Laws and Regulations

Permits

Special use permits are needed for after-hours access, special access to closed areas, research, inventory or monitoring projects and commercial ventures including filming and recording. Please address special use permit questions to the wildlife refuge specialist, Courtney Lopez.

See the Special Use Permit Forms to fill out and submit your application.

  • General Activities - Special Use Permit Application

  • Research and Monitoring - Special Use Permit Application

  • Commercial Activities - Special Use Permit Application

Rules and Regulations

Each refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System has station-specific rules, regulations and polices to ensure approved wildlife dependent activities are safe and compatible from human and wildlife. For refuge specific information, please see Emiquon refuge's Rules & Policy page.

National Wildlife Refuge System Laws

Refuges are special places where wildlife comes first. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded. The refuge system has special regulations about what you can do. You can find these regulations in the 50 Code of Federal Regulations - Subchapter C. The following are general National Wildlife Refuge System laws, regulations and policies.

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 Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 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 bird species....

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...

Unconfined domestic animals — including dogs, hogs, cats, horses, sheep and cattle — are not permitted to enter or roam at large at any national wildlife refuge, except as specifically authorized. Some refuges do not permit pets on leashes. Check refuge rules before you visit.

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...

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...