What We Do

Lake Wales National Wildlife Refuge has a fire management plan in place that allows the National Wildlife Refuge System to fulfill its mission to conserve and restore wildlife and plant resources for the benefit of present and future generations. As part of the comprehensive conservation plans and environmental assessments for the refuge, a program is in place to manage any wildland fires and to conduct prescribed fires that help mitigate wildfire damage, encourage new growth of native vegetation, and maintain those habitats for the benefit of plant and animal species that depend on periodic fire.

Lake Wales National Wildlife Refuge also conducts habitat management and restoration projects, wildlife surveys,  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
removal, and makes use of law enforcement, public outreach and education, establishing and maintaining partnerships, and conducting research as part of the comprehensive conservation plan.  

Because of the potential impact to the plants and animals, the refuge has not been opened to the public. However, this refuge is an exciting place where researchers from Archbold Biological Station have conducted important ecological studies. Per acre, the refuge has a very high density of listed species. 

Law Enforcement

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System Law Enforcement program is: "Through Education and enforcement we protect our employees, volunteers, and visitors; safeguard the public’s investment in facilities and equipment; and protect the integrity of the habitat and the wildlife resources of the National trust resource which is the 150 million acre National Wildlife Refuge System.”