Laws and Regulations

The Endangered Species Act establishes protections for fish, wildlife, and plants that are listed as threatened or endangered; provides for adding species to and removing them from the list of threatened and endangered species, and for preparing and implementing plans for their recovery;...

The Lacey Act, as amended in 1981, provides that the Secretary of the Interior designate injurious wildlife and ensure the humane treatment of wildlife shipped to the United States. Prohibits importation, exportation, transportation, sale, or purchase of fish and wildlife taken or possessed in...

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-712) implements four international conservation treaties that the U.S. entered into with Canada in 1916, Mexico in 1936, Japan in 1972, and Russia in 1976. It is intended to ensure the sustainability of populations of all protected migratory...

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 directs Federal agencies to preserve, restore, and maintain historic cultural environments.

The National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act authorizes cooperative agreements with nonprofit partner organizations, academic institutions, or State and local governments to construct, operate, maintain, or improve refuge facilities and services, and to promote volunteer, outreach, and...

Provides authority, guidelines, and directives for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve the National Wildlife Refuge System; administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and habitat; ensure the...

Spells out wildlife conservation as the fundamental mission of the Refuge System; requires comprehensive conservation planning to guide management of the Refuge System; directs the involvement of private citizens in land management decisions; and provides that compatible wildlife-dependent...

Launching, landing or disturbing wildlife by aircraft (drones) on national wildlife refuges is prohibited. Drone operators should not rely solely on applications such as AirMap, DJI Go or B4UFly to determine if a location is legal for drone use. Such applications do not always capture accurate...

Most national wildlife refuges are open to the public. Even at a refuge open to the public, however, some parts of the refuge may be off limits seasonally or year-round to avoid disturbance to wildlife or habitat. Visitors must follow refuge entrance rules regarding fees, permits and areas open/...

The adage "look, but don't touch" applies to many aspects of visiting a national wildlife refuge. Visitors may not take any animal or plants, except as authorized. Visitors may not disturb, injure, spear, poison, destroy, collect or attempt to disturb, injure, spear, poison, destroy or collect...

Any act of indecency or disorderly conduct as defined by state or local laws is prohibited on any national wildlife refuge. Disturbing, molesting or interfering with any employee of the United States or of any local or state government engaged in official business, or with any private...

All visitors must comply with national wildlife refuge rules, regulations, posted signs and special regulations or be subject to penalty.

Being on a national wildlife refuge when under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, to a degree that may endanger oneself or other persons or property or unreasonably annoy persons, is prohibited. Delivery of a controlled substance is prohibited, except when being...