J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935. The Refuge lies in the lake bed of glacial Lake Souris, once home to the Arikara, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Hidatsa, Lakota, and Mandan Tribes of American Indians. Retreating glaciers created the rolling hills and temporary wetlands of today's landscape. Most of the Refuge is composed of river valley wetland habitat bordered by a narrow strip of upland vegetation. The southern portion of the Refuge includes wooded river bottomlands, floodplain meadows, and native prairie sandhills. The sandhills are remnants of wind-and-wave borne deposits on the ancient lakeshore. The land cover types found here - mixed grass prairie, river valley, marshes, sandhills, and woodlands - come together to support an abundant variety of wildlife.
The primary purpose of the Refuge is to provide habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wildlife. The Refuge is one of over 565 refuges and 38 wetland management districts in the National Wildlife Refuge System - a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife.
Brown cows grazing in a pasture.
Cooperative Agricultural Opportunities at J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge

J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge is seeking applications from qualified individuals to conduct prescribed grazing activities under our Cooperative Agriculture Program. The purpose of the haying and grazing programs, is to manage upland and river bottom habitats to promote and enhance native grass and forb diversity, enhance nesting cover for migratory birds and waterfowl, and reduce invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
and woody vegetation. For information on how to obtain an application, click here for 2023 grazing application

Visit Us

J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters entrance sign.
Welcome

J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of opportunities for people to enjoy wildlife observation, hiking, canoeing, photography, hunting, and fishing. 

Plan your Trip                                                                           

Visit our website to help plan your trip or visit us at the J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge Administration Building and Visitor Contact Station 2 miles north of Upham, ND off of Highway 14. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      An aerial view of the lower J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge 

      J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935. The Refuge lies in the lake bed of glacial Lake Souris, once home to the Arikara, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Hidatsa, Lakota, and Mandan Tribes of American Indians. Retreating glaciers created the rolling hills and temporary wetlands of today's landscape. Most of the Refuge is composed of river valley wetland habitat that is bordered by a narrow strip of upland vegetation. The southern portion of the Refuge includes wooded river bottoms, floodplain meadows, and native prairie sandhills. The sandhills are remnants of wind-and-wave borne deposits on the ancient lakeshore. All of the land cover types found here- mixed grass prairie, river valley, marshes, sandhills, and woodlands- come together to support an abundant variety of wildlife. 

      The primary purpose of the Refuge is to provide habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wildlife. The Refuge is one of over 565 refuges and 38 wetland management districts in the National Wildlife Refuge System - a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. 

      What We Do

      J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge Specialist Johannah McCollum preparing a drake Mallard duck for banding

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species. 

      To provide the widest variety of quality wetland habitat for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, Refuge staff manage water levels to maintain everything from wet soils to deep water conditions. This encourages growth of nutritious plants and other organisms and helps prevent cattails from over-growing the marshes. Historically, the natural combination of wildfire and bison grazing maintained the grasslands in this area. Today, Refuge staff use a combination of haying, grazing, mowing, prescribed burning, spraying, and biological agents to control noxious weeds and prevent the invasion of grasslands by shrubs.

      Services

      Our Species

      A Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) observed at J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, this unique shorebird is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a species of Management Concern in the northeastern states due to declines in breeding numbers. 

      J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge provides important habitat for thousands of migratory birds. Over 250 bird species are found here, including waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds. Many mammals live on the Refuge as well.