What We Do

The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from the purpose a refuge is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. 

Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge. Some refuges use prescribed fires to mimic natural fires that would have cleared old vegetation from the land helping native plants regenerate and local wildlife to thrive. Other refuges contain Wilderness areas where land is largely managed in passively. The management tools used are aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach where both wildlife and people will benefit. 

The staff and partners at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge work year-round to maintain and enhance refuge lands and programs for both wildlife and the community. Our conservation toolbox includes:  

  • Partnering with local governments, other state and national agencies and partners, local conservation organizations, and colleges and universities to protect wildlife and the habitat they depend on. Partners are crucial to our success. 
  • Controlling invasive species through integrated pest management including biological controls, hand removal, prescribed burning, mowing and herbicides treatment.  
  • Restoring degraded habitat by removing invasive weeds and planting native grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs. 
  • Creating wetland habitats to provide feeding, nesting, and resting habitat for a variety of wetlands-dependent species, including mallards, sora rails, yellow-headed blackbirds, and other wildlife. 
  • Providing artificial nesting habitat, including many wood duck nesting boxes and several osprey platforms. Wood duck boxes provide nesting habitat for wood ducks as well as a variety of other cavity-nesting birds like western screech owls.  
  • Seasonally or permanently closing some refuge lands to provide undisturbed areas where wildlife can seek refuge.  

Management and Conservation

Refuge conservation plans are called “comprehensive conservation plans” (CCPs). The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years. The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving Refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the Refuge and its effects on the human environment are described in the CCP as well.


Law Enforcement

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Officers help visitors understand and obey wildlife protection laws. They work closely with state and local government offices to enforce federal, state and refuge hunting regulations that protect migratory birds and other game species from illegal take and preserve legitimate hunting opportunities. 

Laws and Regulations

Visit our Rules and Policies page to learn more about hunting, fishing, and general visit rules.