About Us

Greasewood grows in the saline soils whereas native grasses flourish on the less saline soils. Wildlife species include waterfowl, pronghorn, and prairie dogs. Many other small mammals exist along with horned lizards (often referred to as horned toads), and rattlesnakes. The Refuge is open to hunting of migratory game birds, upland game birds, and big game as well as hiking and wildlife observation.

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is one of four satellite national wildlife refuges in central Montana that are part of the Charles M. Russell Complex. Satellite refuges are unstaffed national wildlife refuges. Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is managed by staff of Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Lewistown, Montana.

Our Mission

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Our History

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is a 920-acre refuge that was initially established as an easement refuge in 1942 to provide a rest stop and breeding ground for migratory waterfowl. In 1980, the Service purchased this Refuge. Hailstone Lake is a natural basin that was enhanced to 300 acres in the 1930’s under the Works Project Administration. Over the years heavy metals and salts accumulated in the reservoir and surrounding soil due to natural evaporation. In 2011, the earthen dam was removed to once again create a flow through system.

Other Facilities in this Complex

This refuge is managed as part of the Charles M. Russell Complex. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central office location. Refuges are grouped into a complex structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish…

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because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. Typically, a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex and refuge managers are responsible for operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, fire, visitor services, and maintenance professionals, are centrally located and support all refuges within the complex.