What We Do

With the purpose of Mortenson National Wildlife Refuge being to focus on the recovery of the Wyoming toad, everything done on the refuge needs to benefit the toads. Water management, infrastructure repairs, grazing and prescribed fire are some of the tools we utilize to accomplish our management goals. Adaptive management is the practice of using different tools for management, observing what works well and making adjustments going forward. Thus far, grazing of local cattle has been proven as an important management tool to thin the thick stands of rush surrounding Mortenson Lake and improve habitat for the Wyoming toad population. Prescribed burning has also been a tool that's been used to help create open areas for the cold-blooded toads to be able to soak up the sun and the open areas help to encourage plant and invertebrate growth in the high elevation basin.

Management and Conservation

The following refuge-specific goals were identified for Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Wyoming Toad Goal: In conjunction with the Wyoming Toad Recovery Team, manage refuge lands around Mortenson Lake and other areas on the refuge as necessary to protect, create, and manage habitat suitable for Wyoming toad recovery from endangered status.

Wetlands Goal: Following considerations for Wyoming toad needs, manage refuge impoundments and other wetlands to create diverse habitat for wetland-dependent wildlife.

Uplands Goal: Following consideration for Wyoming toad needs, gather baseline biological information to guide evaluation and management of shrub- and grass-dominated uplands for the benefit of migratory birds, white-tailed prairie dogs, pronghorn, and other wildlife.

Law Enforcement

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Officers help visitors understand and obey wildlife protection laws. They work closely with state and local government offices to enforce federal, state and refuge hunting regulations that protect migratory birds and other game species from illegal take and preserve legitimate hunting opportunities.