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  • Deer In Field

    Hunting Permits Available August 1

    Beginning Monday, August 1, at 7:00 pm, NINE (9) permits will be available for online purchase on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Purchase Deer Hunt Permit Here

What's Happening

Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge Approved!

October 25, 2016

In October 2016, Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and Wendi Weber, Northeast Regional Director of the Service, approved Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)—a new refuge dedicated to managing shrubland habitat for wildlife in the Northeast. The Service can now start working with partners and willing-seller property owners to identify opportunities to acquire priority lands in fee simple or conservation easement within the designated focus areas of Great Thicket NWR.

Learn more

About the Complex

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

This complex also includes Wallkill River and Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuges.

Shawangunk Grasslands is managed as part of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

Follow NWRS Online


Important Things to Know

  • Breeding Bird Surveys at the Grasslands

    Grasslands in June

    Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge is the premier location in southern New York state for nesting grassland birds. The refuge is managed specifically to benefit several species of grassland obligates – that is those species that require large open grassland habitat to breed successfully. Breeding bird surveys have been conducted here for many years and we are continuing to do so this year. These surveys help us measure the success of our management activities. This includes the removal and restoration of 30 acres of old runways in 2010 through 2012 and our recent prescribed burn of 170 acres this past spring which was done to promote the growth of warm season grasses. An initial analysis of the data suggests that this management has been successful as distribution of these species throughout the core grass units on the refuge is more widespread. In particular, Grasshopper sparrows seem to have benefited significantly with these habitat improvements. In addition to the bird surveys, vegetation surveys are also being conducted.

  • Plan your visit

    Short-eared Owls

    Shawangunk Grasslands NWR is a natural area without restroom facilities or potable water sources. Please plan accordingly before visiting.

    Information to plan your visit.
  • Things to do

    Trail in Winter

    Shawangunk Grasslands offers a variety of ways to enjoy the refuge including wildlife viewing, photography and hunting.

    Learn about activities on the refuge
Page Photo Credits — Shawangunk Grasslands - Steven Brooks., All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Shawangunk grasslands in winter - Steven Brooks, Winter at Shawangunk - Steven Brooks, Spring meadow - Steven Brooks, Short-eared owl - Ed Frampton
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2016
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