Our Services

Passes & Permits


Entrance to the refuge Public Use Area is free.

Visitor access is limited to a 3,300 acre Public Use Area. The remaining portions of the refuge are preserved as a wildlife sanctuary and closed to the public, with disturbance even by refuge staff kept to a minimum.  

Even though entrance is free, the refuge still sells a series of federal recreation passes that covers the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands – including national wildlife refuges. America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes are valid on all federal lands, including those managed by:

  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • America the Beautiful Annual Pass* ($80, valid of for 1 year)
  • America the Beautiful Senior Pass* (must be over 62 years old, valid for lifetime or one year)
    • Lifetime Senior Pass is $80
    • Annual Senior Pass is $20 (good for 1 year)
  • America the Beautiful Access Pass (free, US residents with permanent disability, valid for lifetime)
  • America the Beautiful Military Pass (valid for 1 year, free with CAC military ID)
  • America the Beautiful Volunteer Pass (valid for 1 year, volunteer with over 250 hours. Passes are awarded through the volunteer agency.)
  • America the Beautiful Every Kid in a Park 4th Grade Pass (free to all US 4th Graders via voucher. Visit the Every Kid Outdoors webpage.)

America the Beautiful Annual Passes are available online through the USGS Recreational Passes webpage or at the visitor contact station, when open. Please visit the National Wildlife Refuge System website for more information about passes. 

Special Use Permits  

Any use of a National Wildlife Refuge that would require special access and is not covered under existing rules and regulations for wildlife dependent visitation of the refuge will require an approved for a Special Use Permit through the refuge. These special uses include any commercial activities (timber harvest, haying or grazing), research activities, wood cutting or special events.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife law and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country. Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward. 

Permits are handled by permitting programs in International Affairs (Management Authority), Endangered Species, Law Enforcement, and Migratory Birds. 

Visit the National Wildlife Refuge System website for Special Use Permits. 

For more detailed information or to apply for a permit, go to The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website. You may also contact the refuge manager directly: 

Turnbull NWR Refuge Manager
Cassandra Roeder

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