Fork WPA, is managed by the District, but resides outside of District boundaries in Carbon County. Several conservation easements also reside within and are an integral part of the District as well. 

      Also within District boundaries are four small satellite National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs). These Refuges are separate from the District's jurisdiction and are often referred to as "the District and associated Refuges". The names of these Refuges are: War Horse NWR, Hailstone NWR, Lake Mason NWR, and Grass Lake NWR. In the event of visiting these Refuges, it is important to note that they have their own rules and regulations separate from District jurisdictional lands - the WPAs. *Note: Grass Lake NWR is currently closed to the public pending the review and implementation of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Assessment (EA). This Refuge is expected to open in Spring of 2025. 

      Tours

      District lands are such that six WPAs and four Refuges are spread over five counties in remote areas.  As such, visiting each requires multiple days and effective time management.  Some roads into District lands are unimproved, thus entering them during inclement weather is not advised.  Please plan accordingly.

      What We Do

      The overall management goal at Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District is to promote biological diversity and maintain the natural abundance of native plants and wildlife. Science is the foundation upon which conservation decisions are made. We use research, monitoring and the best-available science to inform our work to conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat.

      Services
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      Dozens of waterfowl flying over a grassy wetland

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