What We Do

The primary management objectives of the refuge are to restore the stream channels and springs to as near a natural condition as possible and to optimize available stream habitat for recovery and delisting of Moapa dace. The springs are thermal in nature and have an average annual water temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit at the point of discharge. Water quality is good, although high in calcium carbonate.

The Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge supports and protects a healthy, thriving population of Moapa dace at the headwaters of the Muddy River. Stable flows from the refuge’s numerous warm springs fill meandering channels downstream that provide ideal habitat for dace, Virgin River chub and other species of endemic fish and invertebrates. 

The spring bank and riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
plant communities provide habitat for southwestern willow flycatcher as well as a rich diversity of migratory and resident songbirds, colonial nesting species, and other native wildlife. 

Management and Conservation

Refuge Planning 

National Wildlife Refuge planning sets the broad vision for refuge management and the goals, objectives, strategies, and actions required to achieve it. Planning ensures that each refuge meets its individual purposes, contributes to the Refuge System’s mission and priorities, is consistent with other applicable laws and policies, and enhances conservation benefits beyond refuge boundaries. 

Comprehensive Conservation Plans 

Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCPs) are the primary planning documents for National Wildlife Refuges. As outlined in the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, as amended, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is required to develop CCPs that guide refuge management for the next 15 years. CCPs articulate the Service’s contributions to meeting refuge purposes and the National Wildlife Refuge System mission. CCPs serve as a bridge between broad, landscape-level plans developed by other agencies and stakeholders and the more detailed step-downs that stem from Refuge CCPs.  

The 2009 Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Desert, Ash Meadows, Moapa Valley, and Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuges can be found here: https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/7305 

Step-down Plans 

CCP step-down plans guide refuge-level programs for: (1) conserving natural resources (e.g., fish, wildlife, plants, and the ecosystems they depend on for habitat); (2) stewarding other special values of the refuge (e.g., cultural or archeological resources, wilderness, wild and scenic rivers, etc.); and (3) engaging visitors and the community in conservation, including providing opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation. Like CCPs, step-down plans contribute to the implementation of relevant landscape plans by developing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) objectives, strategies, implementation schedules, and decision support tools to fulfill refuge visions and goals. This ensures that refuges are managed in a landscape context and that conservation benefits extend beyond refuge boundaries.  

Law Enforcement

Our refuge law enforcement officers protect fish, wildlife, plants, and other natural, cultural, and historical resources.

Laws and Regulations

The Service wants all visitors to enjoy the refuge while helping to protect it by following these rules and regulations: