Notice of Intent for Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has published a Notice of Intent to gather information for the process of developing a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the wetland management district wetland management district
A wetland management district is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office that manages waterfowl production areas in one or more counties. Waterfowl production areas are small natural wetlands and grasslands that provide breeding, resting and nesting habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland…

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, satellite refuges, and waterfowl production area waterfowl production area
Waterfowl production areas are small natural wetlands and grasslands within the National Wildlife Refuge System that provide breeding, resting and nesting habitat for millions of waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland birds and other wildlife. Virtually all waterfowl production areas are in the Prairie…

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units of the Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District in south-central Montana. 

This action is not related to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge nor its Comprehensive Conservation Plan. 

The Service has published this notice in compliance with Refuge Planning policy to advise other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, and the public of our intentions and to obtain suggestions and information on the scope of issues to be considered in the planning process. Link to Federal Register Notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-13848/comprehensive-conservation-plan-units-of-charles-m-russell-complex-montana

To ensure consideration of any public comments at the earliest stages of this process, we must receive written comments by July 29, 2022.  Comments and questions can please be submitted by one of the following methods:  

  • Email: Alice Lee, via email at alice_lee@fws.gov  

  • U.S. mail: Alice Lee, Conservation Planner, via mail at Branch of Refuge Planning, P.O. Box 25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225. 

Visit Us

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is an unstaffed satellite refuge and is part of the Charles M. Russell Complex. The refuge is open to hunting, hiking, and wildlife observation. In addition to compliance with all applicable state hunting regulations, non-toxic shot must be used to harvest waterfowl and upland game birds.

Wildlife commonly observed on the Refuge include those most tolerant of alkali soils, such as many species of waterfowl, shorebirds, upland game birds, songbirds, and small and big game. 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. 

Activities

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is an unstaffed satellite refuge and is part of the Charles M. Russell Complex. The refuge is open to hunting, hiking, and wildlife observation. In addition to compliance with all applicable state hunting regulations, non-toxic shot must be used to harvest waterfowl and upland game birds.

Related Documents

A map showing the Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District, Waterfowl Production Areas and satellite refuges is available below.

Wetland Management District map

Shows Charles M. Russell Wetland Management District inluding locations of satellite refuges and Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs).

Other Facilities in the 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.

Rules and Policies

The regulations below apply to War Horse NWR, Hailstone NWR and Lake Mason NWR. Grass Lake NWR and the north half of the Lake Mason Unit of Lake Mason NWR are closed to any public uses.

Locations

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge
C/O Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge 333 Airport Road Lewistown, MT 59457
Driving Directions

To access Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge, drive 4 miles east of Rapelje, MT to the Hailstone Basin Road. Turn north on this road and continue 1.5 miles to the refuge entrance. A two-track trail crosses the Refuge from southeast to northwest. Visitors are required to park immediately adjacent to the road.