U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Medicine Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

A close-up image of this American white pelican shows the bright orange skin around the bird's eye; the bird's beak is the same orange color.
223 North Shore Road
Medicine Lake, MT   59247
E-mail: medicinelake@fws.gov
Phone Number: 406-789-2305
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
This American white pelican is one of over 10,000 that nest on refuge each year, making it one of the largest white pelican colonies in the world.
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In times past, Plains Indians used this area while hunting big game herds and waterfowl. Many of the surrounding hills contain stone rings indicating locations of ancient campsites.

Medicine Lake NWR was established in 1935 by Presidential Executive Order. This order set apart 23,700 acres for wildlife conservation. Subsequent acquisitions increased the Refuge to the present size of 31,660 acres. In 1937, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) set up camp on the Refuge. During the camp's 4 years of operation, many conservation projects were undertaken, including dams, dikes, shelterbelts, and fences. In addition, many refuge roads and buildings were constructed.

The 11,360-acre Medicine Lake Wilderness Area was established by Congress in 1976. This area includes the main water body of the lake and the islands within it. A 2,320-acre area of the Montana sandhills is also included, with its unique rolling hills, native grass, cactus, and clumps of chokecherry, buffalo berry, and snowberry.

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