Laws and Regulations

Learn More about refuge and hunting rules and polices

Every national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
 was created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.
The purpose of the Refuge is to contribute to the mission and goals of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS, Refuge System) by:
1. Protecting and enhancing habitats for federal trust species and species of management concern, with special emphasis on migratory birds and species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.
2. The conservation of the wetlands of the Nation in order to maintain the public benefits they provide and the help fulfill international obligations contained in various migratory bird treaties and conventions indicated in the Emergency Wetlands Resource Act of 1986.
3. Creating opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation, while promoting activities that complement the purposes of the Refuge and other protected lands in the region.
4. Promoting science, education, and research through partnerships to inform land management decisions and encourage continued responsible stewardship of the natural resources of the region.

The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, commonly referred to as the Duck Stamp Act, requires waterfowl hunters, 16 years of age or older, to purchase and possess a valid Federal waterfowl hunting stamp prior to taking migratory waterfowl. The Secretary of the Interior is...