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. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge.

Management and Conservation

Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. 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 location of the refuge and its island habitat has attracted researchers interested in waterbird population dynamics. The islands have served as research sites for the Service and colleagues for many years. These islands offer rare opportunities to study the changes that are occurring on the landscape in the absence of human disturbance. Research studies conducted on refuge islands aim to address aspects of waterbird conservation across the Great Lakes region. Recent studies focus on double-crested cormorants. Researchers are gathering data to learn more about the growth of populations of double-crested cormorants and to evaluate the effects of cormorant control programs, while also working to develop habitat monitoring protocols.

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

The refuge is closed to public access.