What We Do
Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. Some refuges use prescribed fires to mimic natural fires that would have cleared old vegetation from the land helping native plants regenerate and local wildlife to thrive. The management tools used are aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach where both wildlife and people will benefit. At this field station our conservation toolbox includes:
- Prescribed fires
- Water level changes
- Timing of water applications
Management and Conservation
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 2000 Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Stillwater, Fallon, and Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuges can be found here: https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/1491
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.
Laws and Regulations
Refuge Hunting Regulations (50 CFR 32.47)
(g) Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge:
(1) Migratory game bird hunting. We allow hunting of goose, duck, swan, coot, merganser, snipe, and dove on designated areas of the refuge subject to the following conditions:
(i) We allow the use of dogs when hunting game birds.
(ii) We allow overnight stays while hunting subject to the following conditions:
(A) You may stay overnight only at designated sites within the refuge boundary.
(B) We limit overnight stays to 4 consecutive nights at one location, and to 12 consecutive nights on the refuge.
(2) Upland game hunting. We allow hunting of quail, rabbit, turkey, badger, beaver, and coyote on designated areas of the refuge subject to the following conditions:
(i) Approved methods of take include shotgun and federally approved non-lead shot, bow and arrow, and falconry.
(ii) We allow the use of dogs when hunting.
(iii) The condition set forth at paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section applies.
(3) Big game hunting. We allow hunting of mule deer and pronghorn on designated areas of the refuge subject to the following conditions:
(i) Approved methods of take include shotgun, muzzle-loading rifle, and bow and arrow.
(ii) The condition set forth at paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section applies.
Refuge Public Access Regulations (50 CFR 26.34)
(4) Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge.
(i) We prohibit boating outside of the waterfowl and youth waterfowl hunting season except in Swan Check Lake, where we allow nonmotorized boating all year.
(ii) We prohibit boats on Swan Lake, the northeast corner of North Nutgrass Lake, and the north end of Pintail Bay. We allow the use of nonmotorized carts, sleds, floating blinds, and other floating devices in these areas to transport hunting equipment and to conceal hunters, but not to transport hunters.
(iii) We only allow outboard motor boats on Lead Lake, Tule Lake, Goose Lake, South Nutgrass Lake, the southeast corner of North Nutgrass Lake, and south end of Pintail Bay.
(iv) We only allow air-thrust boats on Goose Lake, South Nutgrass Lake, the southeast corner of North Nutgrass Lake, and the south end of Pintail Bay.
(v) You may not operate air-thrust boats until 1 hour after the legal shooting time on opening day of waterfowl season.
(vi) We require air-thrust boat owners to get a Special Use Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-G) from the refuge manager and to display a number on their airboats.
(vii) We allow nonmotorized boats on all lakes and bays except Swan Lake, the northeast corner of North Nutgrass Lake, and the north end of Pintail Bay.
(viii) We allow camping only in designated areas.