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

timber wolf in snow
35704 County Highway 26
Rochert, MN   56578
E-mail: tamarac@fws.gov
Phone Number: 218-847-2641
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Timber wolves are occasionally seen at Tamarac Refuge.
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Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge covers 42,724 acres and lies in the glacial lake country of northwestern Minnesota in Becker County, 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes. It was established in 1938 as a refuge breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Refuge topography consists of rolling forested hills interspersed with lakes, rivers, marshes, bogs and shrub swamps. The token of the refuge is the tamarac tree. This unusual tree is a deciduous conifer, turning a brilliant gold before losing its needles each fall.

Tamarac lies in the heart of one of the most diverse vegetative transition zones in North America, where northern hardwood forests, coniferous forests and the tall grass prairie converge. This diversity of habitat brings with it a wealth of wildlife, both woodland and prairie species.

An attractive visitor center offers a spectacular vista of the marshes and trees that are typical of the Tamarac Refuge. A theater presentation provides orientation to the life and legends of this unique area.

Getting There . . .
The refuge office/visitor center is located 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes, MN, at the junction of County Roads 26 & 29. Leaving Detroit Lakes on Hwy 34 East, go 9 miles to intersection of County Road 29, turn left going north on 29, and go approximately 9 miles (paved and gravel roads). Leaving Detroit Lakes on County Road 21, go north approximately 9 miles to intersection of County Road 26, turn right, going east on 26 approximately 9 miles (paved/gravel road).

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Wildlife and Habitat

Refuge wildlife consists of over 258 species of birds and 50 species of mammals. Spring on the refuge attracts a magnificent warbler migration, and fall is highlighted with an abundance of waterfowl, including more than 15,000 ring-necked ducks at its peak.

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Historically, the refuge was treasured for its hunting, fishing, ricing, maple sugaring, and forest resources.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Tamarac Refuge is in a "near pristine" state and encompasses three river systems which provide significant wild rice production. Some water management is possible and is aimed at sustaining healthy stands of wild rice for migrating waterfowl and brood cover. Banding of mallards and wood ducks is done annually.

The forests and waters of the refuge are home to a healthy bald eagle population. Nesting populations of trumpreter swans are now present following a reintroduction program that began in 1987. Biologists survey the nesting success of these and other species annually.

Tamarac Refuge strives to maintain the diverse forests. Prescribed burning, plantings, and occasional timber harvests are designed to enhance habitat for neotropical migrants, ruffed grouse, wild turkey and more. Breeding bird surveys are conducted to monitor regional populations of songbirds.

Invasive species monitoring and control is a growing activity as the threat to the native vegetation increases.